Is bankruptcy right for me? 16 Answers as of May 17, 2011

Husband and I have 70k in unsecured debt, just rec'd mortgage default (2 weeks ago), owe 500k home worth about 650k (payments 4k/month). Family income 160k/yr. The late fees and interest are skyrocketing and we feel as if we'll never get out of this hole. Every month we fall further behind. Is bankruptcy for us?

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
Your question requires further information and analysis. The amount of debt that you have is greater than average, but your income is also greater than average. I suspect that you may be able to repay your debt without a bankruptcy. This could be done by paying as agreed, or by settling the unsecured debt at a reduced amount. I suggest that you call me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
I would need more information and would gladly speak to you as to whether BK is right for you, we offer free consultations. As for your home, in WA the homestead exemption is $125,000 and would be protected up to that amount.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/7/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
It will depend on your state's exemptions and income guidelines for bankruptcy because you have some equity in your home. It sounds like you may have to file a Chapter 13 which will require that you repay a portion of your unsecured debt. You should speak with an attorney for a detailed explanation of how bankruptcy will work for you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/5/2011
Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
Possibly. You have to see an attorney to see what chapter is most advantageous to your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
You should definitely consider speaking with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to explore whether a Chapter 13 filing can address your financial difficulties. You will almost certainly be in a 100 percent plan, but you may benefit from halting the spiraling interest and penalties on both secured and unsecured debt. Much depends on the details of your situation.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/30/2011
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
    You need to consult with an attorney in your state.
    Answer Applies to: South Dakota
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Whether bankruptcy is right for you is specific to each individual's circumstances and ability to resolve outstanding debts. Because of your income and assets, you likely won't qualify for Chapter 7 relief and I believe your secured debt puts you past the threshold for Chapter 13 relief. You should seek guidance from a bankruptcy attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin | Jared B. Gaynor
    It might be. It really depends on where you live, what type of debts all of those are, what type of assets you have, etc. You need to have a consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area to determine your eligibility and option. Most decent BK attorneys give free consultations. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    From the information you gave, it sounds like a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy will let you reschedule the mortgage arrears and credit card and other unsecured debt. That may solve your problems. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You have a lot of equity in your home. Is there anyway to pull the equity out to help your situation or modify your loan? Bankruptcy should be your last option to help protect your credit. A chapter 7 will get rid of all your unsecured debt. What do you want to do with the house? Most bankruptcy attorneys give free consultations. You should sit down with an attorney with all your information before you do anything. If you are in North Alabama you can give us a call.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    You need to do something. Whether BK is right for you depends on a lot of things. In terms of the interest on your credit cards, you should talk to one of the honest credit counselling debt management companies, like Money Management International. See how much they can get the payments down. How much bankruptcy can help depends in part on what your state law is on homestead exemptions or entireties protection for husband and wife. Also whose name is on which credit cards. (Or are you in a community property state where while you are married the debts of each are the debts of both?) Also the high income would block you from Chapter 7 and force a Chapter 13 payment plan in some states, but not in others. Depending on the median income in your state; and also things like family size, whether there are medical issues in the family. Sometimes putting one spouse in a Chapter 13 and one in a Chapter 7 can be best. Your question laid out some of the key facts. But the right answer could take a couple hours of additional information, computer work and real discussion.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    It very well could be. You should look into possibly doing a Chapter 13 (or possibly Chapter 7, if eligible) case to deal with your debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Law Office of Eric Ridley
    Law Office of Eric Ridley | Eric Ridley
    The definitive answer is: "it depends." There are a lot of variables involved in a bankruptcy, all of which interplay with each other, particularly at your level of income and assets. If you would like to give me a call, I can collect all of the information I need to fully lay out your options, and the upside or downside to each option, without any pressure on you. Once we can see the full picture, and you and your husband have the chance to think about this decision clearly and with time to discuss it, you will be able to make a more informed decision.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    It may be. I need more facts to know if you qualify for 7, 13 or 11 and which is the best option for you. One basic piece of necessary information is your age and your husband's age and whether you have children as that would determine how much equity you can exempt. Chapter 7 may be the ideal case in your circumstances, but I need more information to know if you qualify for Chapter 7, such as the nature of your debt; the size of your family; whether you have 1 job or 2 jobs; whether you have child-care obligations; tax obligations; car loans; etc. Even if you don't qualify for Chapter 7, a Chapter 13 case may still give you relief as it may stop interest from continuing to accrue on the $70,000 in unsecured debt and you may pay less than the amount you owe. Much information is needed to ascertain how much you may need to pay back per month in a Chapter 13 case - contrary to what people believe, few debtors need to pay back 100% of the amount they owe in a Chapter 13 case (or 11). You should make an appointment with us for a free initial consultation to determine your options. The passage of may may make matter worse.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    Possibly. A Chapter 13 would allow you to keep your property (if that is what you want), pay some of your debt and discharge the balance.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You might have to file a Chapter 13 case with such high income and home equity and whether or not it will be the thing to do will depend on the means test that needs to be done to determine how much your monthly payments will be in the Chapter 13 Plan. You need to pay a lawyer to do the means test and then decide depending on the required Chapter 13 payments. One big problem might be that you have a substantial amount of equity in your home. Generally the homestead exemption available to a married couple is $100,000 unless permanently disabled or over 65 (in which case you get $175,000 exemption). With that kind of income you must look into money management problems because you should not find yourself in that situation. You might not have a choice but to file a Chapter 13 but you need expert advice on choices. You definitely need a local very experienced bankruptcy attorney to advice you and do the necessary calculations to see if bankruptcy is the right option. If you keep falling behind on house payments at one point you will not afford the Chapter 13 plan even with the income you have. The longer you wait to address your problems the more difficult they will be to solve and at some point there will be no legal solution and you will be sued and may even lose your home. Therefore, act now!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/29/2011
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