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 WALLSTREETESQ Your Own Question

WALLSTREETESQ
WALLSTREETESQ, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 15824
Experience:  14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS
16356563
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
WALLSTREETESQ is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a 58 year old disabled woman that own a home free and

Resolved Question:

I am a 58 year old disabled woman that own a home free and clear. The property is my primary residence and is worth about $220,000. I have approximately $95,000 in credit card debt which includes medical bills. Do I need to file a Homestead on my property? I live in CA and was told it is automatically covered for $175,000. If I have to file bankruptcy, can I keep my home?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 11 months ago.

WALLSTREETLAW :

Hello and welcome. My name isXXXXX am a Licensed practicing attorney and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

WALLSTREETLAW :

California law provides some protection against complete loss of home equity against judgment creditors under certain circumstances. In understanding these protections,



  1. The homestead exemption

  2. The declared homestead


The homestead exemption does not require the recording of any document. While the homestead exemption may prevent the forced sale of your home if there is insufficient equity, it may not do so if there is sufficient equity. Therefore, the homestead exemption is not necessarily protection for your house itself, but only for the equity that may exist in your house.


The declared homestead requires the recording of a homestead declaration. This is a document that must contain certain statements by law, including a statement that the declared homestead is the principal dwelling of the declared homestead owner. Other statements are required as well.

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

So I need to file a separate Homestead on my home? I did that on another home I used to own.

WALLSTREETLAW :

To be safe it is best to protect the property with a declared homestead

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Is that correct?

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Thank you. I wanted to ask another question is that ok?

WALLSTREETLAW :

file a homestead declaration to protect your homestead exemption from judicial liens and to protect the proceeds of a voluntary sale of your home for six months.

WALLSTREETLAW :

yes,

WALLSTREETLAW :

in terms of bankruptcy, the State exemption will save much of your equity but not the entire amount,

WALLSTREETLAW :

In California’s System 1, single homeowners who are not disabled may exempt up to $75,000 of the equity in their home or other property covered by the homestead exemption. You may exempt up to $100,000 if you live with a family member; $175,000 if you are 65 or older, or physically or mentally disabled; $175,000 if 55 or older, single, and earn a gross annual income under $15,000 or are married and earn a gross annual income under $20,000 and creditors seek to force the sale of your home. If you are married but separated, you may claim the homestead exemption in community property occupied by your spouse.


In California’s System 2, homeowners can exempt up to $24,060 of the equity in their home

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

If Iam married but separated I may claim the homestead exemption in community property occupied by your spouse. What does that mean?

WALLSTREETLAW :

That is the bankruptcy exemption,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

He is not working and we are separated. Half those bills are in his name.

WALLSTREETLAW :

it allows you to still claim the bankruptcy exemption if separated.

WALLSTREETLAW :

Even in the house he occupies,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

$24,060?

WALLSTREETLAW :

so if he lives in the home, you can use an exemption for that home

WALLSTREETLAW :

the $24,060 would not apply to you, as you would choose the 1st option

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

What exemption?

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

$175,000?

WALLSTREETLAW :

those are the bankruptcy exemptions,

WALLSTREETLAW :

in CA you have two options to save your equity in a bankruptcy

WALLSTREETLAW :

option 1 and option 2

WALLSTREETLAW :

In California’s System 1, single homeowners who are not disabled may exempt up to $75,000 of the equity in their home or other property covered by the homestead exemption. You may exempt up to $100,000 if you live with a family member; $175,000 if you are 65 or older, or physically or mentally disabled; $175,000 if 55 or older, single, and earn a gross annual income under $15,000 or are married and earn a gross annual income under $20,000 and creditors seek to force the sale of your home. If you are married but separated, you may claim the homestead exemption in community property occupied by your spouse.

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Im not quite clear,but if I put my own homestead on the property will it protect the entire amount?

WALLSTREETLAW :

No,

WALLSTREETLAW :

as a disabled person you would have a $125,000 exemption

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Should I file a separate homestead?Also, some creditors want me to work with Consumer Credit Counselors. I am afraid to tell anyone I own my house. I have to pay $1268 for health insurance for my husband and myself. CCC doesn't consider insurance payments.

WALLSTREETLAW :

You do not need to, however I would file it

WALLSTREETLAW :

in terms of protecting your home,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

If I am married the exemption is what?

WALLSTREETLAW :

Let me clarify the California Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 1046 that, effective January 1, 2010, increases the homestead exemption for California homeowners from $50,000 to $75,000 for individuals, from $75,000 to $100,000 for married couples, and from $150,000 to $175,000 for seniors older than 65, the disabled or individuals older than 55 with limited income.

