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Matthew Erik Johnson
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Matthew Johnson’s Answers

1,587 total


  • Do I start probate

    Concerning (5) 10,000 bonds my Father was given these bond from a woman he lived as MAN and wife for over 18 years she proceeded him in death there were copies of the bonds she inherited them from a man that she either married or lived with after ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    As the other attorneys have mentioned, attorney fees will typically come from the estate itself at the conclusion of the estate. Getting an attorney will be important though, as probate can be very difficult for those who don't do it every day.

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  • Are worker compensation insurance premiums owed to a state agency dis-chargeable in chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    The agency is the EXCLUSIVE source for worker comp insurance in the state.

    Matthew’s Answer

    The answer it "YES" you can absolutely discharge worker compensation insurance premiums but you may not be able to discharge any penalties or fines. Money owed to the government is always dischargeable unless it falls into the category of a penalty or fine. Insurance premiums wouldn't count as either of these except for potentially any amount. You can also discharge social security and employment over-pays due to this requirement.

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  • Probate / Estate with un-notarized Will. In WA, does a Will have to be notarized to be valid?

    My father just passed away unexpectedly. He has a Will that lists his Sister as the executor. The Will is signed by two close family members, but it's not notarized or filed with the government. There is lots of debt. Does an un-notarized Will hol...

    Matthew’s Answer

    An un-notarized will is enforceable however you also need to have the will witnessed by two non-interested people; ie people who would not receive an interest under the will. Otherwise as mentioned the witness could lose their gifts.

    To make sure you don't have to go and find the witnesses at death, you also need to have the witnesses sign "self-proving affidavits" that they witnessed the signing (or were told by the signor that a signature previously placed on the will was his). If you don't have the affidavits, or cannot find the witnesses at death, then a family member could challenge the will.

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  • I need a bankruptcy attorney for a chapter 7 filed in Calif. Central Bankruptcy court Santa Ana. T

    My husband died, leaving me the entire estate. I need help filing the above and then going to probate court.

    Matthew’s Answer

    You can either do a search here on Avvo and research some attorneys here; or do a local search around you and interview a few attorneys. However, research who you finally select.

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  • In Chapter 13, obtained PMI refund of $8893, however trustee will not properly contribute this money to arrears to lower a claim

    Long story short - took 5 years and a letter to the Attorney Genearal of Washington state to get this PMI refund. In Chapter 13 the trustee will not take the check they have been given by the creditor and have it go directly toward arrears. In W...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I agree with Dorothy. Since the plan was approved, the arrears must have been satisfied through the life of the plan; as that is a requirement in WA for plan approval. Your plan must pay back all arrears during the 3 or 5 year plan.

    Money left over goes to unsecured creditors. It doesn't go to the arrears or to future mortgage payments... as those are already satisfied through the plan as a requirement of confirmation. Thus the amount should properly be submitted to the unsecured creditors absent some compelling reason for a change. If such a change is legally authorized and worth a hearing, you can do your research, file a motion, and make alterations to the plan as necessary or request a divergence of the plan for whatever reason. But again, make sure you research the law or you run some risks of screamed at by the judge.

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  • In Chapter 13, Bank transfered the claim (Mortage) to another bank . The outgoing bank did not subtract arrears already paid.

    We see now that the new bank/servicer started the claim over, and acutally added $4400. Then we brought this up with the Trustee and there was a math change to the accounting - $3800 ( I printed proof of this change from previous date to now). I...

    Matthew’s Answer

    One question is whether the bank transferred the debt to a new bank during the Chapter 13 plan... which isn't clear in the fact pattern. With the arrears being paid through the plan, the accounting should be fairly simple if the total amount due was paid. At that point its an issue of the trustee making sure the proper party is being paid.

    I agree with the others that you definitely want to have an experienced attorney help you with this. Reconciling payments between mortgage companies can be tough, takes a lot of accounting, and is tedious. Most attorneys are willing to assist other attorneys. Your local bar may also be able to introduce you to someone. Best to go through something like this carefully with someone who can do it faster and more accurately. As long as you have bank statements showing the payments you shouldn't need to document individually every single payment, though it helps.

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  • Court "late fee" (ticket paid) of $50 sent to collections. Chapter 7 discharged 6 mos later. Do I owe the collections agency?

    I paid my ticket by drop box after the district court office closed in January, 2010 and as a result, received a $52.00 late fee. This late fee was then sent to collections. Chapter 7 was discharged in October, 2010. Credit report shows I owe $0...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Unfortunately you cannot discharge parking tickets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, you can discharge tickets through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. That being said, depending on your situation, it may not be financially worthwhile to switch to a Chapter 13 solely due to a traffic ticket.

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  • Can a creditor hold my husband indebted to my debt which occurred prior to our marriage through an AP Judgment?

    I am being sued through a Adversary Proceeding and they have included my husband, but this was my debt 5 years before we were married. We have been married for 2 years. We did file BK7 together. In the complaint this statement is includ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I disagree with both responses. The community property interest of either spouse can be liable for debts incurred either during OR before the marriage went into effect. Therefore, in order to collect on community property of the marriage, the creditor is required to list the non-debtor spouse as a party and effect the judgment against them as well, even if the non-debtor spouse married into the debt.

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  • If my husband dies without a will can his two grown children from another marriage make me sell and take part of what we owned

    I have been married for 37yrs and everything we own is in both of our names. I have one child from another marriage and my husband has two children from his first marriage. If one of us dies without a will can the children take part of what we o...

    Matthew’s Answer

    They can only potentially petition for a portion of his estate, which will be based on TN law. However, challenging this in probate is expensive and unnecessary since you can develop an estate plan for between $500 and $4,000. Defending a lawsuit could take well over $10k at the absolute minimum. Therefore it is very important for him to develop an estate plan to control how his assets will be divided. Absent an estate plan, you are looking at a potential expensive lawsuit and draining of his estate - which helps nobody.

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  • If my 15 yr old had been living with me up until 6 mos ago...can she make the sound decision to move back home?

    She made the decision to move to florida with her dad..did good in school and has really matured. She wants to stay with me as i have her now for summer. We have joint custody. He is threatening to come get her. What are my options? Is she old...

    Matthew’s Answer

    Your option is to petition the family court in your area to amend your parenting plan and set primary custody in LA. If she is under 18 years old, she has no direct say in where she lives. She can express these desires through a court appointed investigator or psychologist, but thats it.

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