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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
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&AResponsive Law

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. There isn't much I haven't seen, or done. PLEASE CONTACT ME BY EMAIL FIRST, 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
  • Free Consultation
    I am happy to chat with you about your issues, for no charge, for up to one hour.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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Professional Experience
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.
Oklahoma City University School of Law
Honors: Graduated with honors, 2nd of 208, 1976
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Professional Associations
PA Bar Association
- Current
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Eastern district of PA Bankruptcy Conference
- Current
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Legal Answers
76 Questions Answered

Q. If I was discharged from my bankruptcy and 1.5 years later the bank charges off my auto loan... Can my car be repo'd?
A: A Chapter 7 Discharge does not discharge a secured debt, up to the fair market value of the collateral. In other words, your bank has a lien on your car to the extent, and in the amount of, its fair market value. But if the loan balance is greater than the car's value, so that there is, or would be, a deficiency balance after the car is sold, the bank cannot pursue you to collect that deficiency, because it would be an unsecured portion of the bank's total bankruptcy claim, and it would have been discharged in your bankruptcy. When a creditor "charges off" a loan balance, that is only an internal accounting function, and with a bank, a regulatory matter that can affect the bank's lending limits. But the charge-off has no effect on the legally enforceable secured lien and balance the bank still holds on the car. I've represented several financial institutions in my practice, and most of them seem to lose interest in collection efforts on discharged debts (although your bank may well be interested in proceeding to repo and sell your apparently expensive vehicle). You can easily ascertain a fair market value of your car online at the NADA site. That range of values, less costs of repo and sale, is probably what the bank is looking at. The banker is right that it's probably too late to reaffirm the auto loan (I have gone back and reopened a bankruptcy case to submit a Reaff agreement and motion for approval, though, but local practice controls). Bottom line for banks and financial institution: they just want the money, and what they call a "performing asset", i.e., a loan on their books that pays them every month. Maybe your bankruptcy lawyer could help you negotiate with this bank.
Q. I also received a summary of trustee’s final report and application for compensation. The last page looks like this:
A: The Trustee's report is about what the trustee will pay, or has paid, to creditors. Secured and priority claims are always paid before any distribution to general unsecured claims, which in either a Ch. 13 or Ch. 7 are usually discharged at the end of the case. A quicker way to get this answer would have been to contact your trustee's office directly, or your lawyer.
Q. Can you file bankruptcy more than once
A: Yes, you can file for bankruptcy more than once in your life, but it’s a matter of timing. Section 109 of the Bankruptcy Code provides- (g)Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no individual or family farmer may be a debtor under this title who has been a debtor in a case pending under this title at any time in the preceding 180 days if— (1) the case was dismissed by the court for willful failure of the debtor to abide by orders of the court, or to appear before the court in proper prosecution of the case; or (2) the debtor requested and obtained the voluntary dismissal of the case following the filing of a request for relief from the automatic stay provided by section 362 of this title. And then there’s Section 727 (specifically, sub-Section 8) (7) the debtor has committed any act specified in paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this subsection, on or within one year before the date of the filing of the petition, or during the case, in connection with another case, under this title or under the Bankruptcy Act, concerning an insider; (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, unless payments under the plan in such case totaled at least— (A) 100 percent of the allowed unsecured claims in such case; or (B) (i) 70 percent of such claims; and (ii) the plan was proposed by the debtor in good faith, and was the debtor’s best effort;
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Contact & Map
Law Office of W.J. Winterstein, Jr.
P.O. Box 285
Boyertown, PA 19512
Telephone: (484) 415-0391
Monday: 6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Tuesday: 6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Wednesday: 6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Thursday: 6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Friday: 6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Saturday: 6:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Sunday: 6:30 AM - 5 PM (Today)
Notice: I work from my home office at this point.
Law Office of W.J. Winterstein, Jr.
PO Box 1006
Royersford, PA 19468
Telephone: (484) 415-0391