David J. Harris’s Answers

David J. Harris

Wilkes Barre Bankruptcy Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. I filed chapter 7 and got a final decree and was without a discharge

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. Daniel G. Camick
    3. Donald C. Wheaton Jr.
    3 lawyer answers

    Here in Pennsylvania, the filing fee to re-open your case will be $260.00. The bankruptcy court in your district (same as mine) rarely objects to a case being re-opened to enable one to file a Certificate of Financial Management. Your motion can be three or four sentences. Just explain it all in plain English, indicating that you filed your case on your own and were not aware of this final requirement. If you had reasonable cause for not filing the Certificate, sometimes the court...

    Selected as best answer

  2. How much equity are my wife and i are allowed on a home appraised at 195,000 and we owe 162,00

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. James V. Monaghan
    3. Ellen Lorraine Patton
    3 lawyer answers

    If you elect to use the federal exemption set, the two of you can exempt a combined $40,400.00 ($20,200.00 each) on the equity of your residence. If you elect to use the state exemption set, you can exempt the entire equity of residence, if you have no joint unsecured debts (i.e., the debts are just in your name or your spouse's name). The state exemption set is would be useful if the equity in your residence was larger than $40,400.00 (which it is not here). Your choice of one set over...

    2 people marked this answer as helpful

  3. If i cash in my 401k while i am in the process of fileing for bankruptcy will I loose that money?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. Theodore Lyons Araujo
    3. Dorothy G Bunce
    3 lawyer answers

    I highly recommend that you DO NOT cash in your 401(k). First and most important is that a 401(k) is generally protected from the reach of your creditors and from the reach of a bankruptcy trustee. Simply, funds in a 401(k) are exempt in a bankruptcy case, but not funds are withdrawn from it. Second, you will incur a non-dischargeable and unnecessary tax on the money that you withdraw from the 401(k). Third, if you are under age 59 1/2, you will incur an early withdrawal penalty unless...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Bankruptcy

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. James V. Monaghan
    3. Theodore Lyons Araujo
    3 lawyer answers

    Generally, a co-signer or guarantor may be liable for a loan or debt obligation if the primary borrower files for bankruptcy. The same may hold true for an authorized user or co-user of a credit card. The primary borrower’s bankruptcy filing does not result in a discharge of the debt of the co-signer or guarantor. There are exceptions, though! Please read more from my February Blog Post entitled: "Are Co-Signers Or Guarantors Responsible For A Loan Or Debt If The Primary Borrower...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. If i file bankruptry and i have a truck that is payed off can my creditors take it

    Answered about 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. Glenn A Brown
    3. Mark J Tanney
    3 lawyer answers

    The answer to your question will depend on: (A) the value of your truck, (B) the exemptions that are available to protect your truck, and (C) the chapter under which you file your bankruptcy case. Here in Pennsylvania (I'm in Wilkes-Barre), you can elect to use the Bankruptcy/Federal vehicle exemption of slightly more than $3,200.00 and, if you do not elect to use a real estate exemption because you do not own your residence or have no equity in your residence, you can also use...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. How do i file bankruptcy?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. Theodore Lyons Araujo
    3. Kevin Lee Linder
    3 lawyer answers

    Meet with an experienced bankruptcy practitioner with whom you are comfortable. He or she will determine your objectives and evaluate whether there are any alternatives to filing for bankruptcy and, if bankruptcy is the only option, how to go about it. If a bankruptcy is necessary, the skilled practitioner will assist you in preparing a bankruptcy petition and schedules that reflect your assets, debts, income, expenses and financial history. This bundle of paperwork will allow the courts and...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. What are my options im caught in the middle

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. David G. Weilbacher, Esq.
    2 lawyer answers

    I'm glad that you did not reaffim your mortgage obligation. The Bankruptcy Code does not require that you reaffim a mortgage obligation and, in my mind, it would have been very bad advice for an attorney to suggest that you do so because, if you fail to stay current down the road after your bankruptcy case is over, you'd still be personally on the hook to pay your mortgage note. You seem to have a concern about getting monthly statements. This can be resolved simply by writing to the...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. Can you be sued for not paying a credit card debt?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. Daniel Andrew Pallen
    2 lawyer answers

    Unfortunately, you can be sued for a debt that is charged off, as a charge off is simply an accounting entry of a business or bank for regulatory or tax purposes. In Pennsylvania, an obligation can expire, however, after the statute of limitations has run. Note that collectors will sometimes continue to pursue collection even when the debt is no longer enforceable.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. CH 13 Bankruptcy.If I marry how will new spouses income affect my Bankruptcy filing??

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    1 lawyer answer

    The answer is somewhat complex, but here is an overview: Three snapshots of income are taken in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case: (1) the average monthly gross income of the debtor's household for the 6-month period immediately preceding the month of the debtor's bankruptcy filing; (2) the debtor and the debtor's spouse's current net income; and (3) the annual increase of income recognized by the debtor and his or her spouse during the course of the chapter 13 plan term. The first snapshot...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. Should I defend a hearing before district magistrate>

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. David J. Harris
    2. Theodore Lyons Araujo
    2 lawyer answers

    I practice in Luzerne County. My experience is that if you defend, the creditor's counsel will attend the hearing. At that time, you can discuss a settlement with him or her. It's much better to have this discussion face-to-face. Alternatively, you could call the attorney in advance and inform him or her that you do not dispute the debt and would like to get on a payment plan. With this said, if you have other debts, bankruptcy may be an alternative option. You can check out my home page below...