Skip to main content
Kathryn Ursula Tokarska

Kathryn Tokarska’s Answers

1,348 total


  • Will my ex lose the house in chapter 13 bankruptcy ?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    I am confused. She is the owner or you? You cannot surrender what you don't have. Is she making the loan payments? In Chapter 13 it is most important to have attorney representation. Please speak with your attorney about these concerns.

  • How much of our personal possessions are we allowed to keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Assuming you have been a resident of CA for at least 2 years, dont own real estate, you have available to use exemption under California Code of Civil Procedure 703.140(b)(3) for household goods, there is also 703.140(b)(5) providing $38,500 wildcard. Check vehicle value and exemption. Be careful with definition of "asset" to make sure you list everything and value it properly. Good luck.

  • Can I get a lien removed?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Unless a lien strip was part of your C13 bankruptcy, the only way I know how to remove it is to negotiate with owner of 2nd deed. However they have no obligation to accept anything less that what is owed. Lien strip in C 13 is possible when home is worth less than what is owed on the first. Check whether a lien strip order was provided in your case. It doesn't happen automatically, a motion would have had to be made assuming your loan met the criteria.

  • Can I fileA chapter 7 bankruptcy on rent a center?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Potentially yes, as other attorneys have stated, I also have never had this creditor come to reclaim the 'stuff" subject to the contract but yes legally they can take collateral. Hopefully in contemplating BK you have very significant debts and/or other debts that you are hoping to discharge and not just a couple of furnishings through Rent a Center. If this is the only debt that is the problem and it isn't a huge sum, all relative of course, you might be able to renegotiate the contract or settle for pennies on a dollar.

  • How do I object my attorney's motion to withdraw from my bankruptcy?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Unfortunately responding to the motion will require some time and money so without at least one of these resources I don't see how you can do anything.

    It will certainly take a lot more time to attempt to file an motion with no experience of doing such a thing. There is no form you can just fill out to respond. You would need to write up and file your own motion objecting to the motion to withdraw. You'd list all the legal reasons why the court should deny the attorney's request. I haven't actually dealt with such a motion so I am not sure what legal grounds there would be, but I'm thinking they would have to be very compelling because typically we do not force people into a job or work, neither for worker to complete or for employer to be forced to retain keep hiring someone they want to let go, There may be some compensation that could be refunded.
    I'd have to go do legal research on this issue, of course this will require time. You could try legal aid or law library for assistance but I suspect this will also be time consuming.

    There is of course no guarantee that the court will grant your request even after you submit the motion, maybe you can get back some fees, hard to say without knowing the details. If it was me, I would expand whatever limited resources of time and money I have to getting a new attorney who actually wants to work on my behalf. If there is some malpractice claim here then this is something I would pursue after I address the issues in my bankruptcy case.

  • What are the income guidelines for filing Ch 7 in California?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    To say that there is an income guideline is a bit confusing.

    There is a median income and typical expenses some of which are location specific. You would calculate your "current monthly income" which is legally defined as the average of income in the previous calendar six months. Some incomes may be excluded from the calculation, some incomes may be included even though not taxable or even legal. :-/ If case is not a consumer case, Means Test doesn't apply but of course in both consumer and non consumer cases the remaining amount on schedule J, income minus expenses, can give Trustee an argument that a payment plan type of bankruptcy is more appropriate for the situation.

    If the income is above the median, a presumption of abuse is triggered and passing a Means Test might rebut the presumption. Getting through a Means Test is part science, part art, district dependent as well, what might be deductible expense in one area of country may not be in another.
    Ultimately it isn't the income as much as "disposable income" which is income minus what are considered "reasonable and necessary" expenses. I've had a single man making $150K a year pass the test and a $80K who couldn't.

    My short reply here in no way reflects on all the nuances on this issue. If you have good income it is strongly recommended you retain competent counsel, many attorneys accept installments and file your case as soon as you deliver payment and documents needed to get started. Sometimes, delaying a filing is warranted anyway.

  • Can a bank still put negative remarks on my credit after chapter 13 discharge?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Prior history, things that happened before the BK was filed, like lateness, those should drop off from credit reporting after 7.5 years. I am concerned that there was no proof of claim filed in your C13 case. Makes me wonder if the debt was listed in the schedules and whether the creditor received notice of the bankruptcy? In my district, under C7 an unlisted creditor is still discharged as long as the failure to list was unintentional and the case had no assets distributed to creditors. It gets a bit more muddy with a C13 or a 7 with assets. You can dispute the reporting with the bureau and/or contact the creditor to have the information updated showing a BK and a discharge. Good luck!

  • What is a Declaration Re Electronic Filing?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    I'm not in your district. Different districts have different rules I looked up the Local Rules for your district and it does say this form needs to be filed See https://www.mab.uscourts.gov/pdfdocuments/localrules/appendix/2016_Appendix8.pdf

  • Do I file bankruptcy, afraid of losing rv home?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    More facts are needed. Get a consultation with a local attorney. Generally speaking, if a homeowner cannot afford their mortgage because too much of their income is going toward paying down debts that can be discharged in bankruptcy then potentially filing bankruptcy will help them to stay current on their mortgage and keep their home. This depends on a lot of other facts, like value of property, exemptions available to you. The household budget: income & expenses. If the homeowner is behind on the mortgage and facing foreclosure than Chapter 13 might help but there has to be sufficient income to propose a repayment plan of past due mortgage and maintain ongoing mortgage payments. There is a lot more to it then this so please talk to someone in an interactive way, where they are able to ask you all the pertinent questions depending on your situation. Good Luck!

  • Chapter 13 Pro Se ?

    Kathryn’s Answer

    Your monthly plan payment is not something I can calculate for you without having all of your case information: assets, debts, income, expenses. Get an attorney ASAP. Success rate for pro per 13s is less than 3%!!! This is NOT a DIY job.