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Timothy Casey Theisen
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Timothy Theisen’s Answers

42 total


  • If I claim bankruptcy on joint accounts with my ex husband will the creditors go after him instead?

    My ex husband will not sign the divorce decree unless I agree to take on 40k of JOINT debt by myself. If I do this and claim bankruptcy will they come after HIM since his name will still be on the accounts? Thanks!

    Timothy’s Answer

    Yes. First of all, sorry for getting technical, but he's still your husband, not your ex-husband!
    If you agree to pay the joint debt then file chapter 7, your obligations to the creditors gets discharged, his obligation doesn't, and if your divorce decree requires you to hold him harmless, then he could come back after you if he pays his debt. But a chapter 13 would solve that problem.
    Since you are arguing about paying debt that was incurred while there was one roof and now there will be two, it sounds to me like you should probably both just file bankruptcy if you are both eligible, either jointly or separately.

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  • I have a home in Milwaukee that am considering doing a short sale on. Would I be better off filing bankruptcy?

    I live in Twin Cities am not sure if I should work with a Minnesota or Wisconsin bankruptcy attorney. I live pretty much on S/S and part time employment.

    Timothy’s Answer

    You would want to talk to a Minnesota attorney. I am not a big fan of short sales. I am also not certain if Wisconsin permits deficiency judgments after foreclosure, and/or if there is a second mortgage. If you have debts, you would qualify for bankruptcy, but you may not need to, because your social security and wages would be exempt from garnishment. You are almost bullet-proof, but not quite.

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  • I'm about to walk away from my house i did bankruptcy back in 2002.

    I never reaffirmed the debit the home is in major disrepair so what is the mortgage company likely to do to me?

    Timothy’s Answer

    Not much. They will foreclose when you are 3-6 months behind, and then you would have another six months to remain in the house before you would need to vacate. Any property taxes would get picked up by whoever eventually buys the house. You would be liable for association dues and utilities until the foreclosure process is complete. If you want to move out before the end of your redemption period (i.e. the six months after foreclosure) and not be liable for utilities, you might see if you can do a deed in lieu of foreclosure, but sometimes that's like pushing string. If you are going to move out before or during winter, it would be responsible to turn off the water so the pipes don't freeze, and again, to let the mortgage company know you are vacating; they are usually pretty good about protecting their collateral in these circumstances.

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  • 2nd mortgage advice after chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    I filed bankruptcy 2 years ago now and at that time had a 2nd mortgage on my home (HELOC). We have continued to pay our first with good standing. Well now we have roughly 100k in equity on the house but that second is still out there for 80k. ...

    Timothy’s Answer

    If there is equity in the property, it is highly unlikely that the second mortgage will settle for pennies on the dollar. You can certainly try to approach the second mortgage for a settlement, but you should not assume that fully secured mortgagees are going to make irrational decisions. There is a chance that they will foreclose, but in all likelihood they will just have their hand out when you go to sell the house.

    What I would suggest you do, is continue making the payments on the first mortgage as long as you can afford the payments, and want to remain in the house.

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  • I moved from Illionois to Minnesota last Novemember 2014. Do I have to file bankruptcy in Illinois?

    I owned a home in Illinois, but simply walked away from it due to inability to pay after my divorce. I am a federal VA employee since April 2015. I have a lot of credit card debt and had 2 cars repossessed. I also have many student loans-one is fr...

    Timothy’s Answer

    Since you have lived in MN the majority of the prior 180 days, i.e. at least 91 days, you can file here. The rules indicate that are generally supposed to use Illinois state exemptions even though you are filing in MN, but you fall within an exception to that rule, because Illinois state exemptions cannot be used out of state, so you should be able to protect your assets under federal law, which is a good thing.

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  • Is minnesota a state that I have to know all the names of your debts to file bankruptcy? What if I dont?

    I always assumed that if you file, that nobody can bother you anymore? From time to time I check my credit score and notice some things aren't showing up but I know they wouldn't just disappear. Also, in the past year I have had nearly 30,000 of d...

