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John N Skiba
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John Skiba’s Answers

91 total


  • I would like to know if i can file suite against our chapter 7 trustee

    A couple years ago my wife was in a horrific car accident that has left her permanantly disabled. When she was able to leave the hospital she needed 24 hour care. I had to take leave from work for months using FMLA with no pay. We lost half of you...

    John’s Answer

    Could you please supplement your question with the reasons you believe you have a claim against the trustee? If it is because the trustee is making a claim towards your settlement, then, so long as the trustee is abiding by the rules, this is property of your bankruptcy estate and something the trustee can go after.

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  • Can we file bankruptcy

    My husband and i are now unemployed, we did a refin 4yrs ago with EMC and out payment are now $1,400.00. we have 2 cars 1 we are making payments of $543.00, per month, our monthly income is 1,400.00 we have utilites to pay no credit cards. But lot...

    John’s Answer

    You can file for bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankrutcy will help you rid yourself of the medical debt and Arizona's exemption laws should be able to protect all of your assets. As for your house and car, if you want to keep them you need to continue to make the payment. If you do not want to keep them you can surrender them through the bankruptcy and have no future liability.

    I am a bankruptcy attorney here in Mesa and would be happy to speak with you if you have further questions.

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  • Can I be sued by a credit card company for an unpaid balance .

    I have an unpaid balance of $1400.00that I can't pay. It is about 150 days old.

    John’s Answer

    Yes you can be sued. However, until they sue you they can't do much more than be annoying (i.e. call you night and day). If they do sue you then you run the risk of garnishment of wages or your bank accounts. If you have additional debts you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see what options it will provide you.

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  • Bankruptcy vs Credit Card Settlements

    I have a lot of credit card debt and could probably pay a settlement of about 50% of my debt. Would the negative impact on my credit be almost as bad as bankruptcy? If thats the case then why would I settle?

    John’s Answer

    A common question I get asked of my clients with significant credit card debt is whether it would be more appropriate to try and settle with the credit card companies or to even hire a debt settlement company to help them negotiate with creditors. Often I have found that the debt settlement route leaves a lot to be desired. If, for instance, you have $25,000 in credit card and would like to try and settle this debt, typically the creditor will settle for 40% – 60% of the total balance owed — and that is if you can pay it in a lump sum. If you want a payment plan you will not get such a discount (and in all likelihood they will not even offer any type of extended payment plan). So with credit card balances of $25,000, you would need $10,000 to $15,000 in order to settle the debt. Another hurdle arises if you have multiple credit cards. If you have 5 credit cards, and can only get 3 of them to settle, you are still left with the other two to pay in full.

    If you don’t feel that you can go it alone in debt settlement, and would like to hire a debt settlement company, it is important to understand how these companies work. In essence debt settlement companies are a way to save the money that is necessary to settle your debts. The debt settlement company will review your debts and estimate what it will take to settle the debt (usually that 40% – 60% number). They will then have you begin submitting a monthly payment to them, which they will then hold until they have sufficient funds to contact your creditors and try and settle the debt.

    It is very important for you to understand that during the time it takes for you to accumulate enough money through the debt settle company to settle the debt, that your creditors will continue their collection efforts against you. This means that they will be reporting negative information to the credit bureaus which will harm your credit, they will continue to call you all of the time, and they may even sue you. Routinely I meet with clients who have hired a debt settlement company, begin making monthly payments to this company, and then are shocked when 5 months down the road they get sued by a credit card company.

    Also, the debt settlement company does not work for free. Often they will take a percentage of the total amount of debt, usually around 15%. So, using our $25,000 number from above, you would be required to pay $3,750 (15% of $25,000), plus the $10,000 to $15,000 to settle the debt. Additionally, your credit has been substantially harmed during the saving period when you are not making your payments. The debt settlement route will damage your credit and you will be required to pay $13,750 up to $18,750 to settle a $25,000 debt (assuming you can even come up with that money).

    In contrast, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop all collection efforts against you the moment your case is filed. The Bankruptcy Code provides for an automatic stay to be issued which stops any lawsuits, repossessions, foreclosures, demand letters, and even telephone calls (yes, the calls will stop!). Further, in most Chapter 7 cases, there is $0 paid to you credit cards. No long drawn out repayment process, and no risk of being sued during your bankruptcy. Finally, the legal fees for filing bankruptcy in Arizona typically are about $2,000 plus another $500 in costs. In comparison, debt settlement will costs you any were from $13,750 to $18,750 while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will likely run about $2,500, total.

    .

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  • Who has rights to take exempt assets in Az.

    how and when could exempt assets be affected outside of divorce or bankruptcy in AZ.

    John’s Answer

    Exempt assets will not be affected during bankruptcy. You should contact a divorce law attorney in regards to any possible impact during a divorce proceeding.

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  • Do the az exemption statutes for property only apply to bankruptcy cases or for all debt collections.

    have debt cant pay only assets are car which was not used as collateral and is paid for and i rent dont own anything but clothes and etc. no luxury items. my only income is social security. can creditor or collectors take my car

    John’s Answer

    They apply in all debt collection scenarios, not just bankruptcy.

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  • Can a lien holder (ex-spouse, not a bank) override the protection of a homestead on a home that has no mortgage?

    Can a forced sale take place?

    John’s Answer

    It depends on how much equity you have in the home. The homestead exemption in Arizona protects up to $150,000 in equity in your home. So if the house is worth $150,000 or less, then no they would not be able to forelcose on the home. However, if your home is worth more than $150,000, say it is worth $200,000, then they could foreclose on their lien, pay you $150,000 from the proceeds of any sale, and then applie the rest to paying the underlying debt.

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  • Need an attorney in Tucson, AZ.

    I have a hearing coming up in October for garnishment. The garnishment was stayed until then. I am fighting the garnishment on the grounds of identity theft, but really have no clue what to do now. I don't really know what kind of lawyer I'm looki...

    John’s Answer

    You may want to check with the state bar for a consumer attorney. You can also do a search at the website for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), www.nacba.org .

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  • If I give a residential land investment back to the bank, what can they do to me?

    Can they obtain a judgement or lien on my home, savings, retirement plan, car, land I own free and clear, etc.

    John’s Answer

    The land will typically go through a trustee's sale here in Arizona. If there is a balance still owing, then they can sue you for that balance. Once they obtain a judgment against you, they can record it and it will act as a lien on any real estate in your name in that particular county. They can also garnishment bank accounts and wages.

    Bankruptcy will get rid of this type of "deficiency judgment" and they will not be able to collect on it.

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  • Sign paper work for trustee to recieced tax return they stated if not claimed by creditors it would be given back at oercentage

    need answer please

    John’s Answer

    In Arizona a few of the trustees will have you sign a document at your meeting of creditors whereby you are agreeing to turnover your tax refund to them. After they receive it they will run the calculations to determine which part of it belongs to you and which part of it belongs to your creditors. The balance, if any, will be refunded to you.

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