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Everything posted by Methuss

  1. While we appreciate having those of the legal profession on the board to contribute their experience, please be aware that we have a fairly strict policy against solicitation for services without prior approval from the board owner. This rule is spelled out in the "Please read before posting section." If you want to have permission please send a PM to "Admin" for review and if approved we will add you to our list of approved solicitors.
  2. Pretty much all States and jurisdictions allow for service by posting notice to a local newspaper or law journal if they cannot find you. This is common. Personal service is not required to proceed with a case. If you were unaware of this, you should do a little more research before throwing the BS card.
  3. Credit repair services by any company are generally a scam. They can do nothing that you would not be able to do yourself with a little bit of time. As a matter of fact, the FCRA gives credit reporting agencies the authority to completely ignore disputes and inquiries from companies like this. So you are just wasting your money. There is no "magic bullet" to credit repair. If you follow the methods that have long been published in these forums you will clean it up as best you can on your own with only a few dollars of postage costs. Anything beyond that just takes time to fall off.
  4. I have one word for this...BULL. You have no idea if the company approaching you actually has authority to collect even if it is some thing you think may be valid. The DV process is not just to ensure that a debt is valid but that the person trying to collect is actually authorized to do so. The collector is required to get the validation from the original creditor and then pass it on to the consumer. That shows the collector isn't just some company running from a list that they have obtained. Midland is among several collectors known in the industry to engage in fraudulent tactics to collect, and has been busted several times for shaking down consumers for debts they did not owe or that they didn't even have the authority to collect on. And they are not alone in the industry in that regard. This is not to say you don't pay for debts that you legitimately owe. We don't promote debt-skipping. But we do advise that everyone require any 3rd party debt collector to prove that they have the right to collect, that the amount is correct, and to provide proof of payment when payment is made. That is protecting consumers, not endangering them. And, it is telling the collection industry that they have to follow the rules that our legal system has laid down for them. Remember...The laws would not exist if the collection industry didn't first abuse the crud out of their position. As a well known radio host frequently says. "If a debt collector's mouth is moving, they are lying." Now if you are the sort of person that opens up you wallet to any stranger that approaches you and says that you owe them money without requiring them to prove it, you are welcome to send all your spare cash to members of this board. We'll just say it's compensation for wasting our time.
  5. This thread is CLOSED. Advertising of services without staff approval is not allowed. EricJohn, read the terms when you signed up and the "Read Before Posting/Posting 101" thread from the administrative staff. MEMBER CONDUCT Direct solicitation of our members is never allowed. Advertising your services, or placing contact information (ie: your business phone number, business web address) in your signature is also not allowed except under special circumstances approved by the site owner. You can include that information in your member profile page. This does not include links to members' personal web pages, photo pages, blogs, date-me, rate my goat, etc.
  6. If the foreclosure resulted in a monetary judgment in a Florida court then the statute of limitation to collect on that judgment is five years. If the judgment was rendered in a court in anotherState, the SoL is TWENTY years. If this is the case, it can list on the CR for the full twenty years or until seven years after it has been paid, whichever comes first. Unpaid judgments (public records) do not drop off credit reports at the 7-year mark like normal tradelines do.
  7. In most jurisdicitons if you get a dismissal on a motion for summary judgment (with or without prejudice) the other side has to pay costs and fees. This can discourage resale on a tertiary market since the JDB had to pay out. Another JDB may not be willing to risk the loss.
  8. The Statute of Limitations on the debt isn't necessarily what you need to be concerned over, given your current circumstances. I would be more concerned about the SoL on judgments. If you are being taken to court this is how long they can continue to go after you if they win the case. California has a 10 year (tolling) SoL on judgments with a 10% annual interest rate added on top. So the amount they potentially win can grow quite a lot. The tolling means if you move out of state or they can show you actively evaded their efforts to collect after the lawsuit has been won, the time they can show you did that is paused on the clock...so ten years can be stretched longer in those circumstances. If they sue you and your income situation improves they will have quite the hammer in hand. You don't mention an amount on the suit, but let's say it's the full estimated $15k and in five years you get a decent job. By that time it would have nearly doubled to $24,156. Ouch. But, bankruptcy is a personal decision. Numbers aren't the only thing to look at. It can have a very negative effect outside of the monetary/credit issues. And don't forget that in a chapter 7 lenders don't have to re-affirm a loan...so if your car is worth more than what you owe (which is possible if you are down to the last year or two on the note), the lender may opt to just take it and not let you pay it through. Your best bet is to speak to an accountant or attorney and see if the numbers really add up and then speak to a friend or pastor that you can trust to guide on the personal (non-money) side of the issue before making a decision.
