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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I am a 70 year old woman trying to live on $965 per month Social

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I am a 70 year old woman trying to live on $965 per month Social Security. I owe $27,000 in credit card and medical debt. I have been paying the minimum payments on these from my savings and extra income. Both of these I no longer have. I just can't pay these bills from my limited income. What can I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago via Nolo Press.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

Hi JACustomer,

1) Do you own significant assets, such as a house or a car?

2) If yes, what is the value of each, and what are the balances - if any - on the mortgage(s) and the car loan?

3) Your question is in the Bankrutpcy Law section. Do you want to find out if you can file a Bankrutpcy to get rid of your debts?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No, I do not own any property or car. The only assets I have iare some old (not antique) household items. Yes, I would like to know if I can file a baankruptcy and how I do it.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

You can file a Bankrutpcy. As filing a Bankruptcy requires filling out 60 pages of paperwork, it is highly recommended that someone wanting to file a Bankruptcy hire an attorney to do it for them. To find a good one, you can call the Oregon Bar Association to ask for a recommendation. The number is (800)(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong>.

However, since you have no assets, and your only income is from Social Security, there is nothing your creditors can do to you if you stop paying them, even if you do not file a Bankruptcy. There are no assets for them to take, and Social Security is exempt (protected) from collection.

If all the money in your bank accounts is from Social Security, creditors cannot garnish those bank accounts. However, if there is any money in those accounts that is not from Social Security, those accounts can be garnished, so it is usually a good idea to open a new account into which only Social Security is deposited.
Also, if all the money is from Social Security, you should inform the bank - in person and in writing so you have proof - that they should never allow your account(s) to be garnished because all the money is from Social Security. If you don't notify the bank, they will not know all the money is from Social Security (even if it is direct-deposited), and your account can be garnished.


I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you!

cfortunato and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am planning ro get married the first of August, 2011. Can my future husband's assets and/or income be garnished? The debts were made before we ever met.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for accepting my answer!

No - your future husband can never become responsible for debts that you incurred before you were married. Therefore, his assets and/or income cannot be garnished for your pre-marital debts.

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