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Edward Sager’s Answers

21 total

  • If you are served with a suppliment judgmnt proceedings and on SSI with no assets, what an they do?ARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    Dear Ms. Charlton:

    I am responding to your concerns from all of the questions you have asked here, as each question seems to have a little different information.

    As stated by another attorney, supplemental proceedings are used to find out what your assets are, how much they are worth, what bank accounts you have (which are assets) and how much money is in each, how and in what amounts you receive as income, and anything else they think they might be able to take to satisfy the judgment.

    The easiest thing to do for a notice of supplemental proceedings is to answer the questions contained in the paperwork you received and produce the documents requested. Send this information CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED (or at least certified mail with delivery confirmation) to the person/organization requesting it. This should avoid your need to be present in court.

    HOWEVER, if you are contacted for more information, you MUST make an effort to contact the requestor and make arrangements for giving them the additional information they request.

    If you do not give the information requested in the supplemental proceedings, you MUST appear in court on the date specified and either explain to the judge why you cannot obtain the information or better yet, bring the requested information to the court hearing. You seem so very scared and, with a mental disability, it may be too stressful to appear in court, so be proactive.

    You cannot go to jail for not paying the judgment, nor can you go to jail for simply not answering the questions on the supplemental proceedings paperwork. You CAN have a warrant issued for your arrest for violating a court order, such as an order from a judge stating you need to provide the information requested in the supplemental proceedings.

    Your SSI is protected so long as you can trace the funds in your bank accounts to the SSI deposits. If you have deposited other funds in your bank accounts (i.e., non-SSI money), either remove the non-SSI money from your current accounts and open a new bank account for purely non-SSI money or make certain you have detailed records as to what non-SSI money went into the bank accounts and how that money was spent--be able to trace where all your money came from and to where it goes. Depending on the source of the non-SSI money, the new bank account might be subject to garnishment.

    As others have stated, the easiest way to make certain that either your SSI is not accidentally garnished or the bank account in which you deposit your SSI is not frozen by the bank is to not mingle SSI money with non-SSI money…they are 2 different species and should be kept apart.

    You DO have assets. You have clothing, maybe a chair, food, possibly a bed, possibly cash in your home (got pennies or quarters lying around?), 2 bank accounts, and maybe some blankets. What you seem to not have are assets which are worth anybody trying to take and sell to pay the judgment. What good is it to take something which sells for $5 when it might cost $50 to sell the item?

    Unless you have grossly understated the value of your stuff, do not worry about it being taken.

    Do not worry about any HUD benefits being taken (you do not receive cash from HUD to pay rent, correct? Rather, you receive rental assistance by HUD sending the check directly to your landlord, correct?).

    Do not worry about your food stamps being taken.

    Others have mentioned bankruptcy as an option. Yes, this might be a good option for you so your illness will not continue to be aggravated by aggressive collectors. Seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney who will assess your case during a free initial consultation.

    Good luck, remember to not stop taking your meds without doctor approval, and do what you can to not compound your stress by hoping this financial stress will simply go away, but rather, lessen your stress by being proactive and acting rather than reacting to stressors,

    Edward P. Sager

  • Can a bankruptcy be re-opened if there were violations of the bankruptcy code by a creditor and if so is there a time limit?ARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    I agree with what the others have stated in their responses, and especially that, currently, there is insufficient information to let you know the potential for re-opening a closed bankruptcy case.

    More information which would help includes the following:

    (1) Create a timeline of all pertinent events.
    (2) What sort of creditor was it that caused the damages? Credit card? Automobile lender? Nursery?
    (3) What did the creditor do to violate bankruptcy laws?
    (4) When did this violation occur? Did the violation occur during your bankruptcy or after you received a discharge?
    (5) You went through bankruptcy in 2008, but when was the discharge?
    (6) What evidence or proof do you have that shows the creditor is responsible for the damage?
    (7) You stated you had an Order indicating the creditor is responsible for the damage. Did you also receive a judgment for a certain amount of money against the creditor?
    (8) If you have a money judgment against the creditor, have you started trying to collect?
    (9) Was the damage done prior or subsequent to you receiving a discharge?
    (10) As others have asked, did you reaffirm your mortgage debt to the lender you fear may come after you (as others have stated, it is a rare thing to reaffirm a mortgage)?
    (11) For what purpose do you want to reopen the bankruptcy case?
    (12) Did the "lender of [your] home" become a creditor prior to or after the bankruptcy (yes, some have been able to re-finance after a bankruptcy)?