  9. Until the BK is actually filed, there are no bankruptcy stay violations. There is definately an FDCPA violation for continuing to call after being informed of retention of an attorney. It's also a definate violation to threaten to send someone to watch your house. Key word private investigator...ergo no police power...Just another citizen. So he threatened to hire someone to stalk you (nice). I strongly suggest you get yourself an in-line tap from radio shack so you can hook up a recording device and get this numb-nuts on audio making these threats. You are not required to tell this bozo you are recording if the call is crossing state lines or if they are masking their origination using ID blocking. If it is point-to-point within the state you have to follow state rules unless they are blocking their caller id. You can record id blocked calls on the premise that it is an unknown source of a harassing call.
  10. You may as well answer the foreclosure complaint. Take a look at the filing and see if they are claiming lost or destroyed Note. If they are, object. This is a short-cut many foreclosure mills use to avoid having to produce/dig-up the Note and Mortgage. If they have done this, forcing them into having to produce the docs to show proof they can foreclose will buy you several months. Even after foreclosure you do not have to leave until they file a followup eviction to remove you. The eviction is a separate case that can take 15-45 days to go through so move once you are served on that case. Many lenders are foreclosing and letting the former owner stay on the property on condition they simply maintain it. A house sitting empty with no power will eventually fall apart as they are finding out.
  11. You are only going to qualify for debt settlement if you have some sort of income to pay with. Based on your numbers, you don't. I agree that you should just toss the BK card and get a fresh start. Just learn from this lesson and stay away from consumer debt. If you get back on that train, you will end up at the same station again eventually.
  12. It is my understanding that through the end of 2012 you will not owe taxes on foreclosure deficiencies. A law was passed exempting this from taxation. There should be a check box on the 1099 indicating that it was mortgage debt to show it. Now this only covers if your foreclosure occurred after a re-affirmation on the original loan note. If your loan was never reaffirmed and the loan was discharged, you owe NO TAX on it. The lender was supposed to check a box on the 1099 indicating the debt was discharged in bankruptcy. If they failed to do so under these conditions they have committed perjury and you have to challenge the 1099 filing with the IRS. Your BK filing documents showing no reaffirmation and the discharge notice is all that is required to show this.
  13. Everyone so far is correct. If you were discharged of your liability in bankruptcy you owe nothing and it's not income on a 1099-C. There are only two possibilities as to why the lender issued a 1099-c in this case. Incompetency or Maliciousness. Given how lenders are about foreclosures right now it could be either one. Incompetency is more likely from a 'name-brand' lender like Citi or BofA. Malice is more likely from sub-prime lenders like Aegis and New Century* as their employees just do crap like this to inflict extra payback on bankruptcy filers. *New Century is currently being investigated in a criminal probe for a host of abuses including pressuring bankrupts into making payments by various means.
  14. Mostly true. Sometimes you ask questions to set up the respondent for the next answer you are looking for. (build a foundation) A good question for this custodian is how long they have worked for Citi. Which leads to if they actually were there when the records were created and/or maintained.
  15. Actually, in this case, legaleagle has some good cross examination points if you even get to cross their testimony. It seems odd that Citi would spend the money to fly in a records person to testify. There would have to be a large sum of money at stake for them to do this. But the 22 questions posed are valid questions which would lead toward discrediting the evidence if you can get any sort of admittance that the printed documents submitted to court could be altered. I've used similar questions to discredit printed billing statements where I showed the copy submitted to the court had different addresses from originals of the same time frame. Having managed a bank law department myself I can tell you CSRs change stuff all the time and banks get busted for bad documentation all the time. Most of the time they settle under confidentiality agreements so it never sees the light of day again. In this case, and given the current state of affairs with banks, I am thinking they probably do have their ducks in a row or else they would not go through the expense of sending in a records manager to testify.
  16. I'm not really sure how you come by this methodology but in all honesty this will probably get you a pissed off judge rather than a win. It is hardly sound advice. Not every locale allows for a Trial in small claims. Judges have a lot of leeway at this level to simply arbitrate the issue from the bench, on the spot, and issue a ruling. While Midland typically doesn't know their butt-crack from navel lint, you will not have an easy go of it if you come in to a judge's court as a pro-se all haughty and telling him what the court rules are. Handle the issue diplomatically. Deny you owe it if you really don't. Raise any defenses you may have such as statute of limitations. And for goodness sake, DON'T LIE or be evasive. If you do and get caught the judge is going to hammer you like a thumb-tack with a baby sledge. Likewise if Midland gets caught doing this, you will walk out with a dismissal and likely a good case to settle on FDCPA claims later.
  17. If you ever have any doubts about a settlement being final, pay a little bit to a lawyer (shouldn't cost more than $100 or so) to have them prepare and send the settlement. It only takes an hour of their time total. This way a "court officer" is in the loop and can take up the matter if the other end doesn't live up to their end of the bargain. Keep all settlement documents in a file for at least ten years just in case some zombie collector pops up in the future. Oh, and one more comment to my advice int he first post.... Bet me you finish paying it all off in LESS time than it would take in a BK-11! The longer collectors do not get paid the more they are willing to settle for whatever they can get.
  18. Based on the unsecured debt you list, I would not pull the BK trigger. You would definately loose the Mustang if you did. That's a luxury. Worse the trustee would probably sell it for a quarter it's going value just to unload it and that would hurt all the more. In a chapter 7 you stand a chance of losing you house too (even if paid current) due to a provision in the law that lets mortgage holders lift the stay and foreclose on homes worth less than what is owed. And contrary to popular belief, lenders do not have to agree to reaffirmations in chapter 7. They can say no and take the collateral back. Ford and Mitsubishi both are known to do this. You have too little unsecured debt for a chapter 11 to be worthwhile as you'd end up paying nearly all of it back over a 5 year repayment plan anyways. No. I think in your case you are best off by taking care of your immediate needs and paying your secured debts (which is what would happen in bankruptcy anyways if you wanted to keep those things and the lenders agreed to reaffirm). If things are tight, start looking at expenses and ways to reduce them. Dump Cable tv if you haven't already. Dump contract cellphones and get pre-paids like virgin mobile which give unlimited text and data with a pack of minutes per month (I pay $25 for 300 minutes on an Android smartphone and rarely go over by using email and text as much as possible). Look at your food bill and see how to cut that using meal planning aids such as e-mealz.com so you don't over-buy on food and waste gas on multiple store trips. See what you have left over. Start scraping together a $500-$1000 cash emergency fund and keep it parked in a safe place like a firesafe in your house. DO NOT use it unless you have a true emergency like a car breaking down. DO NOT keep this in a bank account if creditors are threatening to sue you. Keep the mustang in your garage just in case some wise-@$$ collector tries to take matters into their own hands. Now start figuring a pro-rata plan to pay off those debts. Start witht he smallest even if it is not the one withthe highest interest rate. This will get you to a sucess faster. Yes you will pay a little more in the long run, but this isn't about the dollars any more. It's about succeeding at getting out of the hole you are in. You need fast successes to stay encouraged. And most "penalties and interest" stop once the debt is sold by the original creditor to the collection market... so eventually the amount owed will stabilize. Witht he pro-rata plan you list all your income for the month on a pad and start subtracting your expenses. When you get to the bottom put what is left into your emergency fund. PAY NO UNSECURED DEBT UNITL YOU HAVE THIS CUSHION. With your cushion in place start paying down your debt as you can one creditor at a time. Cutting the other phone lines for new numbers on pre-paids will give you some peace from harassing collector phone calls, but they may eventually find a way to call. If so, just tell the ones not getting paid "you're below the line." When they stutter and try to understand what you mean just say "we draw up a list of things to pay for every month and when the money runs out we draw a line and anyone under that line does not get paid. This month you are below the line." That usually causes some sputtering and can be kinda funny to play with cause there really isn't anything they or you can do. You've bluntly told them there just is no money to pay them. If they ask about how to get above the line tell them "you're nicer next time you call...buh-bye." If they threaten to sue...so what. It's a threat. If you have no cash they rarely follow through. Keep a file on each collector calling you with all their letters and notes on phone calls. If they break the law, take it to a lawyer that specializes in this sort of thing and hammer them for a settlement. I use Attorneys for Consumers and they have been effective in the few times I have needed their services recently. One collector ended up paying $2000 for a breach of law over a disputed $25 fee from a vendor. If you score cash this way, use it to pay down what you owe. It will take a good deal of effort, but you will get out from under it eventually - and keeping most of your stuff in the process. That won't happen if you go through a BK.
  19. Credit repair services are scams, plain and simple. There is nothing they can do that you cannot do yourself with postage and a couple of hours of time. There is no magic formula or secret method to this process. And any company peddling these services that says differently is simply proving my point.
