Should I file for chapter 7 if I owe a certain amount of unsecured debt? 29 Answers as of June 29, 2013

My husband lost his job, a year ago, so we are unable to make payment to a credit card(collection agency attorney) on $16,000.00 and almost $10,000.00 in medical. They are threatening to put a lein on the house. Should we file chapter 7?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Depends on a number of factors.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/14/2013
Burton Green, Attorney | Burton Green
Assuming that you live in Florida, those creditors can not put a lien on your homestead (the house you own and live in). However, since you cannot make payments on those debts it appears that a chapter 7 would make sense for you.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/28/2012
The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone
The Law Offices of Katie M. Stone | Katie M. Stone
Is your house in Florida and if so do you have it filed with the tax commissioner as your homestead property? If the answer is yes, no collection agency or medical debt agency can place a lien on your home as it is protected by Florida homestead law. The creditor would need to sue you, collect a judgment and then attempt to file for a lien on personal or real property (other than your homestead). If the debt collection agencies are threatening a lien on your homestead and have not sued you, you may have a Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) violation and may be entitled to some money. You should consult with an attorney about your FDCPA rights and also explore the possibility of bankruptcy and what it would be able to do for you. I hope you found this answer useful.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/28/2012
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
If you cannot pay your debts you should consider filing bankruptcy. Consult with an attorney as to the specific facts of your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/28/2012
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Bankruptcy maybe the appropriate solution for you. You should consult a local attorney for guidance.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/27/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    Probably you should file for bankruptcy. The amount of debt alone is only part of the picture, but if your husband is not working, even if you are, and you can't pay the debt, it sounds like bankruptcy to me. OTOH, don't listen to anything those vampires from the collections industry tell you. They lie 9 times before breakfast and at least once on every phone call. If they could just put a lien on your house, don't you think they would have already done so. Don't ignore them, but don't believe them, either and don't for one millisecond let them be rude or disrespectful to you or to your family. Tell the bill collectors to pound sand. Then go see a bankruptcy lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    You may want to consider it. However the collectors cannot place a lien on your house without filing a lawsuit and getting a judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    Definitely, the lien would make it much harder to discharge these debts in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    Filing for bankruptcy is both a personal and business decision. It really depends on so many circumstances: income, payments you made to family, property that you transferred to others, etc. Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    You probably should file for chapter 7 relief, especially if you want to keep your house. Getting rid of medical and credit card bills should free money so you can pay your mortgage.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm
    Connaghan Newberry Law Firm | Tara D. Newberry
    Chapter 7 may be appropriate if you are looking for a fresh start and do not want to pay back any of your debt and are eligible to file under this chapter. There is no minimum amount of debt for either bankruptcy, however, your total amount of unsecured debt could make you ineligible for a chapter 13. A chapter 13 is a reorganization and repayment of debt, and if your income is higher than the median income for the state, then you may have to file under chapter 13, so long as your total unsecured debt and secured debt is within the threshold limits. A consultation with a qualified bankruptcy attorney would allow your individual issues to be analyzed to render the proper opinion on whether bankruptcy regardless of the chapter is right for you.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    Debt Crushers
    Debt Crushers | Emily Chase Smith
    Bankruptcy is something to investigate in your situation. A creditor can put a lien on your house, but only after they sue you and receive a judgment. If a lien attaches to your house, it's difficult, if not impossible to remove in bankruptcy. Make sure you get to the bankruptcy court before they get to the county recorder's office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    That sounds like the best plan for your situation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/29/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    I suggest you consult with an attorney about filing. There is no debt limit for filing; rather, it is tied to your income.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/27/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    It appears that you have enough debt to file for bankruptcy. If you qualify, this might be a good option for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Weber & Phillips, P.A.
    Weber & Phillips, P.A. | John G. Phillips
    Unfortunately, I can't really advise you file just on that limited information. However, if they are threatening to sue you and put a lien on your home, then you absolutely need to seek legal counsel regarding a bankruptcy. In many areas, bankruptcy attorneys will offer free or inexpensive initial consultations. Please seek counsel as soon as you can.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Norman Linder Hull, P.A. | Norman L. Hull
    If the house you live in is your homestead, the collection agency or other commercial creditor cannot lien your house. There is no minimum amount of debt you must have to file bankruptcy. Consult a bankruptcy attorney; avoid petition preparers or others who pretend to be able to give you advice on bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    The Martin Law Group
    The Martin Law Group | Yolvondra Martin-Brown
    You definitely should consider it. Before I can answer whether you should file Chapter 7, I would need you know more about the assets you own and whether you have any equity in your home. I would also need to know the income of both spouses as this is one of the determining factors regarding whether you can file Chapter 7. If I were you, I would seek legal advice (usually free from most lawyers) before a lien is placed on your home.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Bankruptcy will certainly be able to get rid of those debts for you. If you think you will feel better and alleviated after those debts are gone, then you should definitely look into bankruptcy. There is one thing you need to know about your creditors' threat: since they're not the mortgage holder, they CANNOT put a lien on your homestead if you live in Florida. If you live outside of Florida, your home state might allow a certain amount of homestead exemption, in most states, the amount exceeds that of your credit card and medical debts, which makes their threat impossible. In any case, you should check for the exact amount of allowed homestead in your state. If the house is underwater, then there is nothing for them to attach. They can, however, put a lien on other assets that have equity, for example if you have any saving in your bank accounts, or have a car that is paid off.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    That is certainly a possible option. I suggest that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the details of your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    If you owe more debts than you can afford to repay, you can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. That will stop any pending lawsuits and potential liens against your home.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Ipson Law Firm, PLLC
    Ipson Law Firm, PLLC | Michael Ipson
    The decision as to whether file a chapter 7 or 13 is very dependent on the facts surrounding your financial situation. You should consult with an attorney to make sure which chapter would be best for you. For example, you mentioned that you own a home. Depending on how much equity is in your home it could be sold under a chapter 7 but would not under a chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It is certainly one option which you should consider. See an attorney before making any decision or commitment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    You don't say what your income is, but it is probable that you will qualify with only one or no income source. Make an appointment with a Bankruptcy Attorney to determine if you qualify and what is best for your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Jakob-Barnes Law Firm, LLC
    Jakob-Barnes Law Firm, LLC | Jennifer Jakob-Barnes
    A lot of information goes into determining whether one should file for a bankruptcy. I suggest meeting with an attorney that does both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. They will be able to fully advise and give you options.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Chapter 7 is great for people in your position if you qualify. Read the pamphlet on my website to learn more about chapter 7. You may want to take the online "means test" to see if you can qualify. You also need to contact a consumer credit counselling agency before filing and get a certificate from them. Bankruptcy is a complicated process that requires the individualized attention of an experienced attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Hutchins Law, P.C.
    Hutchins Law, P.C. | Aaron Hutchins
    Can't tell from your bare facts whether you'll qualify for a 7 or 13. Either way, consult an attorney and find out!
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, if there is no equity in the house above your homestead exemption. Check with a lawyer on this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Wajda Law Group, APC
    Wajda Law Group, APC | Nicholas M. Wajda
    It sounds like you definitely need to do something. It is really impossible to say what your best option is without more details about your entire situation. Depending on what assets you have, how much income there is for your household, and other various factors, a licensed attorney in your state should be able to easily guide you in the right direction. I suggest you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure and avoid any further issues.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/26/2012
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