Can I file for bankruptcy? 29 Answers as of July 30, 2011

I am 24 years old and have never been employed. I graduated in 2008 with a bachelors degree. I have never been able to find any job since. I have about 7,000 dollars in credit card debt thats been in collections for a couple of years. I have not been able to pay any of that. I also have about 20,000 dollars in student loans . I have had them deferred and forbearance on them. I know that if i file for bankruptcy i will still be on the hook for the student loans. but i want to file for bankruptcy to get rid of these credit card debts? there is no way i can pay them. I cant find a job. Please give me some advice considering my credit likely can't get any worse

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Bankruptcy Law Center
Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
Yes. Most debtors will not file bankruptcy with only $7000 in dischargeable credit card debt, but in some cases it is the only option. You need to balance whether you can live with Bankruptcy on your credit report for 10 years. Since your credit is already bad and probably will be bad for the next 5 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the fastest way to rebuild credit in spite of the 10 year credit reporting requirement.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/25/2011
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
Don't file.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 7/22/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
CC debt is unsecured and can be discharged
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/22/2011
Rosenberg & Press
Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
DO NOT FILE BANKRUPTCY OVER SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! It is not worth damaging your credit report and barring yourself from filing a bankruptcy for the next eight years. Cost benefit analysis is clear: You do not have enough debt to justify bankruptcy. You should start looking harder for a job. Make finding a job your job. Take internships, start going door to door. Redouble your efforts to get a job. If you really want to work, there is work out there.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/22/2011
Everett Walton, Attorney at Law
Everett Walton, Attorney at Law | Everett Walton
You may file for bankruptcy, but if you have no assets, you may be "judgment-proof" in which case your creditors would not be able to enforce any judgments against you.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and get rid of the credit card debt. In your situation I would look around for a legal document preparer to prepare the Petition for you, or you could probably do it yourself. Nolo Press has an excellent book on how to do your own Chapter 7, and while it is tedious to prepare a Petition, if you have student loan debt I would guess you are smart enough to figure it out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Generally student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Go ahead and file. Put this part behind you. It is terrible that you can't get a job, the interest on that student loan debt will become a nightmare. Good luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    The student loans will stay but yes you can file for a Chapter 7 and get rid of the credit card and other debt. You do need to see a Lawyer to look at the total picture and not consider this as final and complete legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    I usually advise filing a bankruptcy to avoid loss of property or wages to creditors. If you have nothing to lose and no wages to garnish why file? On the other hand getting rid of debt is a start to rehabilitate your credit rating.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    You should seek a free consultation from a bankruptcy attorney. Getting everything else behind you may help put you in a better situation going forward to handle the student loan obligation.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You can discharge $7,000 in debt, but you will have to consider whether the benefit is worth the cost in time or money that it will require to successfully file. There is no minimum amount of debt required to file, but it becomes difficult to justify going through the process when the amount of dischargable debt is low.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    In deciding whether to file bankruptcy the amount of debt should be considered as one factor. For instance, if the debt is consumer credit card debt only, a consumer credit counseling program should be considered. This will improve credit-worthiness. Bankruptcy should be a last choice, not a choice of convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    You can file bankruptcy. Having income or a job does not matter. $7000 is a small amount to file on but that is completely your choice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    You can file a bankruptcy if you wish, but I would consider it long and hard. $7000 in dischargeable debt may seem like a lot now, but the bankruptcy will haunt you a long time. It is on your credit reports for 10 years, but many employers ask if you have ever filed bankruptcy. That doesn't necessarily mean that you won't get the job or the opportunity, but it is a black eye that you want to avoid if you can. Moreover, why not wait to see if the creditor actually sues you? If you are in Texas, and they don't sue you within 4 years of you defaulting on the debt, they can't sue you by reason of the statute of limitations. Then it comes off your credit after 7 years after defaulting. That is all that a bankruptcy discharge is, a bar to them suing you. And if they don't sue you, and you don't file bankruptcy, you avoid having a major derogatory hit to your reputation like filing the bankruptcy would be, following you around the rest of your life. It can be worth it in certain circumstances, but at 24, I would not jump into it. You can't find any job at all? McDonald's is hiring. I have heard of people starting to work there behind the counter, and eventually purchasing stores and becoming very wealthy. Can you mow lawns? There is an elderly man in my neighborhood that mows 68 lawns on a monthly basis, and makes a fine income. He stays in great shape. The old ladies flirt with him and bring him iced tea. There is a lot of opportunity around you if you look for it.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    You can file bankruptcy on the unsecured debt. You will still be responsible for the student loans.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC
    Florio Law Firm, PLLC | Amber Morgan Florio, Attorney at Law
    Bankruptcy is a fact based area of the law, and each individual case will present its own set of facts. Therefore, I want to start with the statement that you should seek a FREE consult from a Bankruptcy Attorney to look at all of the facts surrounding your situation -(Do you own real estate? Have a car note? Have an ownership interest in real estate? Do you own any mineral interests? Do you live with someone who has income that is over the Texas Median Average Income? etc.) based on the information you have provided, it sounds like you would be eligible to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Discharge all of the credit card debt. You are correct that you would not be able to discharge the student loans. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy takes approximately three months to complete, and does not involve a payment plan to the trustee. It is a liquidation, and complete discharge of all of your unsecured debt. (Credit Cards are unsecured debt). Paperwork and attorneys fees will have to be provided in order to file your case. A local attorney would likely give you a FREE consult and quote you a price to file the Bankruptcy on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    You have an easy bankruptcy case. You will qualify to get rid of your credit card debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
    you could file of course
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    The requirements to qualify for a ch. 7 are that your income level must fall below the median income for the state, and/or pass the means test. Since you haven't been employed and have no wages, then you will qualify for ch. 7 and meet the income requirements since you don't have any income. Your unsecured debt will get discharged in the ch. 7, but your student loans will not. Do you have additional unsecured debt? Medical expenses? Any other debt perhaps for an automobile that you no longer have? If you only have $7k in debt, you may want to try and find alternative ways of resolving the debt, ie: settlement (this will require you to pay something towards them though) or you could try to use the statute of limitations as a defense to paying them (you say below that the accounts have been in collections for years). The statue of limitations on debt is approximately 4 years on open ended accounts such as credit cards, from the date you last paid them. Bankruptcy will impact your credit, and stay on your credit for about 7-10 years. If you're just starting out, you may want to consider bankruptcy as a last resort, although as far as qualifying purposes go, you appear to qualify from the facts below.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Sure you can file a Ch. 7. The trustee will want to know how you got credit.w/o a job, and why you used the cards if you had no means to repay them. One thing about filing now is to look at whether it can really not get worse. How are you going to live? Will you have to borrow? I ask my clients to try to wait until they're employed so they really can get a fresh start.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Fears & Nachawati Law Firm
    Fears & Nachawati Law Firm | C. Bryan Fears
    Yes, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and eliminate your credit card debt if your income has been below the median income for your county during the preceding 6 months.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Abel L. Pierre
    Law Office of Abel L. Pierre | Abel L. Pierre, Esq.
    Yes yo may file for bankruptcy. You will be able to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. This means that your debt will be completely wiped out. The student loans will not be wiped out if they are federal subsidized loans.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    From what you say, you likely can file. Bear in mind that to have it turn out properly you should get a lawyer. One thing to consider, since you say your credit card debt is only $7000, is that you'll likely spend at least $1200 filing. Also important to consider would be the interest rates on those debts, as they could be growing by 20-30% a year.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
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