• Report: #261153

Complaint Review: Hosto,Buchan,Prater & Lawrence, P.L.L.C Attorney At Law

  • Submitted: Mon, July 16, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, August 05, 2007

  • Reported By:Littlefield Texas
Hosto,Buchan,Prater & Lawrence, P.L.L.C Attorney At Law
8117 Preston Rd. Ste. 300 West Dallas, Texas U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-892-1460
  • Web:
  • Category: Lawyers

Hosto,Buchan,Prater & Lawrence, P.L.L.C Attorney At Law Trying to get my deceased Mother to pay them, when it was charged off at Sears Dallas Texas

*Author of original report: Answer

*Consumer Suggestion: My thoughts

*Author of original report: Answer to Questions

*Consumer Suggestion: More Questions

*Consumer Suggestion: More Questions

*Consumer Suggestion: More Questions

*Consumer Suggestion: More Questions

*Author of original report: Hosto,Buchan,Prater & Lawrence, P.L.L.C Attorney At Law

*Consumer Suggestion: Probated or not?

*Consumer Suggestion: Is there anything they can get their hands on?

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I received an letter today from these attorneys, telling my Mother that is deceased, that she may pay them what they call a 70% settlement off the original price saving her the sum of $1,783.78. Past due account now owed to: LVNV Funding L.L.C. Sears which was the original creditor, in the amount of $5,945.93, which was purchased by them as their account number is: SH028798, with their client ref. No. is:
51207970583446.

So what can I do to get these people to understand that my mother is deceased, she died on Oct. 8, 2004. Therefore, sears charged her off.

So what can I do tomake these people understand that unless they die and go to heaven, I am sure that they won't be collecting this?

This is the 3 letter that I have recevied from them.

Colene
Littlefield, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/16/2007 11:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/HostoBuchanPrater-Lawrence-PLLC-Attorney-At-Law/Dallas-Texas-75225/HostoBuchanPrater-Lawrence-PLLC-Attorney-At-Law-Trying-to-get-my-deceased-Mother-t-261153. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Answer

AUTHOR: Colene - (U.S.A.)

"My thoughts
No problem.
Another question though:
Is someone paying the mortgage on the house along with the taxes every year and living in it? It's odd that it hasn't been foreclosed on for 3 yrs, otherwise.

As long as the taxes and mortgage are getting paid I can't think of a reason why the mortgager would foreclose, nor your county would have to pursue taxes in arrears.

I don't even see the need to go through probate as it will cost you money in legal fees. Let the house go into foreclosure and the bank can deal with it. If you do want to go through probate some states allow you file as a 'small estate', typically under $20,000 for estate value without hiring a lawyer but you'd have to check that out. The person that was supposed to inherit the house will have to state in a legal document that they do not want the house though.

Basically, getting back to your first question - If the letter went to your mother's house address then I personally wouldn't do anything. I've seen enough reports on here about zombie debt collectors that any good deed you would do to try to explain things wouldn't be worth it. If the letters are being sent to YOUR address then I would write the company that bought the Sears debt and lay it all out, include a copy of the death certificate. They would never get anything if they even could force the house to be sold as the bank would get what it's owed first and nothing would be left over. I'm also assuming that your name was not on the card along with your mother's name. They are just going to have to eat it. Sears probably never told them if they knew she was deceased and just sold her debt to them for pennies on the dollar."

No One is paying one red cent on the house, except the mortgage company is paying the tax's each year. My sis is living in the house, and refuses to pay one red cent to them, cause she is telling them that is they want it they can have it only after the 4 years is up. In Texas, they can't touch it, until the probate is done on my Mothers will.

So they pay the tax's and wait and wait and wait. She has been to court several times from past mortgage companies that have owned the house. I do know that when my mothers payments were getting close to the last couple, that mortgage company would sell it to another mortgage company and they would bring it back to the original price and she didn't know that, but kept on paying the bill. What theives they are!

Yes, the letter went to my Mothers house, good advice, I won't do anything. After my Mother died, I sent Sears a copy of her death certificate. They called me to tell me not to worry, that the bill was taken care of. Which I didn't worry at all, until I got this letter from them.

Yes, they purchase these bills from such as Sear and other places for pennies on the dollar and then send people bills, scare tactics and most of them pay. Not me.

Thanks for the advice, well appreciated.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

My thoughts

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

No problem.
Another question though:
Is someone paying the mortgage on the house along with the taxes every year and living in it? It's odd that it hasn't been foreclosed on for 3 yrs, otherwise.

As long as the taxes and mortgage are getting paid I can't think of a reason why the mortgager would foreclose, nor your county would have to pursue taxes in arrears.

I don't even see the need to go through probate as it will cost you money in legal fees. Let the house go into foreclosure and the bank can deal with it. If you do want to go through probate some states allow you file as a "small estate", typically under $20,000 for estate value without hiring a lawyer but you'd have to check that out. The person that was supposed to inherit the house will have to state in a legal document that they do not want the house though.

