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Matthew Erik Johnson
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Matthew Johnson’s Answers

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  • Can somebody please explain section 523(a)(15) of the bankruptcy code? Is it used successfully?

    I'm having a hard time I'm finding an attorney that will look beyond the surface of my bankruptcy case. Despite earning a six-figure income, all the obligations in my marital settlement agreement + a recent garnishment totals $600 more than my pay...

    Matthew’s Answer

    I disagree with Scott in part; but generally he is correct. Not all divorce obligations are non-dischargeable but any form of family support is non-dischargeable without a motion except for ordered attorney fees. If you believe the garnishment is too high, then you need to petition family court for a child support modification.

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  • What defendant should do if default judgment was enter by plaintiff ?

    This is civil case; a person trip over step.

    Matthew’s Answer

    Not quite sure what the last part of the question means "a person rip over step".

    If a default judgment is entered then either the person needs to (1)negotiate or pay the debt (2) Vacate the default judgment if there is cause to overturn the judgment due to non service or something of that nature; or (3) file for bankruptcy and eliminate the debt.

    Which one works for you will highly depend on the situation and underlying facts

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  • Do I have to pay that much down to avoid my paycheck being garnished? What can I do?

    I have a medical bill that went through collections for $4100.00. When I received notice of a judgement filed I called the collection agency and asked to set up payment arrangements. They said at this point they could not set up an arrangement bef...

    Matthew’s Answer

    While you don't "have to", if you agree to the negotiated payment plan then you would have to or try to negotiate further.

    Alternatively you can file for bankruptcy, which for a Chapter 7 would be less than $2,000 total. The caveat being you would have to pay the attorney fees before filing.

    Tough position to be in but either way, I do hope you can get his resolved for yourself.

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  • Can they attach my pay or bank account and if so how much? does the upcoming court date mean anything or has the process started

    i want to be clear. i'm here asking because i cant afford a lawyer and don't owe enough to file bancruptcy. i owe an old loan from 2003. i assume they found out i had a second income. i receive ssdi. which i have been told they can't touch. not su...

    Matthew’s Answer

    A debt from 2003 would likely be outside the statute of limitations depending on when you stopped paying the debt. In most jurisdictions the statute of limitations is 6 years from the date of breach. You may want to check in your state to make sure.

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  • Can I file for bankruptcy and get out of paying my mortgage all together? can i possibly use bankruptcy to change the decree?

    My divorce decree states I am to pay all fees related to my mortgage while my ex does not. I am having a hard time keeping up financially. I am considering a short sale or worse bankruptcy.

    Matthew’s Answer

    You need to be careful with bankruptcy when you have a divorce decree, as there are some unique laws as it relates to family support payments and in your case - hold harmless clauses.

    If the decree has a hold harmless clause, then you need to be careful with discharging the debt. If the lenders go after your ex, then she could have a lawsuit against you.

    Under normal circumstances, a bankruptcy would discharge all debts related to the mortgage or even allow you to surrender the home in lieu of a foreclosure and would save you a bit on your credit score. However, that decree is important, and you shouldn't go forward without an VERY experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area.

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  • Please tell me if there is a form or sample letter or what I need to do to file the motion. Garvin County Oklahoma

    My minor granddaughter won a wrongful death suit when my son died. I am her legal guardian and over her trust. The funds are blocked until she is 18. No problem, I have been telling her 25. She will still be in high school at 18. She was 10 when h...

    Matthew’s Answer

    There is no simple form or sample letter for something this complex. A lawyer would have to draft the pleadings properly and tailor them to this specific situation. A lawyer is the only route to go that maximizes your chance of getting the outcome you want. Nothing is guaranteed, but a lawyer is highly, highly recommended here.

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  • How do I get the durable power of attorney pages 5 & 6?

    I have filled out and printed the durable power of attorney but there was only four pages, I am missing two more pages #5-6

    Matthew’s Answer

    It may cost more, but properly prepared power of attorney documents that are tailored to what YOU specifically need and the laws that will affect you the most are worth the price. Don't get cheap when it comes to accountants or lawyers.

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  • How do I start the process of the custody? Should I hire a lawyer or talk to CPS?

    I am looking to obtain the sole and physical custody of my niece, my brother will be sentenced to serve time and he currently holds full custody of her. The next step of course would be to contact the mother but because of her current situation I ...

    Matthew’s Answer

    You always hire an attorney first and get counsel on the law and what the outcomes may be. Getting CPS involved is a practice in insanity as they are typically underfunded and overly aggressive. Leading to a lot of bad outcomes (though they do good work and mean well). If you have a claim to possibly take custody, you need to do so through a lawyer.

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  • What can I do if a law firm has waited too long to file a petition and it is denied because of the delays?

    I hired a law firm almost 4 years ago and during that time the original attorney handling the matter left the firm, the second attorney also left. The current attorney was assigned the case 2 years ago and during that time I have been told over a...

    Matthew’s Answer

    So long as you can prove the fault was the law firm's, then you may have a claim for malpractice due to the non-filing and passing of the statute of limitations. If there was an outstanding balance, then likely he was not contractually obligated to continue with representation if the attorney client contract was written properly.

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  • Do you have to have full name of agent signature including middle name for agent, or is middle initial ok

    I signed power of attorney with middle initial on California POA. Is this ok

    Matthew’s Answer

    As long as the power of attorney was notarized you should be fine. If it was not notarized, you may want to get it notarized.

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