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Jacqueline L Rambo

Jacqueline Rambo’s Answers

15 total


  • BK7 creditors meeting, Do you need to have an attorney present and what is the processes after the meeting.

    I cant afford to pay my attorney more money and the creditors meeting is in a few days. Do I need an attorney at this meeting? What is the process after this meeting.

    Jacqueline’s Answer

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    It sounds like you hired an attorney to handle your case so they should appear at the hearing with you. Unless you only paid the attorney for a consultation or for some other limited capacity assistance, the Arizona courts require the attorney of record to appear at the hearing with you, or to at least arrange another attorney to cover it for them. The bankruptcy trustee (and ultimately the judge) will not be happy with your attorney if he/she fails to appear. Call your attorney in advance to confirm whether or not they will appear, and to get information about the hearing.

    I agree that some law firms, such as those on television don't communicate with clients. I've seen them just appear at the hearing without ever speaking with the client previously and the client had no idea what to expect at the hearing. It's truly unbelievable! I'm so sorry if that happens to you. The trustee will probably postpone the hearing if your attorney doesn't appear. However, you can do it without your attorney if allowed and if you feel comfortable. Otherwise, just request that it be postponed. In case you can't reach your attorney prior to the hearing, you need to know that you're required to bring your driver's license (or other ID) and your social security card (or other original proof of your SS# such as a W-2 form), because the trustee will not conduct your hearing without them.

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  • I am wiring money through my current bank to a foreign country will my Credit Card Banks know about it ?

    Would my Credit Card banks be able to attach those funds ? We are over 67 years old and unable to work, living on our Social Security and can no longer pay our credit card payments. Would they be able to come to the foreign country and attach...

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    I agree with the other response provided. It's usually not a good idea to transfer funds elsewhere with the intention of keeping it out of the reach of your creditors. It sounds like a good idea, but the consequences can be significant so it usually isn't worth it, especially since there is a legal way to protect yourself, which would be the better course of action. You also don't want to have to live like a fugitive in hiding from your creditors.

    Social Security income is exempt (i.e., protected) from creditors attaching/garnishing it. However, after receiving the funds, the exemption can be lost in certain situations so it's important to maintain the funds properly to preserve the exemption, which can be done. That being said, once a creditor has a judgment against you, your bank accounts can be levied since the creditor has no way of knowing whether the funds in the account are exempt or not. You would have recourse to get the funds back IF the funds are exempt (remember the exemption can sometimes be lost), but it would be a complicated legal proceeding to accomplish it. It's better to just protect the funds properly to begin with so you don't have to go through that. The judgment creditor may also be able to attach other assets as well, which can also often be avoided.

    I don't know your entire situation of course, but based on what I'm gathering so far, there are ways to protect yourself, while simultaneously cleaning up the financial messiness, which will give you a fresh start and you won't have to feel like a fugitive.

    It would be highly beneficial for you to speak with a debt/bankruptcy attorney in your area before you do anything.

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  • When do I have to pay interest on the judgment?

    I have judgment against me since March, 2011. It has not been paid. When do I have to pay an interest? Is it charged as of January 1, 2012 or as of March, 2012?

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    I agree with the answer above regarding looking at the judgment itself and the state statutes to determine the date. There could be a distinction between the date interest begins to accrue, versus the date the payment is due. Typically, interest begins to accrue immediately following the entry of the judgment and will continue to accrue (usually monthly) until it's paid. And, unless a payment structure is specified in the judgment or by state law (unlikely under state law), payment in full is probably due immediately following the judgment as well. In that event, you should communicate with the lender to make installment payments arrangements as soon as possible. Otherwise, if they haven't already done so, they will pursue collection activity against you, such as garnishing wages, levying bank accounts, placing liens on assets, etcetera.. Making payment arrangements doesn't guarantee they won't pursue those options but it's your best shot at avoiding it.

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  • After a secured debt has been discharged, can a lender still report negative marks on my credit report?

    I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2007. In my papers I marked that I would reassume my first and second mortage. Both lenders did not reaffirm the debt with me, but I continued to pay on both notes and continued to live in my home. My home in now...

