We spoke today with a bankruptcy attorney and are filing chapter 7 which wipes out all debt and is afresh restart. We are keeping both of our cars but are giving up the house.
In order to know the benefits of filing BK you need to know the exemptions of your state. Google “bankruptcy exemptions” or go to http://www.legalconsumer.com/ for a free bankruptcy site. Individuals basically have two choices chapter 7 or chapter 13. Chapter 13 is the more difficult and lengthy of the two and should only be used if you can’t past the “means” test and/or you are behind in payments to secured property(e.g. mortgage,car loan). In Chapter 13 you file a plan with the court to pay off some portion of your debt over 3 to 5 years. Here is the video:
In Chapter 7 your nonexempt assets are liquidated by a trustee if you have any and used to pay your creditors. Another suggestion is to look at nolo’s site www.nolo.com find their books on bankruptcy and see if they have them at your local library. I haven’t filed yet but expect to pretty soon. I’ve learned a LOT from these resources. Once you know the details you can decide if you want to hire a lawyer or file pro se.
A few years ago my brother and his live-in girlfriend split up and he filed bankruptcy. She took out some credit cards in his name, which he didn’t find out about until after the split. he was able to keep his house and car. talk with the lawyer. i believe he did a 7. don’t go buy what others say, ask someone who knows the law. Besides, if they take your car(s) then you’ll be without a way to get to and from work.
Do a google search on both. The laws have changed but even still.. you are allowed a certain amount in assets. They dont just swoop in and take everything you own(I have filed chapter 7 and its slated to fall off of my credit report in 2009)but the laws are different now and a bit more strict. Still.. its more then likely the best option from what you’ve described and the only one who can tell for sure would be an attorney who specializes in BK.
Since they dont own the home free and clear and still carry a mortgage odds are they can keep it no problem they will have to “re affirm” that debt- meaning their mortgage company will be notified that they are filing for BK and they then will send them a letter asking them to “re affirm” or re commit to this debt and thats all they have to do. Same with the cars if they still have an outstanding loan on them.
They really only need to be concerned if they have more assets or own more assets that are valued more then the actual debt(which from what you described are medical bills) then they may be forced to pay or liquidate what they have. If they still have a mortgage on their house then its not entirely an asset yet, same with the cars etc. They should be able to get a free consultation by phone and/or in person to any number of qualified BK attorneys in their area.
I AM INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT YOU FOUND OUT. I AM NOT SURE IF THIS WOULD DO US BETTER THAN PROBLEMS WE ARE FACING NOW.
- a couple cards I am actually paying under a “collection” status
- rest of my cards I am making at least min. if not a little bit over every month – probably a total of $7,000 in those
- we turned in our one vehicle that was leased when my hubby lost his job.
- yup I lost my BIG paying job with benefits in October then he lost his in February.
- we have a camper we use as a place to stay when we go up to visit family ( 4 dogs travel with us- cheaper than boarding) but are getting close to reposession cause they will not allow us to make partial payments that I have offered to do every time they call.
- we may have an opportunity to buy the house we are renting but afraid what it will do if we file.
HELP PLEASE ALL ADVISE WELCOME BUT PERSONAL EXPERIENCE TELLS A LOT