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Harlene Miller

Harlene Miller

Harlene Miller Law, APLC
  • Bankruptcy
  • California
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

Bankruptcy representation of debtors and creditors; personal and business; chapter 7, 11 and 13 since 1990. CA Certified Legal Specialist in Bankruptcy Law for 20 years. Provide consulting for how to avoid bankruptcy; budgeting; life after bankruptcy. Assist in creditor settlements in lieu of bankruptcy. Personal care and attention to clients. Half hour no charge consultation.

Practice Area
  • Bankruptcy
  • Free Consultation
    Free initial half hour consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Harlene Miller Law, APLC
- Current
Shareholder and attorney
Pagter and Miller
Western State University College of Law
J.D. / LAW (1989)
Honors: Graduated with Scholastic Merit; 4 American Jurisprudence awards
Activities: Member of Law Review
Professional Associations
American Bankruptcy Institute
Orange County Bar Association
OC Bankruptcy Forum
State Bar of California # 146651
- Current
Speaking Engagements
Bankruptcy Impact on Family Law Issues, Seminars for Family Law Practitioners & CPA's
Bankruptcy Impact on Personal Injury Litigation
Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
Creditor's Rights in Bankruptcy, Saddleback Community College
Bankruptcy and its Alternatives, Orange Coast College
Certified Legal Specialist in Bankruptcy Law
State Bar of California
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
37 Questions Answered

Q. I am a defendant with trial set for next year. Do I have to answer the interrogatory sent to me for debt collection?
A: This does not appear to be a bankruptcy matter so can't properly respond.
Q. School loan debt being assisted by a company that specializes in removing the debt.
A: I am unfamiliar with companies that offer the service you are talking about. Regardless of the non reporting on the credit report - have you received confirmation that the student loan lender has received payment; do you know the status of the balance of the debt? You need to have more information about the status of the debt before making the decision to cancel the agreement. How long have you been making the payments? I really can't make a recommendation about this with the little information provided. And suggest you be proactive in analyzing what is going on with the company you are dealing with. Are they getting a fee?
Q. What is the maximum of checking accounts you may have?
A: I agree with my colleagues regarding the number of accounts. However, if this is related to filing bankruptcy, more information is needed. Generally, the number of accounts are not an issue - it is the total balance in all of the accounts that must be disclosed if filing bankruptcy and if the funds can be properly claimed exempt. If there is something more specific information you are seeking - supplement and re-submit your question or seek advice from an attorney.
Q. Kept paying mortgage after filing ch 7, now there's ample equity in the home the second lien holder wants to foreclose.
A: Reaffirmation agreements with mortgage lenders are not done in California. So long as you are making payments to the first, they cannot foreclose. If you had an attorney for your bankruptcy case, the attorney should have advised you that the second retained its lien on your property through the bankruptcy; only your personal liability for the loan was discharged which did not result in elimination of the lien. Options at this point are to try to negotiate with the second for payments; or look into refinancing. Unfortunately, if there is in fact $60,000 in equity, that covers the second's lien which makes them totally secured by the house. Or, if your financial situation has improved, you could look into a chapter 13 option with a bankruptcy attorney.
Q. How much is the fee for bankruptcy
A: If you are asking about what an attorney charges for representing someone in bankruptcy - it varies depending upon the type of bankruptcy being filed and the issues in the case. Meeting with an attorney initially to discuss your options is the first step - many of us offer half hour no charge consultations to review the case facts - which will usually provide sufficient information to establish a retainer amount for the case. This is an important step you are considering and you need good legal advice. Do not consider a paralegal even if they quote a very low fee - they cannot provide the legal advice you need. In addition, there are filing fees established by the court for filing the case - again, depending upon the type of case being filed.
Q. I have no money I'm broke and no job. I need to file bk without a fee?
A: The answer provided by Attorney Nachbar is correct. You would get the form and information at the bankruptcy clerk's office or may be able to find it online. I do, however, recommend that you seek assistance from a local public law center if there is one in your area and talk with a bankruptcy attorney about your case. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer no charge initial consultation. The bankruptcy clerk's office also might be able to direct you to attorneys that provide pro bono legal services.
Q. How often can bk be filed? Gen Part of LP filed Chap 7, five years later the LP files Chap 11, what's next & when?
A: A second chapter 7 case can be filed 8 years after the filing date of the prior case in which a discharge was granted, but no sooner. If the debts that the LP included in the chapter 11 were listed as creditors in the GP prior bankruptcy, then all of that debt has already been discharged as to the GP and there is no need for another chapter 7 case.
Q. Can a second loan of a house be diminish if gotten by ex while couple were still married.
A: The voluntary lien that you placed on the house remains after bankruptcy. Very limited ability to avoid or get rid of such a lien. I urge you to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for further discussion.
Q. I was divorced, In the divorce settlement the wife stayed with the house. After the divorce I filled bankruptcy.
A: In your bankruptcy (assuming a chapter 7), your personal liability to the debt was discharged, but the lien on the house would have survived and remained on the property. Or, are you saying that after your bankruptcy, the lender put a lien on the house? Please respond back with more details so I can fully answer your question. Was the house previously in both of your names? Was the "second" put on the house during your marriage? Even if you were taken off title and your ex received the house in the divorce, I don't believe there is a way for her to get the lien off the house.
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Contact & Map
Harlene Miller Law, A Professional Law Corporation
17910 Sky Park Circle Suite 105
Irvine, CA 92614
Telephone: (949) 756-1313