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    No, the lender won't report delinquent payments to the credit bureaus because the debt has been discharge in the bankruptcy. Likewise, the lender also won't be report your timely payments either, so you're not getting credit for the payments. I agree with the answer above that one option is to let the house go and wait out the time to buy something else. It will take some time before the foreclosure occurs and you can live there even though you're not making payments. I've had many clients who lived there a year or more while not making payments. You'll walk away with a nice chunk of change in your bank account. Sometimes the owner will even pay you cash-for-keys ($1000-$3000) to get you to voluntarily move out, rather than having to evict you, after the foreclosure occurs. So, this is not a bad option. Just know that a foreclosure will appear as another ding on your credit report though, so it's going to be that much harder to rebuild your credit score. Another option is to let the 2nd mortgage go delinquent for few months and then make the lender a settlement offer of a few thousand dollars. They know it's the most they're going to get because they can't sue you, and foreclosing would be worthless, and the value of the house isn't going to appreciate for many years, so sometimes they're interested in taking whatever they can get and running. 2nd mortgages are only getting a few thousand dollars on short-sales so this is really no different in their eyes. In fact, they know they're lucky to get it because they'd get nothing if they, or the first mortgage forecloses. So, you have leverage here. If they're willing to settle then you need to get the settlement in writing, and you need to make sure the agreement includes a provision that states they will release the lien they have against the house. And you need to make sure they actually do it. If they will do this, then you have just wiped out your 2nd mortgage completely. And, they shouldn't be reporting any of that on your credit because the debt was discharged. If they do, then you should dispute it.

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  • DO YOU HAVE TO LIST A DEBT IF YOUR JUST AN AUTHORIZED USER?

    I WAS AN AUTHORIZED USER ON MY SON'S ACCOUNT.HE FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY A WHILE BACK AND IT HAS SINCE THEN BEEN CLOSED.IT STILL SHOWS UP ON MY CREDIT REPORT.WHAT SHOULD I DO?

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Corbin's answer and want to add an additional comment. Your bankruptcy will discharge (i.e., eliminate) the debt only as to your obligation to pay it, so your son will still be liable for it. Your bankruptcy won't impact your son's credit report since he isn't filing bankruptcy. However, I have sometimes seen it show on the other person's report (i.e., your son) that the account was in bankruptcy so that can be confusing. It won't be factored into his credit score, but anyone looking at his report will see that bankruptcy notation. He needs to pull his credit report at least 60 days after you file to see if the bankruptcy notation appears. He can get free reports for all three credit bureaus once a year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. If the bankruptcy information appears on any of the reports, then he should enter a personal message on his credit report explaining that it was the joint account holder's bankruptcy, not his. He can do that directly on the credit bureau's website.

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  • Bankruptcy

    If I have high debts, and file bankruptcy, will my house mtg. be affected? If so, can i quick claim the deed to my wife?

    Jacqueline’s Answer

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    I agree with the responses, that you should need transfer title to anyone else. Your house will most likely not be affected by the bankruptcy. It depends on how much equity you have in your house and how long you have owned it. If you have owned it a long time, then $150,000 of equity is exempt (protected) in Arizona. If you haven't owned it very long then only $125,000 is exempt. If you have more equity than that, then you have an issue and your property might have to be liquidated (sold) in order to pull the money out to pay creditors, in a Chapter 7 that is. You would receive the first $150,000 cash though. That won't happen in a Chapter 13.

    If you have no equity in the home then it's not an issue and the trustee will not go after it so it's safe. That being said, if your payments are delinquent then you will have to get the payments current soon if you file chapter 7 or the lender will be able to take the property back. If you file chapter 13 then you can pay the delinquencies through the payment plan over time.

    As the others mentioned, you should consult with a local attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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  • I am planning on filing bankruptcy, but I own an LLC, what will this do to my company?

    I am not the sole owner of the company, there are two others who are not blood relations as registered owners, will that matter at all? Would it be beneficial to redo the company into a Corporation before filing bankruptcy?

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    I agree you must list your ownership interest in your bankruptcy schedules. Taking it one step further, your interest in the company is a non-exempt asset in Arizona, which means that it is not protected from creditors. In other words, you could lose it. So for instance, if your ownership interest is valued at $25,000 then the Trustee (person who administers your case) is entitled to collect $25,000 from you and will divide the funds between your creditors. In order to liquidate your ownership interest (i.e., sell it to convert it to cash), the Trustee can either sell it to a third party, or sell it to the other LLC owners, or sell it back to you. That means you can keep your ownership interest but you will have to pay for it. Determining the value can get complicated. If the business has considerable assets or income then a business appraisal might be needed. If it makes moderate income, then it can possibly be determined from tax records, profit & loss statements, equipment value, etcetera. If the business doesn't have much activity, owes more debts than assets, and/or is obviously not really worth anything, then that should be easy to demonstrate and your interest could be valued at zero. If your interest is valued at zero then none of this matters and you won't lose anything. You should consult with a local attorney to assess your specific situation.

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  • Do I include my home in the Bankruptcy or short sale my home?

    Current on payments at this time What will be best in regards to my credit?

