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James Russell Brown

James Brown’s Answers

14 total


  • Can a creditor sue me after only 90 days of nonpayment? Also can they submit me to collections at just 30 days past due?

    My last payment was made April 8th 2014 i got a letter dated may 21 2014 submitted to a law firm for collections then i just got served showing filed on July 24th for lawsuit for the entire balance. Is this legal I thought that the had to wait for...

    James’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues from out of state. Once you were in default under the Agreement, the creditor can take any collection action available to them including filing a lawsuit. The timeline actually sounds correct for MO in that your last payment was April 8th and you received your first letter over 30 days later which would be after any grace period and apparently when the account went into default. The collections firm would have to follow certain procedures under the FDCPA by giving you 30 days notice from the date of the letter to dispute the validity of the debt and, if you did, they would be required to send you validation of that debt. Filing the case on July 24th appears to be after any 30 day dispute period would have expired. Now, if the case was filed on July 24th in a MO state court, that means you have a court date coming up here pretty quick. If you do nothing, they will get a default judgment and then ask the Court to issue a garnishment to your employer or a levy against any bank accounts. The can also ask that the judgment be transcribed which means that it would automatically become a lien on any real estate you own now OR acquire in the future. So, bottom line, you don't want to do nothing.

    You can certainly file a responsive pleading and make them prove their case but handling a matter like that on your own is a very risky thing to do. Find someone who does debt collection defense work for help. If this is just one of many debt issues you have, you might consider consulting with an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney about your options to eliminate this debt altogether.

    Good luck!

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  • Serving Motion to avoid lien in chapter 7 bankruptcy

    I filed bankruptcy PRO SE and need to serve a creditor (tower loan) a motion to avoid lien. Do I need to only serve the registered agent, or do I need to serve both the local branch and the registered agent?

    James’s Answer

    In the Eastern District of Missouri, you will just need to serve the creditor. The rules as suggested by my colleagues are applicable here in adversary proceedings and not motion practice. An action to avoid lien is done by motion. You can find the local rules for serving motions on the court's website as well as the court approved motion to avoid lien.

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  • Can filling bankruptcy interfer with student loans?

    My husband got us into a huge financial mess and I'm starting to think the only way out is bankruptcy. The problem is that i'm still attending college and have to take out student loans to help with tuition and supplies. I started school when I wa...

    James’s Answer

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I know that many times bankruptcy can help relieve just the type of stress that you are describing.

    Now regarding your student loans – in most instances the bankruptcy will not interfere with your ability to borrow for education. This is especially true for federal loans. The US government is prohibited from discriminating against you just because you filed bankruptcy. This includes allowing you to borrow for education. Your existing loans will also not be affected in a manner that would prohibit you from continuing your education.

    Student loan debt is a complex topic of discussion when you are speaking with a bankruptcy attorney. Make sure to hire someone who knows all the facts about student loans and bankruptcy before you hire them.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.
    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    (314) 241-7889 - fax
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw

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  • Car Loans/Car repossession

    If your making some payments, and are TRYING to maintain current balances, but not even 30 days late...can they repossess your vehicle without notice?

    James’s Answer

    You need to look through the terms of your contract. There will be details on there as to how long a lender will wait before repossession. In Missouri, most creditors will give you a notice of default and ask for payment before they repossess. You will get a notice of repossession before it is sold.

    If it is sold, you may be able to get it back through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are having trouble maintaining your debts, it is probably worth a look.

    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw
    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

    See question 
  • Chapter 7 and vehicle co ownership

    My partner and I have split after many years together. We co own a vehicle (title and loan). I make all the payments. I have been letting him use the car (it is in his possesion). He is filing Chapter 7. 1) Is this going to affect my standing w...

    James’s Answer

    Thank you for the question. We frequently get this question in our office posed to us by our clients and the co-debtors of our clients. I will answer each question using the numbers you provided in the original post.

    1. Your standing with the bank and your credit should not be affected. However, careful monitoring of your credit report is necessary. People make mistakes and that includes the employees of the 3 major credit bureaus. You will need to watch your credit report to make sure your partner’s bankruptcy doesn’t sneak its way on to your information.
    2. Your partner had a choice to make when he filed the bankruptcy. He could reaffirm the debt, redeem the collateral, or surrender the vehicle. This means he either re-agrees to the loan and the loan survives bankruptcy, pay a lesser amount for the vehicle through a separate motion and court order, or let the car go. If he surrenders the vehicle or proposes to redeem the vehicle, it would be best to talk to the bank and your partner to make sure your rights in the collateral are represented. Heck, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to the bank even if the car is being reaffirmed.
    3. You protect yourself by doing exactly what you are doing: asking questions and communicating with your bank and the co-signer. Everyone is going to act in their best interests here so it is important to make sure you are involved and understand what is happening.

