Skip to main content
Michael Alan Siddons

Michael Siddons’s Answers

29 total

  • Can I amend a previously filed bankruptcy?

    Late last year I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy and received an automatic discharge but I wasn't provided a list of what debts were discharged. On there were two student loan debts I'm assuming weren't discharged. I have a couple of bills that are com...

    Michael’s Answer

    Having student loan debt discharged is very, very difficult. Clark's Summit, PA is under the jurisdiction of the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals-not the 9th. There are a slew of 3rd circuit cases regarding the dischargeability of student loan debt. Needles to say, it is a tall burden indeed. Most of the other counsel gave you direct advice. Assuming you could meet the requirements to discharge the student debt, it is possible to reopen your bankruptcy to commence an adversary proceeding. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Out of curiosity-are you permanently disabled?

    See question 
  • I received a praecipe to discontinue w/o prejudice before the date of my arbitration hearing in a debt collection case, Do I Go?

    On the 9th of December, I received notice of an order for an arbitration hearing to be held January 16th; however, on December 23rd I received a copy of a praecipe to discontinue (w/o prejudice). So, does that mean that I don't need to go to the ...

    Michael’s Answer

    If the Praecipe bears a time-stamp from the Prothonotary and appears on the court's civil docket, then the simple answer is No-the lawsuit was discontinued by the plaintiff. However, since you state it was "w/o prejudice" then the plaintiff can re-file at some point in the future. I would strongly recommend that you contact the civil court administrator and confirm that the suit was removed from the arbitration list. You should retain counsel anytime you are being sued.

    See question 
  • My home is being put up for sheriff sale jan 23 2014 I am unable to pay delinquent taxes what are my options

    I am unsure of what I can do to avoid sheriff sale if I don't have all the money to pay delinquent taxes

    Michael’s Answer

    Philadelphia Delinquent Tax Liens are governed by the Municipal Claims and Tax Lien Act (“Act”), 53 P.S.§7100, et. seq. You should contact the law firm handling the tax lien sale. For the most part, there are two private law firms in addition to the City Law Department that handle the bulk of the Philadelphia Tax Lien Sales. You may be eligible to enter into a payment plan. Secondly,the Act allows for Redemption and Set Asides. Failing those options, filing for bankruptcy "may" stay the sale and if a Chapter 13, allow you to pay the delinquent taxes over time. Either way, you should seek immediate legal counsel that has experience with the Philadelphia Tax Lien process and bankruptcy.

    See question 
  • What happens if, to satisfy a tax lien/judgement, a non-primary real estate does not sale at a Sheriff's Sale?

    In PA and it is not commercial property. Given the real estate market, is this a real possibility? If so, what happens then?

    Michael’s Answer

    If it doesn't sell, the tax lien follows the title to the property.

    See question 
  • Out of State Wage Garnishment Order

    I own a business in New Jersey and received a wage garnishment order from Ohio. Do I have to honor it or is a NJ order required?

    Michael’s Answer

    NJ permits wage garnishment in order to execute on a money judgment. You should consult an attorney to advise you of your rights as soon as possible.

    See question 
  • Judgment not appealed or paid. How do I try to collect? Allegheny Co., PA

    I was awarded a judgment (Magisterial District Court) against my former landlord in Pittsburgh, PA. It's been over 30 days; he has not appealed or paid me (or contacted me in any way). What steps can I now take to eventually recover the money ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Before you can attempt to execute on this judgment, you must first file it as a final judgment with the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Request a copy of the Judgment from the District Justice (most prothonotary offices want an "exemplified" copy). After you have done this, you can take numerous approaches to discover the landlord's assets, if any. I typically use a D&B search first. Based on the facts you provided,I'd probably garnish his other tenant's. That means any rent payments that would go to the landlord, would have to be turned over to you. Don't confuse this remedy with wage garnishment. Which IS ALLOWED against a tenant in a residential landlord-tenant action. In all other instances IT IS NOT allowed. I'd recommend reating an attorney to handle this for you. Our office normally handles these cases on a contingency fee basis.

    Best of Luck!

    See question 
  • I was never served they are lying on affidavit that I was can I get judgement vacated in Pittsburgh it's very large

    The lender claims they served me and I didn't answer they were given default judgement I was never personally served

    Michael’s Answer

    If a default judgment was entered, your only remedy is to file a Petition to Open and/or Strike the Judgment-assuming of course you still wish to challenge the suit. If the Petition to Open and/Strike is filed within 1o days of the judgment being entered, it must be opened. Thereafter, you must show that you have a meritorious defense AND acted promptly. Consult an attorney to review whether this is an option.
    Best of Luck!

    See question 
  • PA Home - advice on home foreclosure/bankruptcy timing and type of lawyer i need

    i have a single family home in my name only and Jan '12 will be the first month i stop making payments on the house. i make very little (less than $30k), have little equity in the home, dont want the house anymore and have little savings. im hopi...

    Michael’s Answer

    Your question really involves what I call-Bankrupty Planning. In which case, now is the time to retain bankruptcy counsel. Besides, by seeking counsel now, you will be able to explore all of your options.
    Beat of Luck!

    See question 
  • In PA what items must be included with a foreclosure complaint delivered by sheriff?

    Have heard alot about bank fraud re: not including a copy of mortgage and promissary note in the foreclosure complaint. I can't afford a lawyer, is this true for the state of PA? I've got about 10 or less to answer complaint or request extension o...

    Michael’s Answer

    As you are from my home County of Delaware County-please,please,please contact the Delaware County Bar Association and/or Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Either one will be able to assist you in obtaining free or low-cost counsel. Don't try to defend this matter on your own. If it turns out that the mortgage foreclosure complaint is legally deficient, you may be able to file preliminary objections before answering the Complaint. Call either of the above asap. If you need the contact numbers for either drop me a line and I'll be glad to forward to you.
    Best of Luck!

    See question 
  • What can creditors and collectors do?

    i'm going to be filing a chapter 7, i found an attorney who is letting me make payments i can afford monthly, i've been called by the creditors and told them i was filing and to call the attorney i found, he said for me to have them call him, i'm ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Depending upon the type of debt and whether those creditors are classified as "debt collectors," if you have retained an attorney (and informed those creditors that you have retained an attorney), all communications from those creditors must cease immediately! In fact, if a debt collector contacts you knowing that you have retained an attorney, it is a per se violation of the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and a violation of the Pennsylvania Fair Credit Extention Uniformity Act. Both statutes allow you to recover up to $1,000.00 in money damages, plus attorney's fees. You do not have to prove damages, only that the statute(s) were violated. I suggest keeping an accurate log of all phone calls received from any debt collectors. All written communications received form them should also be retained, Advise your attorney of this-it might be another avenue to help fund your eventual Chapter 7 filing. Best of Luck!

    See question