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Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Good morning Robert JDFLI have a few more questions please.

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Good morning Robert JDFL I have a few more questions please. In my previous question, I was concerned the HOA could take his car for his outstanding balance due which I don’t think he can pay back. Well I talked to Mike our son and I first thought he owed the HOA $12K but now he says he only owes the HOA 3K and the more realistic value of the Ford Taurus we purchased for him is worth about $4500.00. 1. So does this change your previous answer since now the car is worth more than the debt by $1500.00? 2. You said it is very expensive for the HOA to levy a vehicle to satisfy a judgment, so much money approximately is involved to levy a car to satisfy a judgment? 3. He also has a $20K student loan from about 10 years ago that he has not paid anything towards or very little if any. What will eventually happen if he never pays this back? 4. And last he and his wife walked away from his Condo which was upside down. It is now in foreclosure. Loan is at $90K but the condo is worth maybe $60K at best. So what can Green Tree Lending (Mortgage Loan Company) do to Mike if they sell it at a loss of $30K or more short of the loan value? 5. Mike filed bankruptcy about 5 years ago so how long before he can file for bankruptcy again if he needs to go that route. (By the way he filed bankruptcy on everything except not his Condo for some reason?) Thank You Russ XXXXXX

Hello again,

Forgive the tardy reply as I am not on the site as much as I used to be these days and therefore just saw this.

1) While it's possible, my answer remains the same that it wouldn't be worth it. First, they cannot get a levy without a court ordered judgment, which they can't get without suing him, so there will be costs of paying a lawyer. I don't know what the costs are in Colorado for levying a vehicle (it may actually vary by county) but here in Florida, it's about $1,500. Not worth it for a debt like that.

2) See above.

3) The creditor will get a judgment against him and then seek to enforce it by going after a percentage of his wages. They may go after other things, such as his tax returns as well. If it's a loan from the Department of Education, they don't even need to get a judgment - they just have to show that the loan is in default and can begin wage garnishment, seizure of his tax returns, etc. I suspect if it's been 10 years, it's a private loan, not a federal one. Unfortunately, school loans are almost impossible to discharge in bankruptcy (if they weren't I'd be running to the courthouse for mine!).

4) Colorado allows for deficiency judgments. That means if the home sells for less than what is owed, they could sue him for the unsecured debt of $30,000 (or however much is left). Alternatively, they may report that loss on a 1099 to the IRS as "income" to him, and then he'd have to pay the taxes on it. Has he talked to the bank about trying to find a way to stay in the home? Or, alternatively, if that is not an option, perhaps a short sale, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure, where he agrees to vacate the home in exchange for not having the debt pursued against him?

5) You can be granted a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (a discharge of unsecured debt) every 8 years. A Chapter 13 (debt restructuring) can be filed every 6 years, but will only be granted where it is shown that a debtor has paid back at least 70% during the previous Chapter 13.

Alternatively, if he filed for Chapter 7 previously, and now wants to file a Chapter 13, hr would only have to wait 4 years from the date of discharge of his Chapter 7.

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