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Ronald Brian Roteman

Ronald Roteman’s Answers

12 total


  • In pa if i open a checking account with my husband, can a debt collector put a levy on it.

    I have a levy on a checking I share with my daughter.

    Ronald’s Answer

    With a couple exceptions, so long as you and your spouse own the account jointly, a creditor cannot levy/garnish the account, unless you and your spouse owe the creditor jointly. So long as the creditor is either yours alone OR your husband's alone, the account should be protected by Pennsylvania's exemption law pertaining to entireties assets (i.e., those assets owned jointly by husband and wife).

    There is at least one exception to this, and perhaps a couple. The IRS can attack a jointly owned account, regardless of whether the tax debt belongs to only one spouse. I am uncertain whether PA courts have interpreted the Supreme Court decision that determined this issue to extend to state and local tax debts as well . The other exceptions may include student loan debt and alimony/child support and related obligations: These would things that may require additional research depending upon the facts of your situation.

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  • Can I request a copy of the recording taken during the meeting of creditors.

    The professionalism is in question with how the trustee conducted the meeting. I was wondering if I could request and receive a copy to review how things actually went because I was very upset and am still very upset with how I was spoke to and t...

    Ronald’s Answer

    My experience has been that (i) you will need to contact the U.S. Trustee's office in order to obtain a copy of the recording; (ii) the recording is typically provided on a CD; and (iii) you will need to have the recording transcribed should you wish to have a written transcript.

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  • Determining Expense Amounts of Schedule J

    I understand that the expenses on schedule J are expected or projected following a bk. My question is two part. One, since I have cut back on numerous reasonable expenses such as a better cell phone plan, dental work, and renter's insurance, shoul...

    Ronald’s Answer

    As an example of the expenses to be included, if you financed a car or obtained a cell phone plan within the month prior to the bankruptcy filing, then the monthly expenses incurred in connection with those items should be listed on your schedule J. Similarly, if you made your last car payment in the month prior to the bankruptcy case, then that expense is not listed on your schedule J. The Means Test, something you did not ask about in your inquiry, is something different. Whether or not you need to concern yourself with the Means Test is determined by whether your gross annual household income (determined through a 6-month look-back beginning with the month preceding the month of the bankruptcy filing) exceeds the median income in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, from a household of the size of yours. With respect to your inquiry about criteria for what is reasonable, there are IRS guidelines for what it considers to be average expenses in certain categories of living expenses, with adjustments in some of those categories depending upon where you reside. Whether the IRS guidelines should be viewed as what is “reasonable” is difficult to say. Whether or not something is reasonable, in my opinion, must be tested on a case by case basis, looking at the affected person’s particular circumstances.

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  • A judgement was filed against me in PA. I never received any documentation of such. Is this legal?

    I left my ex and I moved into my mom's house in Feb. 2008. A judgement was filed against me 6/10/2009 through Montco County Court House. I also filed a case with Domestic relations at that same court house March 2008 using my new address. My car w...

    Ronald’s Answer

    First, I agree with attorney Tam's answer. In addition, I am unaware of any situation under which your creditor would have the ability to cause a garnishment on a properly formed UTMA account. The funds that were in the UTMA account did not belong to you. Rather, those funds belonged to your daughter, and you were merely the fiduciary responsible for overseeing that account for your daughter's sole benefit. Accordingly, your creditor should have had no legal right to garnish that account, and the bank may have acted improperly in releasing the funds to the creditor. If you are unable to afford an attorney, I would suggest contacting the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Referral Service, and ask for assistance in finding a lawyer who may be willing to take your case for free or at a reduced rate.

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  • Can I still obtain a Federal Stafford loan after filing chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    My Student Aid Report states "The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicates you have one or more student loans in an active bankruptcy status. Before you can receive additional federal student loans, you must contact the financial ai...

    Ronald’s Answer

    Your ability to obtain additional student loans should not be affected by your bankruptcy. Section 525 of the Bankruptcy Code provides as follows: “ A governmental unit that operates a student grant or loan program and a person engaged in a business that includes the making of loans guaranteed or insured under a student loan program may not deny a student grant, loan, loan guarantee, or loan insurance to a person that is or has been a debtor under [the Bankruptcy Code], or another person with whom the debtor or bankrupt has been associated, because the debtor or bankrupt is or has been a debtor under this title or a bankrupt or debtor under the Bankruptcy Act, has been insolvent before the commencement of a case under this title or during the pendency of the case but before the debtor is granted or denied a discharge, or has not paid a debt that is dischargeable in the case under this title or that was discharged under the Bankruptcy Act. . . . In this section, "student loan program" means any program operated under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 . . . or a similar program operated under State or local law.” I am unable to answer your specific questions as to why you have been asked to contact the financial aid office or what information you may be asked to submit. My suggestion would be to contact the financial aid office, and find out whether, and to what extent, your ability to obtain additional student loans may be affected. If it appears your bankruptcy may somehow impede your ability to obtain additional loans, you should seek further guidance from the lawyer who represented you in the bankruptcy case.

