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Maverick, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 5745
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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My mother is 90 years old. Has only SS income of 861.00 and

Customer Question

My mother is 90 years old. Has only SS income of 861.00 and retirement of 90. monthly. Creditors have entered judgements against her for 12,000.00 and 8000.00 . Her house is in a life estate with children as beneficiaries. Her checking account is a joint account with one daughter. The same daughter has a car with the mother as a co-signer. Does she need to file bankruptcy? I have been told that because of income being SS and account a joint account no one can take anything.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 years ago.

So I can assist you further, can you please tell me what state your mother lives in? Also are the creditors unsecured? Also, what amount of money is in the joint checking account


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Colorado. Unsecured. The only money going into the account is my mothers SS and 90. retirement

Expert:  Maverick replied 7 years ago.

Under Colorado law the social security benefits are exempt under 42 U.S.C. §407. as well as the retirement income under Section 13-54-102(s), C.R.S. If that is all that is going to the joint account it will be exempt.


So she does not need to file BK all she has to do is fill out the form that is at the link below, when and if the creditors try to attach her bank account.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What about the home which is in a life estate? Also she has cosigned on a car for one of her children. Can either of these items be levied?
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 years ago.

With respect to the car, assuming that even if she is on the title, it is highly unlikely that as long as the payments are kept current they will try to levy the car as it is a security interest for the car note and usually cars depreciate so fast that they are worth less than what is owed on them. If the car had equity they could technically try to put a second lien on the car but I think the the car is nevertheless exempt under:


(j) (I) One or more motor vehicles or bicycles kept and used by any debtor in the aggregate value of five thousand

dollars; or

(II) (A) One or more motor vehicles kept and used by any elderly or disabled debtor, or by any debtor with an elderly or

disabled spouse or dependent, in the aggregate value of ten thousand dollars.

With respect to the life estate, they could put a lien on it, but assuming she is living in the home (as opposed to renting it out) the lien will be to no avail as when she passes away, it will go to the beneficiaries of the life estate. Since your mother only owns rights to possession of the home while she is alive, then lien can only be on that portion of the ownership and thus should not transfer to the beneficiaries after her death.