    Hope this helps and Good Luck.

    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw
    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

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  • Chapter 13

    My x and I bought a car in 2001 and it should have been pd for in 05 and he filled chapter 13on it in 03 and it was discharged in 06 and he recieved the lien release stateing it was pd for, can the loan place come after the x wife 4yrs later in 20...

    James’s Answer

    I am an attorney in St. Louis, so my answer is based on the rules for the Eastern District of Missouri. If the case was filed in a different district, the rules may be different. It would be best to check with the attorney who filed the case to have that question fully answered.

    However, in the Eastern District, there are two ways that he could have gone about it in his plan. He may have protected his co-debtor and paid the whole note off in the plan. If the whole debt was not being paid back or it was paid back at less than the contractual interest rate within the plan, the co-debtor is not necessarily protected. In that case, she may be liable for the difference between what was paid in the bankruptcy and was was due under the note.

    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw
    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

    See question 
  • Can personal ch. 13 bankruptcy affect my business?

    My husband and I need to file Ch 13 bankruptcy on our personal debt. He is co-owners in an incorporated company (S corp). Can our creditors attach themselves to the business in any way? He only received a W2 income from the business and it is ou...

    James’s Answer

    The answer to your question depends on a lot of factors, namely whether the debt associated with the business is personally guaranteed or not. If the business debts are strictly associated with the business and hold no personal guarantee, then the answer is probably no. If, however, the debt was incurred by your husband personally, you may be facing a little more complicated situation. This is exactly the kind of question I would take to a bankruptcy attorney. Getting an hour with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is invaluable, especially if it is free.

    If you need help choosing an attorney, I encourage you to read my article "I'm Searching for Bankruptcy Lawyers in St. Louis. Help!" http://www.castlelaw.net/library/im-searching-for-bankruptcy-lawyers-in-st-louis-mo-help.cfm

    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

    See question 
  • Credit

    How long can company stay on your credit report? How long does a bankruptcy stay on your redit report?

    James’s Answer

    Technically, a bankruptcy can be on your credit report for up to 10 years...but ask yourself this: what will your credit look like if you don't do anything about your debt? If you haven't yet filed bankruptcy and are weary of the effect it will have on your credit, you can take solace in the fact that bankruptcy stops the aging process. Your credit has an opportunity to turn around if you get in control of your debts.

    If you have already filed bankruptcy, remember to practice good credit-building habits in order to make your credit all it can be. If you can't rebuild your credit well enough to buy a house within a few years, the likelihood is that it has nothing to do with an old bankruptcy filing.

    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw
    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

    See question 
  • Is there such thing as Credit Card debt relief available?

    We owe about 10,000.00 in credit card debt and the rates are at about 29%...is there anything we can REALLY do?

    James’s Answer

    You may be looking into debt settlement as an alternative to bankruptcy but I must caution you to be careful. The debt settlement industry is rampant with scams and fraud. If the debt settlement office is legitimate, they can still only attempt to renegotiate your debt. It will probably not wipe out your debt. Plus, a debt settlement office can't protect you from your creditors.

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legitimate solution to credit card debt--and it can protect you from harassment or judgment from your creditors. It is at least worth a look. I actually wrote a book that I offer for free on Missouri bankruptcy. I encourage you to do some research.

    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw
    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

    See question 
  • Can my husband re-file his chapter 13 due to getting hurt on the job, only getting workmans comp.

    My husband was hurt the following month,his chapter 13 was complete. I have tried to keep up the payments on the mortgage, but it is hard with only 66% of his pay. He had to have back surgery, he has been down sense Feb. Is there anything that can...

    James’s Answer

    This is a potential issue for Chapter 13bankruptcy--and it's really great that you knew to ask! I would encourage you to explore chapter 13 as an option to saving your home, but act quickly. As you probably know from your foreclosure letter, your sale date is not far off.

    If you do decide to speak with a bankruptcy attorney about filing Chapter 13 again, make sure you explain the implication of your husband's injury case with a bankruptcy. We are actually one of the few firms that does both Bankruptcy and Personal Injury and we know how complicated it can get.

    Bottom line: You would be best off contacting an attorney soon.

    James R. Brown
    Castle Law Office of St. Louis, P.C.
    500 N. Broadway, Suite 1400
    St. Louis, MO 63102
    (314) 344-0800
    www.CastleLaw.net
    www.twitter.com/James_CastleLaw
    www.facebook.com/CastleLaw

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

    See question