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cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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My husband and I are really in need of filing bankruptcy.

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My husband and I are really in need of filing bankruptcy. We have spoke to several lawyers and we get different answers with each of them, but one thing remains the same..we don't have enough money to pay what they want up front even though they all claim to take payments. I have considered doing the bankruptcy myself pro se but I am so confused on which route to go and what to do. So my questions are these as follows; We are currently facing foreclosure on our home, we really want to keep it but several lawyers told us that most likely we wont qualify for chapter 13 because we don't have enough income to do it so if we try to file chapter 7 will we HAVE to sell the house and is there anyway to get the mortgage company to work with us to allow us to keep the home and possibly tack our back payments to the end of the mortgage? Also, we have 2 cars that are financed, both are behind in payments about 3 months. My husband has to have his truck to get to work but I would be willing to allow my car to go in the bankruptcy but if that were to happen would his credit show a repossession along with the bankruptcy or will it be included? Also would they allow us to even keep one and lose the other? Another question is, once our chapter 7 would be over with, how long before we would be able to purchase another home? I mean, if we lose our home to the bankruptcy would we be able to purchase a new home once its discharged or will we have to wait so many years before any mortgage company will touch us? I was interested in the USDA mortgages but right now since our government shut down I cant find out any answers about this through them. Also, my husband owns a small car worth maybe $2000, would we have to sell that also? Can someone give me any advice on filing pro se because I would love to have a lawyer do it all for me but all we have is $500 and everyone wants over $1000 to file it and we just have no way to get the rest of the money. Any advice would be extremely appreciated and much needed. I thank you in advance for looking into my question. Also, we live in Pennsylvania if that is of any relevance.

cfortunato :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection attorney here to assist you.

cfortunato :

Although possible, it is extremely difficult to file a Bankruptcy on your own, as there are over 60 pages of paperwork involved.

cfortunato :

If you cannot afford to pay an attorney to fill out and file the Bankruptcy papers for you, the next best thing is to pay a Bankruptcy preparer to fill out the papers, and then you can file them yourself.

cfortunato :

Bankruptcy preparers typically charge around $200 to fill out the papers.

cfortunato :

If you and your husband file a Bankruptcy, each of you would be able to keep one car worth up to $3,675 (after subtracting the balance of any car loan).

cfortunato :

You would have to wait one year after filing a Bankruptcy to apply for a government mortgage.

cfortunato :

But you can apply for a private mortgage as soon as your bankruptcy is discharged.

cfortunato :

If you file a Bankruptcy, you would not have to sell your home - unless it has more than around $50,000 equity. (Equity is the current market value minus the balance owed for the mortgage.)

cfortunato :

There is no sure-fire way to get a mortgage company to work wityu

cfortunato :

with you on tacking the past-due payments to the end of the mortgage - but many mortgage companies are doing so now, if they can see if you will be able to make the payments going forward.

Customer:

Thank you so much for helping me with my questions. I think we only have about maybe, and that's a big maybe, around $15000 in equity in our home however Im just worried that if we were to let our home go in the bankruptcy we wont be able to get another one and would be stuck renting for quit a while and we really don't want to do that unless we have to. Can you tell me though, if we let one of the vehicles go with the bankruptcy, will it show as a repossession on his credit or will it just show as discharged in bankruptcy?

Thank you for your response.
1) You will have to wait to get another mortgage if you file a Bankruptcy - whether or not you include your house in the Bankruptcy. This is because the filing of the Bankruptcy is what creates the waiting period.
2) Any debt that is discharged in a Bankruptcy must show up as discharged in your Bankruptcy, and any subsequent activity cannot show up. Accordingly, if your car is re-possessed after you file a Bankruptcy, the fact that it was re-possessed cannot show up on your credit report. (However, if you car is re-possessed before you file a Bankruptcy, then the re-possession can show up on your credit report - in addition to the discharge.)
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