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Deborah Ann Stencel

Deborah Stencel’s Answers

217 total

  • I am divorcing and I filed bankruptcy chapter 13 and my husband chapter 7

    Everything is in my name: cars, credit cards, phone. Only the leases for rent is on both names. I will not afford to pay back for bankruptcy. One of the cars he is driving. Can we somehow split the payment and the car will go to him? How does it w...

    Deborah’s Answer

    If you don' have an attorney, you should get one. If you do have one, s/he should be able to answer this for you.

    If the car he drives is in your name only, you do not have to pay for it in the 13. You can surrender the car. What this means for him is that he may need to go get another car.

    If you otherwise qualify for a Chapter 7, you do not need to re-file- you can convert your current case to a 7. Whether you qualify depends on income, prior case, equity in property and some other factors.

    Best wished and good luck,

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  • Do we need a lawyer for this: Mortgage company claims payments were not made during bankruptcy, with documentation that they wer

    We had filed bankruptcy back in 2012, but felt we could handle things on our own by late summer of 2013. So we dismissed our bankruptcy in August 2013. When we received our paperwork from the chapter 13 trustee, it stated that their last payment...

    Deborah’s Answer

    I would continue to bank the mortgage payments that the bank is not accepting. DO NOT SPEND that money. If you do, and you prove that you were right all along - how will you pay for the months since then?

    It has been a long time since this dispute began so you need to get on top of this ASAP.

    You can send a Qualified Written Request to the mortgagee to get proof of what payments were received and you can get documents from the Trustee about payments made. You may need another 13 to stop any foreclosure action. Do not wait any longer to address this issue and good luck!

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  • I recently had a no asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. I received a medical bill from a procedure done months before filing.

    I know that I'm not liable for the debt since visit was before filing bankruptcy. The debt wasn't included in bankruptcy filing because they hadn't billed me yet. As a pro se filer, how can I stop the creditor from trying to recover debt.

    Deborah’s Answer

    Call the creditor or mail the creditor with evidence of your bk filing. The Notice of Bk Filing from the bk court should do the trick. In the majority of cases, this will take care of it.

    Should the creditor follow up and demand evidence that it was included, you will have to argue that the creditor was omitted inadvertently and should still be considered discharged. Alternatively, you can pay to reopen your bk and add the creditor.

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  • If I let my mortgage company foreclose and file bankruptcy what are the ramifications to me?

    underwater on house and house in no condition to sell at the moment

    Deborah’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If this is your residence, the lender has the option to choose a 6 or a 12-month redemption period. If lender chooses 6 months, they cannot come after you for a deficiency balance whether or not you file bk. If they choose, 12 months they can.

    If you file a consumer bk AND receive a discharge, whether 12 or 6 months is chosen, you will not owe the deficiency or have any tax consequence.

    My answer changes if the house is not your home. You should talk to an attorney before you make any decisions about moving, bk, canceling the insurance, or removing fixtures from the property. Also, if you have homeowners' association dues, those will need to be paid until the foreclosure is complete.

    Talk to an attorney about your specific situation to make sure you put yourself in the best position to get out of this ok.

    Best wishes.

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  • Can I sue my ex-wife for damaging mine and my new wife's credit from foreclosure of her mortgage?

    My ex-wife was found in contempt in our family court divorce case for not refinancing our mortgage into her name solely after 8 years of being divorced I had to take her back to court because I received foreclosure papers from the mortgage company...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Presumably, you have the evidence now that your credit has been damaged. You can try another contempt citation now. She may be able to defend herself in that the loss in home values and increase in foreclosures since 2008 would have been unforeseen when the divorce was finalized in/around 2007.

    At the end of the day, your divorce attorney should have advised you of this possibility and to protect your credit, you should have paid the mortgage when she did not.

    This should not be impacting your new wife's credit.

    I'm sorry this is happening to you. Best of luck.

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  • Did not reaffirm car loan in ch7 and now car is shot.. Can i "give it back" without reprocussions

    i took out a car loan last year on and 2003 SUV. I've always paid on time. I filed bankruptcy, ch 7 in April and did not reaffirm the loan. I have however continued to make payments on time and owe about $6k yet. Today to my horror the transmissio...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Yes, you can return it. Just make sure you really didn't sign a reaff by checking with your lawyer or the court. As long as you return the car, you will not be sued for the balance. You could be sued to return the car if you don't surrender it.

    As the other commenters noted, be sure to clean it out and remove the plates. You should keep the insurance until they take it.

    Best wishes!

