How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask JoeLawyer Your Own Question

JoeLawyer
JoeLawyer, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 767
Experience:  Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
2990824
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
JoeLawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I have a situation where my 87 y.o. father has taken

Customer Question

Hello, I have a situation where my 87 y.o. father has taken a turn for the worst cognitively he was involved in a car wreck where the vehicle (6 months old at the time, loan from hyundai) was damaged and had no insurance on it, it has since been sitting in an impound lot for 6 months and all his bills have gone unpaid for that time. I have assumed care for him in washington state, he owns a home in nj that is paid for, all his credit cards and medical bills up to this point including the cost of the vehicle is in the 50-60 k range, his home was damaged in hurricane sandy and it too had no insurance, the home in decent condition is possibly worth 225k but would need at least 40k to get it sellable as there is mold damage throughout the first floor. I don't know what to do, the house is co-owned with his dead (since 1978) aunt and it lists here as an estate, he has no death certificate and she has no siblings
where do I start and what can I do? I am trying to care for him myself as long as possible and then put him into assisted living when that is no longer an option

thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  JoeLawyer replied 1 year ago.
We can't provide legal advice on this website, only information. That being said, if your father were to file bankruptcy it would likely work to get rid of all of his debt, but he would lose the home in New Jersey since it is worth too much money to exempt (i.e. protect) pursuant to state and federal law, and he would likely lose the car since he would not have any money with which to get it out of impound. In other words, if he were to file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee would take the home and sell it and apply the sale proceeds to his debt. Any funds left over after paying the debt and the trustee fees would come back to your father, but the trustee may or may not try to sell the home for as much as your father would get if he sold the home himself, so this may considerably decrease how much your father can walk away with as opposed to your father selling the home himself and then using the proceeds to settle his debts (for potentially much less than he owes).

So, a better option may be to contact a realtor in New Jersey to see about selling the home without making the improvements, and just sell it for less due to the problems with the house. Then, use the sale proceeds to settle the debts by contacting each creditor and offering a lower amount than he owes in return for making a single, lump sum payment. You can often settle debts for half or less than the current balance.

For example, if the home is worth $225k but needs $50k in repairs, see if it can be sold for $175k. Then, contact the creditors and try to settle for around 40%, which would leave him debt-free and still have maybe $125k or so left over.

Another option is for him to get a reverse mortgage on the home. Reverse mortgages are a government program where a private lender will give him a mortgage on the home that he never has to make a payment toward during his lifetime. Then when he passes away, the lender gets the home unless his heirs want to pay off the mortgage at that time. He can borrow up to 80% of the value of the home in a reverse mortgage. So, if the home is worth $175k in its current condition, and he could borrow around $130k or so (after fees, etc), then he could use the $130k to try to settle his $50-$60k in bills for around $30k or so, and still have $100k in the bank. Then when he passes away, the home will be taken by the bank and he will not owe the bank anything. There are some requirements to get a reverse mortgage, but he probably qualifies for most of them I can think of except that the home has to be his primary residence. If his primary residence is your home in Washington, then he probably can't get a reverse mortgage on a house in New Jersey. But, if he is simply staying with/visiting you under a temporary situation and the home in New Jersey is still his primary residence, then the reverse mortgage may work. He may need to get his deceased aunt's name off the deed before he can do a reverse mortgage, I'm not sure. Call this guy to ask about a reverse mortgage and see what the details are. I don't know if he can do a reverse mortgage for someone in Washington on a house in New Jersey, but if not, he can probably send you to someone who can. He is very knowledgeable so he can probably answer a lot of questions for you.

I hope I’ve provided the information you were seeking. If you need more help, please use the reply tab to continue our conversation.

If you are happy with my service, please provide a rating. If not, please let me know so l can continue to help you. Thank you!

Joe

LEGAL NOTICE: I am only licensed to practice law in certain state(s) and I cannot give legal advice to someone who does not reside in a state in which I am licensed, nor shall anything I say in the above answer or elsewhere on this site be deemed legal advice, even to someone who resides in a state in which I am licensed. Funds I receive from JustAnswer.com are gratuities paid to me for taking the time to respond to questions, not for legal advice. This forum is designed to provide general information only, and information herein is not warranted to be correct or applicable in any way since laws may have been misinterpreted herein, since laws change from time to time, and since the impact of those laws on any particular situation varies. The information presented in this site shall not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Persons accessing this response are encouraged to seek independent legal counsel in their jurisdiction for guidance regarding their individual circumstances. Do not take any action or inaction based on information presented herein since it is informational and may not be accurate or applicable to you; it merely attempts to give you a basis of knowledge to help you formulate questions to ask a legal or other professional in a face-to-face meeting in your jurisdiction. JoeLawyer is an attorney but does not hold himself out to be a specialist or expert in any area, regardless of assertions made by any third party, and any implication of being an expert or specialist herein is made in error. I hope the information presented above is useful to you. Answer above is (c) JoeLawyer. All rights reserved.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3203
    Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3203
    Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TL/tleeders/2012-6-13_204815_TSL1.64x64.jpg Terry L.'s Avatar

    Terry L.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2204
    Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    950
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/cortrightlaw/2011-12-5_4117_Kevin.64x64.JPG cortrightlaw's Avatar

    cortrightlaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    490
    Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Jay1968/2006-12-03_004423_JoeRossPhoto.jpg JoeLawyer's Avatar

    JoeLawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    376
    Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DY/Dylatess/2012-9-11_1968_BHBTemplePhoto.64x64.jpg dylatess's Avatar

    dylatess

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    370
    35 plus years of experience specializing in bankruptcy law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/US/USLawAnswers/2012-9-20_23143_20090105211638Headshot3b.64x64.jpg Brent Blanchard's Avatar

    Brent Blanchard

    Bankruptcy Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    315
    Twelve years experience in all aspects of debtor & creditor BK.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Bankruptcy Lawyer
JoeLawyer
JoeLawyer
Attorney
376 Satisfied Customers
Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996