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Theodore Lyons Araujo
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Theodore Araujo’s Answers

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  • Wage garnishment and bankruptcy

    Can a bankruptcy stop my wage garnishment on an auto loan even after they got the judgement on me? It's killing my ability to live in my home and pay other bills.

    Theodore’s Answer

    When you file the bankruptcy the garnishment will cease.

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  • I'm ready to file in the Southern District NY for FOIA injunction against DOJ. How can I find out who at the DOJ to serve?

    I've dealt with the DOJ Office of Information Policy and its Executive Office for United States Attorneys both in DC. The materials I'm seeking are with the US attorney for the Eastern District New York. I'm filing the action in the Southern Di...

    Theodore’s Answer

    If you are suing to compel production make sure you have exhausted your administrative remedies. If it is DOJ you have to serve the local United States Attorney, the Attorney General and the parties that the agency defines have to be served.

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  • Is there limitations of how long before a company can collect a debt.

    I'm a Virginia resident. I have summons in the mail for a garnishment. This summons is for a repossession that happened in 2008. It is now 2015 and the company is just now sending information about this bill through a garnishment summons. The dat...

    Theodore’s Answer

    It is likely that you are being summoned to court so they can collect the debt they have secured with the judgment. The statute of limitations is not relevant after they get the judgment. The judgment is valid for a certain period of time in your state after it is filed. In New York they have up to 20 years to collect.

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  • I cannot file for BK Chapter 7 until Aug of 2016. In the meanwhile, I am starting to miss payments to some (not all) of my

    credit cards and personal loans. How can I avoid being sued until I can file for another BK? Right now, I am only getting $1415.00 per month from Social Security. My boyfriend is currently helping me pay the mortgage so I will not be delinquent ...

    Theodore’s Answer

    Answer all of the debtor inquiries. Answer the phone every time it rings...do not give them bank information. If you are sued the first thing you need to do if and when you get sued is file an Answer. The summons will tell you that you must “appear” by way of an Answer in 10, 20 or 30 days, “depending on the method of service.”

    PLEASE CHECK THE LAW IN YOUR STATE AS YOU MAY ACTUALLY HAVE TO APPEAR IN COURT, AS IN VIRGINIA, IN ORDER TO AVOID A DEFAULT!

    You need a lawyer, but if you cannot afford one right away, rather than do nothing and have a judgment entered against you, is to “appear” by filing something!

    Many people think this means they have to go to Court and this is incorrect. 90% of all lawsuits end in Default Judgments because the defendant (person getting sued) did not file an Answer.

    I recommend you go to the free form I have on my website. Print it out and fill it out as instructed. You must answer the numbered paragraphs on the Complaint by writing them into the appropriate lines in the Answer. The Answer will allow you to preserve your rights and will prohibit a default judgment (i.e. you did not show up) from being entered against you.

    Mimic the paperwork you got when you got sued. Answer all the paragraphs of the Complaint by writing the numbers in lines 1, 2 or 3.

    Almost 100% of attorneys will deny what is owed because they did not do the calculations and do not know what the basis for the number is…

    When you file the Answer that is your “not guilty”. You have the right to make the person suing you (Plaintiff) prove their case, but you must also answer the complaint truthfully.

    Make sure you fill in the name and address of the attorney suing you before you bring this paperwork to the Court. Mail it to the attorney suing you right away!

    Check out the guide I have drafted on the Avvo profile. This will provide more detailed instructions. If it is helpful remember to indicate that and get the guide read!

    Good Luck!

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  • I filed bankruptcy in June 2008. Can I begin filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy now, before 8 years?

    In June of 2008 I began filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy and received my discharge in October of 2008. Due to the loss of my job in Feb. 2014 I have now found myself in a situation where I am considering the need for it again. Mainly due to the Cre...

    Theodore’s Answer

    While you must wait at least 8 years between filing two chapter 7 (11 USC § 727(a)(8)) bankruptcies (assuming you got your discharge) you need only wait two years between Chapter 13 cases (11 USC §1328(f)(2)) 4 years between a 7 and a 13 (11 USC § 1328(f)(1)) and six years between a 13 and a 7 (if the percentage to the unsecured creditors was under 70%) (11 USC § 727(a)(9)).

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  • Bankruptcy and keeping my house NY

    If I'm a few payments behind on my mortgage but in the process of doing a modification with my servicer will I lose my home by doing a chapter 7?

    Theodore’s Answer

    Filing the 7 may cause some problems for you if the modification is not complete. many lenders are of the mistaken belief that they cannot (and some will not) modify a loan after it is discharged unless you reaffirm. I am not sure reaffirming in your situation is a good idea. If you can't support the current loan it is unlikely that a modification will yield anything more than a short term fix.

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  • Wells Fargo wants to lift the automatic stay in my chapter 7 what does that mean?

    I don't mind them moving forward with foreclosure, I've been asking to do so for two years and they've refused to move forward (a large reason for my bankruptcy). I cant live there because it isn't safe (domestic violence) and it has been empty fo...

    Theodore’s Answer

    The automatic stay acts as a bar against any actions against you or the property of the estate. Lifting the stay only means that now they can do whatever they could have done had the bankruptcy not been filed (like foreclose, modify, etc.) but that does not mean you have any liability (unless you reaffirmed the home loan).

    Confirm this with your attorney! Good Luck.

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  • I have a judgment, and just got an order that I can put a lien on the debtee bank account. how long before I see the funds?

    We went to court and I won the warrant in debt. the individual has the means to pay in full, but is refusing, I got an order that allowed me to garnish his bank account, do I take it to the bank and get the money, or file it with the bank and they...

    Theodore’s Answer

    In New York you can send a restraining notice to the bank with the order or you can go to the Sheriff and get the order enforced, minus fees.

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  • Do we have 20 days or 30 days to respond to an amended complaint if it has been served electronically through the NYSCEF system?

    Thanks so much in advance!

    Theodore’s Answer

    Why wait? Also you can ask for an extension of time to file, but better to get ahead of it.

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  • Response to Request for Further Responses Without Objection

    If I am being asked for documents that I have already said i don't have access to, don't have control over, don't have custody over, how do I respond to a further request for documents? Am I supposed to go steal them? I don't wanna get in trouble ...

    Theodore’s Answer

    You have to object to the request. The attorney will bring a motion to compel production and you have to respond by stating your defenses. If you can get the documents through a reasonable amount of effort you are supposed to get them but you do not have to create documents that are responsive if they do not exist. if it is an account history or phone bills that you do not have but you can get them by requesting them you are supposed to (generally) get them and produce them.

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