How do I file bankruptcy if I'm on SS disability but still do not have enough money to pay my bills? 40 Answers as of August 24, 2012

It has been several years since I became disabled. I have over $60,000 in credit card and medical bills. I need to file bankruptcy but I am living on ss disability. Is this still possible? I do not draw enough to pay all these bills and live.

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Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
You may be eligible for a waiver of the fee to file for bankruptcy if you don't have the income to file.

The Bankruptcy court does have an access to justice program and you should go to the U. S. Bankruptcy Court web site for the District in which you reside to find the information about how to apply for a fee waiver and help in filing the case without a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2012
Hunter Law Offices, PLLC
Hunter Law Offices, PLLC | S. Christopher Hunter
Yes the fact that you are low income does not impact your ability to file for bankruptcy. In fact if you are on SSI there is a good chance that the court will waive all of your filing fees. You could file the bankruptcy yourself or have an attorney assist you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/20/2012
Law Office of Nanina Takla
Law Office of Nanina Takla | Nanina Takla
If your only source of income is SSDI and you don't have any other assets, then you are collection-proof. This means that your creditors don't have any way to collect from you if you stop paying them they can sue you and they can get a judgment, but they are prohibited by law from collecting their judgment from your SSDI payments.

To be safe, you should get your SSDI direct-deposited and only keep SSDI money in that account. In other words, don't co-mingle your SSDI money with any other deposits in that bank account. If you really want to file a bankruptcy, then, depending on your income, you might qualify for the pro bono bankruptcy clinic. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/15/2012
Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
You file bankruptcy the same way as usual. There are no minimum or maximum income requirements.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 8/15/2012
Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
Filing bankruptcy for you will be very easy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/15/2012
    Lynn Boak, Attorney at Law P.C.
    Lynn Boak, Attorney at Law P.C. | Ethelyn (Lynn) Boak
    You can still file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, but you should be aware that you will not be able to file again for eight years. If you can live with that, it might be best for you to file. You would file just as anybody else would file, although perhaps you would be able to waive the $306 filing fee, since your income is probably less than 150% of the federal poverty level.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    Yes, you most likely would be eligible for a simple Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy and have your unsecured debts discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    The first thing you do is never pay another credit card bill as long as you live. Period. Stop. They will call (though you can make them stop) but they can take nothing from you, not even after suing you and getting a judgment.

    You can file bankruptcy and in the end your life will be simpler if you do, but truth be told, you don't need to file.

    If you have been on SSD long enough to qualify for MediCare, get on MediCare right away so you can use that to pay future medical bills. Tell your health care providers nothing until you are ready to file and then just drop it on them.

    If you are not yet Medicare eligible, then you should wait to file bankruptcy so as not to have more unpaid medical bills for which you have no coverage. In the mean time, remember to not pay the credit cards so you have enough to live.

    The key here is to stop worrying and understand your rights. There is absolutely nothing either the banks or the medical providers can do to you if you don't pay. We gave up debtor's prison in the English speaking world about 200 years ago.

    It is not a crime to not pay a bill. Put yourself first and file bankruptcy when you are ready. In the meantime, stop using the credit cards, too.? Cash only (or your debit card) from now on.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    It sounds like you would be eligible for bankruptcy relief.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Harkess Law Offices | Nancy Harkess
    The only affect that you SS disability has on your filing for bankruptcy is that Social Security benefits are not included as income.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    Yes, it's possible. See a bankruptcy lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You do not need to file bankruptcy. You are "judgement proof." Write them all a letter and attach proof your are on SSI. In the letter tell them not to call you anymore. Then keep track of the calls, write down the date, time and incoming phone number.

    Send the letters certified mail, return receipt. Keep a copy for your records. When they keep calling, (and the will eventually) see a lawyer about suing them. *
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Jay W. Moreland, P.A.
    Jay W. Moreland, P.A. | Jay W. Moreland
    It is possible to file a bankruptcy in your situation, but you should talk to an attorney about it. Many offer a free consultation. It may not be necessary for you to file bankruptcy if you have no assets and are on Social Security Disability.

