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WALLSTREETESQ
WALLSTREETESQ, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 17081
Experience:  14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS
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I am 69 years old and I am $17,500 in credit card debt. I am

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I am 69 years old and I am $17,500 in credit card debt. I am struggling to make payments, since i was unemployed [leave without pay] for the past 4 months. However, i will be starting the job at the same place on June 10th. But i will only be getting 4-5 hours per day. My rent including utilities is $1200. Also, my health has deteriorated in the past few months. My son was living with me and he moved to NY and now I am living alone. I would like to file bankruptcy. I do have $5000 in 401k. Will my 401k be affected if i file bankruptcy. Please let me know how should i proceed.
thanks

WALLSTREETESQ :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarificati on

WALLSTREETESQ :

This is a common question, your 401k would be 100% protected, as

WALLSTREETESQ :

would be any retirement accounts including IRA accounts,

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Your social security as well is protected 100%,

WALLSTREETESQ :

so you would be fine, a chapter 7 bankruptcy in NY is fairly simple and you can get rid of all your debts without any worry of the court taking your property,

WALLSTREETESQ :

As long as you make below the State median you should qualify,

Customer:

I am not in NY am in MD.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Maryland has the same Bankruptcy laws,

WALLSTREETESQ :

Bankruptcy is Federal law,

WALLSTREETESQ :

so it applies to all States,

Customer:

could you please tell what will be the state median.

WALLSTREETESQ :

In Maryland you can protect us to $6,000 of cash or property of any kind and $5,000 of real or personal property

WALLSTREETESQ :

How much do you make a year?

WALLSTREETESQ :

In Maryland, for one person the mean is $3,435 a month

Customer:

If i were to be a full time employee i get around $20,000. But this year i was furloughed for 4 months so, it will be less.

WALLSTREETESQ :

then you would qualify,

WALLSTREETESQ :

For one person, the yearly income in Maryland is $41,214

WALLSTREETESQ :

The Court goes by your last 6 months income,

Customer:

do i need my tax return documents for the bankruptcy.

WALLSTREETESQ :

For 2013 the median income increased to $4,856

WALLSTREETESQ :

Yes your most recent tax return.

Customer:

will i have to get the transcript from the IRS

WALLSTREETESQ :

For 2013 annualized is $58,269

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you do not have your tax return you can order a transcript, unless you did not have to file,

WALLSTREETESQ :

they will ask for your last 6 months pay stubs as well

Customer:

So when i can i begin the process. i did not make payments for this month. I have been paying till april.

WALLSTREETESQ :

You should stop making payments to all creditors, except your landlord,

WALLSTREETESQ :

you can file as soon as possible, however you will need to obtain a pre filing certificate, usually an attorney can help you file,

WALLSTREETESQ :

you do have time, as the creditors,

WALLSTREETESQ :

will take several months before they start to try to collect from you

Customer:

Once i file how long will it take to settle the bankruptcy.

WALLSTREETESQ :

In Maryland you can use an attorney or a paralegal service,

WALLSTREETESQ :

A bankruptcy will take 2-3 months,

Customer:

do i have to take any financial classes. Also the fees please.

WALLSTREETESQ :

Yes, the pre filing certificate is one class it is $25-$50

WALLSTREETESQ :

a company such as debthelper.org is good,

WALLSTREETESQ :

or novadebt.org

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You will then need to file a second certificate for the same fee,

Customer:

what will be the total fee for the bankruptcy.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you use an attorney expect $1000 legal fee and $300 for court fees and $50-$100 for certificates

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you use a paralegal the fee should be no more than $200, the other fees stay the same

Customer:

Is there a finance class that i will have to go to.

Customer:

if so for how many days.

WALLSTREETESQ :

the second course is the financial management,

WALLSTREETESQ :

it is done online or over the phone, it takes 10-20 minutes

Customer:

can the pre certificate class be done online.

WALLSTREETESQ :

yes, it is easy online,

WALLSTREETESQ :

go to the websites I listed above, they will allow you to do it

Customer:

I have joined account with my son. Should i close it.

WALLSTREETESQ :

yes, it is best to close any joint accounts,

WALLSTREETESQ :

You can also add any medical bills you have

Customer:

Also, my social security is directly deposited in my personal checking account. This was the account i been using to make payments. Can they hold my money.

WALLSTREETESQ :

no, social security is protected from garnishments and bankruptcy

Customer:

but the creditors don't know that's my social security money.

WALLSTREETESQ :

if it goes to your bank account the bank will tell them

WALLSTREETESQ :

that is the law,

Customer:

last time i used my credit card was in april.

WALLSTREETESQ :

they cannot garnish or freeze any money that is social security, they will not even try, as it is a violation of federal law

WALLSTREETESQ :

that is good, you can consider filing in June or July,

Customer:

so do i have to wait before i can file. Or can i do immediately.

WALLSTREETESQ :

you must stop paying them and using them,

WALLSTREETESQ :

I would wait a month, since you used your cards recently,

Customer:

so i can file in june or july.

Customer:

Once i file, will i lose my check card the one associated with my personal checking where my social security gets deposited.

WALLSTREETESQ :

no,

WALLSTREETESQ :

you can keep any non credit cards,

WALLSTREETESQ :

a debit card is fine

Customer:

Is it necessary to wait a month. I just found out that i used my card just for one transaction for $6 on May 10th. So, i will have to wait until june 10th before i can file.

WALLSTREETESQ :

I would wait a month, but if needed you can file asap, if you spent $600 or more the court could have a problem with it

Customer:

How can i get a copy of this discussion. Can this be emailed to me.

WALLSTREETESQ :

yes, once you provide feedback on the service we will email you the answers,

WALLSTREETESQ :

and you can print it out.

Customer:

Also, what all documents be needed. besides paystubs, tax return.

WALLSTREETESQ :

You will need your social security card, drivers license, as well,

WALLSTREETESQ :

sometimes bank statements for the last 6 months are required,

WALLSTREETESQ :

Look at the links above debthelper.com will let you file for the certificates online

WALLSTREETESQ :

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

WALLSTREETESQ :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback.

WALLSTREETESQ and 4 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you