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Russ Brammer Cope
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Russ Cope’s Answers

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  • We have been served foreclosure papers on property 1 and are living in property 2, that was inherited .

    Moved from property 1 to care for ailing mother in 2002. Tried to rent property 1, bad tenants! Attempted to return property to mortgage holder via Deed in lieu over period of years. Kept being kicked out for various reasons. Mother passed awa...

    Russ’s Answer

    ABSOLUTELY. If you don't act quickly, then the mortgage company suing you could pretty quickly obtain a judgment and use that judgment to put a lien against the house that you inherited. You would then owe on that house (property 2). You should seek legal counsel immediately to go over all of your options. You'll hav several. In order to be efficiently prepared, you'll want to talk with an attorney that files bankruptcies, conducts bankruptcy-alternative debt relief negotiations, and mortgage negotiations. Most of us don't charge for consultations.

    Time is of the essence. Ohio Civil Procedure will allow the creditor to ask the Court for a judgment 28 days after you received that Complaint. A good attorney can prepare an Answer in minutes that will stop that timeline.

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  • Are there any options left to save our home? We have done everything asked by the bank. It is not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

    We have a balloon loan that matured . We have paid on mortgage for 15 yrs. No missed payments no problems. We had to apply for loan modification because value is upside down on loan. They will only offer 1 yr extension with a higher payment. We wi...

    Russ’s Answer

    You will have a couple of options, but the only option of which I am aware for keeping the home, is to file for Ch13 bankruptcy protection. That will keep your mortgage company from being able to pursue foreclosure while you are making payments. However, the interest on the entire amount will continue to accumulate. If the interest is not too terrible, then you could just refile for Chapter 13 protection over and over again until the house is paid down to around the value before you refi.

    The other options that you have involve surrendering the house. There are several legal procedures that can drastically increase the amount of time that you have remaining in the home before eventual surrender. This could save you lots of money over a long enough timeline. There are also non-bankruptcy mechanisms to remove the underlying mortgage debt in this surrender scenario.

    You'll want to talk with an attorney that is familiar with bankruptcy, real estate law, and mortgage negotiations. Most of us don't charge anything for consultations.

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  • My ex has destroyed my credit. A credit card that was the responsibility of my ex, went to collections. Also the mortgages.

    she has filed for bankruptcy protection. Since my name is on both mortgages and the credit card that went to collections my credit has been trashed. How do I get her to take my name off the mortgages and get her to pay off the credit card debt tha...

    Russ’s Answer

    She will not likely be able to remove your obligation from the mortgage. However, you may attempt to negotiate a deficiency waiver that would prevent the mortgage company from attempting to collect the remaining debt against you, depending on the stage of the foreclosure proceeding. You will likely have to hire an attorney to accomplish that task by negotiating with the mortgage company's attorney.

    I don't know of any way to get her to pay the credit card debt without obtaining a Domestic Relations Court Order. Her bankruptcy filing eliminated her obligation to the creditors. In fact, they would not be permitted to accept money from her. However, if she was Ordered to take on that debt per the DR Court in order to get more support money or avoid paying you more support money, then you may be able to revisit those Decree obligations in DR Court. You'd need to ask your divorce attorney.

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  • My credit card debt exceeds my entire years income. What can I try?

    I finished college 10 months ago, but all I can find is low pay part time jobs. I lived off my credit card my last semester and am in over my head. Last year I earned $6500 and now I owe $8000 on credit cards. (No other debt.) My only assets are m...

    Russ’s Answer

    Without any other information, it sounds like you are a candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your "crappy car" would be protected so long as the market value is less than approximately $4000. Your clothing and furniture would similarly be protected by applicable exemptions. You'll want to make sure that you tell your attorney when you first meet with them if you've lived outside the state of Ohio in the last couple of years, because the laws that protect your property could change if you lived outside the state while you were in college. You do not need to be behind on the credit cards to be eligible for bankruptcy relief.

    It is probably worth seeking a free consultation so you can understand your rights and this form of relief a little better. It is also worth exploring other options such as settlement. That is not a tremendous amount of debt, and you can only file Chapter 7 every eight years.

