Skip to main content
Carl H Starrett II

Carl Starrett’s Answers

1,441 total


  • Can I sue a collection agency or apartment building for trying to collect on a bill that I never owed.

    I moved out of an apartment and paid and early termination fee on the lease. I have copies of the paid invoices and bank statements showing my checks had been cashed by the apartment building. Later, I received a bill from the apartment buildin...

    Carl’s Answer

    It sounds like you might have a claim against the collection agency for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and/or the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I would contact a local consumer rights attorney for a consultation.

    See question 
  • An atty told me (after asking my husbands income) that we don't qualify for filing BK. Is it as simple as that?

    My husband lost his job in 2009 and was out of work until 2015. We were wiped out financially. Lost every cent we had made in the 36 years of marriage. Sold our house right before the foreclose date in a down market. We had $120K in CC debt. Clea...

    Carl’s Answer

    It sounds to me like you need to get a second opinion from a more experienced attorney. There are local attorneys in who refer clients to me that "don't qualify" for Chapter 7 and "need" to file for Chapter 13 instead. And you know what? I often find that the other attorney missed something and I end up filing a Chapter 7 for some of those clients.

    I like mentoring younger attorneys. The refer cases to me when they get a case beyond their comfort level. I suspect that you'll be pleasantly surprised with a second opinion.

    See question 
  • How long does it take for a chpt 13 case to be dismissed and can I refile?

    I filed bkt and I missed both court dates and I have been told by my lawyer that it has been dismissed. How soon does that go into effect with my creditors? And can I refile?

    Carl’s Answer

    This dismissal goes into effect as soon as the signed order hits the court's docket. You can file again, but you will probably need to file a motion to extend the automatic stay.

    See question 
  • Temporary Restraining Order without an Adversary Proceeding?

    I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop a sheriff sale of my property. The bank and the circuit court are aware of the bankruptcy, but the sale is still scheduled for next week. If they do not stay it in the next few days, can I get a restraining ...

    Carl’s Answer

    The automatic stay IS a temporary restraining order. if someone disobeys the stay, method of enforce varies by court. Some judged allow you to file a motion for contempt and/or sanctions. Others allow you to file an adversary proceeding.

    You really should get an attorney. if you've more than 2 bankruptcy cases in the last 12 months, you might not even have an automatic stay.

    See question 
  • As HR for a small business, could I disregard an Order to Garnish based on a bankruptcy filing?

    I work in HR for a small company in Los Angeles, CA. I received an Order to withhold as part of a garnishment for money owed to a merchant. It goes into effect in a few weeks. In the meantime, the employee had her attorney file for Bankrupty and t...

    Carl’s Answer

    I agree with Ms. Bunce. if you verify that the bankruptcy is legitimate, the automatic stay caused by the bankruptcy filing would bar the wage garnishment.

    See question 
  • A specific debt collector won't stop contacting me, even after requests to do so, what can I do?

    I sent a cease and desist letter via email and certified mail to the debt collector advising them to please stop contacting me. The debt collector calls 6-7 times a day and has left threatening voicemails that they will begin calling other agents ...

    Carl’s Answer

    The basic options for file for bankruptcy to eliminate the debt or to hire an attorney to pursue a claim under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Use the "find a lawyer" link above and you should be able to fine someone that will give you a free consultation.

    See question 
  • Am I able to combine my debtors as a grand total for each one?

    I have 55 medical bills through roughly 7 creditors, 38 From One Hospital 9 From the other. They all have different account numbers. Am I able to put a grand total of the debt owed to each one on Schedule F? Instead of putting separating them by a...

    Carl’s Answer

    I would list 1 entry per creditor. I would look over all of the invoices carefully to make sure all addresses for each creditor ares listed though.

    See question 
  • Sole Proprietor - Chapter 7 - Means test. Over 50% of your debt coming from business debt exempts one from means test?

    I have a sole proprietorship and am reading online the following specifically speaking to the issue of qualifying for Chapter 7 for a sole proprietorship: "There is a major advantage if most of your debts come from your business, however: You wil...

    Carl’s Answer

    You don't have to take the means test of the majority if your debts are "nonsconsumer" in nature. The term "consumer debt means a "debt incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family or household purpose." Taxes and business debts are generally not consumer debts. However, home loans, creditor cards and medical bills are generally consumer debts. If the majority of your debts are consumer and you "fail" the means test, you might need a Chapter 13 payment plan.

    if this young attorney had not heard about the distinction between consumer and consumer debt for the purposes of the means test, you should consider finding someone with more experience.

    See question 
  • How can I settle an unpaid Credit card default judgment?

    I lost my job in 2003 and was unable to make payments on my credit cards. The last payments I made were in 2004. This debt was sold to Colorado Capitol Investment some time after 2004. In 2010 they sued me for $3232. I was retired at the time ...

    Carl’s Answer

    I'm not an attorney in Georgia, but it looks like the statute of limitation for breach of written contract is 6 years on Georgia. However, that really wouldn't be relevant now because they already sued you and got a judgment. The time to use that as a defense would have been in 2010 when they sued you. Setting aside a judgment nearly 6 years later is nearly impossible. Negotiating a settlement wouldn't be "new activity". The collection clock stopped when they filed the lawsuit.

    You can file bankruptcy, negotiate a settlement, pay in full or wait for the judgment to expire.

    See question 
  • Can an attorney personally dismiss my chapter 13 case himself then call my creditors to tell them

    My husband cleaned out our accounts for his lottery addictiom problem a d i disnt know. WE HAVE NOTHING. I have this lawyer calling me and threatened me that he will personally dismiss my case and notify my creditors. I tried to explai. But he was...

    Carl’s Answer

    You should discuss this with your attorney if you have one. if you don't have one, then get one. This could be a violation of the automatic stay and you might have a claim for damages against the attorney.

    If you have a pending bankruptcy case, an opposing attorney cannot simply dismiss your case. If your plan has not been confirmed, the attorney can file an objection to confirmations and request dismissal. However, you also have the right to your proverbial day in court. The judge will rule on the objections and could overrule the objection or sustain the objection. Everybody has to follow the legal procedures,

    if you plan was previously approved, the attorney could file a motion asking for dismissal if you've breached the terms of the plan. For example, incurring new debts after filing for Chapter 13 without court approval might be grounds for a motion to dismiss. However, the motion would need to be filed with the court and you would have the opportunity to respond.

    See question