    Under most circumstances, your mortgage will have been in the bankruptcy and your personal responsibility for that mortgage is usually gone when a discharge of your debts is granted.

    The home can be "taken back" by the lender, but that is almost always the end of what such a lender can do to enforce a mortgage which has been discharged from your personal responsibility via a bankruptcy.

    Thus, in most situations, no deficiency judgment can legally be had for such a mortgage and collections on a discharged debt would violate bankruptcy statutes.

    Can you reopen the bankruptcy to sue for damages in bankruptcy court from the mortgage lender coming after you for a post-discharge, post-foreclosure sale deficiency? Yes. The discharge order remains in place forever (theoretically).

    Any creditor that was listed in the bankruptcy (and therefore, the debt previously owed to such a creditor was discharged in the bankruptcy) and that violates bankruptcy laws can potentially be forced to defend themselves from a contempt charge in a bankruptcy court.

    Please, however, note the following: all judges want to see that people who appear before the court to obtain the court’s help to resolve an issue, that such litigants have tried multiple times to settle with the offending party. In other words, if a former creditor violates the bankruptcy laws, try to work out a settlement (by submitting to the party violating bankruptcy laws a letter demanding payment for said violations) in which you are paid damages from the offending party. Do this prior to approaching a bankruptcy court for such assistance.

    If you do not have time to author a demand letter or if you have already tried to resolve the matter amicably but have been unable to do so, then I would suggest finding a local bankruptcy attorney to assist.

    Good luck,

    Edward P. Sager

  • Can I inherit funds after Chapter 7 discharge?

    Edward’s Answer

    I agree with the others that if you became eligible for the inheritance within 180 days after filing, then you are required to report it to the trustee. If you had an attorney help with your bankruptcy case, you need to go to them and ask them to help determine when you became eligible for the inheritance.

    Most of the time, a person becomes eligible to receive an inheritance on the death of the person making the bequest, but not always. Your attorney will need a copy of the will/trust documents to help determine date of eligibility.

    As far as the answers to the last two (2) questions you asked, if it does not seem right, do NOT do it. Jail time, fines, a lack of a discharge for all your pre-filing debts, and your name in a federal database which states you committed bankruptcy fraud are potential negative consequences that are far too costly to take the chance of getting caught.

    In other words, take the issue to an attorney to decide when you were legally eligible for the inheritance, exempt as much of the inheritance as possible, and be prepared to pay the rest to the bankruptcy trustee.

    Good luck,
    Edward P. Sager

  • Should i sign a limited power of attorney for a debt consolidation company that says some of my creditors ask for this document?

    Edward’s Answer

    Only you can answer if you SHOULD sign this document.

    Do MASSIVE amounts of research about a debt consolidation company (or any company telling you it can help you with your debts) before you pay anything or sign any documents, especially documents which allow others to control your assets with or without your specific consent or permission.

    The power of attorney means you basically have consented to others making the decisions of the things listed in the power of attorney, and the powers listed are usually VERY broad, so read carefully and ask questions about the provisions in the power of attorney and what powers you are granting. Do not fear asking what would happen if you did not include some of the powers listed.

    Also, make sure you know EXACTLY how to rescind the power of attorney.

    As far as the issue of whether creditors will ask for a power of attorney, yes, they are asking for them more often these days, even for licensed attorneys. I think the creditors who do this (my opinion only)--and they are mainly mortgage companies--are trying to make a little more work for the individuals involved in potentially not paying their bills the way the creditors would prefer.

