Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
Was the business debt personal or corporate?
The business debt is the building loan, business credit cards, and suppliers.
Was it in your name or the corporation if you had one?
It was a llc, but I signed a personal guarantee along with my wife. We never thought that we would lose it.
Did you take out a loan for the down payment?
No, I had the money in my personal savings account at the bank that I owe the money on the building.
So you have a separate loan with the bank that you want to discharge?
Yes, I owe on the business building, but I have a land contract with my wife's uncle. It is non recorded.
I see, by using the Federal homestead exemption
which is $21,625 and double for a married couple, your equity is safe.
Is there any way that they can make any claims to try to take the home?
The bank cannot claim the $35,000 as it came from personal funds,
Did you give them collateral on the personal residence?
I did not give them collateral as no lien was on my home in which I lived at that time, but the foreclosure papers came and had forms that I signed granting personal collateral for the debt which uses a lot of legal talk that is confusing. We have lost lots of sleep on this.
Your personal collateral means if the property or mortgage is unpaid only you are liable, that is the way all mortgages are written. By filing bankruptcy your liability is discharged to them, and since your property is protected by the homesead exemption I would not worry.
The exemption statutes are made for individuals like you so creditors are not able to take all your personal assets for debt.
If they had a lien on the home it would be different.
Can the bank require my home to be appraised?
Can the bank ask that my home be appraised?
The bankruptcy Court will require an appraisal.
Sorry I asked so many times. I didn't see it on my screen.
Is it a true market appraisal?
It usually can be a statement made by a broker stating the fair market value, or a certified appraisal.
Since I am so close on my equity, should I get an appraisal so that I am prepared?
Yes, you should get a good appraisal, however if you are over by less than $5000 the Trustee will not force a sale for that amount, and say it is $10000 over, you can convert the case to a chapter 13 and pay the $10,000 over in a 60 month payment plan instead of selling the home to pay the $10,000 to creditors.
This attorney that I spoke with should take lessons from you. I have been trying to get an answer to these questions and am almost sick with worry. How can I know that I have an attorney that will really be working for me?
You can always shop around for another attorney, contact the local bar association.
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