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Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Sinclair’s Answers

8,020 total


  • I won in a small claims court 10 months ago and the lady was ordered to pay $1300. She has not contacted me to pay. Whas next?

    I won my small claims court almost 1 year ago (the lady didn't even show up to court & tried to manipulate court files the day before sending them to my house saying the court date had changed! I still went to court...the court date had NOT chang...

    Paula’s Answer

    Most respectfully, it is unreasonable to expect a judgment debtor to make an effort to contact you. Most often it is the judgment creditor who must rather aggressively execute the judgment. That process is not very intuitive, and the assistance of experienced counsel is typically needed. Where the judgment debtor is an attorney, collection may become particularly difficult. Contact local experienced litigation counsel for collection assistance (and ask whether the judgment debtor's false claim that the court date had been changed should be reported as a complaint to the Bar.)

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Can someone do something to lose social security?

    Not disability but the one you get at age 62 or whatever. At whatever age you are to collect it. Retirement Insurance Benefits. Can someone lose that? If so how?

    Paula’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Social Security "early" retirement benefits are subject to limitations related to earned income. All Social Security wageearner benefits are suspended if the worker is incarcerated for thirty (30) days or more. Here is the link to the official Social Security publication on this subject: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10133.pdf

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • What document would I need in case something happens to me?

    I am the guardian of a two year old boy. What document would I need to allow his paternal grandmother to take custody of him in the case of something happening to me? Also what document would I need to allow her to take him to medical appointments...

    Paula’s Answer

    If "something happens to you," meaning death, the guardianship of the child would need to be reconsidered by the court that appointed you. In a last will and testament, you can state your preferences for a successor, but that is just a nomination, and it will be the court that decides who will success you as guardian. For assistance while you are alive, the document would be a power of attorney, but there is no specific form to meet the needs you describe. The assistance of local experienced family counsel will be needed.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Do you need to send these forms to the court for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or do they prepare them?

    Form B205 Notice to Creditors Form B9A

    Paula’s Answer

    These forms are prepared, filed, and served, by court clerks or Bankruptcy Noticing Center.

    Most respectfully, you are over your head. if you are attempting to navigate bankruptcy procedure without skilled legal assistance you are risking costly and highly unwelcome consequences. Bankruptcy is a minefield of opportunity for irrevocable self-inflicted injury. Find a way to retain enough assistance to avoid disaster.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answe.r

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  • We have just finished a settlement meeting. Why do I have to pay for all my attorney's fee?

    My husband filed for a divorce. We were married for almost 8 yrs. He's on a retirement age, self employed & stillworking, he has 401K & does his own investment. We live in a house worth less than a million dollar, he bought a house in Costa Rica w...

    Paula’s Answer

    This public forum is ill-suited to advising strategy in a specific case. That is what flesh-and-blood attorneys are for, and you have one. For virtual attorneys to second-guess your personal attorney's advice will not help you.

    What we can do here is offer reliable information about the law and legal procedure. To that end, we can say as a general rule that assets acquired prior to a marriage in a community property state are separate property and, unless transmuted in character during the marriage, are not subject to division in a divorce. How much community property a party properly receives in that divorce may be affected by the amount of joint debt the other party assumes. The ongoing income of the other party will be highly relevant in the determination of mandatory child support and spousal support (alimony), if allowed for such a short marriage under state law. And, yes, your attorney is entitled to be paid for the services she provided you.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Me and my girl friend have car loan and both are on the loan if we break up who gets the car and who gets to pay the loan

    She is a single mom no other vehicle and I have a car leased through my company that I work for

    Paula’s Answer

    Too much information is missing here. Whose name is on the title? If just one name, that person owns the car. Who is liable on the note? That is the persons who "gets to pay the note," and if more than one name, each is fully liable to pay off the car.

    Here is a life lesson: unmarried persons who buy valuable things together "on time" create for themselves a substantial risk of losing possession of the collateral while remaining fully liable to complete paying for it. The legal status of marriage creates a structure for sorting out such ownership rights and payment responsibilities that simply does not exist outside of a marriage.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Is there a way to protect our assets from a nursing home seizing them should we need care prior to our deaths?

    We own our home, a house in the mountains, 2 rental properties, money in the bank, and IRA's. We are in our mid 70's and in fairly good health. We have 5 children, and we would like to find a way to protect all we have from a nursing home seizing...

    Paula’s Answer

    It is a too widely-held myth that someone confiscates property when nursing home care is needed. This is just not how it works.

    The Medicaid program pays for medical care needed by the elderly and disabled who have little in income and assets. Federal law and regulations impose eligibility penalties where persons "self- impoverish," that is, give away valuable assets. Further, giving away assets surrenders control over those assets.

    Here is another point of view: where is the fairness in expecting the taxpayers to pay for your care so your children can inherit your assets?

    For the needed detailed analysis of your situation, consult with an experienced local elder law attorney. Be prepared to pay a reasonable fee for the valuable information you will receive.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept,and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Do I need to hire an attorney?

    Hi, I was caught shoplifting in Walmart yesterday and it was 35 dollars worth of merchandise. They had to call the police and he gave me a citation and a court date. I want to know if I will need an attorney or will one be appointed for me? I also...

    Paula’s Answer

    No, you do not NEED to hire counsel; you will be allowed to put your future at risk all by yourself. You WANT counsel, and as soon as possible, because your future-- especially employability-- is at risk.

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  • Is there any way I am eligible for ssdi if I was denied once for not enough credits in the past 5 years?

    I live in NY state. My doctor has listed me as permanently disabled due to cancer and fractured vertebrae .I am 53 years old and was self employed for 15 of the last 16years and did not pay into social security. I did pay in for the previous 20...

    Paula’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You have my sympathy for your sympathetic medical condition, but you have placed yourself in a difficult decision legally.

    Social Security is an insurance program where premiums are paid by workers (and their employers) in the form of payroll taxes. Persons who are self-employed are required by law to pay the "self-employment" tax, through which the self-employed pays both the employer and employee half. Once a person has earned 40 "covered quarters" by paying the proper taxes, benefits for retirement and survivors have been earned. For disability benefits at least 20 of those covered quarters must have been earned in the 40 calendar quarters immediately preceding the onset of disability. Where a person works steadily and then stops, this creates a window of 5 years within which the worker is covered for Social Security disability benefits. Under IRS regulations, income tax returns can be amended to add and pay self-employment tax liability, but only three years back-- not enough to acquire the 20 quarters now needed.

    The Supplemental Security Income program does not require such coverage, but as a welfare program, is limited to persons with very little in income and assets.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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  • Can Child Protective Services come and take your children when the mother is going to jail but children are with family

    My daughter is a felon for fraud for a few years now and she's been going back to jail and they never took the kids before they've been having problems with the oldest granddaughter of mine and she was taken she was abusive to my daughter also and...

    Paula’s Answer

    Child Protective Services are not required to do anything when they find a child "in imminent danger" due to abuse or neglect except take custody, provide appropriate care and immediately take the matter before the magistrate court in a proceeding called "shelter care hearing." Parents of the child(ren) are entitled to notice of that hearing. A man who believes himself to be the natural father, but who has not legally established his paternity, does not have those rights. By and by, the children will be placed in foster care, which can be with family members if the placement is determined to be safe for the child. Parents, but not grandparents, may be entitled to legal representation by the Office of Public Defender, but grandparents who want to participate in the process benefit greatly from retaining private counsel. This legal procedure is highly state-specific, so attorneys licensed elsewhere should not be relied on for accurate information.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

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