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  • What happens when a summary judgment is granted ? is it best to appeal ? can you still save your home after this ?

    spoke with lender about the situation , they refuse to stop foreclosure proceeding even though payments have been caught up , they said they may draw up a contract stating if one payment is missed they move straight to sale . Is this a good ide...

    Russ’s Answer

    Once you defaulted on the loan, you may have contractually obligated yourself to penalties and fees that are in addition to the normal monthly payments. So, merely catching up on the past due payment may have not been enough, or you may not have done it in time. However, a contract is a 2-way street: if you are holding up your end, they have to hold up theirs.

    If you are truly caught up, current, and otherwise abiding by the mortgage contract, then you may want to appeal. In Ohio, you have 30 days from the date the judgment is granted to file a notice of appeal.

    If the house goes to sheriff sale, then you may want to consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 will protect you from the sheriff sale and give you an opportunity to get straight with your mortgage company over a period of 3-5 years. At the end of a Chapter 13, the federal judge will sign an order indicating that the mortgage is actually current and valid.

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  • Can a person file bankruptcy if all bills are being paid regularly?

    I am off work with several injuries from an accidental fall, will be off for 8 to 12 weeks, and insurance pay is nil.

    Russ’s Answer

    Yes, there is no requirement that you are behind on payments. That is a very common question.

    One thing that you want to consider is whether or not you will require any continuing medical care. Debts that are incurred prior to filing your case will be included, or discharged, in the bankruptcy. However, debts incurred after the filing date, will not be included. For medical bills, the important date is the date of the medical services. So, you will want to carefully plan when is the best time to file your case.

    Please feel fee to call our office at 937.401.5000 if you'd like to sit down and go over your options and eligibility. All consultations are 100% free. Either way, best of luck!

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  • What's the correct wording in document to represent 86 year old without money in credit card case in parma court

    86 year old widow inherited credit card debt and home is underwater. widow has nothing and needs free help in parma, ohio court case against credit card company. widow offered to pay $50 a month towards inherited debt, but was refused. I'm aut...

    Russ’s Answer

    Seems to me like you would need a Power of Attorney, and then you would use that language to describe yourself and your relationship to the debtor/defendant. Please make sure that she is obligated on the debt. Her signature would have been required.

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  • 23 months into a confirmed chapter 13 our payment is $2650 a month my husband and I are now separated

    and communication is very little or very hostile what are my options? to go ahead and file a chapter 7 with our current bankruptcy lawyer or try to find one for myself for a divorce and a chapter 7 and where will myself and my 3 dependents live if...

    Russ’s Answer

    If you are living separate and apart, you may individually seek to have yourself dismissed from the Chapter 13 and then file a Chapter 7 or have the case converted to a Chapter 7 assuming that you are individually eligible for Chapter 7 relief. However, you will need to obtain new counsel since your current bankruptcy attorney will have a conflict of interest due to your interests being adverse to his other client, your estranged husband. Your current bankruptcy attorney may be able to recommend a new attorney to you. You may be able to keep your house in a Chapter 7, you would just need to consult an attorney.

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  • My ex husband is filing for bankruptcy. His name is still on the deed to my home. How will my home be affected?

    I have lived in the home without him for 10+ years, I pay the taxes and insurance, there is no mortgage.

    Russ’s Answer

    His bankruptcy filing will serve to discharge his obligation to his debts, including any joint debts that he has with you, such as mortgage debts. However, if there is no mortgage or lien on the property, and the property value is greater than the homestead exemption amount (approx. $22,000), then his bankruptcy estate would have an interest in the real estate. I should also note that he would not be able to use his homestead exemption of equal value, because presumably the real estate is not being used as his primary residence.

    All of that being said, if there is a validly recorded lien or mortgage for the real estate at issue and the balance(s) owed are close to the property value, then continuing to make the mortgage payments as scheduled would be enough to protect your home.

    You should consult a bankruptcy attorney.

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  • Can my daughter be made to pay my department store account that was wiped when I filed bankruptcy this year?

    I filed bankruptcy earlier this year. My daughter had a card on my account so she could shop for me because I don't drive. Can she be made responsible for paying the account?

    Russ’s Answer

    Filing bankruptcy only discharges your obligation to an account. If the account is in her name individually or jointly, she will be responsible for the balance.

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