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W. J. Winterstein Jr.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.

Montgomery and Berks County, Experienced practitioner in Civil matters
  • Bankruptcy, Business Law, Collections...
  • Pennsylvania
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Summary

A solo practitioner, I work from a home office in Boyertown, PA, about 30 miles from center-city Philadelphia, and most of my cases are litigated in Philadelphia and Reading courts. With the assistance of local counsel, I also handle matters in Delaware. I have over 30 years experience in both state and federal courts; bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosure/workout are a large part of my practice. PLEASE CONTACT ME BY EMAIL, as that is my preference, and more reliable for each of us.

Practice Areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Law
  • Collections
  • Foreclosure Defense
  • Consumer Law
  • Probate
Additional Practice Area
  • General Civil
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    I am happy to chat with you about your issues, for no charge, for up to one hour.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Pennsylvania
Professional Experience
Attorney
Law Office of W.J. Winterstein, Jr.
- Current
Over 30 years experience in bankruptcy reorganizations, out of court workouts, debtor/creditor, civil practice in all state and federal courts in PA, OK, with practice encompassing NJ and DE through local counsel. Admitted to Third Circuit, Tenth Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court, and all lower courts in PA.
Education
Oklahoma City University School of Law
J.D.
-
Honors: Graduated with honors, 2nd of 208, 1976
Professional Associations
PA Bar Association
member
- Current
Eastern district of PA Bankruptcy Conference
Member
- Current
Legal Answers
35 Questions Answered

