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John Gerth Merna
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  • 2nd and 3rd lien Holders can come after you for a home that was foreclosed and the home value was below the first mortgage

    Hello, Filed bankruptcy Ch 13 in 09 to save my primary home. However, with trustee payment and the high mortgage, I became behind on my mortgage and my home was foreclosed in 10. I had a 2nd and 3rd lien on my mortgage and was actually required ...

    John’s Answer

    The information you provided is inconsistent. You said the property was foreclosed but now your are trying to strip the lien. If the property was foreclosed then the 3rd mortgage an unsecured debt. Your attorney is right. It was our responsibility to tell him about all debt. It would seem the only thing that has to be done if to file a motion to allow late claim. However, the 3rd mortgage may give the judge an "ear full" especially if they would have been entitled to receive some payment through the plan. You can anticipate you will get an "ear-full" also for not listing all your debt. The better solution may be to convert the case, however, you should discuss this with your attorney.

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  • The home I am living in will be auctioned May 8. How long do I have to vacate the property?

    It is my mother's home, I rent from her with no formal lease. She already has a place to live, what are my options?

    John’s Answer

    Assuming you can prove a leasehold interest or in other words that you have a valid lease, you would have 90 days under federal law. If you are not paying rent, a rent which I am assuming your mother would have used to pay the now foreclosing mortgage, you might have difficulty claiming you have a lease. Without a lease the normal processing time for an eviction is about 21 days. It will take longer due to the notification process after a foreclosure. I would recommend you investigate whether the mortgage lender will offer you cash-for-keys or a financial incentive to move out. Above all, you do not want an eviction judgment on your credit report. It will make renting very difficult in the future. Finally, if you mother has any interest in saving the house she should talk to a bankruptcy attorney immediately.

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  • How can I sue my Bankruptcy Lawyer?

    In November I filed for bankruptcy in Nov. Instead of making a payment plan he convinced me to file right away. He said if I did this he would be able to save my refund. I payed $1000 cash right away and we got started. Once we got all the paperwo...

    John’s Answer

    You may have a case but I would need a little more details. Please e-mail me below to determine if it is possble.

    Look foreward to hearing from you.

    John G. Merna, Esq.
    The Merna Law Group - Virginia Beach
    e-mail: jmerna@mernalaw.com

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  • I have a garnishment in February 2012. Can I file for Bankruptcy to get out of it.

    I filed for Bankruptcy in 2005 & it was discharged January 2006. When can I file again?

    John’s Answer

    Yes. Your are eligible to file a Chapter 13 in which we could reduce the repayment to as low as $100 to $200 per month if you are eligible. You will not be eligible to refile a Chapter 7 until 8 years from the time of filing the first case. Give us a call and we can see what can be done.

    John G. Merna, Esq.
    The Merna Law Group, PC
    Virginia Beach
    visit us on the web at www.MernaLaw.com
    Call today at (757)340-4070.
    e-mail: jmerna@mernalaw.com

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  • What do i need to do for a company that is calling me 12 times a day.

    Im getting herassing phone calls from the same company. they call me 12 times a day. ive told them im on a limited income and cant pay the 500 down they say I need to pay to stop the phone calls. I know i owe the money but this is ridicolous.

    John’s Answer

    There are limitations place on collectors by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. However, these limitations have to be enforced by suing the collector if they do not comply and there is a cap on the amount that can be recovered.

    Given that you have outstanding debt which you are unable to pay you should look into bankruptcy. Once a client retains our office to do a bankruptcy they immediately will refer all calls to us. This will quiet down the harrassment. Hope this helps.

    John G. Merna
    The Merna Law Group.
    Voted 2011's Best Law Firm in Virginia Beach by Readers of The Virginian Pilot
    Tel: 757-340-4070
    www.MernaLaw.com
    e-mail: jmerna@mernalaw.com

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  • In Virginia. received copy of bill of particulars from debt collection attorney today. they included 2 copies of statements

    from original creditor, affidavit of sale and a copy of a generic credit card agreement. I requested several months ago validation of this debt with statements from the beginning when this accunt was opened, and the original signed agreement. I ...

    John’s Answer

    You don't dispute that you owe the debt in your question. Therefore, if you are strictly concerned with the possibility of procedurally getting out of the debt I would refer you to a civil attorney in your area.

    However, if the debt is valid and you have just been attempting to divert or delay by requesting documentation, I don't think the judge will have much patience for your tactics. If you are unable to afford the debt you should consider consulting a bankruptcy lawyer.

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  • Will my bad credit affect my girlfriends credit if we get married?

    I have been with my Girlfriend for almost 3 years and I really want to ask her to marry me but got a divorce not to long ago and my credit is destroyed. Her credit is good and I don't want to marry her right now if my credit is going to mess hers ...

    John’s Answer

    Your "bad credit" will not directly affect your girlfriend's credit score if you get married. However, if you also have "bad debt" which is still attempting or may attempt to collect through judgments, levies, garnishments or liens, her assets, if jointly titled, could be affected. For example, a joint bank account could be garnished.

    You should look into how "bad" is your credit. If it is just late payments but the debt was paid. If your poor credit is a low score with outstanding debt that is unpaid then it is more than just "bad credit". You have a ticking time bomb of potential legal collection actions.

    If the amount of debt is low you should consider credit counseling. If the amount owed is high then I would recommend also scheduling a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.

    I hope this helped.

    John G. Merna, Esq.
    The Merna Law Group, PC
    Chesapeake - Virginia Beach - Newport News
    (757)340-4070
    jmerna@mernalaw.com
    www.MernaLaw.com

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  • Can I get a Home Mortgage loan after foreclosure?

    We filed for Bankruptcy in 2005 and our current home was included in the bankruptcy. We have been living in the home and making the payments since then. However, last year we fell 2 months behind and have not been able to catch the payments back u...

    John’s Answer

    I disagree with my colleague. If you did not reaffirm on the loan then the mortgage company should not currently or ever in the future be reporting on your credit. This includes reporting about monthly payments and whether a foreclosure occurs. You can confirm whether I am right by pulling your credit report.

    So in essence, if the property forecloses your credit score will not be effected because there will be no reporting. Whether you can qualify for a new home mortgage at this time is a bigger question. With lending requirements still being very tight, qualifying for a home loan is about more than your credit score. It doesn't hurt to contact a lender to find out. The worst case scenario is you will get a "no".

    Given that the problem that has prompted your question is that your income is struggling to the point of putting you into foreclosure, I would suggest your first stop be to visit a financial manager or financial counselor to assess what you can afford.

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  • To file an emerg. ch 13 without an attorney how many forms do you need

    where can I get samples of these forms already filled out? I want to stop a foreclosurer

    John’s Answer

    A Chapter 13 Reorganization is a very complicated process. The completion or success rate of attorney-assisted filings is only 30%. You can imagine that the success rate of cases filed without an attorney is much lower. The fact that you are asking the most basic of questions put your odds at the lower end or close to 0% chance of success.

    You shouldn't take this personally because there are attorneys with three years of law school that couldn't do much better.

    What you need to understand is that the filing of a Chapter 13 can be affordable if you find the right attorney. We accept payment of most of the attorneys fees through the Chapter 13 plan. Don't waste your time and money on filing a case that is kicked out immediately due to improper froms, lack of information, incorrect calculations on the mandatory plan, etc.

    Call an attorney in your city or call us just to find out where you stand and what can be done. The consultation is free.
    John G. Merna, Esq.
    The Merna Law Group, PC
    739 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Suite 704
    Newport News, VA 23606
    (757)340-4070
    www.MernaLaw.com
    jmerna@mernalaw.com

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