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    I agree that for purposes of your credit score, it doesn't matter whether you do a short sale or surrender it in the bankruptcy because your score is shot either way. (Incidentally, if a Notice of Trustee's Sale was filed, then it's not just a surrender, it's still a foreclosure.) However, for purposes beyond your credit score, I do think a short sale is a little better. What I mean is, lenders are looking at more than your credit score. They also look at the activity. There is no way to predict what their opinion of these things will be in the years to come, but my guess is that they will frown on a bankruptcy surrender/foreclosure more than they will frown on a short sale because you at least took some action to handle the situation in a short sale. The down side is that you might have tax consequences in a short sale, and might even still be liable for the deficiency balance. You definitely need advice from a local attorney about your options.

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  • Foreclosed on home-now live w/parents but own land w/o a home on it. Can we claim the property as exempt?

    We foreclosed on our home months ago and now live in our travel trailer parked on our parents property. We own land that doesn't allow mobile homes (must be site built) so we cannot live on the property at this time. Can we claim the property as o...

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    You cannot claim the property exempt in a bankruptcy since you do not live on the property. That means the property would be part of your bankruptcy estate and the Trustee (the person who administers your case) would want to liquidate it and pay your creditors. You would have a choice of allowing the property to be sold to a third party at auction, or buying the property yourself, so you don't necessarily have to lose it if you're attached to it.

    Your trailer is considered personal property and you can probably claim it under the vehicle exemption statute. The vehicle exemption statute is $5,000 for each spouse, so if you're not married, you can exempt $5,000, and if you are married you can claim $10,000. If the fair market value of the trailer is less than the $5,000 or $10,000 exemption, then the asset is totally protected. If the value is higher than the exemption you will have the same choice as mentioned above. It can be sold to a third party at auction. You get the first $5,000 or $10k and the Trustee gets the rest. Or, you can pay the Trustee the amount over and above the exemption and keep the trailer.

    These answers assume there is equity in the property and trailer (i.e., the value is greater than any loan balance owed). If the loan balance is equal to or greater than the value then you have no equity. In that event, you don't even need an exemption statute because there is nothing for the Trustee to liquidate. You will simply have the choice of surrendering the asset and discharging (eliminating) the debt, or keeping the asset and continuing to pay on the loan.

    If there is equity on the property, then it will be sold to a third party, or you can pay the Trustee the value of the equity and keep the property. If there is equity in the trailer and it's greater than your available exemption, then you could pay that difference to the Trustee or let it be sold at auction and you would get the first $5k or $10k. If the equity in the trailer is less than your exemption, then the Trustee has no interest in it.

    That being said, if you are a risk of losing the assets there are some things you can do to prevent it. You should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney for further information.

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  • Do Credit Card companies have to keep proof of a person's having agreed to be a "co-borrower" and provide it if asked? a law?

    Our son added my wife and me to his 2 Visa Cards as "authorized signers" in 2002, but B of A has somehow started showing us as "co-borrowers" and his high balances are damaging our credit score, although he pays on time. B of A refuses to provid...

    Jacqueline’s Answer

    If your son defaulted on his payments, the bank would certainly sue him AND you. In order to prevail and get a judgment against you, the bank would have to prove that you are legally liable, which means they would have to produce the contract you signed (or some kind of evidence). So, one would think that they would WANT to keep these records for as long as the account exists. That means that if you signed such a document, I'm sure they would still have it, unless they lost it or it was destroyed. The person you spoke to was not thinking in these terms. He/she was referring to the legal requirements of how long they legally HAVE to retain documents, which I don't know the answer to. However, my guess is that it's longer than 5 years. But again, what they HAVE to do is different from what they would WANT to do, so I'm not buying the claim that they don't have it. They will be required to produce it during the discovery phase of the lawsuit. And if they can't produce it then they will not be able to prove that you're liable, unless they have some other evidence beyond that.

    That being said, I can tell you that I used to work in the BofA credit card center so I have experience with this. If people called and asked to add someone to the account, there was no option to just add them as authorized signers. If they were added to the account, they became legally liable as far as we were concerned. I don't know if anything was mailed out informing them of that though. And you might not even remember if you received something or not. If they don't send out something, then from a legal perspective I don't see how they can enforce it in court.

    I suggest filing a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's Office. You can do it right on their website. This is right up their alley so you might get somewhere there. You might also try contacting those news reporters who do stories like this. Banks don't usually like that type of attention. And of course you can always try the lawsuit. All you really need to do is file the case and then issue the subpeona right away. If they produce evidence that proves you're liable then you could just dismiss the case and not take it any further. But if they can't produce the evidence then you might want to take it all the way. You should consult a local attorney about this for further information.

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