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 Ellen Your Own Question
Ellen , Lawyer, Consultant
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ellen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my next question then becomes, if i cant afford to pay the

This answer was rated:

my next question then becomes, if i can't afford to pay the minimum due on the credit cards every month from hereon in, and i can't come up with $2000 for a bankruptcy attorney, since i'm 61 years old, and i'm on SSD, if i simply don't pay the creditors, what will happen to the house and car? if i can somehow convince my parents to pay a bankruptcy attorney, what about the car payment every month? i need to keep the car. i live on top of a mountain; alone. and i still need a house to live in.

Thank you for your question. I am a New York licensed attorney and my name is Ellen. I will do whatever I can to answer your questions!

Can you please explain your situation in more detail
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

a long story. i came upstate from NYC with lots of credit cards in 2003. wound up unable to find work and bankrupt in 2004. i moved into this house in Jan 2005. a miracle. i started getting checks and was able to re-establish credit & lead a comfortable life although i wasn't working. i had been disabled in 1995, worked while disabled for a number of years and went back to disability on 9/11/2001. so i was disabled and not working but receiving checks that enabled me to re-establish credit. today, very suddenly i've learned that i won't be getting the same amount but perhaps 1/5 of what i had been getting over these years. my credit cards are at the maximum because of some illnesses with the cats. my minimum payments exceed my SSD money. i wasn't expecting to have the rug pulled out from under my feet today and thought i'd get the cards paid off in a little while. apparently i can't do that any more. i gave my old car away because the repairs were so expensive and i can't fix cars myself. my family helped me purchase a new car last year with a 5 year loan. the house had a private lender nearly 10 years ago and i have 10 years of monthly payments left on it. the mortgage is cheap. i could probably swing the car and the house. but not with $1500 credit card minimum payments every month. i probably couldn't afford to go bankrupt without help from my family. but i'm not sure if i should try to go bankrupt because of the car and the house. or simply not pay the creditors that i couldn't afford to pay. they could put a lien on the house but they couldn't take the house because of my disability. if i pay for the car and the house and not pay the credit cards would i be better off than going bankrupt? i don't know which scenario is the lesser of the evils. i would prefer to be paying everything, but that's impossible for me to do. so i need to ask you, should i try for a bankruptcy, or should i just pay who i can and not pay the others?

Hello Aster,

Thank you for that very clear explanation.

How much equity to you have in the ca and how much equity do you have in the house?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

not much equity in the car. i've paid 1 year and have 4 more to go. i suppose there's a little more in the house. i paid for 10 years and there's 10 more to go. but with the house, it was a 13% rate and mostly interest was paid in the beginning. i'm paying something on the principle now. but i really don't know, so i can't answer your question.

Thank you Aster.

As you likely know SSD cannot be attached by a creditor. Since you have no equity to speak of in the house or in the car, you do not appear to have any assets that can be attached by a creditor. Therefore, if you don't take any action, your creditors may file suit against you but will not be able to compel payment

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you very much. it seems to me, then, i would be better off with not filing a bankruptcy and just letting things be. i could try to pay maybe 1 card monthly, but my guess is, once the other cards are left unpaid, all the companies will close my accounts; even if 1 of the cards gets paid, they will hear about me defaulting on the others and close my account. my guess is, it's all or none. my first concern is the house, the car, the electric , the car and homeowner insurance. i do hope i can manage the school tax that's due 10/31. i don't need a tax foreclosure now too. the other services: the cable, the phone...... it would be nice to keep that too. i need the computer. i wish this was just a dream, but i'm not waking up. my new life of poverty is ahead of me. misery. but at least i'll have a place to live and wheels to get to the supermarket. thank you.

Yes Aster that seems about right

As this process continues, I am here to help. To speak with me again, simply place my name in the first sentence of your new question. If I cannot help you, I can direct you to someone who can.

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer , please consider providing me a 10 rating. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and all the best to you.

Ellen, Lawyer, Consultant
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience: 25 years of experience helping people like you.
Ellen and 13 other Legal 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... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...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
< Previous | 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
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.

Related Legal Questions