These excerpts taken from website



Bankruptcy helps people who can no longer pay their debts get a fresh start by liquidating assets to pay their debts or by creating a repayment plan. Bankruptcy laws also protect financially troubled businesses. This section explains the bankruptcy process and laws.

About Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity.

All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

  • Individuals may file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on the specifics of their situation.
  • Municipalities—cities, towns, villages, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts may file under Chapter 9 to reorganize.
  • Businesses may file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 to liquidate or Chapter 11 to reorganize.
  • Chapter 12 provides debt relief to family farmers and fishermen.
  • Bankruptcy filings that involve parties from more than one country are filed under Chapter 15.

Bankruptcy Basics provides detailed information about filing.

Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Individuals can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, which is called filing pro se.

Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.


If you need additional information, please call Attorney Linda Fessler at 213-446-6766 for a free consultation.

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Top 5 Things to Know About President Trump’s Announcement to End DACA

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on behalf of the entire Trump Administration, announced an end to the DACA program. Here are the top 5 things to know about his announcement:

  1. Your DACA is valid until its expiration date.
    DACA and work permits (Employment Authorization Documents) will remain valid until its expiration date. To determine when your DACA and work permit expires, look at your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
    2. No new DACA applications will be accepted.
    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no longer will accept or process first-time applications after September 5, 2017.
    3. DACA issuances and work permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018 must be submitted for renewal by October 5, 2017.
    If you have a permit that will expire between now and March 5, 2018, you must apply for a two-year renewal of your DACA by October 5, 2017.
    4. Advance Parole to travel abroad is no longer available.
    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will no longer grant DACA recipients permission to travel abroad through Advance Parole. Any pending applications for advance parole will not be processed and DHS will refund any associated fees.
    5. We are united in this fight.
    You are not alone. We mobilized, organized, and marched five years ago for DACA, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect immigrant youth and their families across the country. Visit for resources to help you and your loved ones take care of yourselves in this difficult time as well as information on what you can do to take action now.

If you need additional info, please call Attorney Linda Fessler at 213-446-6766 for a free consultation.

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by Allison Davenport, Lena Graber, Sally Kinoshita
There are some reports that President Trump may end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program soon. At this time, we do not know when or if the DACA program will be terminated or what the end of the program may look like. For example, will those with DACA continue to be protected from deportation and able to use their work permits until they expire? Or will DACA approvals and work permits be revoked? While the DACA program remains in effect at this time, below are some things to keep in mind should the program end.
I. Work Permits
Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), also known as work permits, are generally valid until they expire or the government demands they be returned. Unless the government demands that you return your work permit, the following points should apply.
If the DACA program ends but you are allowed to keep your work permit, you have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
Even if the DACA program ends, you have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended. Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it is expired.
For more information about your rights as an employee see this advisory by the National Immigration Law Center:
II. Social Security Numbers (SSNs)
Your SSN is a valid SSN number for life, even once your work permit and DACA approval expires.
If you have not done so already, apply for a SSN while your DACA and work permit are still valid.
You can and should continue to use the SSN you got under DACA as your SSN even after your work permit expires. You can use your SSN for education, banking, housing and other purposes.  Your SSN contains a condition on it that requires a valid work permit to use it for employment purposes.
III. Driver’s Licenses and Other Identification Cards
Eligibility for these depends on the state in which you live. If you have not already done so, apply for a driver’s license or state identification card if your DACA is still valid and that makes you eligible for a driver’s license or state-issued identification card in your state.
IV. Travel on Advance Parole
DACA recipients should be cautious about travel abroad on advance parole.
If you are outside the country with advance parole, make sure to return right away and while your advance parole and EAD are valid. If the DACA program ends, it is not clear that people with advance parole based on DACA will be able to return. The safest route is to return as soon as possible, before an announcement ending DACA.
If you have been granted advance parole under DACA but have not yet left the United States, or are interested in applying for advance parole, speak with an attorney to determine potential risks before doing anything.
V. Other Immigration Options
Many DACA recipients may be eligible for another immigration option to get a work permit or even a green card.
Talk to an immigration services provider to understand your legal options and if you might be eligible for another immigration benefit. Find low-cost immigration legal services:
Avoid fraudulent service providers: confirm their credentials, ask for a written contract and a receipt for any payments, and if you have doubts, get a second opinion.
VI. Criminal Issues
Any criminal arrest, charge, or conviction can put you at risk with immigration authorities.
Avoid contact with law enforcement that may result in a criminal arrest. If you end up being arrested, make sure to consult an expert immigration attorney.
If you have a criminal conviction, find out if it can be changed to lessen the impact on a future immigration case you may have.
VII. Know Your Rights
Everyone – both documented and undocumented persons have rights in this country.
At all times, carry a red card to exercise your right to remain silent in case you are stopped or questioned by ICE (
You have constitutional rights:
DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR if an immigration agent is knocking on the door.
DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS from an immigration agent if they try to talk to you. You have the right to remain silent. •
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING without first speaking to a lawyer. You have the right to speak with a lawyer.  If you are outside of your home, ask the agent if you are free to leave and if they say yes, leave calmly.  GIVE THIS CARD TO THE AGENT. If you are inside of your home, show the card through the window or slide it under the door. I do not wish to speak with you, answer your questions, or sign or hand you any documents based on my 5th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution. I do not give you permission to enter my home based on my 4th Amendment rights under the United States Constitution unless you have a warrant to enter, signed by a judge or magistrate with my name on it that you slide under the door. I do not give you permission to search any of my belongings based on my 4th Amendment rights. I choose to exercise my constitutional rights. These cards are available to citizens and non-citizens alike.
VIII. Updates and Information
Follow the news carefully and go to reliable sources for information on the status of the DACA and other immigration programs. Don’t fall for scams about new fees or false information about your DACA work permit. Good sources of information include,,,, and
If you need further help, please call Attorney Linda Fessler at 213-446-6766 for a free consultation.
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Adult Cyber-Bullying———Don’t put up with it

