Q: What happens to my home, vehicles, and other belongings when I file for bankruptcy?
A: The answer to this question is very situation specific, but, most people will go through a bankruptcy and keep everything they own. Additionally, you can continue to keep a mortgage or a car loan as long as you keep making the required monthly payments.
Q: Will everyone know I filed for bankruptcy?
A: The odds are, No. While it is true that bankruptcy proceedings are public record, unless somebody actively seeks out whether you have filed for bankruptcy, the only ones who will know that you have filed for bankruptcy are your creditors.
Q: What will happen to my Credit Rating?
A: What Credit??? Again, the answer to this question is very situation specific, but, most people who file for bankruptcy have more debt than they can afford and are late on their payments. For these people, their Credit Rating will most likely go up after filing for bankruptcy. The fact you filed bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years. It becomes less significant the further in the past the bankruptcy is. The truth is, you are probably a better credit risk after filing bankruptcy than before.
Q: Will I be able to get Credit again?
A: Almost all of my clients are flooded with credit card offers after filing for bankruptcy. Many of my clients have gotten auto loans right after filing bankruptcy. In fact, two years after a bankruptcy discharge, debtors are eligible for mortgage loans on terms as good as those of others, who have not filed bankruptcy. The size of your down payment and the stability of your income will be much more important than the fact you filed bankruptcy in the past.
Q: Will I have to go to Court?
A: The answer to this question varies depending upon the facts of the situation, but the odds are, No. The only thing most people are required to attend is a 341 Meeting which is held by the bankruptcy trustee.
Q: How long will it be before my debts are discharged?
A: The answer to this question varies depending upon the facts of the situation, but for a majority of the situations, we are looking at four to six months in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases.
Q: Can I file for Bankruptcy only once?
A: No. You can be successfully discharged from a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy again eight years after the first.
MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE QUESTIONS
Q: What is a mortgage foreclosure?
A: In Pennsylvania, mortgage lenders go to court in what is known as a judicial mortgage foreclosure proceeding where the court must issue a final judgment of foreclosure which allows the mortgage lender to sell the property at a Sheriff's Sale. The property is then sold as part of a publicly noticed Sheriff's Sale.
Q: What happens if I receive a Complaint in Mortgage Foreclosure?
A: The first thing to do is to immediately contact an attorney who is experienced with Mortgage Foreclosure Defense. It is very important that the right defenses to a foreclosure action be asserted first or else they may be waived. But generally, A defendant has 20 days in which to file an answer or preliminary objections to a complaint in mortgage foreclosure, otherwise default will be entered. The defaulting borrower must be given at least 10 days notice before default is entered and there must be a 30 day notice before a foreclosure sale can take place by the Sheriff. Further, there are additional pre-foreclosure notice requirements that are required to be complied with by the mortgage lenders before initiating a foreclosure action.
Q: What are my options if I am in Mortgage Foreclosure?
A: There are many options available to save or dispose of your home. The most important thing to do is to get advice from a licensed Pennsylvania Attorney for all of your options and not one of the MANY SCAMS out there. But off the bat, some of the options are to retain your home, a deed in lieu of foreclosure, a short sale, bankruptcy, loan modification, pay back arrearages, etc. However, there are serious pros and cons with each one of these options and it is extremely important to get unbiased advice before making any one of the above listed decisions.
Q: How long do I have once the Mortgage Foreclosure Process starts?
A: The answer to this question varies greatly depending upon which attorneys are handling the foreclosure action, what county the foreclosure action is in, and how well the Complaint in Mortgage Foreclosure is drafted, but the odds are you have between eight and sixteen months before a judgment is entered.
This page is only intended to provide basic information about the following subject matters. This information is not intended to be legal advice, substitute the advice of an attorney, nor create an attorney/client relationship.
GENERAL FINANCIAL QUESTIONS
Q: What is a lawsuit and why am I being sued?
A: A lawsuit is a case in a court of law, a claim, complaint, etc., by one party against another. A case has been brought against you in a court of law because at some point, it is being alleged that your bill was not paid. You may have lost your job, became ill, overspending or just the economy, but for whatever the reason, the bill was not paid. This lawsuit is the lenders way of being able to collect on this debt from you.
Q: How do I get more information about my case other than what is on the docket report?
A: If you have been served by the Sheriff, further information will be included in the complete complaint or lawsuit given to you. If you have not been served, this process will happen within a few weeks and you will have the information in the complaint given to you.
Q: What happens next or if I choose to ignore the complaint?
A: Once you have been served by the sheriff, you will have 20 days to respond to the complaint. If you choose not to respond, court proceeding will continue and the lender will obtain a judgement against you and will have the right to pursue other options of collections including freezing your bank accounts, putting liens on your property, and selling you belongings.
Q: Will I have to appear in court?
A: You can relax a little bit. Most cases can be handled outside of the courtroom. In the rare event that an appearance in court is necessary by you, we will be right by your side, fighting for you the entire time.
Q: How do I know that you are the best Attorney for me?
A: Advertisements stating low fees may seem really great but are only designed to get clients in the door and later capitalize on your situation. Pushing bankruptcy is not always the best choice and we feel it is a dis-service to push clients into a decision without looking at all the available options. At Tuttle Legal, we take the time to treat you as the individual that you are and not like another paycheck. Your best interest will always come first.
COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Over the past ten years, I have worked with thousands of clients in the Montgomery, Bucks, and Lehigh County areas. In our consultation, we will sit down with you and listen to your situation and concerns and help you find the best solution for you and your needs. I will also review the complaint you received and look through it for any potential problems and/or violations that may have occurred. My staff and I always have our clients’ best interest at heart from your initial call through the resolution of your case.
At this point, we can only assume that you are feeling the pressures of your situation and may be full of questions. Please see below for some common questions and answers you may have: