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  • Chapter 13 discharge question

    I no longer have an attorney since my Chapter 13 was discharged and thought
    someone could help with a question that I con't seem to get answered. I'll
    first tell my situation and then ask the question. 9 years ago I had a
    high paying job but had to relocate for it. At the time I owed 89K on a
    condo that was appraised at 135K. I put pretty much put all my excess
    money in the equity. I had a few credit cards but used them sparingly with
    enough money in the bank to pay off any balance.

    I had the condo on the market for 3 years with 3 realtors but could not
    find a buyer due to high condo fees (~$350/mo). I eventually had the condo
    listed for 99K but still no buyer. In the 4th year on the market, I was the
    victim of corporate downsizing. I was never out of work but lost 3 jobs in
    a row. When I finally landed a solvent job my pay had been cut by 52%. I
    had depleted all of my savings and borrowed money on low interest credit
    cards to try to preserve the equity in the condo. When the money ran out,
    I was advised to surrender the condo and file a Chapter 13. I had sterling
    credit prior, never even a late bill payment.

    I successfully endured 4 hard years of Chapter 13 and it is now discharged.
    Here's my question:

    1) I stayed current with all mortgage payments but missed one through an
    oversight and didn't get any notice from the mortgage company. When the
    company took me to court, I paid it immediately and have not missed a
    payment since. That one miss seemed to make the company very bloodthirsty
    or to throw their computers completely out of whack. Although I did not
    miss another payment, the mortgage company took me to court two more times
    saying I was late on payments, but the judge ruled me to be current after
    reviewing my bank statement in both appearances. The last court hearing,
    my attorney said that the judge had issued a"stern warning" after
    reviewing my flawless repayment record. One week after my 13 was
    discharged, this mortgage issued me a statement with over $1000 in
    attorney fees. I can understand the first fee for the late payment
    (although a simple note to my attorny would have fixed the problem). But
    if the ruling was in my favor on the second two hearings, am I responsible
    for their attorney fees since their records were in error? This whole
    mortage situation has caused me incredible amounts of stress but no company
    will refinance my house, now valued at 118K, I owe 91K. I think it is
    because of the eroneous credit reports from this mortgage company


    Anyone been through anything remotely like this? I'd appeciate any help.

  • #2
    Chapter 13 discharge question

    On Sun, 05 Oct 2003 16:08:55 GMT, [email protected] (T Becker) arranged
    a number of random electrons thusly:
    Although I did notmiss another payment, the mortgage company took me to court two more timessaying I was late on payments, but the judge ruled me to be current afterreviewing my bank statement in both appearances. The last court hearing,my attorney said that the judge had issued a"stern warning" afterreviewing my flawless repayment record. One week after my 13 wasdischarged, this mortgage issued me a statement with over $1000 inattorney fees.
    You'll need to retain a (rather) knowledgeable attorney to fight this,
    but they violated the terms of the bankruptcy discharge. *ALL*
    attorney's fees relative to a bankruptcy *MUST* be approved by the
    judge. Judges do not take kindly to anyone messing with their
    declarations. Federal judges have even less forbearance on this point.

    If they are claiming that the attorney's fees are for the appearances
    before the bankruptcy judge, then they needed to have had them
    approved by that judge before the bankruptcy was discharged. Once they
    agreed to the discharge, they were agreeing that you were current with
    them. Now that they are claiming that you were not current, you need
    to seek the protection of the court. Since the fees were for actions
    that were part of the bk, your attorney may be able to get the bk
    reopened (this is different in each bk court, and you'll need the
    attorney referenced above).

    The "lying in wait" bit seems to be rather common with some mortgage
    lenders -- once you've finished your bk, you don't have a lawyer on
    retainer (your bk lawyer has to stay with the case until it is
    discharged, unless s/he specifically asks to be relieved) and some
    lenders think that they can get away with murder. Once they are forced
    into court, they they either can a) claim that the $1000 is an
    accounting error, and they are no longer asking for the money, or b)
    admit that the $1000 was attorney fees for fighting the bk, and that
    they have no legitimate claim for the money.

    Google for "lying in wait"+mortgage and you'll find how many other
    folks are being/have been trapped like you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Chapter 13 discharge question

      Congratulations on your discharge. Four years of a Chapter 13 must have
      been torture. I never did that but I heard it's awful.

      It might help if you said what state you are in because different states
      have different laws regarding the conduct of your mortgage company.

      I recently watched a very good local TV show about bankruptcy and
      foreclosures. It also dealt with predatory lending and some of the things
      that mortgage companies do which your mortgage company is doing (not
      crediting payments that were made, imposing improper legal fees, etc). It's
      a one-hour show that was broadcast on September 22, 2003. If you want to
      watch it (or any of their episodes from the last year), you can do so by
      going to
      http://www.lawjournaltv.com and clicking on the webcast button and looking
      for the recent episode on bankruptcies and foreclosures. It might give you
      some ideas about what you can do in your case.

