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Melinda Dee Middlebrooks

Melinda Middlebrooks’s Answers

68 total


  • Chapter 13 Discharge in New York state.

    How will I know when my Chapter 13 will be satisfed? Does the Trustee let me know?

    Melinda’s Answer

    You should be receiving Trustee's Annual Reports which will advise you annually of the progress you have made. Additionally, your trustee will send you correspondence advising you that your Chapter 13 Plan has been fully paid and not to send any further Chapter 13 Plan payments.

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  • Can I be forced to pay a parent plus loan?

    When I was 17 years old, my father took out a 26k loan for me to start school. I had to take out additional loans in my own name totaling 55k. I was not aware my father was going to force me to pay his loan after graduation as he never told me he ...

    Melinda’s Answer

    There are numerous facets to your question, including the legal and moral obligations regarding student loan debt. Student loan repayment is a very hot topic due to the relatively high unemployment and/or underemployment rates. The institution from which the student loan was taken has its own guidelines regarding collection (whether against you and/or your father). Have you contacted the institution to get an understanding of its enforcement rights? Additionally, student loan forgiveness, which is a cancellation of the remaining portion of your student loans under certain circumstances is available to some borrowers for a variety of reasons such as teaching in a low-income area, working in public service, or even serving in the military. Since there are many different paths to forgiveness, eligibility can be determined through each specific program. Suing family members rarely results in positive gains. Try working out the debt (especially since the $26,000 student loan was for your education, not your father's). But for his taking out the loan, would you have been able to enter the school to start your career path?

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  • Can my lawyer charge an extra fee for something that he failed to do

    On August of 2013, my bankruptcy was discharge. I got my credit report and informed my lawyer that there were several judgment that needed to be satisfied/resolved. The lawyer is charging me 40.00 to file 9 judgment that he failed to address dur...

    Melinda’s Answer

    A bankruptcy discharge releases your obligation to pay the pre-petition obligation, however, by New Jersey state statute, the judgments remain as a matter of record until such time as a motion is made before the State court to remove the judgments based upon entry of the Discharge Order. The federal court action (the bankruptcy) does not remove judgments but rather extinguishes your obligation to pay the debt. $40.00 to remove nine (9) judgments is an excellent (and extremely low) fee especially since your attorney has no obligation to take this action on your behalf (unless the retainer agreement specifically stated that your bankruptcy fee included fees in State court to remove the judgments). No action in State court to remove the judgment (liens) can be filed prior to one (1) year following entry of the Discharge Order pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:16-49.1.

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  • If I file for Ch. 13 bankruptcy and surrender a rental property, will the mortgage company continue to seek a deficiency?

    We do not have a lot of debt but would like to surrender the house and get on with our lives as soon as possible. The rental is in another town and 50k underwater. We want to be done with it and are considering Ch. 13 to start the process.Wanted t...

    Melinda’s Answer

    You have identified one of the most important reasons to file a bankruptcy in a state where there is recourse against the home owner who must give up their home. The deficiency is eliminated in the bankruptcy. Even general unsecured creditors, like credit cards, cannot pursue a deficiency (called debt forgiveness) which is usually coupled with a 1099c being issued to the IRS (for which the debtor must pay income tax) because any 1099c sent when a debtor has successfully discharged the debt is invalid. Timing of the bankruptcy should not just be based upon this one debt. The global financial picture must be considered. Good luck to you.

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  • I had a judgment filed against me before I filed CH13 - how do I get judgment off credit report? Creditor was listed in BK.

    The creditor was a bank and the my husband defaulted on a line of credit. We separated and filed CH13 separately - the judgment is on my credit report and I want it removed, do I just call the creditor and ask them to?

    Melinda’s Answer

    Credit repair is done directly with the particular credit reporting agency. They provide the details for how to submit a modification/correction to your report. What is more important is getting the judgment removed as a matter of record (not just with the credit bureau). There are state laws governing removal of judgments of record post-discharge. You should consult an attorney in Nevada to assist you with that action.

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  • Is there a way to notify creditors electronically when doing a pro se Chapter 13 in New Hampshire?

    I need to send Notice of Contingent Hearing on Confirmation and my Chapter 13 Plan to 87 creditors and this will involve 522 pages of paper, 87 Envelopes, and $43.00 for stamps. I know there is an EBN (Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing) system in p...

    Melinda’s Answer

    Unfortunately, although CM/ECF is appropriate for some purposes, the rules require that you provide proper service. Noticing is costly but required.

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  • Utility Company did NOT credit my account

    indicated on my bankruptcy petition. I have the billing statement for the date I filed. What can I do now? Amount credited is approximately $100 less billed amount., approximately, $2600 rather than $2700.

    Melinda’s Answer

    Utilities are afforded special protections under the Bankruptcy Code under 11 U.S.C. Section 366(b) which provides that "(b) Such utility may alter, refuse, or discontinue service if neither the trustee nor the debtor, within 20 days after the date of the order for relief, furnishes adequate assurance of payment, in the form of a deposit or other security, for service after such date. On request of a party in interest and after notice and a hearing, the court may order reasonable modification of the amount of the deposit or other security necessary to provide adequate assurance of payment." That means that they can request an additional deposit (in addition to what is already being held). Staying current on utilities is important because if you do not, the utility can request even more monies than just the current bill. Speak with your attorney.

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  • I am seeking to have my Parent Plus loan forgiven by way of Total Permanent Disability discharge. Is it possible for me?

    I am just trying to asses the likelihood of having my loans forgiven by way of TPD discharge, here are the facts: I have $106,000 total in Parent Loans. I currently do not collect disability. I am 63 years old with multiple shoulder...

    Melinda’s Answer

    Unfortunately, health concerns are not always relevant to loan forgiveness in the context of a bankruptcy. A debt is either non-dischargeable or dischargeable (or a combination of both). It would appear as though you may want to work directly (outside a bankruptcy) with the student loan company to seek an adjustment (like an Offer in Compromise), which can be accomplished directly between you and the student loan company rather than complicating the issues with a bankruptcy. More financial information would be needed to determine whether a bankruptcy would be right for you.

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  • Is there a template form (whats the form number) to file an objection to a ch. 13 payback plan.

    I'm assignee of record to a spousal support judgment. the Debtor filed ch. 13 then is was dismissed. re-filed the next day ch. 13.

    Melinda’s Answer

    You may want to check the Bankruptcy Court's website http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov (presuming that the case is pending in the Central District of California . The "Forms" section does not have a form for Objections except to Proofs of Claim. You may want to consider hiring bankruptcy counsel to assist you since Chapter 13 practice is very specialized and specific to the particular court.

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  • Can I petition to sell a surrendered property in Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

    Currently in chapter 13 bankruptcy (about 1 year into 3 year plan). Had 2 properties at time of filing, 1 included in payment plan, 1 surrendered. The surrendered property was under water at the time, but due to rise in property value in area, it ...

    Melinda’s Answer

    Have you discussed this matter with your attorney or did you file the Chapter 13 pro se? If you have counsel, you should contact him or her and discuss this issue. The issue as framed is too narrow and needs to be considered in the context of the entirety of your confirmed Chapter 13 Plan. It may be that your counsel can file a Modified Chapter 13 Plan to address your concerns.

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