Basically, getting back to your first question - If the letter went to your mother's house address then I personally wouldn't do anything. I've seen enough reports on here about zombie debt collectors that any good deed you would do to try to explain things wouldn't be worth it. If the letters are being sent to YOUR address then I would write the company that bought the Sears debt and lay it all out, include a copy of the death certificate. They would never get anything if they even could force the house to be sold as the bank would get what it's owed first and nothing would be left over. I'm also assuming that your name was not on the card along with your mother's name. They are just going to have to eat it. Sears probably never told them if they knew she was deceased and just sold her debt to them for pennies on the dollar.

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#3 Author of original report

Answer to Questions

AUTHOR: Colene - (U.S.A.)

When you say the house was inherited, does that mean outside of Probate?
ie a beneficiary deed or transfer through a trust?

Or do you mean it's stated in the will who will get the house only? If so the will means nothing until it is entered into Probate which means the property is in limbo until it goes through it.

Also, are you saying that the house is upside down? The mortgage being more than the house is worth?

Regardless, if there are multiple people that inherit the house through probate and it's decided to sell the house then the mortgage lein would have to be satisfied first. Any proceeds left over from that the personal representative would have to use to satisfy any debts properly claimed by creditors and estate expenses.

Now if the house is worth more than the mortgage and a person that inherited it wanted to keep it and live in it then the question to ask is can a creditor force the house to be sold through probate to satisfy the claim(s). This person would also have to work it out with lender whether they could take over the loan in their name or refinance it with someone else.

Was the home appraised close to the time when your mother passed away? The person that inherits the house would get the value of it at the time of her death and not at the price she paid for it originally. It is called the 'stepped up' value and has tax consequences of the capital gains if the person decides to sell it later on. They would only be taxed on the net gain over the stepped up value. If an appraisal was not done then you'd want to hire a forensic appraiser that could calculate the house value on the day she passed away, going back 3+ years. The appraisal has to stand IRS scrutiny if they audit.

Again, an experienced probate lawyer would be able to answer and advise better. I'm just throwing alot of things out there that I learned when going through this and it can get overwhelming. Hope this info helps.



I had to copy what you wrote, so that I could go back and try to answer that you asked, hope you don't mind?

I understand but then again some of what you say is so far over my head, that i seem like I am in the clouds.
You gotta be a lawyer, your talking so far over my head, that I don't feel like I may ever see daylight again.

I got some of it, so heres to what I do understand what your saying.

Yes, appraised a couple months before she died, less than what the morgage on it is.

It states in the will only who will get the house, but no one wants the house.
Its nots worth what the mortgage is, an in pretty bad shape. Who would want a house that has termite damage, certainly not anyone of the family.

Yes, the mortgage is about $25,000.00, when its only worth at tops $10,500.00, with all the termite damage that it has if that much.

So the house is in limbo as you put it, until I probate the will is that correct?
So the mortgage company, can't do anything until I probate the will, is that correct?
Colene
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

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AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

When you say the house was inherited, does that mean outside of Probate?
ie a beneficiary deed or transfer through a trust?

Or do you mean it's stated in the will who will get the house only? If so the will means nothing until it is entered into Probate which means the property is in limbo until it goes through it.

Also, are you saying that the house is upside down? The mortgage being more than the house is worth?

Regardless, if there are multiple people that inherit the house through probate and it's decided to sell the house then the mortgage lein would have to be satisfied first. Any proceeds left over from that the personal representative would have to use to satisfy any debts properly claimed by creditors and estate expenses.

Now if the house is worth more than the mortgage and a person that inherited it wanted to keep it and live in it then the question to ask is can a creditor force the house to be sold through probate to satisfy the claim(s). This person would also have to work it out with lender whether they could take over the loan in their name or refinance it with someone else.

Was the home appraised close to the time when your mother passed away? The person that inherits the house would get the value of it at the time of her death and not at the price she paid for it originally. It is called the "stepped up" value and has tax consequences of the capital gains if the person decides to sell it later on. They would only be taxed on the net gain over the stepped up value. If an appraisal was not done then you'd want to hire a forensic appraiser that could calculate the house value on the day she passed away, going back 3+ years. The appraisal has to stand IRS scrutiny if they audit.

Again, an experienced probate lawyer would be able to answer and advise better. I'm just throwing alot of things out there that I learned when going through this and it can get overwhelming. Hope this info helps.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

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AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

When you say the house was inherited, does that mean outside of Probate?
ie a beneficiary deed or transfer through a trust?

Or do you mean it's stated in the will who will get the house only? If so the will means nothing until it is entered into Probate which means the property is in limbo until it goes through it.

Also, are you saying that the house is upside down? The mortgage being more than the house is worth?

Regardless, if there are multiple people that inherit the house through probate and it's decided to sell the house then the mortgage lein would have to be satisfied first. Any proceeds left over from that the personal representative would have to use to satisfy any debts properly claimed by creditors and estate expenses.

Now if the house is worth more than the mortgage and a person that inherited it wanted to keep it and live in it then the question to ask is can a creditor force the house to be sold through probate to satisfy the claim(s). This person would also have to work it out with lender whether they could take over the loan in their name or refinance it with someone else.

