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Lara M. Gardner
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Lara Gardner’s Answers

20 total


  • I'm in mass debt and only 23. I have 3 kids and got screwed by the college I went to and because of a car accident I was in.

    So back in 09 I was in a car crash, after getting a state appointed lawyer and 1 year later I went to court and had not once spoken to my lawyer until he got there 15 min late. I was fined 56,280 (to update a bridge that did not meet state expecta...

    Lara’s Answer

    Bankruptcy can help you. It can help to get your license reinstated. It will not discharge the student loans, but it's possible to enter a chapter 13 to help pay those back. At the very least, filing chapter 7 will get you your license so that you can work again.

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  • Can a creditor sell your debt after bankruptcy?

    All my debts were dismissed almost 2 yrs ago.One creditor sold my debt and now that company is on my report along with the current one.Can they due this? I tried to get the credit report companies to remove it but they won't

    Lara’s Answer

    The creditor can sell it if they want to, but the buyer cannot collect on it. If it's being reported inaccurately to the credit bureau, then you should dispute the item and note that the debt was discharged in bankruptcy. The credit bureau may report the account, but it should note the debt was discharged. If you dispute and they will not note it properly, then you may have a cause of action against the credit reporting agency. If this is the case, you'll need to speak to a consumer attorney in your area.

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  • WOULD IT BE BETTER TO FILE BANKRUPTCY AND THEN FILE FOR DIVORCE OR THE REVERSE.

    MARRIED ONLY ONE MONTH WHEN SHE COMMITTED ADULTERY AND SEPARATED. HER NAME IS NOT ON ANY OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS. ONLY $50 DOLLARS A MONTH AFTER GARNISHMENTS FOR CHILD SUPPORT ARE TAKEN FROM WAGES.

    Lara’s Answer

    Generally bankruptcy should come prior to divorce as there are obligations that may not be fully dischargeable after a divorce is final. There are some minute exceptions to this, but they are unusual. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. Consult with one first and then you will be able to make an informed decision.

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  • Is the amount of debt we owe substantial enough to consider bankruptcy?

    Our debt totals under 8,000.However, my boyfriend has been out of work for the past year, his unemployment benefits are about to expire, and he still hasn't been able to find work.His monthly payments on credit cards total around $450 a month.This...

    Lara’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Whether or not you have enough debt to file or not really depends on your specific circumstances and what you can put up with. One person may not think $8000 is enough, while another might see that as more than enough. Everyone's tolerance level is different. I encourage potential filers to examine their situation from an economic perspective rather than a moral one, making their decision based on what it would take to get themselves out of the situation without bankruptcy versus what life would be like with it. Any decent attorney in your area will offer a free consultation to explain how life would work if you filed, including the ramifications regarding assets like cars. Once you have all the information, you can then make an informed choice about what is best for you.

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  • Loan Modification after Chapter 7 discharged?

    Is it smart to apply for a loan modification on your mortgage after your bankruptcy has discharged? In our case it discharged 2 years ago and our lender (Who owns our first mortgage only) is wanting to modify to avoid foreclosure. We also have a...

    Lara’s Answer

    11 USC § 524(c) sets forth the law regarding reaffirmation agreements in bankruptcy. Specifically, the provision requires that any reaffirmation agreement be approved and made prior to a debtor’s discharge. This means that while lenders may modify your current loan, they may not create new liabilities on the same loan if there was not a validly filed and approved reaffirmation agreement. To do so would thwart the bankruptcy code provision regarding reaffirmation agreements.

    If you are looking to create a new loan, this would require a refinance, which is an entirely brand new loan, with new liabilities created after your bankruptcy filing. In Oregon, if you have an 80/20 mortgage loan that is created at the time you get the loan and with the same lender, or a single mortgage, there are anti-deficiency statutes that protect you from future collection after a non-judicial foreclosure if you default on the loan. The property must be your residence. If you refinance these statutes would protect you even though the loan is not relieved due to the bankruptcy filing.

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  • Can new mortgage "servicer" (Ocwen as of Sept 2013) file for relief on Chpt 7 bankruptcy DISCHARGED over TWO years ago?