There are individuals in this internet age, who are accosting others, verbally harassing and threatening to do them bodily harm. Furthermore, these people publish untrue inflammatory accusations on various sites, and spread malicious, defaming false information. If you are being threatened in this manner, or someone is allowing another person to use an account under their control to threaten you in this manner, you can file a criminal complaint that can lead to conviction for a class C felony assault. This in turn can lead to hard time in prison. Furthermore, if someone is defaming you by spreading libelous, malicious, untrue information you can also sue them in civil court. They cannot be allowed to get away with this adult form of cyber-bullying.

If you need further info, please contact Attorney Linda Fessler at 213-446-6766 for a free consultation.

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How to Handle a Reverse Mortgage After Death

How to Handle a Reverse Mortgage After Death

Ralph Miller
July 11th, 2017

What to do About a Reverse Mortgage After Death

There are five options for handling a reverse mortgage after the death of the borrower.

  • Keep the property. In this situation, you must pay the loan in full, but never more than 95% of the property’s appraised value.
  • Sell the property. If the home is worth more than the loan amount, the heirs may sell the home, pay off the loan, and keep the remainder of the money from the sale.
  • Complete a short sale. Sell the property for 95% of its appraised value in a short sale to satisfy the loan.
  • Walk away. Walking away from the home will result in foreclosure and alleviates any responsibility for paying off the loan.
  • Sign a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. This titles the property back to the lender. This allows the house to go into reverse mortgage foreclosure and gives the seller the property in order to satisfy the loan.

Reverse Mortgage After Death Timeline

Here’s a timeline of what to expect in order to handle a reverse mortgage after death.

30 days. Within 30 days of receiving notice of the death of the borrower, the loan servicer will send a due and payable notice to the estate, along with information on the reverse loan and the eligibility requirements for a deferral period of the reverse mortgage after death.

60 days. Within 30 days of receiving the due and payable notice, the estate must respond to the notice with a letter of intent as to the property. Additionally, the mortgagees must obtain an appraisal of the property no later than 30 days after the due and payable notice is sent. The surviving, non-borrowing spouse may apply for a deferral if they meet the requirements.

2-6 months. During this time, the estate has the opportunity to sell the house, or otherwise satisfy the loan. Be aware that interest on the loan accrues during this time.