Q. I get extreme anxiety. I may need to file bankruptcy though. Is there any help for someone in my case?
A: There would need to be at least one initial face-to-face meeting, just lawyer and client (this is my personal requirement, not a requirement of law). The remainder of our communications can be by email if you can scan documents and send to me, and then if you can p;rint and sign documents. In addition, there will be on mandatory meeting, the first meeting of creditors, with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. The law requires the meeting. Beyond that, unless creditors initiate contested matters by filing a motion or adversary complaint in your case, there should be no other required appearance.
Q. If a debt is included in chapter 13 bankruptcy, can it be sold to a collection agency
A: Yes, and it happens frequently. There are companies out there whose business is to handle/service accounts of others that are deemed "bad", or "uncollectible", etc. Transfers of claims are specifically authorized by the Bankruptcy Code, and also occur in Chapter 7, 11 and 12 cases.
Q. I filed chapter 13 in 2012. it was converted to chapter 7 in 2014. I have financial issues again and am exploring option
A: Interesting question. Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code provides-- (a)  The court shall grant the debtor a discharge, unless-- (8)  the debtor has been granted a discharge under this section, under section 1141 of this title, or under section 14, 371, or 476 of the Bankruptcy Act, in a case commenced within 8 years before the date of the filing of the petition; (9)  the debtor has been granted a discharge under section 1228 or 1328 of this title, or under section 660 or 661 of the Bankruptcy Act, in a case commenced within six years before the date of the filing of the petition, . . . The date of entry of the discharge appears to control "the clock". As your Ch. 7 discharge was granted in 2014, it appears that you are not eligible for another for 8 years from that date. I practice mostly in the Eastern District of PA, and the US Trustee/Bankruptcy Court in the MD may interpret the "clock" differently. Of course, your prior bankruptcy case must be disclosed in any new filing.
Q. i loaned a friend? $5,000 so he could bye a vehicle. he filed for bankruptsy and now says he no longer owes me
A: Unless you took a security interest in the debtor's real or personal property at the time you advanced the money, and "perfected" your lien by filing in the designated places (Registrar of deeds in county where real property is located, or Sec. of State of PA and/or county for UCC-1 filings), then your loan is most probably subject to discharge in the bankruptcy. There are exceptions to discharge, listed in Section 523 of the bankruptcy code, e.g., if the debtor procured the loan by fraud, etc. If you loaned the money within 90 days of the bankruptcy filing, you may also have a nondischargeable claim. There are other exceptions to discharge, listed in Section 523.
Q. What can I do to stop foreclosure on my house involving a scam?
A: Depending upon the remaining amount of your mortgage arrearages (missed payments plus late charges and accrued interest), yes, there are alternative ways to stop, or suspend, the "pre closure process". I assume you have received a letter notice of intent to foreclose, but you don't specify the date of the letter, or whether you were given thirty days to cure the default. The letter should specify the amount of the default. Most mortgage lenders have "help" departments, and offer loan modifications to assist homeowners in efforts to save the home, but that seems to work better in theory than in practice. Some lenders are less "forgiving" or willing to work with borrowers than others. The amount of equity in your property is a determining factor. Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code was designed to "save the house", and is usually the most effective and advantageous way to do so. I'd need more facts than you offer to give the best recommendation for how you should proceed.
Q. I lost a Civil Law suit with about 141k awarded to the other person. Can they come after my 401K to collect?
A: If your 401k is a "qualifying plan" (i.e., meets the requirements of Section 401(k) of the Tax Code), then your 401k plans should be exempt from execution. Your judgment creditor may nonetheless attempt to levy on your 401(k) account, and you will need to file written objections to that execution, claiming the exemption, with the Sheriff to whom the writ of execution issued. Don't delay in the filing of objections, as I believe you have only ten days to do so. Have you considered an appeal from the judgment? To procure a stay of execution pending appeal, you may need to file a supersedeas bond.
Q. I need to file bankruptcy but I sold my house 6 months ago, how long do I need to wait til file
A: If you've sold your house for a "fair price", that is, for fair market value, in an arm's length transaction, then the sale of your house should have no impact on your decision about, or timing of, a bankruptcy filing. You need to evaluate your current asset values and debts, and the payment terms of those debts, to determine whether to file for bankruptcy relief, and which chapter of bankruptcy under which to file, and when to file. I strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to assist you to make those decisions,
Q. I have been renting a property for 9 years. And not it is in foreclosure.
A: To answer your questions, I'd need to see what has been filed by your landlord in his Chapter 11 case, including what orders have been entered authorizing him to utilize his lenders' cash collateral (the rent you pay would most probably be part of that cash collateral). In addition, we'd need to know what kind of "trustee" sent you the August letter, and by what authority that trustee is acting. I have to assume that your intent to purchase your residence next month at the Courthouse means that the house is being foreclosed and a sheriff's sale has been scheduled for February. If the landlord has filed a Ch. 11 bankruptcy, any foreclosure sale will be stayed by the bankruptcy court's automatic stay. There are provisions of the bankruptcy code that pertain to your payment of rent to a landlord bankruptcy debtor, and possible rejection of the lease of the property. Without more information, we can't know by what authority some "law firm" claims to be entitled to your rental payments. Is the law firm representing the holder of the Mortgage debt on your residence? To answer your several questions reliably, we'd need to review the landlord's bankruptcy filings and any orders entered by the bankruptcy court (they can be obtained with Pacer electronic court access, with a bankruptcy case number and the district in which the case was filed, as well as court-filed documents in the foreclosure case.
Q. Question about filing bankruptcy. I filed Chapter 13 in Nov 2012 for old IRS debt. Converted to Chapter 7 Nov 2014.
A: The clock starts to run from the date your Order of Discharge was entered. You cannot get another discharge for 8 years from that date. The spacing, until recently, was six years between discharges, and it became common to file a "chapter 20" bankruptcy, meaning first, a Chapter 7, and then a year or so later, file a Chapter 13 with a 5-year plan (the discharge in a Ch. 13 case is granted at the end of the plan term). Using the same tactic, you'd have to wait for about three years after your Ch. 7 discharge before you'd be eligible to file a new Ch. 13 case with a 5-year confirmable plan. You may also need to file a motion to expand the automatic stay beyond 30 days, i.e., for the duration of your new case. Needless to say, second filings within 8 years of the grant of a discharge are discouraged.
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Contact & Map
Law Office of W.J. Winterstein, Jr.
PO Box 285
Boyertown, PA 19464
USA
Telephone: (484) 415-0391
Law Office of W.J. Winterstein, Jr.
PO Box 1006
Royersford, PA 19468
USA
Telephone: (484) 415-0391