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  • Can a collection agency show up with a tow truck and tow away my car to satisfy a $2200. judgement

    2 1/2 yrs ago I lost my job due to a heart problem I stopped paying my c/c and judgement was filed I am 67 years old I own NO real estate, have no portfolio, no pension, no bank account. I get S/S and have a P/T job. in Pa. they ...

    Ronald’s Answer

    No, the creditor may not have your car towed. In order to recover anything on its claim, the judgment creditor would need to first obtain a writ of execution from the clerk of court. Once the creditor obtains the writ of execution, the next step would be to have the sheriff personally serve you with the execution papers, and contemporaneously make levy upon your property, including your car. At that time, a sheriff’s sale date would be set. Unless you take some further action at that time, the sheriff will attempt to sell the car at public auction on the date and time set. While it is unlikely that you would be able protect the car with one of the available Pennsylvania exemptions, a bankruptcy filed prior to the sale date would certainly stop the sale from going forward at the then scheduled date and time. Assuming you can claim the motor vehicle exempt in the bankruptcy case under the U.S. bankruptcy laws, you should be able to protect the car from further attack by the creditor. It is unlikely the creditor would find out if you were to add your wife’s name to the title. However, should the creditor become aware of such a transfer, it may (although unlikely in my opinion) seek to file suit to unwind the transfer as a result of a fraudulent transfer.

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  • I was just served with a writ of exacution on an unpaid CC. The unpaid amt is about 1100, can I just pay that amt .

    I can come up with the money to pay it, will the writ be voided?

    Ronald’s Answer

    If you are considering a bankruptcy filing to relieve yourself from the burden of your debts, you may wish to consider closing your exisiting checking and savings accounts now, before the credit card company locates your account and garnishes (freezes) it.

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  • I have been giving 2 years to pay off my 130,000 restitution, and I make minimum wage, will I go to jail if I can't pay it off?

    I have paid restitution since 2005. I got into a DUI accident when I was 19, the department of revenue recovery said that I have 2 years left to pay off this balence before my account goes into default. They said I will have to go to court and may...

    Ronald’s Answer

    The other lawyers who have provided an answer may be absolutely correct with respect to the effect of the bankruptcy discharge on your restitution debt. I have recently run into a similar issue in another part of the country: Assuming you qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the specific provision of the Bankruptcy Code that applies to the dischargeability of restitution obligations is Code section 523(a)(13). That exception applies only to a restitution order under federal law (i.e., Title 18 of the Unites States Code). If your restitution was issued under a state law (as opposed to a federal law), you should know that courts across the country have reached conflicting conclusions in answering whether such restitution may be discharged in bankruptcy. Again, the two California lawyers who have already answered your question may have it right, but I wanted to raise the issue simply as a precaution. Regardless of whether your restitution was directed under state or federal law, if the restitution was ordered due to death or personal injury from your DUI, the restitution will be nondischargeable under section 523(a)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code.

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  • If you file a chapter 13 and later you are involved in an auto accident and received

    pain and suffering compensation can the bankruptcy trustee get any of it

    Ronald’s Answer

    I believe the Bankruptcy Code is clear that property received AFTER the bankruptcy filing (e.g., the compensation for pain and suffering in this case) is, in fact, property of the bankruptcy estate. Bankruptcy Code section 1306(a)(1) expressly provides that property acquired after the bankruptcy filing is property of the bankruptcy estate. Court decisions pertaining to the debtor’s duties upon acquiring property subsequent to the bankruptcy filing are in certain instances inconsistent. The court decisions that I have read in interpreting this provision have mostly found that the debtor has an affirmative duty to disclose newly acquired property. Whether or not the value of that property will have any effect on the Chapter 13 case (e.g., whether the debtor’s ongoing monthly payments throughout the remainder of the term of the repayment plan will change) is a separate analysis. Assuming this debtor has capable legal counsel, I would suggest seeking his or her advice as to how to proceed. There may be other options (e.g., dismissal of your bankruptcy case) that may be warranted under the circumstances.

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  • Discover card filed a judgement against my property. I filed bankruptcy and included Discover. How can I get the judgment remo

    I included Discover card in the bankruptcy. I did not know about the judgement until I tried to refinance my house. How can I get this removed?

    Ronald’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If the judgment was entered within 90 days prior to your bankruptcy filing date, you may have it removed by filing a preference action under Bankruptcy Code section 547. If the judgment was obtained AFTER you filed your bankruptcy case, you may also be able to have it removed if Discover is found to have violated the automatic stay provisions set forth in Bankruptcy Code section 362, or as an unauthorized post-bankruptcy transfer under Bankruptcy Code section 549. Your right to seek relief under section 547 or 549 will be subject to the bankruptcy trustee’s failure to exercise his or her right to attempt to avoid the transfers – see Bankruptcy Code section 522(h). Regardless of when the judgment was filed, you may also seek to have it removed, without any restrictions relating to trustee's action or failure to act, by way of an avoidance action under Bankruptcy Code section 522(f). Your lawyer should be able to assist you with these matters. If you filed your case without a lawyer, I would encourage you to seek the assistance of legal counsel.

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