    You might be judgment proof which means that even if you are sued by your creditors, there may be no assets for a creditor to collect. If you have ongoing medical bills, any future bills won't be covered by your bankruptcy. So the timing of the bankruptcy might be important. There are many other factors that would go into this decision and an attorney could help you assess them and decide what is best for you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Salberg Murdock
    Salberg Murdock | Jeffrey D. Salberg
    Yes, you can file for bankruptcy, probably a chapter 7. However, a decision on whether to file a chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy depends on the facts of your case..... that is, home ownership with equity, or ownership of automobiles worth more than the allowed exemptions. Consult a competent bankruptcy attorney. I personally do not charge people to discuss there particular situation. 34-5580 *
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    Yes, you sound like a prime candidate for chapter 7 bankruptcy. You may want to also consider seeking a legal aid attorney through Lone Star Legal Aid, Houston Volunteer Lawyer Program, or similar organization. If your income is less than 150% of poverty guidelines, you may also qualify to have the $306 filing fee waived, and you can seek waiver of the fee for your mandatory credit briefing and debtor education courses.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of Diann C. Moseley | Diann Moseley
    Call an attorney in your area and find out how much he/she will charge to file your bankruptcy.? Once the bankruptcy is filed, and your debts are discharged,you will no longer have to pay the debts.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    It may still be possible to file bankruptcy. I suggest you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the details of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Moran Law Offices
    Moran Law Offices | Ryan Moran
    The answer is yes, you can definitely file bankruptcy to eliminate your credit card debt while you're on Social Security Disability. As far as the attorney fees go, you'd be looking at somewhere around $850.00 and the filing fee would be able to be waived in all likelihood, which is a savings of $306.00. Our office offers payment plans starting at $50.00 per month.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    You are able to file a bankruptcy. Although from what you say in your post you may be judgment proof, many times people in your situation file simply to stop the creditors from harassing you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Bankruptcy is what you need to do. You can download an information booklet about chapter 7 from my website.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
    Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
    You do qualify to file bankruptcy. You may not need to though since SS disability can not be garnished.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Stockman Law Office | Mary Stockman Esq.
    Yes you may file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    You can file for bankruptcy whenever you have more debts than you are able to pay for. It does not matter that you are on SS disability.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    David Andersen & Associates PC | Jeremy Shephard
    You are still eligible to file bankruptcy even if you are on SSDI. On a side note, SSDI is uncollectable by creditors so you can choose to not pay these creditors and there is little they can do to get to these funds.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    You can get information and forms from the bankruptcy court website. You should be able to get a fee waiver. There may be bankruptcy assistants who will only charge for preparation of the papers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    You can file bankruptcy if you are on social security disability. You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case to eliminate your debts as long as you haven't filed a Chapter 7 case in the past 8 years. You should meet with a lawyer to get the details.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Guardian Law Group PLLC
    Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
    Yes you can file for bankruptcy. If you have a lot of time and can risk not preparing correctly and possible dismissal you can even try to do it yourself. You should get an attorney to have it done right.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    Yes. You can still file for bankruptcy. Call a bankruptcy attorney at your convenience.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    Yeah, you can file and get a fee waiver.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Richard T Wheeler | Richard T Wheeler
    Yes. You can file chapter 7. Generally your credit card debt and medical expenses will be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Gilgannon Law, LLC | Stuart D.P. Gilgannon
    It is definately possible to file bankruptcy while on a fixed income. Furthermore, your limited income and high debt amount mean it is something you should strongly consider. Contact a bankruptcy attorney right away to make sure you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    The easiest way is to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    You probably need to file a Chapter 7 liquidation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Yes you can still file bankruptcy even if you're only living on social security. I strongly suggest that you seek help of an attorney.

    If you cannot afford one, contact your local legal aid, you'll most likely qualify for free help since your income source of income is social security.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    Most likely your income is the type that cannot be taken by your creditors. Bankruptcy might be an option to relieve you of the nuisance of the creditor's calls.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Bensamochan & Poghosyan LLP | Eric Bensamochan
    It is possible. You can also apply for a fee waiver for the filing fees for Chapter 7. You can even file the case on your own (Pro Per) without an attorney's assistance, but the forms may become complicated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You can file for bankruptcy and you might want to consult with an attorney about getting some help. Technically, your credit card creditors cannot take your social security income but it will be up to you whether you want to file or not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    In New Jersey it is absolutely possible. I have handled many cases where the Debtor is on SSDI. Your SSDI income is Non Means Test income and can be totally excluded from the Bankruptcy Estate. If there is no real property to worry about, and you are current on your rent, there really is no issue as to why we could not file you a Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Yes, you would easily qualify for bankruptcy with SS disability income as your only source of income. You should speak to a local attorney to prepare your bankruptcy petition.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Andrew Harris
    Law Office of Andrew Harris | Andrew Harris
    Yes, it is possible for you to file bankruptcy even though you are on Social Security Disability.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/15/2012
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