Skip to main content
Martin M. Holmes

Martin Holmes’s Answers

20 total

  • This is a scam, Right?

    I got a call from a process server who stated that she had legal papers to serve me and if I would be home. I told her I have no clue of anything to which she said you must call the company and become aware and until you do I cant serve you. ...

    Martin’s Answer

    Sounds like a legitimate attempt by a process server to locate you and deliver the papers. The process server is paid to deliver the legal documents to you, usually a flat fee, and for mileage. They want to get the documents to you without making multiple trips or spending a lot of time tracking you down. They typically will block caller ID so that the party they are calling picks up the phone rather than avoids answering. You have no duty to provide any information. The part about "you must call the company and become aware and until you do I cant serve you. " sounds like a scam to me.

    See question 
  • Is there a statute of limitations on debt to a utility, or debts otherwise?

    I've resided at the same address with same phone number for 15 years. Had my credit report pulled by Quicken Loans in 2013 and 2014. Was told that nothing was collection and all things were o.k. Had no contact from any collection agency for appr...

    Martin’s Answer

    The statute of limitations on contract debt is 6 years and runs from the date of default or last payment. certain events can toll ( suspend ) the time from running. However the facts you posted do not indicate that any of those would apply. Often times old debts are purchased by debt buyers, who attempt to collect the debt and convince the debtor to make a payment. Paying on the debt would start establish a new date for the running of the 6 year. that is you would waive your statute of limitations defense. Sometimes, scam artists find old accounts and attempt to collect them even though they have no right to do so.

    Some courts have held that attempting to collect a time barred debt is a violation of the Fair Debt collection Practices Act and that the collector is liable to the debtor for damages. Reporting a time barred debt to a credit reporting agency may also be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices act.

    I suggest that you contact the credit reporting agency that show this debt and dispute it. I also suggest that you contact the collector by certified letter telling them you dispute the debt, obtain evidence of their authority to collect the debt, a copy of the contract and complete accounting rom the inception to date.

    It would be advisable for you to contact an attorney in your area that handles consumer protection cases.

    Stay away from companies that advertise for credit repair. many are scams. The Federal Trade Commission has good information on their website see the attached Link

    See question 
  • The house didn't sell and I can't afford it. Do I have to pay him if I file bankruptcy?

    In my divorce, we agreed that I would sell one of our rental properties and my spouse would receive all the equity. The house didn't sell in the time expected. If I file bankruptcy-and lose the house, am I still required to pay him?

    Martin’s Answer

    You should consult a bankruptcy attorney. Bring your divorce judgment with you to your meeting. If necessary your bankruptcy attorney can work with your divorce attorney

    A bankruptcy will discharge your personal liability on any mortgage or lien but will not discharge the lien itself. If the property is subject to a mortgage the mortgage company can foreclose. A chapter 7 will not discharge any liability to your ex-husband arising from the Divorce judgment. A chapter 13 bankruptcy will discharge your liability on a property settlement but not for alimony / spousal support. The terms of your judgment of divorce is important. If the judgment reserved spousal support, as many do It may be possible for your ex to get an order for spousal support.

    If this is your only financial problem bankruptcy is probably not your answer, You may be able to work something out with your ex like transferring the property to him either voluntarily or through a post judgment motion in your divorce.

    You would be wise to explore all your options
    In determining if Bankruptcy is right for you one must consider your total financial situation, Income, household size, living expenses, the nature extent and value of your property the nature and extent of your debts. Recent transfers etc.

    See question 
  • How do I obtain a student loan forgiveness?

    My daughter used my social security number a few years ago without my permission for a student loan. I do not wish to prosecute her. I have very modest means. I would like to have an attorney in my area to help me on this matter. Can I obtain a...

    Martin’s Answer

    You should contact ant attorney in your area with an expertise in bankruptcy and student loan law.
    Stay away from the outfits that advertise to assist in obtaining student loan forgiveness . Many of them are scams. They will oftentimes advertise free assistance and once your hooked get you to sing an agreement and pay a fee for their help. The National consumer Law center has good and reliable information at as does the Consumer Financial Protection bureau at

    the National consumer Law center has good and reliable information at
    as does the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    See question 
  • My house is up for public auction on Oct 17, is it too late for me to file bankruptcy to try and stop it?

    I was trying to work with the bank with a loan modification but the papers didnt get signed and sent in. they were supposed to have a notary get ahold of me to sign but they never did. I called and left numerous messages but they never got back to...

    Martin’s Answer

    No. It's not to late But you have to move on filing right away. To do it correctly take a lot of time.