      This probably isn't the correct procedure but, if you went to court on your
      own before (when the Judge ruled in your favor), you might want to try this.
      Write a brief letter to the Judge, with a copy to the mortgage company's
      attorneys, and ask for a follow-up hearing on the matter regarding the
      attorney fees that you have been assessed. Let the Judge know that he/she
      ruled in your favor but that the mortgage company later charged you attorney
      fees in the matter. Give the docket number, the date of the prior hearing,
      etc., of course. My hunch is that the attorneys for the mortgage company
      will not want to go before the Judge again on that issue. They probably
      practice law in that court all the time and have ongoing contact with the
      Judge. So, if what they are doing is improper, they might want to just
      correct in on their own just to please the Judge and preserve their
      reputation as attorneys. If you had an attorney before, and didn't
      represent yourself, then obviously you would ask your attorney.

      A better plan might be to talk with a consumer law attorney in your area
      with the hope that what the mortgage company is doing is improper and
      entitles you to something like triple damages plus your attorney fees. If
      it's one of those types of cases, you can have the consumer law attorney
      handle the whole thing at no cost to you.

      I am not a lawyer, just a wannabe as you can probably tell by the fact that
      I spend my time watching shows like Law Journal.

      If you do watch the webcast, let us know what you think.
      "T Becker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
      news:[email protected] ...
      I no longer have an attorney since my Chapter 13 was discharged and
      thought
      someone could help with a question that I con't seem to get answered.
      I'll
      first tell my situation and then ask the question. 9 years ago I had a high paying job but had to relocate for it. At the time I owed 89K on a condo that was appraised at 135K. I put pretty much put all my excess money in the equity. I had a few credit cards but used them sparingly
      with
      enough money in the bank to pay off any balance. I had the condo on the market for 3 years with 3 realtors but could not find a buyer due to high condo fees (~$350/mo). I eventually had the condo listed for 99K but still no buyer. In the 4th year on the market, I was
      the
      victim of corporate downsizing. I was never out of work but lost 3 jobs
      in
      a row. When I finally landed a solvent job my pay had been cut by 52%. I had depleted all of my savings and borrowed money on low interest credit cards to try to preserve the equity in the condo. When the money ran out, I was advised to surrender the condo and file a Chapter 13. I had
      sterling
      credit prior, never even a late bill payment. I successfully endured 4 hard years of Chapter 13 and it is now
      discharged.
      Here's my question: 1) I stayed current with all mortgage payments but missed one through an oversight and didn't get any notice from the mortgage company. When the company took me to court, I paid it immediately and have not missed a payment since. That one miss seemed to make the company very bloodthirsty or to throw their computers completely out of whack. Although I did not miss another payment, the mortgage company took me to court two more times saying I was late on payments, but the judge ruled me to be current after reviewing my bank statement in both appearances. The last court hearing, my attorney said that the judge had issued a"stern warning" after reviewing my flawless repayment record. One week after my 13 was discharged, this mortgage issued me a statement with over $1000 in attorney fees. I can understand the first fee for the late payment (although a simple note to my attorny would have fixed the problem). But if the ruling was in my favor on the second two hearings, am I responsible for their attorney fees since their records were in error? This whole mortage situation has caused me incredible amounts of stress but no
      company
      will refinance my house, now valued at 118K, I owe 91K. I think it is because of the eroneous credit reports from this mortgage company Anyone been through anything remotely like this? I'd appeciate any help.

      Comment


      • #4
        Chapter 13 discharge question

        Thanks for the replies. I am gopping to pursue some of the things
        mentioned. My state is Indiana. I would appreciate any other ideas. I
        have hired an attorney but he doesn't seem to have experience in this
        particular area.

        Comment


        • #5
          Chapter 13 discharge question

          Check out the NACA website (I think it's www.naca.org but not sure; it
          should be easy to find). Do a member search for your state. These
          attorneys specialize in consumer fraud, credit issues and reporting
          etc. You might find one that knows exactly what you are referring to
          and can help you. It's not a field where there's a lot of attorneys
          who actually have enough knowledge in this area.
          Good Luck.


          [email protected] (T Becker) wrote in message news:<[email protected] >...
          Thanks for the replies. I am gopping to pursue some of the things mentioned. My state is Indiana. I would appreciate any other ideas. I have hired an attorney but he doesn't seem to have experience in this particular area.

          Comment


          • #6
            Chapter 13 discharge question

            So far my luck with the NACA attorneys: only take class action cases
            or don't answer initial phone calls. With a foreclosure hanging over
            our heads and time running out, won't any of these guys help us out?
            Claiming to fight for the consumer is one thing, but actually even
            listening to our plight is another.

            Doesn't anybody care about the "little guy"?


            [email protected] (Sharon) wrote in message news:<[email protected] com>...
            Check out the NACA website (I think it's www.naca.org but not sure; it should be easy to find). Do a member search for your state. These attorneys specialize in consumer fraud, credit issues and reporting etc. You might find one that knows exactly what you are referring to and can help you. It's not a field where there's a lot of attorneys who actually have enough knowledge in this area. Good Luck. [email protected] (T Becker) wrote in message news:<[email protected] >...
            Thanks for the replies. I am gopping to pursue some of the things mentioned. My state is Indiana. I would appreciate any other ideas. I have hired an attorney but he doesn't seem to have experience in this particular area.

            Comment

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