6 months. Within six months of the death of the last surviving mortgagor, the loan servicer may begin foreclosure proceedings if someone does not pay the loan amount. If a deferral has been issued, then the foreclosure proceedings may begin six months after the end of the deferral.

12 months. The estate may apply for two extensions in 3-month intervals. This gives them up to 12 months from the death of the borrower to sell the property or satisfy the loan.

Spouse’s Responsibility for the Reverse Mortgage After Death of the Borrower

When one spouse dies, but the surviving spouse is a borrower on the reverse mortgage, the terms of the loan do not change. Also, the surviving spouse may continue to live in the house.

If the surviving spouse is not a borrower, then the mortgagee will send a letter stating the requirements for a deferral period before the loan is due and payable. If the spouse doesn’t meet a requirement of the deferral period, they have 30 days to remedy the situation. Otherwise, a notice that the loan is due and payable will be issued.

Once receiving a notice that the loan is due and payable, the spouse may choose to sell the home, hand the property over to the lender, or keep the home by paying the reverse loan amount.

During the time after the death of the borrower, the spouse must maintain the property and pay property taxes. Failure to do so may result in action against the spouse by the loan servicer. This may lead to foreclosure on the property.

Heirs’ Responsibility for the Reverse Mortgage After Death of the Borrower

After the death of the borrower, the heirs will receive a letter from the loan servicer. The letter will offer information on the borrower’s estate, details on the reverse mortgage, and available options for satisfying the loan.

It is the responsibility of the heirs to reply to the loan servicer with the intentions of keeping the property, selling it, or handing it over to the servicer. Here’s some advice for children of seniors for handling the reverse mortgage after death.

In order to keep the property, the loan must be paid off. The cost to pay off the loan is never more than 95% of the appraised value of the home, even if the loan amount is more. If the property is worth more than the amount owed, the heirs may choose to sell the home and keep the difference.

If the home isn’t worth as much as the loan, the heirs may choose to sign a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. This turns the house over to the lender, who will sell it to get their money back. If the loan balance exceeds the home’s value, then you won’t owe anything additional by choosing this option.

Whatever you choose to do, keeping good communication between yourself and the loan servicer is imperative. With the proper documentation, you may have up to a year to sell the home before it must be turned over. If you fail to provide the proper documentation, the loan servicer may begin foreclosure proceedings within six months.

Reverse Mortgage Facts Non-Borrowers Should Consider

Here are a few things you need to know prior to inheriting a reverse mortgage after the death of the borrower.

Understand reverse mortgages. Most reverse mortgages are home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs), which are subject to FHA rules. Non-HECMs may not follow these same rules. Speak with a mortgage professional, accountant, and other trusted advisors to help you understand the ins and outs of a reverse mortgage.

Communicate with the loan servicer. After the death of the borrower, keeping in good communication with the loan servicer is vital to ensure a smooth transition.

Selling the property. If the loan amount is less than the house is worth, then selling the property may make the most sense. Here are some tips when selling a house with a reverse mortgage.

Non-recourse. A reverse mortgage is a non-recourse loan. This means borrowers are never responsible for more than 95% of the home’s appraised value. Even if the loan exceeds that amount.

Avoiding negative financial impact. You may avoid the responsibility of paying the loan amount, including the negative financial impact of the loan amount exceeding the home’s value, by completing a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, short sale, or by walking away from the home. This will allow the loan servicer to begin foreclosure proceedings.

Six months to complete the transaction. Once you’ve decided to sell the property, or pay off the loan, you have six months from the death of the borrower to complete the transaction. After this time, the loan servicer may proceed with foreclosure.

Time extensions. If you need additional time to market and sell the property before foreclosure proceedings ensue, you may request up to two 90-day extensions. This is subject to HUD approval.

Avoiding foreclosure. If you do not respond to the due and payable notice, if the house does not sell before your extension expires, or the property taxes and insurance are not paid, then the loan servicer may begin foreclosure. Work closely with your loan servicer to assure all documentation is completed properly to avoid early foreclosure.

For additional information, please call Linda Fessler at 213-446-6766 for a free consultation.


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