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Dear Mr Hertz,
My significant other is in a whole world of hurt right now.  He is working on an OIC with the IRS to settle $68,000 in back taxes, and he is also being sued by an elderly aunt's (age 100) Power of Attorney for breach of fiduciary (while he was the POA).  I'm not certain the background is important, but my question is....if the IRS accepts an OIC on his taxes payable over a number of years, AND the lawsuit against him is successful and they obtain some kind of settlment (may be payable over 3 years), who gets paid first?  My feeling is the IRS does.  However, the IRS is going to take as much as they think they possibly can, and they will probably do so on a monthly basis, so....there may not be any extra money left to pay on a settlement.  Do you have any idea how this may work?
Thank you kindly,

This is really a bad situation.  Before he signs anything with anyone, he should see someone about bankruptcy options, although think those are poor, too.  The taxes are probably not dischargeable (it depends on how old they are), and a cause of action for violation of fiduciary duty isn't either, except in a Chapter 13.  He should figure out if he has any options at all.

Outside bankruptcy, it's just a question of which creditor attaches or garnishes his money.  You didn't say if he had assets beyond wages, of whatever.  If there are such assets, it's important to consider them, too.

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Michael T. Hertz


I can answer most questions concerning bankruptcy, whether business or personal, including questions by debtors, creditors, persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcy estates, and the like. Also have expertise in tort law, French and Canadian law.


Practiced bankruptcy for 27 years in California and taught bankruptcy for three years in Maine. This included Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 cases, representing debtors, creditors (secured and unsecured), bankruptcy trustees, creditors committees, and persons interested in purchasing assets from bankruptcies. Debtors included persons with virtually no money up to large corporations.

Inactive member of the Bar of the State of California. Nonpracticing member of the Bar of Massachusetts. Formerly member of the Maine Bar and conseil juridique in France. Certified by National Committee on Accreditation in Canada.

Georgetown Law Review; California Bankruptcy Journal; Maine Law Review; Dalhousie Law Journal; University of Toronto Law Journal.

Harvard Law School (J.D. 1970; cum laude) and Pomona College (B.A., 1967; cum laude)

Awards and Honors
Selected as a "Superlawyer" in 2005 and 2006 for Northern California.

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