    Good luck,
    Edward P. Sager

  • My combined mortgage is 504k. $366k first 140k 2nd. Total value is roughly $460k. Can the second loan be lien stripped.ARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    According to the numbers you gave, no, the 2nd lien cannot be stripped from your home in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    However, how do you know what the value of your house is? When was the last time you had an appraisal? What about a free certified market analysis showing a range of values for your house? Did you deduct the common costs of sale (common to your particular location) from the value? Are there defects on/in your house and/or on/in the land which need to be fixed, and if so, how much would it take to fix those things? Are their things which need fixing so as to meet covenants, homeowner association rules, or licensing/zoning laws? If so, how much do these needed fixes reduce the value of your home?

    Have you looked at the Making Homes Affordable Mortgage Modification Program? Not a great option, but if you are in jeopardy of getting behind in your mortgage, this may provide a short-term solution.

    There are so many questions which need to be answered before one can determinatively say, "yes" or "no" to your question.

    Good luck,
    Edward P. Sager

  • How can I get a installment payment plan to pay down traffic tickets.ARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    Not a lot of great answers to your inquiry. It depends on if you have regular income, reasons for and what types of traffic tickets you received, as we as what your gross and net income are, and other factors.

    One potential way is to try and negotiate with the traffic courts directly to see what type of payment plan they will approve.

    A second method is to wait until the tickets get sent to a debt collection company and work out a payment plan with them (this option also has the risk of collection costs being added to the balance of the tickets, which can be substantial). Many times, debt collection companies are able to work out better plans than the original creditor.

    A third method is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in which you pay back some of your creditors a certain amount over a period of time not less than 36 months and not more than 60 months. Depending on the specific circumstances in your situation, this MAY be the fastest way to get your license back. However, this costs money as well and would have be molded to the many variables existing in your specific situation.

    Good luck,
    Edward P. Sager

  • Can a bank make you pay balance of loan on car after you have been discharged and the car was part of the bankruptcyARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    Please Note:

    "One must make certain that the debt was discharged first, but there is the possibility that a debtor in this situation is actually due money from the creditor who filed bankruptcy law."

    should read:

    "One must make certain that the debt was discharged first, but there is a possibility that a debtor in this situation is actually due money from the creditor who violated bankruptcy law."

  • Can a bank make you pay balance of loan on car after you have been discharged and the car was part of the bankruptcyARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    If the vehicle in question was part of the bankruptcy (i.e., listed in the bankruptcy) and was fully exempted and the debt was not reaffirmed, then you are not personally responsible for the loan on the car. If as part of the bankruptcy, you agreed to surrender the vehicle, then you have a duty to cooperate with the lender to surrender the vehicle. It sounds like you are more than willing to cooperate, but the lender is not. Any creditor who pursues a debt which has been discharged has violated bankruptcy laws. One must make certain that the debt was discharged first, but there is the possibility that a debtor in this situation is actually due money from the creditor who filed bankruptcy law.

    Daniel's answer is great; just make sure that when you send the keys, you send it certified mail, return receipt requested, and consider sending it Registered mail (I was told by the USPS that Registered mail is how the FBI sends their documents). This way you can make sure that the bank received your package.

    It might be worth it to visit with an attorney on this one.

  • Where can i find a reaffirmation of debt form for chapter 7 bankruptcy?ARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    Copies of the Federal Bankruptcy Forms can be found at:

    Good luck,

  • Bankruptcy was filed when 6 months wages were below income limits but retained job above limits at filing timeARCHIVED

    Edward’s Answer

    One other thing to be aware of with the income situation you described: the Means Test looks at your income retroactively, so the new wage at the time of filing, as stated by the other attorneys, does not matter for the Means test, whereas, Schedule I, which is for listing your income, looks prospectively.

    It is inadvisable in most cases to file a Chapter 7 if your Schedule I income is greater than your Schedule J budget. If this is the case, one must make sure that all available deductions from income are taken so that net income is negative. An attorney can better advise on your specifics.

    Good luck,