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Ronald Jay Drescher
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Ronald Drescher’s Answers

191 total


  • If I make a non-refundable payment to rent a moving truck of $1200 right before filing BK, do I need to exempt that payment?

    I am trying to reduce my assets before filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. The 1200 dollars is for the actual rental of the truck, not a security deposit or a deposit to hold the truck for me.

    Ronald’s Answer

    You are probably ok and likely don't need to exempt the payment. I have a question though: how long is the time between the date you made the payment and the date you need the truck? If there is a fairly short time frame you're probably ok. However, if it looks like you spent that money just as pre-bankruptcy planning, that may raise suspicion with the trustee or the US trustee. You should also ask your lawyer whether you need to disclose that payment on Question 10 of the Statement of Financial Affairs.

    My guess is that you're ok, and $1200 isn't going to really call attention to itself, but you should talk to your lawyer before making the payment.

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  • I have been in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for the past 3 years. Is it possible for me to cram down my mortgage payment?

    My home is a manufactured home and the land my home sits on was financed with my home loan. I would like to know if its possible to cram down my mortgage payment. My home is no longer worth what I initially paid 11 years ago

    Ronald’s Answer

    In short, if this is a first priority mortgage you most likely cannot cram down the loan because it is a loan secured solely by your primary residence. These mortgages cannot be modified in any chapter of the bankruptcy code. I've attached a video I made explaining this aspect of the bankruptcy laws that I hope you find interesting.

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  • Does a bankruptcy erase a debt even if a lawyer signed a lien?

    On April 24, 2010, I signed a lien to be treated by a chiropractor after an accident. I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on May 31, 2012. The lawyer who was representing me for the accident signed the same lien on September 28, 2012. The chiropr...

    Ronald’s Answer

    When you and your lawyer signed the lien, you gave the chiropractor first rights in any recovery you may receive from your accident, whether by lawsuit or settlement. This is similar to any other lien in that the lien right is a property interest that passes through the bankruptcy unaffected (unless there is a specific action to set that lien aside, and in your case this did not appear to have happened). If or when you receive anything from that accident, the chiropractor must be paid. It is your lawyer who is really at risk for nonpayment, since the lawyer signed and therefore can be held liable if he or she disburses funds without paying the chiropractor.

    There is a interesting question whether the fact that the lawyer signed after you filed bankruptcy was a violation of the automatic stay. Without knowing more facts or the laws of your state I cannot say one way or the other.

    The good news is that even though your accident recovery may still be subject to the chiropractor's lien, you are not personally responsible because you have presumably received a discharge. The chiropractor may not seize your future earnings or property acquired after the bankruptcy.

    I'm attaching a link to a video I created that discusses what happens to your property after you file bankruptcy. I hope you find it helpful.

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  • Can I put condo fees I owe of over $15,000 on Chapter 7 bankruptcy and not be foreclosed by my condo association ...

    We are in foreclosure with our condo. It is under water. I also owe back condo fees of over $15,000. I signed an agreement with the condo association to pay $263/month for the back fees plus the regular condo fee . The agreement says if I defaul...

    Ronald’s Answer

    Trying to read between the lines of your question, it appears you want to stay in the condo as long as possible without paying. To accomplish this, you should wait until just before the foreclosure sale to file your Chapter 7 case. This will stop the sale and the foreclosing creditor will need to obtain relief from the bankruptcy stay in order to resume the foreclosure. Once you file bankruptcy, all the past-due HOA charges will be subject to the bankruptcy discharge. Afterwards, however, you will need to pay them until the property is no longer in your name. It is likely that the foreclosing lender will be able to foreclose on you sooner than the HOA will; also, the HOA may not be motivated to foreclose because its lien is junior to the lien of the lender, and the condo is underwater.

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  • Can an attorney get in trouble for helping a client hide assets?

    If my attorney told me how to hide assets can he get in trouble. Is there anyway to prove this or would it be my word against theirs? If proven, what is the consequence to attorney? All of my property is now owned by me and my father jointly does...

    Ronald’s Answer

    Without assuming that your lawyer will or will not act ethically (or intelligently) I'm not sure what you mean by "hide" assets. There are a great many legitimate planning methods that may appear wrong to a lay person. More facts are needed. Of course, if the attorney acts unethically they could lose their license or receive other discipline and could be held liable for damages as a co-conspirator.