WALLSTREETLAW :

so it is $175,000

WALLSTREETLAW :

which means these creditors would not lien your property,

WALLSTREETLAW :

What you may want to consider is putting the deed of your home into a trust or another name,

WALLSTREETLAW :

and not pay any credit cards,

WALLSTREETLAW :

or bills, if the house is not in your name they cannot lien it,

WALLSTREETLAW :

or take it from you

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

I am trying not to file bankruptcy,but 3 credit cards may charge off at the end of this month.I am 58 and disabled, and my income from Teachers retirement is approximately &1860/mo.

WALLSTREETLAW :

You do not have to file bankruptcy your pension

WALLSTREETLAW :

is protected from creditors,

WALLSTREETLAW :

if your home is exempted, it will be protected a well,

WALLSTREETLAW :

and if you change the title of the home it would be protected as well

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

My husband is not working at the present.How can I exempt the home? The title is in my name only in my Trust

WALLSTREETLAW :

You can file the homestead declaration,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

By filing the Homestead?

WALLSTREETLAW :

that saves $175,000

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

ok

WALLSTREETLAW :

I would also consider changing the title to a trust or other entity such as a corporation,

WALLSTREETLAW :

so creditors of your husband and you cannot even put a lien on it

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

I can either drop my insurance or pay Freedom .

WALLSTREETLAW :

You should not pay them,

WALLSTREETLAW :

they will settle with you for 20-30% of the debt,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Freedom or the health insurance?

WALLSTREETLAW :

if you call each one,

WALLSTREETLAW :

you should pay for the insurance,

WALLSTREETLAW :

You should contact each creditor and settle with them

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Right now B of A will settle for for $10,000 on $30,000 worth of debt. I don't have $10,000

WALLSTREETLAW :

Advise them you can only do a payment plan, or you will not pay or file bankruptcy, they may come down,

WALLSTREETLAW :

even if you do not pay,

WALLSTREETLAW :

you are pretty much collection proof,

WALLSTREETLAW :

they would be limited in what they get,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

If I cant settle, they are going to charge off. I paid the $637 last month. I cant keep paying that.

WALLSTREETLAW :

let them charge off,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

They wont put a lien against the house?

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

I haven't told them anything about owning the house.

WALLSTREETLAW :

they may, which will take some time, but they would not force a sale as you have a $175,000 exemption

WALLSTREETLAW :

also, you can take your name of the deed,

WALLSTREETLAW :

as I have stated,

WALLSTREETLAW :

you can change the deed to a LLC corporation,

WALLSTREETLAW :

then the creditors cannot touch it.

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

What is that?

WALLSTREETLAW :

It is a corporation,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

I make up a business?

WALLSTREETLAW :

you create a simple corporation,

WALLSTREETLAW :

you would claim it is for your real esate,

WALLSTREETLAW :

estate

WALLSTREETLAW :

What I would do now is the following:

WALLSTREETLAW :

1. File a homestead declaration

WALLSTREETLAW :

2. Do not pay any creditors, only health insurance

WALLSTREETLAW :

3. Speak to a local lawyer about taking the home out of your name

WALLSTREETLAW :

You would be fine, and protected

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Thank you so much for your help.

WALLSTREETLAW :

I would not worry,

WALLSTREETLAW :

the $175,000 exemption protects the home,

WALLSTREETLAW :

I would suggest changing the deed as well.

WALLSTREETLAW :

Good luck, and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

WALLSTREETLAW :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback,

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

Thank you.

JACUSTOMER-68z93xp6- :

ok

WALLSTREETLAW :

good luck

WALLSTREETLAW :

If satisfied please provide us with positive feedback,

Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 11 months ago.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service, if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


Are u advising me to file bankruptcy? Or should I try to get $ for a settlement? I don't know how I will do that,but something might happen.


 


 

Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 11 months ago.
No, I do not think a bankruptcy is best, XXXXX XXXXX not try a settlement, but protect your home through the homestead declaration, and changing the deed.

If you do file a bankruptcy, $175,000 of the home equity will be protected however the rest will have to be given to the creditors, so that is not a great option.

You can try a settlement, I would not, and not pay them, unless they will take a small amount. I would just protect the property.
Expert:  WALLSTREETESQ replied 11 months ago.
If satisfied with our service please provide us with positive feedback, thank you
WALLSTREETESQ, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 15824
Experience: 14 years exp., CH 7 AND 13 Bankruptcy cases, AFL-CIO UNION PLUS, UFT NYSID AND ALL MAJOR UNIONS
WALLSTREETESQ and 2 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

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.