Can filing bankruptcy get you out of jail for failing to pay alimony?

A recent case before the United States Appellate Panel of the First Circuit (In re DeSouza, 493 BR 669 – Bankr. Appellate Panel, 1st Circuit 2013) addressed whether a family court judge could legally order a debtor to be in contempt for failing to pay alimony during a pending chapter 13 bankruptcy. The debtor filed a petition under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code in January 2011. In June 2011, the debtor’s spouse filed a complaint for divorce. After a hearing on September 30, 2011, the probate court entered an order granting alimony to the debtor’s spouse in the amount 

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Reversing a Sheriff’s Tax Sale

On September 19, 2012, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office conducted a tax sale to collect unpaid taxes on Otis W. Terry, Jr.’s property located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The property was purchased by a bidder for $120,000. A fraction of the fair market value of $450,000. On December 11, 2012, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office signed and delivered a deed evidencing the transfer of the Property to the bidder (the “Tax Deed”). The Tax Deed evidencing the sale was recorded on January 5, 2013. On June 13, 2013, Otis W. Terry, Jr. filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case to reclaim his property and 

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Reversing a Sheriff Sale in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania homeowners have the right to “cure” a mortgage loan (i.e., pay off all arrears and reinstate the loan) up to one hour before the Sheriff Sale. (41 Pennsylvania Statutes Section 404). Pennsylvania Law first created a statutory right to cure a mortgage default in 1974 by establishing Act 6, also known as the Loan Interest and Protection Law. By “cure,” the statute means a restoration of the mortgage “to the same position as if the default had not occurred.” Act 6 established the right to cure defaults up until one hour before a sheriff sale. (41 P.S. Section 404). 

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You Deserve a Fresh Start in 2014

The New Year is a good time to evaluate your financial house and consider whether getting a fresh start by filing bankruptcy is the best option for you. If you have too much debt or feel like you are way over you head in bills, bankruptcy may be right solution for you to get a fresh financial start in 2014. Bankruptcy wipes out all credit card bills, medical bills, and personal loans. It even erases deficiencies on short sales and repossessed vehicles. Filing bankruptcy initiates a Court ordered “automatic stay.” The automatic stay immediately stops your creditors from trying to 

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Discharging Cyber Monday Purchases in Bankruptcy

Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping brought in an estimated $12.3 billion in sales, according to shopping analytics firm ShopperTrak. Overall spending was expected to reach $57.4 billion for the weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. Can You Discharge Recent Shopping Purchases in Bankruptcy? The best advice is to consider limiting your shopping to a minimum to avoid any problems with your upcoming chapter 7 bankruptcy case. There are also a few guideposts to consider contained within the bankruptcy code itself: 1. Cash advances in excess of $875.00 within seventy (70) days of the bankruptcy filing, are nondischargeable. 2. Purchases 

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Is Bankruptcy the Right Choice for You?

1. Bankruptcy may be the easiest and fastest way to deal with all types of debt problems. Bankruptcy is a process under federal law designed to help people and businesses get protection from their creditors. 2. Most bankruptcy cases are complicated. You should consider getting professional help. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding with complicated rules and paperwork. You may want to get professional legal help, especially if you hope to use bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure or repossession. Dunne Law Offices, P.C. provides a free consultation to help you decide whether bankruptcy is the right choice. 3. Bankruptcy temporarily stops almost 

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Getting Rid of a Second Mortgage in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If your late on your mortgage and you have substantial mortgage arrears then chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best method to straighten out your financial house. A chapter 13 repayment plan allows you to pay back your mortgage arrears in 36 – 60 months. A chapter 13 plan erases the pending foreclosure, removes the mortgage loan default and makes the mortgage loan current.   If your house is under water, a chapter 13 bankruptcy also allows you to erase that second mortgage, even a third mortgage by reducing the creditors claim to the value of the collateral. For example: House: 

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Defenses To Foreclosure

Foreclosure is a harsh legal process and, when you are threatened with foreclosure, you should immediately try to obtain legal help. Foreclosure can move very quickly. One advantage of exercising your legal rights is that you can slow down the process. In the short term, delay can be helpful because it will give you more time to put into place a long-term solution to the problem. You cannot properly delay foreclosure just because you need more time. The actions you take must be based on some underlying legal claim or defense which is raised in good faith. Procedural Defenses May 

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Don’t underestimate your expenses in bankruptcy.

Don’t underestimate your expenses.  Your expenses can be estimated within the limits of realistic planning, in a way that presents your case in a favorable light. The key to completing the expense category correctly is to realize that it is important to look not only at current expenses but also “unmet” needs in order to determine a reasonable budget going forward. For instance, Congress has made it very clear that debtors have the right to maintain or obtain health insurance for themselves and their families. This is a good example of an unmet health insurance expense. In a chapter 7, 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1)  Should I file Bankruptcy? A person should file a bankruptcy if, and only if, he or she can’t pay bills as they come due or is about to lose property or have property attached by the Court.  Very few people lose any property when they file bankruptcy.  In Pennsylvania, you are allowed to keep $3,225 equity in a car, $10,775 in personal household goods, $20,200 in a home, and at least $1,000 in any property that you choose in a general exemption plus ½ of the unused portion of the home exemption.  For married couples, filing jointly, these exemptions 

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