    See question 
  • I'd like to get a job, but afraid of losing my whole paycheck

    I've been recently sued for an auto accident that my kid's father caused back in 2011 as of this past February or March. I wasn't working during the court procedures but recently been offered a job position. My question is can I work out a payment...

    Martin’s Answer

    In Michigan the owner of a vehicle is jointly liable for injuries caused by a negligent driver. That is in all probability the basis of the judgment against you.
    A judgment creditor cannot garnish the full amount of your paycheck but I would expect bank accounts to get hit as well as state income tax refunds.
    Perhaps a bigger problem is that if the judgment is not paid your driver’s license can be suspended by the state.
    $500,000 is a huge debt. You may want to take a look at filing a bankruptcy discharging the debt and getting a fresh start. A bankruptcy will prevent the Plaintiff from garnishing wages or anything else and with the debt discharged your driver’s license should be safe.
    I would consult a consumer bankruptcy attorney in your area.

    See question 
  • Can I discharge student loan debt if I'm mentally disabled? (Bipolar Type 1 and Paranoid Schizoaffective disorder diagnosis)

    Was recently diagnosed, and am currently looking to get SSI disability. Suffered lots of childhood abuse and suffered from severe mood swings throughout my teenage and adult years. Am currently court ordered to take depression and anti-psychotic m...

    Martin’s Answer

    As others have suggested discharging student loans in bankruptcy is very difficult.

    #11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8) excepts from discharge an individual educational loan made, insured, or guaranteed, in whole or in part, by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution of higher education, and, if excepting the debt from discharge will not cause undue hardship for the debtor and the debtor's dependent. In order for a debt to be excepted from discharge under #11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8), all of the following elements must be present:

    1. The debtor must be an individual debtor.

    2. The debt must be a debt for an educational benefit loan or overpayment that was:

    a. made, insured, or guaranteed by a governmental unit as defined in § 101(27); or

    b. made under any program funded in whole or in part by a governmental unit or nonprofit institution (regarding whether debtor must be obligor or co-obligor, see section 16.86).

    3. Excepting the debt from discharge will not impose an undue hardship on the debtor and the debtor's dependents

    It is the debtor's burden to show that excepting the debt from discharge will cause undue hardship. See Miller v. Pa. Higher Educ. Assistance Agency (In re Miller), #377 F.3d 616 (6th Cir. 2004)

    There is no standard definition of undue hardship and the question of undue hardship depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. One widely-followed test for determining undue hardship was set forth in Brunner v. New York State Higher Educ. Servs. Corp., #831 F.2d 395 (2d Cir. 1987) (per curiam). In Brunner, the court stated that to prove undue hardship a debtor must show
    "(1) that the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a 'minimal' standard of living for herself and her dependents if forced to repay the loans;

    (2) that additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and

    (3) that the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans." Such good faith efforts can be shown by payment history, efforts to use workout or forgivness plans with the Department of Education or Lender.

    The national Consumer Law Center has good information check out

    See question 
  • Do I have to give him back the engagement ring?

    He proposed August 2014 I left him November 2014 I understand the law varies by state

    Martin’s Answer

    In Michigan An engagement ring given in contemplation of marriage is an impliedly conditional gift that is a completed gift only upon marriage. If the engagement is called off, for whatever reason, the gift is not capable of becoming a completed gift and must be returned to the donor.

    See question 
  • Is bankruptcy my best option ?

    2 years ago, I received ssi and they said there was a overpayment, my payee filed the waiver and it was denied. Now they are saying it is all on me when I had a payee the whole time. The debt is 16,000. They have already took my tax refund. I don'...

    Martin’s Answer

    Bankruptcy may or may not solve your problem. If fraud was involved, then the debt may not be discharged in bankruptcy. You need to get copies of all of the correspondence and set up a consultation with a good bankruptcy attorney in your area. In Kalamazoo I recommend Paul Davidoff (269) 388-2100. See my article on this sight How to find a good Bankruptcy Attorney. Stay away from bankruptcy petition preparers. They are not attorneys. You have a lot of money at stake.

    See question 
  • Do I need a attorney?? Need answers

    I sold my friend a car and moved out of state. In doing so I left my expired plate in the trunk of the car... 2011 she was in a accident, hitting the wall on the freeway, she suffered injuries and was rushed to hospital. Passenger: He did not rece...

    Martin’s Answer

    If you have been served with a lawsuit you need to retain an attorney ASAP. You have limited time to file a written answer with the court. If you do not the Plaintiff can obtain a judgment by default.
    Do not hesitate. You have some defenses,

    See question