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Dorothy G Bunce

Dorothy Bunce’s Answers

32,030 total


  • Auto loan, borrower, co-signer & Chapter 7

    Dorothy’s Answer

    If the person who filed for bankruptcy doesn't pay for the vehicle, it will be the responsibility of the cosigner to pay for it. If they don't, the vehicle can be repossessed, and you may have the misfortune to learn about something lawyers call a "deficiency." I hope this perspective helps!

  • Can a debt collector garnish my wages even though I’m disputing the balance? I can’t afford to pay them $900 a month.

    Dorothy’s Answer

    A debt collector typically needs a court order to garnish wages. You didn't say whether this creditor has a court order. If there is a court order, then the game is over. Hope this perspective helps!

  • “What are my legal options if DFAS garnished my disability benefits without proper notice or documentation?”

    Dorothy’s Answer

    It's the government. And as with most creditors, the government isn't required to track you down with their bloodhounds if you move without providing a forwarding address. Most creditors only have to attempt to reach you at the last address you provided. While you might get a sympathetic hearing before a court on this issue, it will cost you a lot of time and effort to get to that hearing, and the do-over will likely put you back in the same position you are in now. You may have penalties added to your balance that weren't there before. Instead of pretending that you are the victim, see an attorney who can deal with this debt problem professionally. Your strategy isn't working; if you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting the same result. Hope this perspective helps!

  • Do I owe the balance of a debt when the company didn't honor our payment plan agreement?

    Dorothy’s Answer

    Creditors have had the absolute right to sell debts to third parties since ancient Rome. Debtors have no right to prevent them from doing so, and this creditor having transferred your account to a collector was not a breach of your payment agreement. However, you may have breached this agreement if you relied on the assumption that the creditor breached the agreement first and then stopped making payments. My brother, "the doctor," confidently made this claim last week, thinking he had beaten the system.
    So it is a mistake even well-educated people make. Live and learn. Hope this perspective helps!

  • I stopped paying my creditors in October 2023. How soon do I have to file bankruptcy?

    Dorothy’s Answer

    You may not HAVE to file bankruptcy at all. It might depend on whether any of your creditors sue you. It might depend on whether you have assets a creditor can seize or lien. It might depend on your desire to start rebuilding your credit score. As volunteer lawyers, we don't have a "one-size-fits-all" answer. Hope this perspective helps!

  • Filing chapter 7 can I keep my 2016 car I am senior citizen only one vehicle ?

    Dorothy’s Answer

    Exemption laws determine what you can keep after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These laws vary widely and, for the most part, are set based on the EQUITY you have in a vehicle. There is a vast difference in the equity someone might have in a 2016 Rolls Royce that is paid for and a 2016 Hyundai that is financed. So, you have asked a question that is impossible to answer because you failed to specify the value of this asset. Sure, you could keep 25 chickens and 4 goats back in the day. No one cared if your chickens or goats were purebred, expensive animals or run-of-the-mill livestock. Now, of course, we care. Hope this perspective helps!

  • What is our best option other than bankruptcy?

    Dorothy’s Answer

    Everyone wants to get the "best option" for free when they have only disclosed about 5% of what is happening. The volunteers on this site are lawyers, not mindreaders, and not magicians. The way lawyers evaluate your situation is to go over facts, sometimes tedious information that seems unimportant to you. Your budget, where you live, your work situation, and even your health can all be essential factors a lawyer must consider when recommending a solution. It isn't reasonable to expect this in an online forum. Hope this perspective helps!

  • I filed chapter 13 about a year ago.stopped paying. Trustee filing dismissal. Should I convert,reaffirm,redeem??

    Dorothy’s Answer

    There are too many variables to consider when answering your question in an online forum. For example, do you have assets not protected by an exemption? How much disposable income do you have? When you filed Chapter 13, what was your goal? Hope this perspective helps!

  • My fiance has a personal loan and used some of our electronics as collateral. What happens to those items in bankruptcy?

    Dorothy’s Answer

    When something is collateral for a loan, the loan is secured by the collateral. Bankruptcy does not ordinarily remove this relationship. Someone either pays the loan to keep the collateral or forfeits the collateral. With electronics, the collateral is usually worth less than the loan balance. But in theory, if the collateral is worth more than the balance of the loan, unless exemption laws protect the collateral, a bankruptcy trustee could sell the electronics, repay the loan, and use the remaining funds to distribute to the other creditors. Hope this perspective helps!

  • Can I apply for new credit after filing chapter 7 bankruptcy petition paperwork ?

    Dorothy’s Answer

    You are not prohibited from applying for credit during an active Chapter 7 case. Unlike Chapter 13, you do not need Court permission to apply for or be approved for a loan. But let me begin by saying what every other bankruptcy attorney is thinking, but won't say because they are too polite - What are you thinking? What will it take for you to learn that you are making bad financial decisions? Hope this perspective helps!