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Ask Ellen Your Own Question
Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
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I may have to file bankruptcy. I was laid off last year from

Resolved Question:

I may have to file bankruptcy. I was laid off last year from a great paying job,make half now (60K). But I am still upside down. I also am heavily vested in real estate and own a 4 plex and 2 duplexes(I live in one unit). They are not penciling and therefore I have had to come up with the difference monthly. Is there a way that I can let the 4 plex AND unsecured debt go while maintaining both duplexes(I live in one unit). Will I be able to keep our vehicles(No balance owed)? Does my wife(married less than 2 years) have to file bakruptcy with me?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I am happy to assist you.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy would appear to allow you to surrender the assets you do not want to keep without liability.

A husband and wife are not required to file a bankruptcy jointly. One party can file without the other.

The effect on the non-filing spouse will be dependent upon whether there are joint debts and/or joint assets. If there are no joint debts and no joint assets, there may be little or no effect on the non-filing spouse. If there are joint debts and/or joint assets, the non-filing spouse would remain liable on the joint debt and the joint assets would need to be included in the filing.

Edited by FLAandNYLawyer on 2/1/2010 at 12:34 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Does the fact that my real estate portfolio is at 1.1 million change anything? I can walk away from the 4 plex on a bankruptcy? Also, I have 100K in unsecured debt. What about Chapter 13, how is each chapter determined? Does $1900 for an attorney sound right?

Thank you soo much!
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

A 13 Allows for a limit of unsecured liquidated debt of $336,900 and secured liquidated debt of $1,010,650.

As an individual, there are two types of bankruptcy available. A Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. There are distinct differences in between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could discharge (erase) all of your unsecured debt such as credit cards, judgments and personal loans. It would be an opportunity for a fresh financial start. However, you may have to surrender assets, if any, that exceed your exemption.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan for an individual. It may require that you repay some of your unsecured credit card debt over a 3 -5 year period. However, you may retain assets that exceed your exemption.

Here are the exemptions for Washington:

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