    How to prove? Depending upon the assets that are hidden, there may be many ways to prove. Money and property tends to leave a trail wherever it goes.

    Property owned jointly with your father is not protected from your creditors. More specifically, almost everywhere child support and alimony tend to be priority claims that can reach assets that many other creditors can't reach.

    You sound desperate. Find a reputable attorney and do the right thing. I expect you'll sleep better for it.

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  • Is bankruptcy state or federal and what is punishment if found to have hidden assets?

    I filed bankruptcy last year but before i did I put my assets in my dads name. Everything went smoothly. Now my ex has threatened to turn me in. What is statue of limitations for this and will they even listen to her?

    Ronald’s Answer

    Here are the very bad things that can happen:

    1. Your dad can get sued to recover all of the assets you put into his name. This would be an easy matter for the trustee, he'll just file a motion to reopen your case.
    2. You can lose your discharge if that occurred less than a year ago.
    3. You can be criminally prosecuted.
    4. You can lose the right to exempt the property that you transferred to your dad's name due to your fraud.

    If your ex sounds at all credible the trustee and the US Trustee will listen to her. I've linked to a couple of videos I created to give you more of a flavor of what you have gotten yourself into.

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  • Is it a violation of the discharge injunction for a creditor to pull credit reports for "account review" on discharged debts?

    I had a mortgage loan with BofA that was discharged. After filing BK and after receiving a discharge of the loan, BofA has continued to pull my credit report for "account review purposes" on the discharged loan account. I would argue this...

    Ronald’s Answer

    In some ways, your question is more a state law question than bankruptcy law. It doesn't appear that the act of pulling your credit report is an attempt to collect a debt, so it's doubtful you would prevail on a lawsuit for injunction or damages. Even more, the statement that "a credit report in no way assists with enforcing in rem rights" begs for an answer such as "creditor wants to see if debtor is racking up significant post-discharge debts that would impair debtor's ability to repay mortgage." If that's the case then it's possible under state law that BofA could claim there was additional grounds for declaring a default.

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  • What are my rights regarding wage garnishment?

    I was just informed by my employer that there is a court order to garnish my wages. This comes as a huge surprise to me. I am especially concerned because the LLC responsible seems to have a history of collecting money without properly notifying t...

    Ronald’s Answer

    The critical first step is to get all the facts. Do you acknowledge that you owe the money? Can you review the docket to see how the creditor alleges you were served? All Delaware lawsuits are available online, so this should be something you can learn promptly after engaging counsel.

    I understand your dismay about failing to receive information from the creditor's law firm, but their silence makes it all the more compelling of a reason for you to have your own lawyer.

    I'ver added a link to a video I've created answering questions about sheriff's service you may find helpful.

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  • Garnishment in the State of Washington

    I am the employer and we received a writ of answer for an employee that works in the State of Washington. The writ was not signed off or stamped from the courts it was sent from the attorney. On this it states that we need to hold 25% of the dis...

    Ronald’s Answer

    Your question doesn't indicate when you received the writ. This is important because if you didn't employ the debtor at the time you received the writ there is nothing for you to withhold. I disagree with the attorneys who say that the judgment needs to be enrolled in MD in order for you to be subject to the writ; I've seen many instances where the out of state HR department was served with a writ of garnishment for the in-state employee.

    Also, it may have been proper for the attorney to send you the writ depending upon the service laws of the State of Washington. Did you receive by certified mail? You say the writ was "not signed off or stamped from the courts", but did it contain a caption for the action? Was it clearly not issued by a court? This is information I would like to have in order to give you the best advice.

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  • Can a person sue someone for a debt if payments are made consistently?

    The other party paid off some debt. There wasn't a written agreement. Payments have been made on time. The payments are made by check. The other party is threatening legal action if the full amount isn't paid in 30 days.

    Ronald’s Answer

    In the absence of a written agreement, a court will need to hear from the parties to ascertain their intent to determine whether there really is a contract and what are the terms. Your question doesn't give enough facts to say whether the borrower here will lose the lawsuit. The creditor will bear the burden of proving that there was a loan and its terms.

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