How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 18791
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
16551887
Type Your Consumer Protection Law Question Here...
Phillips Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am dealing with a credit debt collection agency, Portfolio

Customer Question

I am dealing with a credit debt collection agency, Portfolio Recovery. They have placed a judgement/levy against me. I unfortunately, prior to 3 weeks ago, been unemployed for a little over 4 years. I was accepting their phone calls I explained this to
them. I told them I was not trying to dodge my financial obligations, however, I had no income, other than govt assistance $198 per month. I didn't even have a chance to defend myself, by showing proof of my financial status...I really don't want to interact
with them..however I know this will not go away. They are bullies and have made a stressful situation even more unbearable. What recourse do I have outside of closing my bank acct?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The lawyer's name on the paper work is Jordan D. Cook, Bar 179720. The company is located in Norfolk VA Ph #(###) ###-#### ***** hope this service is legit....
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

How much is the debt?

Do you have other debts like doctor's bills, personal loans, dental bills, etc?

Where are you located?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The debt is $2,069.45...and again since I haven't worked in over 4yrs I have accumulated other debt..etc. dental, medical (ambulance bill) I dont know if student loans count...I am not in default...I owe IRS...need I continue..
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Its been a rough 4years
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the information.

I am so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was offline yesterday and I am just getting back online now. Thank you for your patience.

You may consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to wipe out the debt along with your other debts. IRS debts can be discharged in bankruptcy if you meet certain conditions to be discussed in details below. Student loans can also be discharged but only upon showing of hardship.

Generally, taxes are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. See 11 U.S.C. Sections 523(a)(1) and 1328(a)(2). However, in certain situations, taxes may be dischargeable. Generally, the taxes are dischargeable if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The tax return was not fraudulent and filed on time or, if the return was filed late, it was filed more than two years before the bankruptcy;

(2) The tax is not a priority claim; and

(3) You did not willfully evade taxes.

A tax debt is a priority claim if the tax return was filed less than three years before the date of the bankruptcy petition. The due date of the return is normally April 15th, but this date can vary: it can be April 16th, or 17th if the 15th falls on a weekend. However, if the debtor obtained an extension, the due date would be the extended deadline.

A tax debt also is a priority debt if it was assessed within 240 days before the bankruptcy petition, or is assessable after the commencement of the case. Federal income tax is assessed on the date the IRS notifies the taxpayer of a tax claim or perhaps, on the earlier date that an assessment officer signs a summary record of assessment (Form 23-C).

In order for student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, the debtor has to file Complaint in an Adversary Proceeding to determine the dischargeablity of the loans. This is an action that must be taken along with filing the Voluntary Petition for bankruptcy relief in order to get the students loans discharged in bankruptcy. The Adversary Proceeding is similar to a regular civil trial with the student loans lenders most likely to respond to the debtor’s complaint to determine the dischargeability of the debts and file discovery requests including but not limited to Request for Production of Documents, Interrogatories, and Deposition.

In an Adversary Proceeding, the debtor has to show that due to extreme hardship that he/she is no longer able to pay her student loans. If the Court rules in her favor, the student loans would be discharged as part of her bankruptcy case. Otherwise, the loans would not be discharged and thus the debtor would continue to have the debts after filing for bankruptcy relief. See 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(8). Under current law, it is very hard to discharge student loans. However, it is not impossible. Based on your medical circumstances, you have a very good chance of getting the loans discharged in bankruptcy.

You would be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, if you meet the Means test—the income test. If your income is equal to or less than the current income guidelines for your family size in your state, you would be eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy all things being equal. The income used in calculating the Means test is the income for the 6 months before the filing of the bankruptcy petition. This means that if you are filing for bankruptcy protection this month, November 2015, the income that would be used is your income from May 2015 to October 2015. If you are filing next month, December 2015, the income that would be used in the Means Test calculation would be the income from June 2015 to November 2015, etc.

Click on the link below to see the current income guidelines for your state:

http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/20151101/bci_data/median_income_table.htm

The filling fee for Chapter 7 is $335.00. You may able to waive this filing fee if your income is 150% below the current poverty guidelines. Click here for current poverty guidelines:

http://www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts/resources.html

You must receive budget and credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency and obtain a Certificate of Credit Counselling to be filed with your bankruptcy case. The agency will review possible options available to you in credit counseling and assist you in reviewing your budget. Different agencies provide the counseling in-person, by telephone, or over the Internet.

It is usually a good idea for you to meet with an attorney before you receive the required credit counseling. Unlike a credit counselor, who cannot give legal advice, an attorney can provide counseling on whether bankruptcy is the best option. If bankruptcy is not the right answer for you, a good attorney will offer a range of other suggestions. The attorney can also provide you with a list of approved credit counseling agencies, or you can check the website for the United States Trustee Program office at http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm

After your case is filed, you must complete an approved course in personal finances. This course will take approximately two hours to complete. Your attorney can give you a list of organizations that provide approved courses, or you can check the website for the United States Trustee Program office at http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/de_approved.htm

Consult a local bankruptcy attorney for further explanations of your rights and responsibilities.

The sites below are good resources for finding bankruptcy attorneys in your area:

http://www.nacba.org/

http://www.consumeradvocates.org

http://www.justia.com/

http://www.lawyers.com/

If you cannot afford an Attorney, then the next best alternative will be to use bankruptcy petition preparer. Bankruptcy petition preparers prepare bankruptcy forms but they cannot give you legal advice because they are not attorneys. You can do a search on Google to find bankruptcy petition preparers.