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John William Lee
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John Lee’s Answers

28 total

  • Fileing chapter 13; repaying behind mortage and carpayments.

    The paperwork is being done by your attorney but will not be complete for a week. How do you keep the credit union from picking up your cars until this is done. The status of behind payments is 3 months due to sickness. Do I keep the vehicles...

    John’s Answer

    It is against the law for your to hide your car from repossession. Your lawyer should be able to assist you with this.

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  • Can federal student loans be included on ch7 bankruptcy?

    I don't think this question needs any details....?

    John’s Answer

    Student loan debt must be listed on a debtor's bankruptcy schedules. Student loan debt will not be discharged in most cases.

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  • Should I open another bank account?

    I have ~47K in credit card debt, most of it from trying to start a business. I owe the Credit Union 7K on car that I want to keep and 9K on a credit card I want to claim in Chapter 7. My paycheck is direct deposited here and I'm concerned they'll ...

    John’s Answer

    I normally advise my clients to open a new bank account if they owe money to the bank that they have funds on deposit with. If the credit card that you mention is also owed to the credit union that you have the car loan through you may have a bigger problem. Most credit unions have a cross-collateralization clause that makes the credit card a secured lien against the car. This means that even if you file for bankruptcy against the credit card, they may exercise their right against the car due to the fact that the credit card debt is also a secured lien on the car. You may want to consult with an experienced local attorney.

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  • Does VA bankruptcy law allow for "wildcard " type exemption to cover misc unclassified property boat,sporting goods,hobby tools.

    I am trying to file bankruptcy myself and am currently completing schedule c exemptions. I have applied all of the categorized items and still find myself with close to 10K in un-exempt property. I do not own a home and have not filed for a homest...

    John’s Answer

    Virginia's "wild-card" exemption is also know as the homestead exemption. The homestead exemption can be used to protect items such as tax refunds, money in the bank and life insurance policies. There are very complicated rules about how and when you can claim your homestead exemption. If you make a mistake in claiming under the homestead, then you will most likely loose your property including future tax refunds and money in your bank account. A Pro Se debtor can easily have more property taken (future tax refunds and cash) by the trustee than they would have paid out in attorneys fees. If you skip hiring a lawyer to save $1,000.00 and then have $3,500.00 seized by the trustee, what have you accomplished? Remember, the trustee is paid a commission on how much money he collects from debtors.

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  • Can I declare bankruptcy?

    I definitely breached on my commercial lease (didnt pay rent and abandoned). I know the landlord is going to sue at some point. When can I declare bankruptcy? If I do get served with papers, can I declare bankruptcy after that? Because I won't unl...

    John’s Answer

    Typically a commercial landlord will eventually sue on a breached commercial lease. If you don't have the means to pay the debt, bankruptcy may be a good option. Waiting until after the landlord files suit might not be a good idea. It is possible that you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy now and you may not at some point in the future when he sues you. You should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney now to determine what your options are. For example, if you get a good job in the near future, it is possible that your income would be too high to qualify for a chapter 7, forcing you into a chapter 13 when he sues you. There have been many cases were if my client had come in a few months earlier he would have been eligible for the chapter 7 bankruptcy. You may ultimately wait until you are sued, but you should consult with an attorney now.

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  • Can I keep my house rented out and retain ownership if I file for bankruptcy?

    The mortgage is current but there is a secured line of credit against the house.

    John’s Answer

    Whether or not you can keep a house in bankruptcy depends on several factors. One factor that to consider is whether you have equity in the property. If there is equity in the property that is not exempt, then the trustee can take the property and liquidate it for the benefit of your unsecured creditors. If there is no equity in the property and you are current on the secured liens, then you may be able to keep it in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you fall behind with secured lien holder, then they may foreclose on the property. In Virginia, there is not normally a problem with a Chapter 7 debtor keeping a rental property so long as they are current on the mortgage and no equity. If you have no equity, then there may be options available to strip the secured line of credit. I strongly recommend that you you retain an experienced local attorney to assist with this matter, especially If you are eligible for a lien strip.

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  • How can I find out what date I previously filed a bankruptcy? I filed around 8 years ago but I need the exact date.

    Is there a telephone number or website that can automatically give me the answer?

    John’s Answer

    Stuart could look it up for you, and that would probably be the quickest way to find out. Also, you could check your credit report, call your previous attorney or call the Bankruptcy Court. There is a bankruptcy website, but you have to have a username and password to access it.

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  • What is forgiveness of debt on a will?

    I was making a will on lawdepot.com and it asked a question about forgiveness of debt. I tried finding out about it's meaning and how you go about including that in a will and I still don't seem to understand how that work.

    John’s Answer

    You can forgive a debt owed to you in your Last Will and Testament. You can not compel a creditor to forgive a debt that you owe in a Will. If you die owing money, then the debt becomes a claim against your estate. You should never use do-it-yourself legal forms. I have seen people lose hundreds of thousands of dollars by attempting to represent themselves or draft their own legal forms.

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  • My ex husband since 2002 has posted our divorce decree on facebook can he be made to remove it?

    We had under age children which are grown now but the decree has my ss# as well as my childrens personal information on it and now it's on facebook for the world to see

    John’s Answer

    Virginia Code Section 59.1-443.2 states that a person shall communicate a social security number to the general public. While it is true that the divorce decree is public record, you may have some recourse under this statute. I suggest you consult with a local attorney to discuss your options.

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  • Can bankruptcy court track everything you do when and after you file?

    Can anybody involved in your bankruptcy case track to see if you have sued and have a bank account after you have filed for bankruptcy? Can anyone check to see what you are doing after your creditors meeting?

    John’s Answer

    You have an affirmative duty to list all assets and potential assets on your bankruptcy schedules. That means if you are anticipating receiving an asset in the future you must disclose that fact. Furthermore, you have a continuing duty to inform the Trustee in your case of any assets you receive within 180 days after you file bankruptcy. Failure to disclose assets is a crime and could lead to loss of discharge or criminal prosecution. The US Trustee's office along with the FBI investigate bankruptcy crimes and have the means to discover undisclosed assets. In many Jurisdictions bankruptcy crimes (lack of disclosure) is vigorously prosecuted. If you have an asset, or may become entitled to receive an asset you should definitely disclose that on your schedules. If you receive an asset within 180 days after filing you should disclose that. Generally speaking, once the 180 day period has past, the Court is not interested in any assets that come into your possession.

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