Glossary C

cease letter – A letter sent to a person describing the offensive activity and requesting that the activity stop. A cease letter is sometimes sent to ask a collection agency to stop calling a debtor.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy – Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidation of debts whereby no payment is made on most debts, with the exception of taxes, some intentional torts, some support obligations and some student loans.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy – A reorganization that provides for payment of a portion of some debts and all of certain debts such as home mortgages. An individual must meet certain requirements to qualify for this type of bankruptcy.

codicil – A supplement or addition to a will that explains, modifies, or revokes certain provisions.

committee – In past West Virginia law, a person appointed to manage the affairs of a protected person. Now called Guardian/Conservator.

common law
– Law made by judges and courts rather than through legislation or regulation. When there is no statutory or constitutional authority on an issue, judges have the duty to make a decision. The decision the judge makes creates precedent that is used to determine the outcome of similar future cases.

condemnation (property law) – the process by which a public utility takes private land by public domain.

conservator – An individual appointed to manage the affairs of an incompetent person.

co-payment – In Medicare, the portion of a doctor’s bill that the individual is responsible for paying (not covered by Medicare).

countable asset
– Assets that an individual (or spouse, if any) owns and could convert to cash to be used for his or her support and maintenance. Some assets are excluded when determining whether an individual qualifies for certain government benefits such as SSI or Medicaid.

current maintenance
– basic expenses of living such as food, rent, transportation, clothing and other everyday expenses.

custody– possession of something or someone. A parent who has custody of a child is called the custodial parent.