Matthew Scott Berkus’s Answers

Matthew Scott Berkus

Denver Bankruptcy Attorney.

Contributor Level 20
  1. I have gotten conflicting advice. When will a federal direct student loan (collection account) fall off my credit report?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Ryan Berrard Moran
    3. Peter N Munsing
    4. Manuel Alzamora Juarez
    4 lawyer answers

    First, understand that if the loans disappear from your credit report doesn't mean you don't owe them. Credit reporting and federal student loans are somewhat of a gray area. FCRA does have rules related to how long accounts stay on a credit report, it is 7 years for collection accounts, 7 years for original accounts from when the account went past due. The problem is the underlying liability to pay the student loan never expires. When a new servicer inherits the account, its not clear they are...

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  2. Should I buy a car before filing chapter 13 bankruptcy?

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Lisa Torelli McCue
    3. Sandra A Kuhn Esq.
    4. Brett D Weiss
    5. Jan Ingham Berlage
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    Nothing wrong with doing some planning for a chapter 13 bankruptcy. A common pre-filing maneuver is for the debtor to obtain updated or additional, needed transportation. In general, the monthly payment should be less than (much less than $400 per month). The key question is affordability and the eventual feasibility of your chapter 13 plan. Also, the other problem is the equity exemption allowed in your state. Before going out and buying a car, hire your attorney first and allow him or her to...

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  3. Will I loose my 2014 tax refund in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

    Answered about 1 month ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Mark E Henze
    3. Derek Wade Freeman
    4. George Tchavdarov Dimitrov
    4 lawyer answers

    If the trustee hasn't asked you for a copy of your 2014 tax return (not the refund, but a copy of the return you will file with the IRS) then I wouldn't worry about it. As for the rest, the wage exemption is 75%. So the trustee, gets 25% of earned, but unpaid wages due at the time of filing. As for shares given to you by the company, that is a deeper analysis than can be done on this forum...to hard to say based on the information given. Bottom line, if the trustee asks for it, you have two...

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  4. How do I get my mortgage company to report my payments to the credit agencies after filing Chapter 7?

    Answered 11 months ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Deborah F Bowinski
    3. Nathan D McKinney
    4. Dorothy G Bunce
    5. Blake Owen Brewer
    6. ···
    7 lawyer answers

    Your question is almost a daily occurrence on this website. Short answer, you can't get them to report payment history. Here is my article that answers it. http://www.mattberkus.com/blog/reaffirm-a-mortgage-refinance/ You will establish new credit. See my AVVO guide below about rebuilding credit after bankruptcy.

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  5. Will cashing out a retirement plan affect converting a chapter 13 bankruptcy to a chapter 7? Can they garnish it?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Stephen Clark Harkess
    2. Matthew Scott Berkus
    3. Deborah F Bowinski
    4. Gary D. Bollinger
    5. Eric S Reed
    5 lawyer answers

    Get with an attorney before you do anything. Retirement accounts are 100% protected in Colorado. However, once you cash it out, the money becomes fair game for the bankruptcy trustee.

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  6. Our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy was discharged in September 2005 and it appears that Countrywide lost the Reaffirmation

    Answered 5 months ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Neil Evan Schwartz
    3. Christine Sarah Hansley
    4. Karla Burgos
    4 lawyer answers

    Hopefully the reaffirmation was never filed. Thank you lucky stars if it wasn't. As stated, you may be able to look up your bankruptcy case on PACER. www.pacer.gov. Once in there, you will want to look at the Docket Report and see if you can find the order approving the reaffirmation agreement. You mortgage bank is lying to you. If they are saying you cannot refi because you didn't reaffirm, that is a bold face lie. Go to mortgage broker (not your bank) and let an experienced broker...

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  7. Is it a violation of 11 U.S.C. sect. 524 to pursue a new cause of action against a discharged debtor for fraud in the petition?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Herbert Weinberg
    3. Michael Avanesian
    4. Dorothy G Bunce
    4 lawyer answers

    Frankly, doesn't sound like much of case, so whether it would be a violation of 524 is not the issue. I don't think you will get very far with a suit for this alleged "deceit." You ultimately have the responsibility to protect your rights. The debtor and debtor's attorney are not responsible to you for protecting your claim. So, that case is extremely thin (read, there is nothing to it based on what you described). As for the home. The fact that the home is in wife's name, but mortgage is...

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  8. What are the key differences between Ch 7 and Ch 13, pros and cons of each and which would you recommend given my situation?

    Answered 17 days ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Barbie Dawn Lieber
    3. Blake Owen Brewer
    4. David Eli Larson
    5. James R Tschudy
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    This forum really can't provide you with a full on consultation, and that is what you are really asking for. Use the find a lawyer section of this website and schedule some consultations with bankruptcy lawyers in your area...most consultations are free. Here are few points relevant to your situation. 1. Your 2013 and 2014 taxes would not be discharged (eliminated) in a bankruptcy. 2. You may have too much equity in your house, you need to confirm NY's homestead exemption. 3. If you...

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  9. Would I better off declaring bankruptcy or just ignoring credit card debt which I can't afford to pay?

    Answered about 2 months ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. Wayne Greenwald
    3. Dorothy G Bunce
    4. James R Tschudy
    5. Robert Parkinson Taylor
    6. ···
    7 lawyer answers

    Ignoring a problem is never a solution. Also, this statement is TOTALLY FALSE, "I was going to declare bankruptcy, but then realized that it might not help me repair my credit any faster than just not paying." Having unpaid debts that linger for years is NEVER better for your credit and is way worse than filing bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy CURES your debt problem. Ignoring will only compound it. Late payments, charge offs, collection accounts, then judgments...what idiot website were you...

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  10. For taxes, I owe around $9,000 because I am self employed. If I pay the IRS is the 9k avoidable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    Answered 4 months ago.

    1. Matthew Scott Berkus
    2. David John Rausa
    3. Richard L. Blumenthal
    4. Timothy George McFarlin
    5. Peter Maurice Lively
    6. ···
    7 lawyer answers

    Technically the payment is a preference, but if the tax debt would be a priority claim in your case or is a secured claim (because of a tax lien), the trustee wont care because he would end up giving the money back to the IRS. Exemptions dont matter because you cannot exempt preference (even with wild cards).

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