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  • What do I do if I have already paid my attorney in full to file chapter 7 bankruptcy and he isnt doing his job.

    He failed to file all my debtors and only filed one and said that it was going to be 130 dollars for each bill added when it was not my fault but his and when confronted he signed off of the case in which he should owe me some money since I paid h...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Is it possible the attorney asked for $130.00 to add all the creditors? I ask because the $30.00 filing fee is not per creditor but for all creditors added at one time, so the fee of 130 makes more sense to be the total. I charge my clients to add creditors $250.00 plus the filing fee because I review the list of creditors with them when we file the case, so they should know we have listed everything as I just went over the list with them AND they then sign the paper under penalty of perjury that it is true and complete to the best of their knowledge.

    Having stated that - if you have a dispute with an attorney, the best thing to do is talk to him or her about it. If that gets you nowhere, you can file a bar complaint. The bar is the governing body for lawyers.

    NOTE that bar complaints do not move quickly. So, if your Chapter 7 is still open, you need to hire a new attorney to do what you want or to try to do it on your own ASAP. Try calling the bk court where your case was filed and ask if there is a "pro se help desk" with volunteer attorneys who could guide you on your amendments. If you do it yourself, you would pay a $30.00 filing fee for all the creditors you add at one time PLUS the postage for sending copies of the amendments to all the creditors you are adding.

    I follow your logic that your attorney should owe you for not finishing your case, but if the attorney does not agree with you, you will have to file a bar complaint to resolve that. IN the mean time, fixing your case is a priority because Chapter 7s can complete in 3 months from filing and fixing things later is more complicated and more expensive.

    Best wishes and good luck.

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  • Should I look to bankruptcy?

    I recently decided to go to law school. We are not allowed to work during the 1L year. This along with other issues have caused me to fall seriously behind on some debts. The bulk of my debt is fr student loans and a car, which mY be repossessed s...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Bankruptcy may be an issue with the Board of Bar Examiners in whichever jurisdiction you decide to become licensed. Similarly, bad debt could be an issue as well. If you are in school now (seems like you are), I would talk to a counselor/Dean of Students at the school about your money issues to see what advice they give with respect to the bar. Many people have bankruptcies and become lawyers; however, if you have other issues, it won't help. Whatever you do, make sure you are 100% honest on your bar application.

    I believe we were also encouraged not to work first year, but many did anyway. You might consider working for a small law firm 10-15 hours a week next semester. You will learn things that may be helpful to you. If you do this, talk to the dean about it too just in case the commandment not to work is more than "encouragement."

    If the car is repossessed, it will be sold and you will be responsible for the balance of the loan not covered by selling the car. If you do not file bk, you will want to make payment arrangements for that amount. If repossession is inevitable, think about arranging for a voluntary repossession which may seem to be more responsible. A better option could be to try to sell the vehicle yourself to see if you can at least pay off the loan - or get closer to payoff than repo would.

    Best wishes.

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  • My sister is on Ssi in Wisconsin and May be sued for credit card bills. (Less than 7 hundred dollars)

    She has no assets except a car. Can she be taken to court or can they take her car away? Thank you.

    Deborah’s Answer

    She can be sued, but is likely "judgment proof," which means the creditor will not be able to garnish her or take the car. Folks on SSI are by definition judgment proof as their assets have to be below a certain level so I am assuming the car is not worth more than can be exempted from collection.

    If she is sued, she should go to court when asked and tell the judge she is on SSI and has no unexempt assets. That will probably end the matter. If she needs help at that time, she should contact Legal Action of Wisconsin as they can help advise her of her rights for no fee. See the links below.

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  • What happens after I dispute a collection agency.

    A business that came to my home in February just started to send me bills for outstanding balance in August. They came, did nothing to resolve our issue and then left not doing anything. So they said we didn't have to pay. I have called each time ...

    Deborah’s Answer

    In addition to the FDCPA and credit dispute issues, you may want to resolve the issue with the company directly as well. I don't know what kind of company, but as a rule if the company won't deal with you to resolve an issue, you can file complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Wisconsin Consumer Protection Agency, or even ask the local news to intervene if they have a consumer watch dog kind of person. As a last resort, you could even sue the company in some cases.

    I would be active here rather than waiting for the matter to go away (not that you are doing that, but just as a warning). I am linking the Wisco Consumer Protection site below. If they are not the correct agency for the type of business you have an issue with, they will likely point you in the right direction.

    In the mean time create a file with notes on all communications and keep it up to date with dates, times, names of people you spoke with, and copies of the letters you send.

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