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Ask cfortunato Your Own Question

cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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my husband lost his job and he is unemployed (lost his jb),

Customer Question

my husband lost his job and he is unemployed (lost his jb), we can't make all of our payments anymore, we are still current on all off our payments, but our income right now is showing that we are not going to be able to make those same payments anymore. We make a mistake on buying a car three months ago, with a very low down payment. Our total car loan is 28,000 with a monthly payment of 444.00 a month. We also have mortgage payments and a debt of 1500.00 on credit card, plus our living expenses and two kids to support. We have no saving at all cause we use it all on payments already. We went to the car dealer to ask for help and to the bank were we got the car loan to ask to lower our monthly payments, but couldn't help us. We are thinking on bankruptcy chapter 13, we can't afford the car with those monthly payments and we want to keep our house. Is there anything we can do? We are worried cause our kids almost graduate and going to college, we have a lot of expenses going on with their education.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 1 year ago.

cfortunato :

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy attorney here to assist you.

cfortunato :

Have you lived in Kansas continuously for the past 2 years?

Customer:

yes, almost 15 years

cfortunato :

Thank you for your response.

cfortunato :

Last question:

cfortunato :

If you own a home, is it on less than one acre if inside a town or city, or on less than 160 acres if outside a city or town?

Customer:

Is almost two acres and is outside a city

cfortunato :

Then unless you have other substantial assets you want to protect, you would most likely be better off filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

cfortunato :

Unless you are working and earning more than the state median for your household size.

cfortunato :

With a Chapter 7, you pay nothing to your creditors to have your debts discharged. With a Chapter 13, you have to make monthly payments to the Bankruptcy court for up to 5 years.

cfortunato :

You would be able to have your credit card debt discharged.

cfortunato :

If you still cannot afford the car payment, you would be able to return the car with no financial liability.

Customer:

would that include our credit card debt? house debt? we just bought the house a year an a half ago. I am receiving unemployment for 456.- weekly and my wife is working with a very low income 7.40 an hour and working 5 hours a day

cfortunato :

You would be able to have your credit card debt discharged.

cfortunato :

Is there more than one mortgage on your house?

Customer:

no

cfortunato :

You would not be able to keep your house if you stop paying the mortgage.

Customer:

we want to make efforts on paying the house

cfortunato :

Not having to pay the credit cards and the high car payment will make it easier for you to pay the mortgage.

Customer:

yes

cfortunato :

So, it looks like a Chapter 7 would provide the most benefit for you.

cfortunato :

You can pay an attorney $1200+ to fill out and file the papers for you, or you can pay a Bankruptcy preparer $200 to fill out the papers, and then you can file them yourself.

Customer:

where can I find a bankruptcy preparer?

cfortunato :

Here is a website where you can find bankruptcy preparers:

cfortunato :

http://www.usabkassociates.com/usabk/index.asp.

Customer:

by filling chapter 7 would you assure us that they can't take any of our property?

cfortunato :

They cannot take your house.

cfortunato :

Do you have any other valuable property?

Customer:

would this affect if my kids want to get student grants or scholarship in one or two years?

cfortunato :

Filing a Bankruptcy cannot affect your children's ability to get grants or scholarships.

cfortunato :

Your Bankruptcy filing can have no affect on anything your children do, and cannot affect their credit.

Customer:

would this affect on my wife immigration status? she just got her permanent resident card which expires in two years and then she needs to apply for citizenship

cfortunato :

I do not know Immigration Law. You would have to ask that question in the Immigration Law section.

cfortunato :

Is there anything else about Bankruptcy that I can help you with?

Customer:

can they take away any other cars that we already own?

cfortunato :

If you file a Bankruptcy, you are allowed to keep 2 cars - as long as each car is worth less than $20,000 after subtracting the balance of any car loan.

Customer:

in the back of our contract has this statement: You understand and agree that if you file a petition for relief in bankruptcy we will incur additional administrative expense to protect our interest in the collateral. You agree that if any borrower files a petition for relief in bankruptcy, in addition to all other remedies provided in this agreement or by law, and in addition to the loan balance and all other charges provided in this agreement we will be entitled to an administrative fee of 500. This administrative fee will become due and payable 30 days after the filing of the bankruptcy petition and failure to pay it when due will constitute a default on this contract. Do I still have to pay?

cfortunato :

That is an illegal clause. The car loan company absolutely cannot force you to pay an administrative fee if you file a Bankruptcy.

cfortunato :

In other words, the clause is unenforceable.

Customer:

Thank you very much for your advice and information.

cfortunato :

You're welcome!

cfortunato :

But before you leave, please don't forget to provide a positive rating for my help.

cfortunato :

Thank you!

Customer:

One last thing, if I find a job and go back to work with the same income that I had before would it affect while I am in chapter 7/

cfortunato :

What was your gross monthly income before?

cfortunato :

And how many are in your household?

cfortunato :

Also, what is your wife's gross monthly income?

Customer:

611.- weekly and my wife had a better job to she was earning 280.-weekly approx

cfortunato :

Are there 4 persons in your household?

Customer:

we were five now we are four in our family

cfortunato :

With 4 persons in your household, your total gross monthly income would have to be more than $6,247 for the increase in income to affect your Bankruptcy.

Customer:

monthly?

cfortunato :

Yes - monthly ($1452 per week).

Customer:

what would happen if this is the case?

cfortunato :

If your income goes up that high within one year after filing a Bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy petition can be dismissed.

Customer:

thank you.

cfortunato :

You're welcome!

Customer:

I can't rate you it won't allow me

cfortunato :

Okay - you should be able now.

cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Bankruptcy professor.
cfortunato and 4 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

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