    I filed Chapter 7 in March 2011. indymac filed motion for relief, I opposed. after 2 hearings, I showed enough for the "judge' to agree that IMB had no standing to foreclose. IMB did not hold or own the note. The BK trustee said that we may s...

    Lara’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    All the request for special notice means is that they'll get electronic filings. It doesn't hurt you or affect your rights in any way. They have to file it under the proper format; it has nothing to do with trying to "scare" you.

    Under the code, if your case is still open, even if you have your discharge, and the lender wants to proceed to reclaim the property, they have to file for relief from the stay. This allows them to proceed to reclaim the property, not to collect from you. Just because the property may be listed for sale with the trustee does not mean the lender cannot take steps to proceed under the mortgage contract. If you have not been making the payments, the lender has the right to take these actions. It may mean that you will have to leave the property sooner if it has not sold and the lender forecloses, but you have time and there will be noticing periods required by law so you will know when you have to leave.

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  • I was file bankrupcy (2 year ago) and was discharged , I had mortgage with Bank of Amrican ( is was file bankrupcy ) now bank

    Now bank of Amrican sold property for other lender ( back 2006 I was bought $300.000 property they sold to green tree for $84.000 dollars ) now this company(green tree) want go after me I receipt the statement every month and collection letter an...

    Lara’s Answer

    From what you describe, it does sound like they are trying to collect on a post-petition debt. Did you reaffirm? Because if you did, then you have no further bankruptcy protection. If you did not reaffirm, I would suggest contacting your attorney. You may have a violation of the stay action, but usually having someone notify the lender they are in possible violation is enough to stop the action. If you did not file with an attorney, I suggest contacting someone where you are located to review the situation with you.

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  • What is the process of going thru bankruptcy?

    I have some debt that is around $20,000 and I am getting overwhelmed that I can not pay it and now am being threatened by lawsuit. Does bankruptcy help with this situation or is it a bad idea? Does bankruptcy wipe out the debt or do you still pay ...

    Lara’s Answer

    Bankruptcy could definitely help, but it would depend on what type of underlying debt the lawsuit is based on. Labeling it good or bad isn't really the ideal question. Meet with an experienced attorney who can describe how bankruptcy would work for you, then you can decide what response is best based on your specific case. It depends on whether you file a chapter 7 or 13 whether you make payments on the debt or not, and whether you would file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 depends on a variety of factors. Again, your best bet is to have a consultation with an experienced attorney who practices bankruptcy to get the answers you need. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer consultations at no charge.

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  • Friend's son, disabled on SSI- WA state, recently had his small SSI check garnished for school debt. He had gone to college...

    ....a short time, and was unable to attend every day because of his illness. He tried to make-up the time he lost, being out ill, but the school would not accommodate him, even though we contacted the dean of students there. He had to quit invol...

    Lara’s Answer

    Student loans are near impossible to discharge in bankruptcy. While many people are aware that they can have their wages garnished to repay the loans, many don't realize Social Security can be garnished too. The government can take as much as 15 percent of your disposable income when garnishing. A common issue with this policy is what the government perceives “disposable income” to mean. To the government, income is disposable if it doesn’t go toward a mandatory deduction. So when you read “15 percent of disposable income,” just take out the “disposable” part. In your case, unfortunately, there is probably not a lot that can be done, other than trying to discharge the loans using the undue hardship provision of the bankruptcy code.

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  • I have a second home in Michigan that is about 80k underwater. Keep treading water, pursue Deed-in-Lieu or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

    My husband recently bought us a house (our residence in Portland, OR. I am not on the loan, although I am on the deed right now. The house in question in an underwater home in Detroit. I am the only one on the title and mortgage (it precedes our m...

    Lara’s Answer

    In most states, you are protected from liability on a first mortgage on your residence through anti-deficiency statutes. Because this is not your primary residence, such statutes would not protect you if you do not pay the full mortgage, through whatever process, either foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu. This means you are at risk. Even if you were to get forgiveness from the lender, you could be stuck with tax liability on the forgiven portion. This leaves chapter 7 as one of the only options that allows you to walk away with no liability whatsoever. I would suggest speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a consultation. Any attorney of any consequence offers these consultations at no cost. Good luck!

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