    Timothy’s Answer

    Different credit bureas collect from different sources. There is about a 95% correlation, but getting all three major reports is a good starting points. Judgments are effective for 10 years, then can be renewed for another 10 years, then they drop off. There is a six year statute of limitations after which creditors who don't have judgments can no longer sue you.

    Playing the game of waiting out/settling old bad debt vs. deciding to just file bankruptcy is tricky and likely will require a detailed consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. It's a matter of weighing how much debt there is, your relative exposure, your financial goals, and your comfort level evading collectible (or even noncollectible) debt. You may find that a bankruptcy is the best way to hit the reset button on your credit & start moving forward.

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  • Ch7 bk discharged in 2008, did not reaffirm my mortgage. I have now been offered a hamp modification, does this reaffirm?

    there I a new interest rate, with a huge balloon payment due upon sale or satisfaction of the loan, essentially I would end up paying $160,000. on $86,000 of principal I actually owe. Because this was discharged in my bankruptcy, would signing the...

    Timothy’s Answer

    No. A reaffirmation agreement needs to be done within certain time limits and through a certain procedure. Modification is different than refinancing, make sure you know the difference and what you are doing. However, in MN it is exceeding rare for there to be resulting personal liability on a first mortgage deficiency in the event of a foreclosure anyway, so your worst-case risk is relatively low.

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  • I need a new car and to file bankruptcy.which do I do first?

    Got my car loan Oct 2012. Haven't always made payments on time, some have been 60 days late. I work off commission and have health issues so I do what I can. Credit is bad. Mainly medical bills due to lack of insurance. Recently had to put in clos...

    Timothy’s Answer

    A competent lawyer cannot give you advice that you can rely upon over the phone, or in a forum such as this. Moreover, lawyers are prohibited from advising to people to incur new debt prior to filing bankruptcy. If you want advice on what actions to do prior to filing bankruptcy, that should be part of the process that your lawyer will explain to you. There are simply too many variables here. But you should not expect, as part of a lawyer's free phone consultation (which they do as marketing, not as a public service), to gain such advice until you plunk down a payment in return.

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  • Ex wife ordered to refinance home in her name or sell by June 2015, she's instead allowing to go into foreclosure. Options?

    My ex wife was awarded the home and assumed all financial responsibility. She was given 17-months to either refinance in her name or place the home up for sale by end of June 2015. The mortgage is now 3-months behind for March, April and May 2015....

    Timothy’s Answer

    I'd love to see if other lawyers think you have good options, because I don't. First question, is whether there is equity. If there is, then you should take appropriate action in family court to have the house sold. If there isn't, then what I can tell you is that if there is only a first mortgage, there is almost never any financial damage to you, other than the effect on your credit. And that toothpaste has already come out of the tube. I don't see there being a feasible remedy here. I have heard that you can try to get some sort of cause of action against her for the damage to your credit, but I doubt a judge would have sympathy, and even if you were awarded damages, collecting against her may be difficult.

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  • Foreclosure and past due association fees?

    Our mortgage company foreclosed on our town home approx 9 months ago. A month ago we received a bill for past due association fees. We had moved out of the town home about 3 years ago with the intent that the house was going to sell on a short s...

    Timothy’s Answer

    Yes, you are liable for that, even though you filed bankruptcy. However, the mortgage company is supposed to pay the association dues for the final six months after the sheriff's sale while the property is in the redemption period. If you think about it, why should your neighbors pick up your portion of the lawn, snow, and siding etc. that the association provides. I have to get into couldas, wouldas, & shouldas, but if you called me three years ago I would have advised you to put a renter into it while you wait for foreclosure. It's possible they will negotiate a settlement, but usually they are pretty aggressive, and your contract says you have to pay their lawyer fees too (again, after all, why should your former neighbors pay for the lawyer to sue you, when you agreed to pay the lawyer who sues you int he first place, and caused the issue by not paying your dues). You can file a low-payment chapter 13 if you can't negotiate something with them. Sorry I don't have better news.

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