Was the home appraised close to the time when your mother passed away? The person that inherits the house would get the value of it at the time of her death and not at the price she paid for it originally. It is called the "stepped up" value and has tax consequences of the capital gains if the person decides to sell it later on. They would only be taxed on the net gain over the stepped up value. If an appraisal was not done then you'd want to hire a forensic appraiser that could calculate the house value on the day she passed away, going back 3+ years. The appraisal has to stand IRS scrutiny if they audit.

Again, an experienced probate lawyer would be able to answer and advise better. I'm just throwing alot of things out there that I learned when going through this and it can get overwhelming. Hope this info helps.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

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AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

When you say the house was inherited, does that mean outside of Probate?
ie a beneficiary deed or transfer through a trust?

Or do you mean it's stated in the will who will get the house only? If so the will means nothing until it is entered into Probate which means the property is in limbo until it goes through it.

Also, are you saying that the house is upside down? The mortgage being more than the house is worth?

Regardless, if there are multiple people that inherit the house through probate and it's decided to sell the house then the mortgage lein would have to be satisfied first. Any proceeds left over from that the personal representative would have to use to satisfy any debts properly claimed by creditors and estate expenses.

Now if the house is worth more than the mortgage and a person that inherited it wanted to keep it and live in it then the question to ask is can a creditor force the house to be sold through probate to satisfy the claim(s). This person would also have to work it out with lender whether they could take over the loan in their name or refinance it with someone else.

Was the home appraised close to the time when your mother passed away? The person that inherits the house would get the value of it at the time of her death and not at the price she paid for it originally. It is called the "stepped up" value and has tax consequences of the capital gains if the person decides to sell it later on. They would only be taxed on the net gain over the stepped up value. If an appraisal was not done then you'd want to hire a forensic appraiser that could calculate the house value on the day she passed away, going back 3+ years. The appraisal has to stand IRS scrutiny if they audit.

Again, an experienced probate lawyer would be able to answer and advise better. I'm just throwing alot of things out there that I learned when going through this and it can get overwhelming. Hope this info helps.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

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AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

When you say the house was inherited, does that mean outside of Probate?
ie a beneficiary deed or transfer through a trust?

Or do you mean it's stated in the will who will get the house only? If so the will means nothing until it is entered into Probate which means the property is in limbo until it goes through it.

Also, are you saying that the house is upside down? The mortgage being more than the house is worth?

Regardless, if there are multiple people that inherit the house through probate and it's decided to sell the house then the mortgage lein would have to be satisfied first. Any proceeds left over from that the personal representative would have to use to satisfy any debts properly claimed by creditors and estate expenses.

Now if the house is worth more than the mortgage and a person that inherited it wanted to keep it and live in it then the question to ask is can a creditor force the house to be sold through probate to satisfy the claim(s). This person would also have to work it out with lender whether they could take over the loan in their name or refinance it with someone else.

Was the home appraised close to the time when your mother passed away? The person that inherits the house would get the value of it at the time of her death and not at the price she paid for it originally. It is called the "stepped up" value and has tax consequences of the capital gains if the person decides to sell it later on. They would only be taxed on the net gain over the stepped up value. If an appraisal was not done then you'd want to hire a forensic appraiser that could calculate the house value on the day she passed away, going back 3+ years. The appraisal has to stand IRS scrutiny if they audit.

Again, an experienced probate lawyer would be able to answer and advise better. I'm just throwing alot of things out there that I learned when going through this and it can get overwhelming. Hope this info helps.
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#8 Author of original report

Hosto,Buchan,Prater & Lawrence, P.L.L.C Attorney At Law

AUTHOR: Colene - (U.S.A.)

There is no money, as my dear sweet Mother, didn't have any money when she was alive much less when she died.

She was living off her social security, thats all she had.

They can't go after an inheritance property can they.

The house she lived in while alive, she was paying notes on. Sorry, to say, that she financed a $17,000.00 house and ended up paying about $180,000.00, for which still wasn't paid off when she died.

In the state of Texas, you have 4 years from the date of death to probate a will. So at the first of October 2008, we will probabe her will, not before that.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Probated or not?

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

Did the estate go through probate? Usually there is a six month limit of creditor claims.
If the estate is closed I don't see how they can lay a claim now.

If there was no probate but money was inherited by beneficiaries outside of probate I think legally that money should have been used to pay the outstanding Sears debt. I had to do this when my mother passed away a couple years ago.
But, if there was no money inherited, it is not your responsibility to pay your mother's debt with your own money. A letter to them stating that there was no probate nor money left over from funeral expenses is usually enough to stop them (if it's true). The amount may be sufficient enough for them to keep bothering you about it and, without knowing all the details on here, it might be worth it to seek legal advice.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Is there anything they can get their hands on?

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

At this point, they can only go after money from your mother's estate. If mom didn't leave behind any money or property, there is nothing for them to collect. If, however, your mother left behind some money and/or property, the creditors can go after it. If such is the case, it would probably be wise to pay them off out of the proceeds of the estate given their rather generous offer.

But if mom didn't leave anything behind but bills, then I would send the creditors a death certificate and see where they go from there.

Best of luck!
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