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Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Harkess’s Answers

8,049 total


  • Can we lose our house? We have enough equity in that house. She does not care for her credit score at this point. What can we do

    Collection Agency told me on 2/1/16 that my wife owes $34,000 for credit card bills. She has not been working for last 8 yrs. So she does not have money to pay back and she is also mentally challenged. So what is the worst thing that can happen? P...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It is extremely unlikely that you will lose the house due to this debt. While it is possible (and likely) for the creditor to sue your wife, obtain a judgment, and record it against your house, it is very unlikely (although theoretically possible) that a credit card judgment holder will actually foreclose on the judgment. The judgment will probably sit until you want to refinance or sell the house - at which point it will need to be paid (with interest).

    Depending on the amount of equity in the house (and other factors) a bankruptcy filing might make sense.

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  • How can a traffic attorney help? With the help of a attorney can I just pay a fine without going to court.

    I was at fault for a traffic accident on 12/19/2015 ticketed 4 points for following too closely. At court on 2/3/2016 it was lowered to 2 points at failure to yield with a $250 fine. On the way to court on 2/3 I was at fault for another accident...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It is possible that the road conditions are noted on the copy of the ticket the police officer turned into the prosecutor. You would need to review the prosecutor's file to see this.

    On a careless driving ticket, you will be required to appear. A jail sentence is possible, but unlikely. An attorney can usually help things go more smoothly and and attorney may be able to obtain a better plea, but you will have to decide whether hiring counsel is worth the cost in this case. You should definitely retain an attorney if the points on this case are enough to cause a license suspension. That is a situation where a lawyer can often make the difference when talking with the prosecutor.

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  • Do I need a lawyer? Am I in the right? Need advice/ maybe a lawyer

    Here's the short and skinny of it... I am going to court next week against my landlord .I am the defendant...on Jan 5th are landlord put a demand for rent on our door we contacted on the 6th and they said it was a accounting accident and that are ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you can show that the original 3 day notice was incorrect and the landlord never gave you a notice to cure when the check bounced, then you should be able to prevent eviction. If you are successful, you should be able to get the judge to award you your filing fee.

    You always have the right to act as your own lawyer, but it is easier to proceed with someone with experience. It certainly wouldn't hurt to hire an attorney to consult with you.

    You do need to pay what you owe (rent and late fees) as soon as possible or you can expect to receive a new 3-day notice and have to start all over.

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  • My question is what steps do I need to take to protect myself?

    I just bought a house with my girlfriend/common law wife. We have a 4 year old son together. I sold my old house and made a good amount from it to provide a good down payment on our new house (new build) and needed appliances, She qualified for th...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The truth is that what you really need is a time machine. You needed to think about protecting yourself before you bought the house. You should have ensured that you were married or that you had worked out a detailed written agreement regarding the house before you bought it. Thinking about this after you and your girlfriend began having problems is way late.

    The first thing you probably need to figure out is whether she is your girlfriend or your wife. Further, if she is your wife, when did she become your wife? You can see the guide I created or other questions and answers to see what a common-law marriage actually entails. If you actually have a marriage, then you need a divorce. If the house was purchased during the marriage, you can sort out what is to be done with it during the divorce process.

    If you are not really married, then you need to sit down and discuss your situation with your girlfriend and see if the two of you can reach a fair agreement regarding the house and what is to be done with it. Hopefully that will work, because if it doesn't you are in a real mess.

    If she is not your wife and you cannot reach a sensible agreement, then you will have to figure out some legal theory under which you have some actual interest in a house that is only in her name. This will require an examination of what discussions, if any, you had about your contributions to the down payment on her house and what discussions, if any, you had about how you might get repaid if the house were ever sold. That is going to be a real mess and you will probably need to hire an attorney to help you through it. With $100,000+ on the line, you cannot afford to try to figure it out yourself.

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  • Can i use my phone conversations that i have with her in divorce court..

    I'm getting ready to go through a divorce, and trying to find out if theres any way she can take the house.we have around 45 to 50000 dollars in marital loans together..i am asking that the house be sold and the equity from the house pay off the l...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The phone recordings might be admissible, but they may not be relevant to your case. Additionally, you may end up with a requirement that you turn over ALL your recordings to your ex so you'll need to be prepared to deal with anything in the recordings regardless of who they benefit.

    If you have significant assets at stake, you really shouldn't be playing lawyer. You should retain an experienced family law attorney to represent you.

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  • Can an personal email sent and a copy a check cashed out on my name for materials help me to prove in court i was in charge?

    I am contractor i do roofing and painting, i an new to doing this on my own. this is the situation, a guy who did some work for me as a subcontractor called me and told someone he knows was needing some work ( a friend of his ) so he asked me if ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Hopefully the first thing you have learned is that you actually need to have a written contract for each job that you do. This is only one of many problems you are going to run into if you continue to operate without clear written contracts.

    The email and checks are certainly relevant evidence. Whether it will be enough will depend on exactly what the arguments are that are presented to the Court.

    I'm not clear what you expect the Defendant's position to be. If the guy you knew comes to testify that he was in charge and you were his employee, then you might consider suing him for wages. How much is he going to testify that he paid you? How can he prove that? It seems that if he testifies that you were his employee and he can't prove that he paid you, then you have a decent wage claim.

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  • Can someone move out of state, and take expensive furniture I lent them w/an agreement to return it? Do they legally own it now?

    I received this email from my stepfather: "This authorizes the transfer of the french mahogany dining room table and chairs to the ownership of L___ L____ on Sept 16th, 2012 to be sold as she wills for monies claimed. Signed by SF and mother". I b...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you can prove that you owned the furniture in the first place and that it was given to someone with the expectation that they would give it back, then you still own it.

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  • Do I own the property or not? Is there a statute of limitations on a Bankruptcy court order? Thank You much.

    In 1991 I filed for chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Denver, Co and it was granted. One of my assets were 2 vacant lots and they were ordered sold by the court but apparently never was. I was made aware of this when I received a clean up bill from the city...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It is impossible to know without reviewing your bankruptcy case, but it certainly sounds like you own the property.

    Generally the bankruptcy court does not require property to be sold. It is likely that the court granted the Trustee permission to sell the property, but if the Trustee ultimately found that he (or she) could not realize any significant net proceeds from the sale, the Trustee might have ultimately abandoned the property. If this happened, then the property would revert back to you and no longer belong to the bankruptcy estate.

    What you should do is to get a copy of your bankruptcy filing from the Bankruptcy Court and sit down with an attorney to review it and explain what happened.

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  • Should we take the plea?

    In a nutshell, my mom passed. My brother felt like the neighbor had information but wasn't saying, as he did state that he went to my moms between 2am-6am. She was said to have passed around 3am. My brother knocked on the door and he didn't answer...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The plea he was offered is a reduction from the charges he is facing. Whether it can be reduced any further is impossible to know without a review of the prosecutor's discovery file and a discussion with your brother. He certainly made a mistake, but the charges are serious and he shouldn't be handling this on his own. He should definitely consult with an attorney.

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  • Will the owners face charges for this and if so, who will bring charges against them? Do I have any rights as a tenant?

    I am a renter in Colorado and my house is located on top of old, undermined coal mines. The owner wants to demolish my house and build an admin building for his business and sent a survey crew out, then a backhoe operator and a drilling truck and ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The backhoe operator and/or drilling crew will certainly be liable for the cost of repairing the gas line. I don't believe the incident affects your rights as a tenant. What you have posted does not indicate that you have a worthwhile claim to bring against anyone.

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