I wanted to provide another perspective here because it sounds like bankruptcy may not be necessary for someone in your situation.
You might want to consider the following alternatives to bankruptcy:
1) Selling your interest in the vacant land to pay your credit card debt, or
2) Taking out a bank loan secured by the vacant land to repay your credit card debt.
I understand that you don't want to lose your investment, but in monetary terms, it's far better to pay down your credit card debt and invest later when you have some free cash. Right now, you're basically losing 30% per year (or whatever the current interest rate on your credit card may be) on all of the money you have "invested" in your credit card debt.
Like the previous poster, I am concerned that a bankruptcy trustee would force a liquidation of the property at a significant discount to what you could probably sell the property for if you had six months or a year to sell it.
If you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee would likely sell the vacant land to pay your creditors. The co-owner would receive his share of the proceeds from the sale, but he probably wouldn't be able to stop the sale from happening.
If you don't file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the credit card companies would need to take the following steps to reach your property. First, to obtain a lien against the property, the credit card companies need obtain a Final Judgment against you in court (which requires actually filing a lawsuit against you, personally serving you or your son with a Complaint, and setting at least one court hearing where you would have the opportunity to appear in court and present a defense). Then, once the credit card companies do obtain a Final Judgment against you months or years later, they need to record the Judgment in the County where the property is located (which may not be the County where you live or where the lawsuit was brought) in order to effectuate a valid lien on your property. Only at that point would the credit card companies be able to levy the property and have it sold at a sheriff's sale.
My basic point here is that if I were the attorney for the credit card company, I would be happy to see you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (as opposed to having to go through the state court system to collect against you) because it would make my job a lot easier. I'm not saying the credit card company won't necessarily go after the land through the state court system, but it almost certainly won't be worth the time and expense it would take them to do so.
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