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John Gerth Merna
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John Merna’s Answers

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  • Will my Chapter 13 filing be listed in the newspaper in my county/state? Is it necessary to make debtors look like criminals?

    I have had little or no advice from the lawyer representing me. I do not know, have not been told, and am only reading about it on the internet...I have no idea whether I will be listed in the newspaper like a criminal.

    John’s Answer

    In the Hampton Roads area the primary publication that lists bankruptcy filings if "Inside Business", a Virginian Pilot product. It is not widely distributed. I am not sure if any of the smaller publications in Williamsburg lists bankruptcy filings. I have not heard that the "Daily Press", which is the Peninsula newspaper, lists filings.

    You should also be aware that bankruptcy docketing information is now showing up on the internet also. Generally, this only occurs or is a problem when your name is very unusual. Otherwise, if your name is more common it is buried under numerous pages of other search result data.

    I hope this helps. I also hope that your attorney not being able to answer this easy question is not a sign that they don't do much bankruptcy. If you need more information you may call or e-mail me via our website below.

    John G. Merna
    The Merna Law Group
    Newport News & Virginia Beach
    www.MernaLaw.com
    (757)340-4070

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  • If I want to get a private invester to refinance my mortgage at a lower rate.

    Is there something that we cound sign that would superceed the forclosure law that would allow that invester to take back the house quick and without the expence and trouble of forclosure I am in North Carolina

    John’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Assuming you have found a private investor and been approved for a refinance at a lower rate, you just need to complete the refinance documents and pay the prior mortgage lender. A refinance will pay off the presently foreclosing lender thereby removing the company's right or reason to foreclose.

    If you are not currently approved for such a refinance then the answer is "no".

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  • Do we have to pay rent on a foreclosed property?

    We are renting a house in California and recently found out that it is under foreclosure (not by our landlords...it was a piece of mail that came to our address). We are on a month-to-month basis with rent as our one year lease was up last Septemb...

    John’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Chen, your obligation to pay rent to the landlord exists regardless of the status of the loan on the property. Once the property is foreclosed, your obligation to pay will be to the new owner. However, in most cases the new owner want the tenant to move and does not press the issue of rent payment. Under federal law, you have 90 days as a tenant to move from a rental property that has been foreclosed.

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  • My landlords house is going up for forclosure sale 2/1/12 he didnt tell me, i found out on my own.

    he told me tonight in a text that i had to be out by 02/01/12. my lease is up in feb but dosent he have to give me more than 6 days notice?

    John’s Answer

    You have to refer to your lease document. If the lease requires no notice at it termination then his notification is not require. However, this is not the normal terms of a lease. Generally, the landlord is required to provide 30-day notice. If the landlord has more than four units in your city other rules apply. Contact an attorney to review the lease. The landlord is still responsible for returning you security deposit.

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  • Is it legal for my mortgage company hold me responsible for a house they said they would foreclose on first Tues in Feb 2011?

    I received a certified letter stating the foreclosure for 2/2011. I moved and almost a year later they have not foreclosed on the house. They put a lock box on the house and have being paying someone to maintain the yard. They still keep calling m...

    John’s Answer

    Foreclosure is the legal process of forcibly transfer title via a sale. Until title to the property is transferred to another party it is still your property and your are responsible for payment on the mortgage and maintenance of the house. If the mortgage company does not foreclosure on the property then this means you own the property until you sell or transfer it.

    You could consider a short sale to get the property out of your name. You should also investigate whether you will have any continued liability for the mortgage even after the property is foreclosed.

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  • Is it legal for my mortgage company hold me responsible for a house they said they would foreclose on first Tues in Feb 2011?

    I received a certified letter stating the foreclosure for 2/2011. I moved and almost a year later they have not foreclosed on the house. They put a lock box on the house and have being paying someone to maintain the yard. They still keep calling m...

    John’s Answer

    Foreclosure is the legal process of forcibly transfer title via a sale. Until title to the property is transferred to another party it is still your property and your are responsible for payment on the mortgage and maintenance of the house. If the mortgage company does not foreclosure on the property then this means you own the property until you sell or transfer it.

    You could consider a short sale to get the property out of your name. You should also investigate whether you will have any continued liability for the mortgage even after the property is foreclosed.

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  • My home went into foreclosure in Oct. the bank hired a company to move all of my things last sat I finally got the opportunity t

    Get into the storage however I was upset to find that the moving company had thrown my clothes in the storage w/o boxing them up half of my things are ruined some of my glassware are broken am I entitled anything for my damaged items

    John’s Answer

    Certainly check with a local attorney for your ability to pursue a financial recovery for damage to your property. However, if this was an involuntary move due to an eviction you may find that your responsibility for the moving and storage costs offsets any recovery you may be due for damage to your household goods.

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  • Fake Power of attorney

    When I purchased my house in Orlando, FL I was married but separated. My wife was located in a foreign country. The lender told me that in order for me to buy a house with a loan, I would need a POA(power of attorney) from my wife. Since I was not...

    John’s Answer

    You will not ultimately be able to gain an advantage by a dishonest act, whether it was yours or another's, so your will not get the house for free. Besides agreeing that you need to work with an attorney I would encourage you not to discuss your situation on the internet. You do not have attorney-client privilege on the net.

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  • In the state of virginia, am i responsible for credit card debit in my husbands name only?

    i was told by the credit card collection people i was.

    John’s Answer

    Mr. Krumbein is correct. I would add that if your husband is ultimately sued for the debt, a garnishment of any joint bank account could effect any funds you have in that account until you tprove ownership. Additionally, a garnishment of your husband's wages will take 25 percent. This could have a significant impact on your household. You may want to encourage your husband to consider filing a bankruptcy to eliminate his debt and the risk it brings to the family income. We offer a free consultation if we can be of service.

    John G. Merna
    The Merna Law Group
    739 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Ste 704
    Newport News, VA 23606
    (757)599-9099
    www.MernaLaw.com
    jmerna@mernalaw.com

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  • In the state of virginia, am i responsible for credit card debit in my husbands name only?

    i was told by the credit card collection people i was.

    John’s Answer

    Mr. Krumbein is correct. I would add that if your husband is ultimately sued for the debt, a garnishment of any joint bank account could effect any funds you have in that account until you tprove ownership. Additionally, a garnishment of your husband's wages will take 25 percent. This could have a significant impact on your household. You may want to encourage your husband to consider filing a bankruptcy to eliminate his debt and the risk it brings to the family income. We offer a free consultation if we can be of service.

    John G. Merna
    The Merna Law Group
    739 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Ste 704
    Newport News, VA 23606
    (757)599-9099
    www.MernaLaw.com
    jmerna@mernalaw.com

    See question