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Stephen Dale Marlowe

Stephen Marlowe’s Answers

19 total


  • Can my ex-husband have me held for contempt if I file chapter 13 bankruptcy and discharge the marital home?

    Stephen’s Answer

    The language you mention in the decree would give me pause, but in general, when questions like this arise in my practice, they most often turn out to be the product of threats from a fussy, mischievous ex, and not concern for the outcomes you seem to be fear. I second those here telling you to run your decree by your bankruptcy attorney--better yet, why not suggest your family lawyer chat with your bankruptcy attorney? Chances are they might even know one another, and could sort this out for you tout suite. You've got a good, reasonable question here, but don't lose sleep over it. At least not yet. Lost sleep is what you pay us for, after all, and it's usually priced into your attorney's fees. I know it's priced into mine. Good luck!

  • What does a client transaction filing mean?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Blake's guides are quite helpful. Review them for more information. I want to second what's been said here, but add: you could probably fertilize a crop with the paper that threat was written on. Clean it off your shoe and go about your business.

  • What do I need to do to file for trustee ship in the Toledo area and stop wage garnishments.

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you're dealing with defaulted student loans, garnishments, and credit card judgments, you really should see a bankruptcy attorney—if for no other reason than to explore all the options available to you in various scenarios. You might be surprised at how quickly your credit "rebuilds" after large amounts of unsecured debt are wiped from the slate. On the other hand, student loans are problematic, and they're hard to discharge in a Chapter 7. There can be some relief from them in a Chapter 13. The credit cards would almost certainly go away in a Chapter 7, and perhaps a Chapter 13 as well, depending on the terms of the plan the court approves. Many bankruptcy attorneys will meet with you for no cost, so call around. You don't know what you don't know.

  • Can I go to jail for a unpaid payday loan?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Read Blake's guide, and make sure to pursue every avenue you can to alert the proper authorities. It's one thing to attempt to collect on an amount owed, it's quite another to lie, scam, and extort. Assert your rights in this matter! By identifying this sort of thug, turning him or her in, and sorting him or her out, that folks who've fallen into the payday loan trap can rest a bit easier.

  • I got a order for judgement in the mail for Toledo Hospital. I am willing to pay the money before the 28 days are up .

    Stephen’s Answer

    David's answer is well put. I'm curious, though: do you mean a judgment, or a complaint? The 28 days you mention make me suspect you've received a complaint, which means you've been sued, but there's been no judgment against you. In that case, you should either answer the complaint "pro se", as in "on your own" (some courts have web-downloadable forms to help you do this, if you choose); or, better yet, hire a lawyer to represent you in negotiating a settlement. Once you answer the complaint, there will be an additional span of time in which the court will schedule various case-related events. If this is a complaint, and not a judgment, you might be able to sort this out before it appears on your credit as a "judgment." It ain't over 'til it's over.

  • Can a credit take funds for a charged off debt from a few years ago?

    Stephen’s Answer

    In general, no. Unsecured debts covered by the discharge order are gone. Poof. There may be circumstances where the creditor can, in fact, offset an amount that would otherwise be discharged, but they're rare, unlikely, and will require a lawyer to analyze the facts for you to determine if they apply in your case. The bigger question is whether the amount in question is large enough to justify paying your attorney to recover the set-off amount. If it would cost you more to chase the difference, you might think about letting it go, despite them being in the wrong. Doesn't make sense to spend more than the amount you'd recover, I don't think. Shouldn't hurt to ring your lawyer, though, and I recommend you do so.

  • My husband and I went through bankruptcy in 2000. We just received a deposition. We called, and they want $3000 for taxes.

    Stephen’s Answer

    You need to attend the deposition and you shouldn't do that without a lawyer. You might shop around and see if that big retainer is standard for a case of this type in your area. I suspect it's not. I'm a little befuddled as to the particular facts of your case as you state them, but I can all but assure you your Trustee has complete and accurate records of who claimed, who was paid, how much, and when. In fact, these documents can probably be downloaded from the ECF/PACER service. If the taxes were not discharged as a matter of statute, you or your lawyer might explore if there's any possibility of negotiating with the taxing authority—$300 to $3000 is quite a jump, and most of that would almost certainly be fees and penalties, which many taxing authorities can waive or reduce.

  • Live in OH. Sued by original credit card co. Debt is valid. I do not have $ to pay. How do I answer complaint.

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you're in bankruptcy, then this debt should be included in the petition; if it wasn't, you can add creditors and alert the company to your status. If you're not in bankruptcy yet, you can usually find forms and guides to help you answer complaints "pro se" at your local municipal court website. As for your 401K loan, that might come into play if you file a Chapter 13 plan, but otherwise will have little affect on your Chapter 7, in most cases.

  • I received a motion to dismiss from Ohio's Chapter 13 Trustee; my lawyer said nothing can be done, is this true?

    Stephen’s Answer

    You might ask your attorney if it's possible to make up the payments to the Trustee before the dismissal. Some Trustees will put you on "probation," if this is your first time falling behind. If that's an option for you, it may work. If not, your attorney is on the money, as it were.

  • Chapter 7 Discharged, and my attorney says let forclosure take place & wipe it out. Do I really need to worry or let go & move?

    Stephen’s Answer

    The discharge kills the note--which means you owe nothing personally now, and the bank must sell the property to recover on its losses. Your credit is shot for some time in any case, so don't make decisions based on that alone. Why not live in the property without cost, let the bank go through the foreclosure process, and move when you have to? In any case, you'll get plenty of notice before you have to move.