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cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I gave my grandchildren gifts at Christmas in 2010 and help

Resolved Question:

I gave my grandchildren gifts at Christmas in 2010 and help my daughter with oil, food, and other necessities when she lost her job that year. In the later part of 2012 I filed bankruptcy which was finalized and now the trustee is trying to collect the monetary value of those gifts and monies from my daughter. During the proceeding I told him I helped her and sent him as accurate as possible and itemized list of things I helped her with. He is now persuing this monies and has filed papers saying he is recovering 2000 dollars with the courts.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 1 year ago.

cfortunato :

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy attorney here to assist you.

cfortunato :

This is a tough topic - because the result can often seem unfair.

cfortunato :

Did you provide more than $200 of financial assistance to your daughter in the 2 years before filing your Bankruptcy?

Customer:

Yes. I just threw out a figure when he ask me of $5000.00. My attorney told me to itemize a list and that is what he is using to go after her. It was gifts given my grandchildren. School Clothes, food, school supplies, heating oil. These are things any mother would help when a child is in dire straights. My debts where paid up to date until Sept 2011 and then I filed for bankruptcy in 2012. A foreclosure was done on my home Jan2013. She again got laid off Oct. 2012. and has no money to pay this trustee. What can he do to her.

Customer:

Are you going to reply.

cfortunato :

Thank you for your response. At the time you provided financial assistance to your daughter were your total debts (the total amount you owed) more or less than the total amount of your assets (the total amount of your real and personal property - such a real estate, money in the bank, cash, etc.)?

cfortunato :

If your total debts (including the balance on your mortgage) were greater than your total assets (including the current market value of your home),

Customer:

The debts where more than my assets. I was working in 2010 and retired late 2010

cfortunato :

Then, unfortunately, the trustee does have the right to take back any amount over $200 per person that was provided to your daughter and your grandchildren in the 2 years before you filed your Bankruptcy.

cfortunato :

That is provided for in the Bankruptcy Code.

cfortunato :

The trustee can proceed to collect the amount from your daughter in the same manner as a judgment. That means if she does not own anything, there is nothing the trustee can do.

Customer:

After I retired in 2010 my social security and retirement was not enough to keep up with everything. Can he put lean on her on her home and will he have to accept some type of payments if she is not working.

Customer:

Apparently, my lawyer was no help. I just tried to be as honest as possible. He wasn't a very nice person and at the age of 70 never being in any kind of court I did not know how to respond other than honest. This has caused a riff between me and my daughter who is a single parent because of his continued pursuit. He is asking for 4000 although he said to the clerk of courts he filed the papers saying he was getting 2000.

Customer:

I do not know what else to do. Is there anything I can do.

cfortunato :

How is your daughter paying the bills since she is not working? (The trustee will want to know this.) Also, what is the current market value of your daughter's home, and what is the balance on any mortgage for her home?

Customer:

She is paying for debts with unemployment and using food stamps. Some help from husbands odd jobs. He does not pay child support. 45,000 do not know balance. It is a row home in city. sorry lost connection

cfortunato :

Thank you again for your response.

cfortunato :

The trustee cannot touch her unemployment income, and cannot touch her food stamps.

cfortunato :

Additionally, as wage garnishment is not allowed in PA for this type of obligation, the trustee will not be able to garnish her wages if she goes back to work.

cfortunato :

If she jointly owns the house with her husband as tenants by the entirety, then the trustee will not be able to place a lien on the home.

Customer:

can he put a lien on her home. Her husband does not hold regular employment because he has been in jail for drugs. She is barely making it and looking for employment. Thank you for that info. So how do we get rid of this problem. Any suggestions.

Customer:

I now live in an apartment on Social Security and small retirement since my home was forclose and I cannot help her anymore.

cfortunato :

The trustee can place a lien on her home if it is not jointly owned with her husband, but cannot force the sale of the home unless the balance of the mortgage is less than the value of the home.

cfortunato :

And if the value of the home is more than the balance on the mortgage ,she can get rid of this obligation by filing a Bankruptcy also.

cfortunato :

As this type of debt can be discharged in a Bankruptcy.

Customer:

one more thing. I think his name is XXXXX XXXXX bank account but not on the house she had it before marriage and never put his name on after she found he had a drug problem. can he force her to sell. and if the husband is not on her bank account where her unemployment goes or wages when she gets a job can he garnish her bank account.

cfortunato :

1) The trustee can force the sale of the home if, and only if, the home is worth more than the balance on the mortgage - unless she files a Bankruptcy.

cfortunato :

2) The trustee cannot garnish her bank account if all the money in that account is from unemployment. If there is any money in that account that is not from unemployment, the trustee can garnish the account.

Customer:

My daughter will never consider bankruptcy because of her religious beliefs. That is why she is so hard on me. I know she owes more than 4000 on the home which he is after. That is the only thing she has to keep her and her children safe. I messed up. I am so remorseful about this whole matter. It was done with out forethought and honesty.

cfortunato :

For that reason, if there is any money in the accounts that is not from unemployment, so it is usually a good idea to open a new account into which only unemployment is deposited.
Also, if all the money is from unemployment, she should inform the bank - in person and in writing so she has proof - that they should never allow her account to be garnished because all the money is from unemployment. If she doesn't notify the bank, they will not know all the money is from unemployment (even if it is direct-deposited), and her account can be garnished.

cfortunato :

I don't think you messed up, and you did not do anything wrong. It is just that, understandably, you did not understand the complicated Bankruptcy system.

Customer:

At this point she barely speaks to me for putting as she said her families well being in jeopardy. Can the court force him to accept payments. My other daughter is willing to help her with that.

cfortunato :

The trustee will most likely accept payments, as that would be easier for him than doing anything else.

Customer:

Should she notify the bankruptcy court abou

cfortunato :

The trustee does not want to go throuhg the trouble of placing a lien on her home, and will not do so if he is receiving payments.

Customer:

Should she notify him or bankruptcy court. He is hard to contact and never responded to her calls or email.

Customer:

She approach the subject before he did not say no just did not respond.

cfortunato :

She would notify the trustee, not the Bankruptcy court. She should send details of exactly how (monthly, weekly, etc. & the anticipated dates for each payment) the amount will be paid and where the money will be coming from. The more detail, the better.

cfortunato :

It would also be a good idea to send the first payment with this notification.

Customer:

One more note. After the first letter and their conversation she did not hear from him for more than six months and after the holiday that is when she received this letter. She thought he had dropped it based on his response. He just recently contacted her again this year.

Customer:

Thank you so much for your help. I am glad I talk to you. I will use this service again and recommend it.

cfortunato :

It is not unusual for trustees to take a long time to do things.

cfortunato :

This 'procrastination' is a common complaint about trustees.

cfortunato :

In any event, I do hope that everything works out (I am sure it will) for you and for your daughter.

cfortunato :

And you are very welcome!

Customer:

I see. When I talk to the bankruptcy clerk she told me he posted 2000 for credit distribution but is asking her for 4000.

cfortunato :

I am not sure what the extra $2,000 is for, as trustees are only only entitled to keep 10% of any amount they recover.

cfortunato :

Perhaps administration fees.

Customer:

That is what I thought. I won't stay here any longer I will close out now. Thank You Again. God Bless You

cfortunato :

You're welcome again! And God Bless You also!

cfortunato :

Please have a pleasant evening!

Customer:

You also. Some of my fears where answered.

cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Bankruptcy professor.
cfortunato and 2 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

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