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 Terry L. Your Own Question
Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2900
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
Terry L. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A year and a half ago I was laid off for 2 months, and also

Resolved Question:

A year and a half ago I was laid off for 2 months, and also seperated and divorced from my wife.

My ex-wife has been granted a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

I have two mortgages, and a truck payment. At current market values, and given that the house needs work, I would be extremely lucky to sell the house for what is still owed.

I keep up on the mortgages, my truck payment, and utilities. I live from paycheck to paycheck for over a year now.

I have defaulted on all of my unsecured debt, not having made any payments in over a year. I have explained all of this to creditors, but they don't care.

I just received a civil summons to respond to the Plaintiff of the Complaint in writing, and if I don't they will apply to the court for the relief demanded. I have no way to come up with the money.

The only reason that I have not declared bankruptcy is that in over a year I've not been able to set aside enough for what it would cost (laywer estimate was $1500)!

What should I do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Terry L. replied 8 years ago.
Bankruptcy is a good option, since the creditor can put a judgment lien on the title to the property otherwise. Talk to several attorneys, some can offer flexible payment plans and you can sometimes find a lower rate. You can also file yourself, with help from the help desk at court (check to see if your jurisdiction has one, many do)

Otherwise you will need to negotiate with your creditors on repayments otherwise they all will start to sue with same results, including garnishing wages. The house and car should be fine with no equity, you can keep them by reaffirming the debt in chapter 7.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I was advised by the attorney who I consulted with last year that wages can only be garnished in North Carolina for taxes and child support.


As noted, I cannot afford the cost of bankruptcy, extimated to be $1500 for Chatper 13. (I make too make income before all expense to qualify for Chapter 7). I will see if I can find another attorney, but my wife used a different attorney, and her costs were approximately the same.


What is the point of a judgment placing a lien on my home if it can't be sold to get what is owed? What will happen if I don't respond to this summons? If I respond, should I just once again explain my situation? Would it make a difference? My fiancial situation is this. I get paid every two weeks. I just got paid Friday, annd I now have $230 to live on until Friday after next. This is my life now.

Expert:  Terry L. replied 8 years ago.
For chapter 13, many attorneys can roll the fees in and you just pay a small portion up front, shop the rate around, I'm sure you can find a deal. The creditor can put the lien on in the hopes it is refinanced or sold, where they would get paid at that time to clear title.
Terry L. and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you