  20. Of course not. They aren't going to waste resources responding to a BK when another person is still on the hook for the full balance of the mortgage. Unfortunately, the real issue here is that bankruptcy being a federal case overrides any decision by a county or state court on a divorce proceeding. Although she should have listed him as a creditor under the divorce decree, it doesn't really matter since she got a no-asset discharge anyways. Bringing it up to the bankruptcy court would not change the outcome so the court won't even review it. Also, the bankruptcy precludes any sort of civil action for failing to make payments on the mortgage under the divorce decree. He would be in violation of the injuction if he tried. At this point all you can do is get her name off the deed if she stops making payments so she has no further rights to the property once payments cease.
  21. Oh and don't forget about how to deal with facsimile documents: If the document is a printout, a scan, etc. They have to present their IT guy to validate the document is a true copy of the original and that their records system is tamper proof. Any joker with a scanner and a copy of a good word processor or pubishing app can alter a document and re-print it on a $100 printer. Thank you Adobe for making the humble laser printer essentially obsolete as a source of evidence on its own.
  22. Don't bother with a short sale. It won't matter because your obligation on the debt is already discharged and the damage is done. At this point a short sale benefits only the lender. The lender is required to list the tradeline as "discharged in bankruptcy" with a $0 balance. The foreclosure is just a formality to transfer the deed back to them. Real Estate has much different rules for lenders to take the property back than other types of property. It will not appear on your credit report and the lender is not supposed to notate the foreclosure to their tradeline. The only thing you might get stuck with is any HOA dues unpaid since the date of filing on your bankruptcy. Those are not discharged but they transfer to whomever has the property once it is out of your name. If you owe those the HOA could potentially sue you before the hosue is out of your name and stick you with it. But if they wait until the foreclosure is over then it's the bank's problem, not yours.
  23. Look there is really a simple thing to do about this .... Tell them directly on the next call that they get NOTHING unless they send a written claim to the proper address proving up. Tell them since they are not identifying themselves and are using call blocking that you don't know them from a pile of dog-poo. For all you know this is some scammer that saw the obituary in the paper and is trying to gain access to accounts. Oh and remind them that BY LAW they must send a written dunning letter by mail and that their word they sent it is not good enough. Get an in-line phone hookup from radio shack that lets you tape the calls and then start doing so. At the end of the first call simply say "oh, by the way, I give you formal notice: this and every call you make to me from now on is being recorded." If they bother to argue about not giving permission to you, just reply with "I don't need your permission once I have told you I will record. If you call again you have granted permission by action. Don't like it, don't call."
  24. I don't ever recommend pro-se filing these days. You risk too much. All it takes is one creditor to really make an effort to contest your debt and you are in for a hard time. Attorneys do not like picking up partially done cases that were handled badly and those that do charge extra. So you are rolling the dice if you choose pro-se. I did a post (sticky) in here about ways to reduce the attorney fees. The short of it is that if you are organized and do most of the pre-filing paperwork before you enter the office then there is no reason why you can't be given a discount ... you did most of the work anyways. The attorney is there if a problem does develop that you didn't anticipate. Also keep in mind when you are dead set on filing, you are going to stop making payment on all unsecured debt as well as on any secured debt where you are turning in the property. This frees up most of your income to rapidly save the funds to pay the attorney with (and to start socking away funds for the post filing recovery).
  25. If you have a written agreement with your friend for the loaned money then that would be included in your bankruptcy proceedings as a debt and would be discharged. Keep in mind what Denita said about bankruptcy fraud. Don't fabricate anything now that you didn't do in the past. If you get caught you can, and likely will, go to jail. Bankruptcy is for honest people that have hit rock-bottom due to circumstance....not cheats. I wouldn't be filing bankrupcy over a $25k personal debt to a friend and another $25k in credit cards. It's not worth it at that level. If there was another zero on that number I'd say it was beyond fixing. I'd be delivering pizzas, cleaning bathrooms on a night shift, and just plain doing whatever I work I could get to keep myself fed and sheltered while looking for more stable work. Credit card companies can take a hike. There is nothing they can get anyways. They can scream and call you names but that won't change things. If the wages can't be garnished because they are below State minimums then they can go pound sand until you get back on my feet. If the person who went halvsies on the condo is a true friend they will understand this is a temporary setback and can hopefully cover things until you get back in a position to resume payments. The relationship likely will be strained (which is why you NEVER borrow from friends) but it will be worse off if the debt is discharged in bankruptcy.
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