I am in month 22 of a 60 month payment plan in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I would like to know if the bankruptcy court can re-evaluate my income, assets, etc., at any time during the plan and adjust to higher (or lower) monthly payments. Also, if I sell a second vehicle that they allowed me to keep, is that money mine or is it subject to repayment? My plan states that I must pay all income tax refunds to the court, which does not reduce the amount I owe but is in addition to. Lastly, if I receive an inheritance during the plan period, is that money subject to the bankruptcy? -- Debbie from New Port Richey, Fla.
Yes, the court can modify your plan at any time. You would have to submit a motion to ask the court to make the changes. Regarding the vehicle, it all depends on whether an exemption was claimed. You need to review your plan and see if it says anything regarding proceeds from the sale of an asset. Finally, about the inheritance, if you are beyond the 180 days of having your plan confirmed (which you are), then it is going to depend on how big of an inheritance you have received. You have a duty to disclose any inheritance to the bankruptcy trustee. My advice on all of these questions is that you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy is a complicated area of the law and getting the right information is key.
How does one go about submitting a small claim against a company in a different part of the country? I was recently scammed by a company located in Arizona; I'm in Georgia. There are dozens of Google results about this company scamming people. They begin the scam by getting you to agree to a $9.95 charge to cover shipping for a complete "how to make money online" program. After that, they start charging you for the necessary upgrades so that you maximize your profit. They do this with or without your approval. I closed my account over $400 later, due to the fact that I only received an auto-response email that didn't address my concerns. Thank you. -- Bob from Atlanta, Ga.
Here is the first problem that you have: What it would cost you to go to Arizona to pursue this claim is more than the value of the claim itself. Here is a link to an excellent site that has some great information about filing a claim in small claims court in Arizona: http://legal.asua.arizona.edu/scct.html. It takes you step by step through the process. You could hire an Arizona lawyer to assist you, but that would also cost you money. You might be better off making a report to the Better Business Bureau and the Arizona attorney general's division that handles consumer affairs (http://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer). You have to weigh the costs against the benefits and decide whether you should pursue this. Good luck, and be careful with whom you do business!
I purchased a manufactured house here in Pennsylvania from a couple and have paid off the loan. Somehow, when I purchased the title, someone never paid a fee to have the title transferred and now, even though I've paid off the house, the original title sits in unclaimed property in the old owners' names. It was never transferred to me, so I have bought and paid for a house and yet have nothing that shows I own it. I have gone back and forth with a few different sources, and nobody seems to take fault and nobody knows what I can do. The last bit of advice I got was to take it to a lawyer and sue everyone that was ever involved from day one. Any thoughts? -- Jason from Lehighton, Pa.
There are provisions in the Pennsylvania code that can help you obtain a duplicate title if it has been lost or destroyed, but I cannot find a provision that covers this specific situation. If you have the ability to contact the former owners, why not do the transfer now? I also don't know whether or not you own the land on which the home is situated. If you don't own the land, then the home is titled just like a vehicle. I think it would be prudent for you to consult with a lawyer who specializes in manufactured housing to see what your options are. Suing everyone is not cost effective, so you are better off finding alternatives.
(Jackie Glass is a lawyer and former district court judge from Las Vegas, Nev. Submit your legal questions to Jackie by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter at @theJudgeGlass. This column is being provided for informational purposes only. It may not be relied upon by you as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.)