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Kurt A. O'Keefe

Kurt O'Keefe’s Answers

90 total


  • How long will it take to get a discharge from the court?

    My Chapter 13 was closed at the end of May, I received a letter that my wages would no longer be taken. What is the process and how long will it take to get my discharge?

    Kurt’s Answer

    What did your lawyer say?
    Need exact quote from this letter on closing, as, once a case is closed, by the clerk of the court, it is over and there will be no discharge.
    I suspect you received a letter from the trustee saying that you had reached plan completion, so the wage deduction would stop, and that they are in the process of closing out the cae.
    Chapter 13 finalization is very much on the trustee's timetable. Once they file a final report, the clerk will close the case.
    There is no clock on the trustee, that is, no deadline for them to get that final report filed.
    In checking my files, I see that one trustee sends a letter titled: "Notice of Preparation for Discharge"
    It goes on to say, that your case is closed.
    Not sure what they mean, because the court case remains open until after the trustee final report, and discharge.
    This trustee letter states: "Over the next 20 weeks, your case will go through a several phases."
    I never predict when someone else will do something, so, the answer to your question is, after you do the finanancial management, and file the domestic support certificate, and after the trustee finishes, then the court will issue the discharge.
    As I tell my clients, it will happen when it happens, no way to accelerate the trustee review process.
    You can only do your part.

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  • I am retired - can creditors access my checking (direct deposit pension, social security, IRA payments.

    My Chapter 13 attorney charged me additional $ 4,600 in legal fees without telling me his service was in addition to his regular fees. Didn't I have a right to know the amount he was accruing- rather than receive a 20 month summary billing? I w...

    Kurt’s Answer

    Not clear from your question, was the mortgage modification part of the Chapter 13 plan? That is, was that mortgage payment being paid by you directly, or through the Chapter 13 trustee? Has your chapter 13 plan been confirmed?
    A chapter 13 attorney CANNOT bill you for Chapter 13 work. His fees must be approved by the bankruptcy court. Was there a fee application? If so, did you file objections with the court?
    As pointed out, there should be a written retainer agreement spelling out what is included and how fees are charged and calculated.
    Again, unclear when you say you have to "worry about creditors that you owe the $4,600 to"
    I thought the $4,600 was owed to the attorney.
    If the attorney fees were approved by the Court, they should be paid by the trustee as part of the chapter 13 plan, and there will be no balance due when you finish your case.
    When you exit bankruptcy, if you successfully complete your plan, you will get a discharge of any remaining balance, except mortgage or other secured debt whose last payment is due beyond the final date of the plan.
    (and other exceptions like student loan debt)

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  • I am nearing the end of my 60 month plan. I have never missed a payment. I was divorced last year. Will I have issues w/discharg

    We filed together 5 years ago. Divorced last year. Payroll deducted from my check. I took on all bk payments after divorce. I owed 4600 in taxes for 2014, mostly because of new filing status. I heard she is getting a 5000 refund. She wasn't workin...

    Kurt’s Answer

    In Detroit, where I practice, and your case is, unless you moved to Roseville after filing, you will have a problem concluding the case with a pst-petition tax debt of $4,600.
    You "heard" she is getting a refund. You both have to provide tax returns to the trustee, so that amount is verifiable.
    Unless her part of the case was dismissed, in which case she does not have to do anything on the 13 case.
    What did the divorce judgment say about the chapter 13 case?
    Your attorney could file a plan modification to address these issues, but you cannot extend the plan beyond the 60 month statutory maximum.

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  • I originally filed a chapter 13 in 2007 but converted to 7 in 2008, when can I file chapter 7 again?

    My file date for the chapter 13 was June 2007 and I converted to chapter 7 in Feb 2008 and received my chapter 7 discharge in July 2008. Am I able to file chapter 7 again after June 2015?

    Kurt’s Answer

    Yes, assuming no other bankruptcy cases, like a chapter 13, were filed by you, you are eligible to file another Chapter 7 eight years after the prior case was filed.
    The filing date of your prior case is the filing date of the Chapter 13, because the conversion to Chapter 7 relates back to that date.

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  • I won a Civil Judgment against a tenant, for damages to our property, She filed chapter 7, do I have to pay that money back?

    Is it worth my time to Challenge Dischargeability of Certain Debts?

    Kurt’s Answer

    It is not just time, it is money. You need to hire an attorney.
    What are the grounds for non-dischargeability?
    The burden will be on you to prove your case for the debt to be excepted from discharge.
    Was the damage done intentionally by the tenant?
    Is the tenant collectible if you do win your case?
    How much money are you talking about?
    What money was paid back when?

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  • If you get contacted about non payment of an online pay loan and are being told that you will be arrested within a few hours

    And supposedly they are from the local police station and are requiring that you money gram the money to the attorney in Delaware does this sound legit? I live in Michigan and this has happened to me twice. I was told prior that six years is the l...

    Kurt’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    DO NOT PAY.
    This is a NOT a criminal matter. They are lying to you to scare you into sending money.
    This is a violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You are being threatened with a criminal prosecution, which is NOT possible for non-payment of a debt. Unfortunately, this is a common tactic with debt collectors, because, though illegal, it works.
    Contact me, I will be happy to help.
    Record any calls, if you can.

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  • I was discharged from chapter 7

    I included my mortgage. The bankruptcy states there are no assets and the case was closed on 04/04/11. I currently live on the property and haven't made a mortgage payment in over 5 years. I went to the county today to check on the deed and I am l...

    Kurt’s Answer

    All bankruptcies include everything, there is no choice about including any debt. Your personal obligation on the mortgage note, the debt, was discharged, but, the lien remains.
    Mortgage is just a term for debt secured by real estate.
    In the case of a car with a lien, the bankruptcy would discharge your personal liability on the note, but the creditor could still repossess the car. Just like the mortgage company can still foreclose.
    Mortgage company actions are unpredictable. They may have lost the papers, or decided it is not worth the cost of foreclosing and trying to re-sell.
    I believe nothing your friend says until I see the paperwork. :)
    As a practical matter, you will not be able to sell the home without the mortgage balance being paid at the closing.
    Yes, you would be entitled to any surplus over that amount.

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  • I just started my chaper 13 bankrupacy in January and just found out i owe 4000 additional taxes for this year.

    can this amount be included in my bankrupacy??

    Kurt’s Answer

    Your case was filed in January 2015?
    and the tax debt is for 2014?
    did you discuss this with your attorney?
    yes, it would be a pre-petition debt which should be included in the plan.
    Not knowing the rest of the facts, I do not know if you would have to increase your payment and or lengthen your plan to get this debt paid. It is a priority debt that will have to be paid 100%.
    The bigger issue is, why? If you are going to owe this much more each year, difficult to see how your plan will work. Unless you have budgeted that much as an expense for you to pay directly each year as it accrues.

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  • Mortgage lawyer

    I filed chapter seven and got a discharge on my mortgage then they sent me a modification and I signed it am I liable for the mortgage again?

    Kurt’s Answer

    No, your personal liability was discharged in the chapter 7, unless there was a reaffirmation agreement signed by you and the mortgage company, and filed with the court. It is too late to reaffirm a debt once the discharge is issued.

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  • What is the reasonal amount for chapter 7

    I just to no how much

    Kurt’s Answer

    Each attorney is free to set his own fees. All bankruptcy fees are subject to potential court review for reasonableness.
    My fees depend on the difficulty of the case, and the amount of work it will take.
    They range from $500 to $10,000 or more.
    I agree with the other attorneys on the $335 bankruptcy filing fee.

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