Q: I want to move into a low-income apartment. Will I lose my Medicaid? Because I made a profit on the sale of my townhouse? I owe my cousin money and she will get my profit money. (Monroeville, PA)
A: I am sure if you applied for and are receiving Medicaid funding they already know about this townhouse, assuming it is in your name and you didn’t falsify your application. They may already have a lien on this house. There are too many questions here, to give you a competent answer. Like, is the townhouse in your name? Are the proceeds going into a trust of some sort? When was the trust established? Please consult with an attorney versed in Medicaid regulations.
Q: Lender is considering foreclosure however no payments have been made in almost 5 years. Owner recently passed away and the beneficiaries want to keep house but the amount owed on the home equity line of credit would put the house too far under water. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: I am not sure of the significance of “contract under seal” here. I would have to see the mortgage papers or look at the on-line docket. This sounds like an estate issue to me. If the home is in the name of the decedent, this is an estate debt and no one else’s debt. If the mortgage balance exceeds the market value of the home, the heirs must decide how bad they want to keep the home. If there is enough liquid cash in the estate, the heirs may be able to pay the lien off or interest the bank in refinancing. If not, this may be an insolvent estate and therefore let the bank foreclose. You may be able to negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure with the bank and avoid a messy foreclosure and more fees and charges. You need to be asking these questions to the estate attorney. If you do not have one, you need to get one.
Q: My mother passed and my auto loan is in her name. I cannot finance the vehicle myself as there are too many miles and it is way upside down. I have kept current with the payments so far. The only funds from the estate were in a retirement account and insurance. There is a house which my sister has always lived with my mother but it still has a mortgage. She is also executor. Her plan is to pay off the house with the retirement money and sell it. Can the bank repossess the vehicle? Can they go after either of us or the estate to recoup the balance? What if I turn the vehicle in to the bank? I will receive enough insurance to pay the car off. However, I don’t want to spend 10k on a car worth 3k if I don’t have to but I don’t want the estate to have to pay for the balance of it either.
A: Good question. If the car is titled in mom’s name, as is the loan, it could be repossessed if they will not refinance you. It would be considered an estate debt. If the car is in your name, but the loan is in mother’s name, that would be unusual. Voluntary relinquishment of a vehicle to avoid repossession may be an option. You can call the lender and ask. As far as the mortgage on the house and your sister’s plans to pay it off with estate money, more information is needed to be known if that is a viable alternative. You should review the estate with an attorney to determine the extent of the debts, expenses, amount of assets, and potential inheritance tax and income tax, just to mention a few.
Q: My mother passed away suddenly and the mobile home I currently live in it and it is in her name. She left no will but may have wrote something. I am also concerned with medical providers putting a lien on the home.
A: If you have no other siblings, or, have siblings that have no interest in the mobile home and will waive it over to you, you may be able to inherit it with some sort of small estate petition. Under PA law, mobile homes are not considered to be realty, but are viewed as personal property, like a motor vehicle. Small Estate Petitions can be used to settle an estate when the property is not real estate and does not exceed $50,000.00. You may want to check if there are any liens on it, or judgments against your mother that would attach to this asset before you get involved with it. I would talk to the trailer park people or association for information and take any paperwork you can to a lawyer. (West Mifflin, PA)
Q: I won a judgement in local court but the defendant has not paid. What can I do next to recieve payment? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: In Pennsylvania, you can ask the magistrate’s office for forms to complete, so you can “execute” the judgment on the defendant’s property. The constable will then proceed to the defendant’s home and levy his or her property for sale. The defendant will then have to file objections to the levy for property that happens to be exempt from a judgment. This will cost you money and time. I would review it with a lawyer first to determine if this person has personal or real property that will make going through all of your effort worthwhile.
Q: CAN JOINT ASSETS BE FROZEN OR HAVE A LEIN PUT AGAINST THEM IN PA, IF THE DEBT IS ONLY HELD BY ONE PERSON AND NOT BOTH?MY LONG TERM LIVE IN IS BEING SUED FOR A CREDIT CARD DEBT. I AM WORRIED THAT WHEN THEY GET A JUDGMENT, THEY WILL BE ABLE TO FREEZE OUR JOINT CHECKING ACCOUNTS AND PUT A LIEN ON OUR HOME AND TAKE OUR VEHICLE, ALL OF WHICH ARE HELD JOINTLY. I AM NOT AN AUTHORIZED USER OR CO-APPLICANT ON THIS CREDIT CARD.
A: Assuming you are not married, joint accounts can be frozen if a judgment is entered against one obligor/joint owner and the execution is issued by a judgment creditor. You would then have to file a property claim with the sheriff. If you were married, the entire account could be set aside as exempt. However, with just a live-in person on the account, no such protection is offered except that your interest in the account can be protected by a property claim.