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Jessica C Bentz
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Jessica Bentz’s Answers

4 total

  • Currently my payroll check is being granished for my student loans.

    My question is I want to return back to school but the collection group garnishing my check said I would only have to setup a seperate payment plan for 1yr and withing 6 mos I could return back to school and qualify for Loans, or any government pr...

    Jessica’s Answer

    First, identify what type of student loan this is- is it due directly to that school for classes you took from that particular school? Meaning the amount due to the school was not covered by any 3rd party source for student loans? If that is the case, you may be able to file a bankruptcy to stop the garnishment & potentially discharge the debt but depending on your agreement with the school (any docs you signed etc), that school may not be willing to give you credit for those classes and/or withhold your diploma if you are currently entitled to it. If you could care less about those credits and there is no diploma, then that debt may be dischargeable in a bankruptcy. If that is the situation then, depending on the loaning authority (private or Federal), you can go ahead and reapply for additional student loans. The Federal loans should not discriminate against you or fail to give you loans because of a prior bankruptcy but the private loan companies can consider your record in deciding whether to offer you additional loans.

    If the loan is a basic school loan, lent to you for by a 3rd party other than the school you attended, then that debt is not going to generally be dischargeable in a bankruptcy and you may consider one of the following: (NOTE- consult an attorney in your area- this is not an all-encompassing answer)

    1) Continue to pay it off through the garnishment and/or the payment plan you mentioned if that is still an option & try to qualify at that point for additional loans; or

    2) Continue paying through the garnishments and try to qualify for another loan despite what the collection company claims (it would be at the discretion of the loaning party etc); or

    3) File a Ch 13 bankruptcy (if you are elligible /have regular source of income and can manage the minimum payment within the Chapter 13 timeframe) and pay off the loans through your bankruptcy plan. If you have other credit card/medical debt etc, a Chapter 13 payment may be much more manageable than what you are now responsible for. During the period of a Chapter 13 plan, you could reapply to qualify for the Federal loans. or

    4) File a Chapter 7 (if you are eligible) to discharge debt such as credit cards/medical bills to leave you with less debt so you have more disposable income to pay off these school loans.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I am paid by clients as a third partyh to cover bills. Are they liable if I file Chapter 7.

    I am a small advertising agency that has overextended myself and overspent money intended to pay media bills for those clients. It has caught up to me and now I am severely behind on thier bills via my company. If I file chapter 13 or chapter 7 ...

    Jessica’s Answer

    Review the contract(s) between you and the media companies you owe monies to. Did your clients sign the contracts as well? Are there any terms regarding holding them liable? The terms of those contracts (if any) will likely determine whether the media companies have a cause of action to collect against your clients. All parties you owe money to or that owe money to you should be listed properly in your bankruptcy voluntary petition so that all parties receive notice and you avoid being liable on that pre-bankruptcy debt.

    If you file a Chapter 7 and all of that debt is dischargeable and there is a possible cause of action between your prior clients and the media companies, the cause of action could be for the full amount owed. If you file a Chapter 13 and the media company is considered a general unsecured creditor who has a cause of action then (depending on the percentage you must pay back to general unsecured creditors), any amount you did not pay back through your Chapter 13 could be subject to a cause of action by the media companies when your Chapter 13 case is completed.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • I am currently in a chapter 13 banko, i make all trustee payments on time. Check for mortgage was returned for NSF.

    I am currently in chapter 13 banko i make all trustee payments on time. My check to my mortgage was returned NSF, i have contacted the mortgage company to let them know i corrected the bank balance and they could resend the check. They told me the...

    Jessica’s Answer

    Did you file this case yourself or with the assistance of an attorney? If you currently have an attorney, this is definately something you want to address with them. I would suggest making future payments to your mortgage company by certified check or money order and keeping copies of all payments that you do send in case the mortgage company ever claims you failed to make a payment when you did (I've seen this occur frequently).

    If your mortgage company gets the check within a few days and your record shows that it clears then you should be current with your mortgage and there would most likely be no problems with your Chapter 13 case so long as the mortgage company correctly reflected that you had made the payment. The worst thing that could happen is if the mortgage company does not attempt to cash your check and just makes a motion to dismiss your chapter 13 as to the bankruptcy protection on the home based on the fact you were "deliquent." To avoid this, I would check with the mortgage company & your bank to ensure that the check cleared and you are current according to your mortgage company. If you receive letters in the mail from the court stating there is a motion to dismiss and your payment did not go through because the mortgage company rejected your payment etc then (a) you want to get current with what you are behind on your mortgage ASAP by providing the mortgage company with those funds and remember to keep copies as evidence of payments made; or (b) if the check did clear and you are current with your mortgage payment but the mortgage company is incorrectly stating you are not, get the bank records showing that payment was made and provide that to the bankruptcy court as evidence you made the payment to defend your bankruptcy protection on your home.

    Please note: I am Chicago bankruptcy attorney and the laws differ based on jurisdiction- so if you filed yourself, call the helpdesk & if not speak with your attorney regarding the exact protocol.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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  • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor / York County, SC

    I had a keg party for my daugher's 18th Birthday. Police came and took me to jail first.....then decided to take 18-20 of the kids that were under 21....this was even after they said they weren't going to arrest them and had given them all writte...

    Jessica’s Answer

    I would suggest contacting your Public Defender right away. I previously worked as a Prosecutor and most Public Defenders have so many clients & can easily overlook your case unless you remain dedicated and call on an everyday basis and schedule several appointments. Your public defender will most likely not take that initiative given the number of matters they are required to deal with on a regular basis. At those appointments I suggest reviewing the Police Report, if you haven't already, and asking the PD about a plea negotiation or diversionary program (if available for this charge in your jurisdiction) given your lack of a prior record. Perhaps you can do some type of Community Service and ask for a "withhold of adjudication" to avoid additional consequences on your record. I will also say that although public defenders generally get a "bad rap" for not being "real attorneys," MANY of them are better than their private counterparts because they have a relationship with the prosecutor & the Judge in that courtroom. They also have great trial experience. I'd also ask about "speedy trial" and if your public defender already waived yours...because Prosecutors often have a difficult time getting to trial within the speedy trial period because of all the matters they have...which could help you.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

    See question