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 Roger Your Own Question
Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 31729
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
Roger is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a sister, who is single, raised two children now out

This answer was rated:

I have a sister, who is single, raised two children now out of college and thru the years has gotten herself in a mountain of debt. She earns approx $32,000.00 a year in salary, has approx $15,000 in retirement savings thru her employer & IRA, owns her home which is valued at $64,000.00 but has a primary & secondary mortgage equalling $60,000.00. In addition she has $30,000.00 in credit card debt plus $12,000.00 for one of her daughters school loans. Help.

She is thinking of bankruptcy but her pride is standing in her way of doing this. Is this the best method for her or do you have alternative suggestions? Up to now, her credit is pretty darn good.
Thank you for any input you can give. She's on the edge & frankly, I don't know how this could have gotten so bad for her and I'm trying to help. Tom

Bankruptcy is a useful tool for those truly in need of assistance. If she were to file, she could discharge the debt she does not want to keep, but reaffirm those debts she wishes to continue with - like her house payment.


Her retirement accounts should be safe in the bankruptcy. Also, the student loans are not dischargable - so she'll have to keep them.


It is probably worth it to at least have a consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss her options.

Edited by Adam Kirk on 2/3/2010 at 4:32 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Adam.

Your answer felt like it was computer generated and not by a 'live' lawyer specializing in bankruptcy. I don't feel it gave me any direction.

I am trying to assist my sister. One thought was for me to take over her credit card dept and get it paid off for her, with her closing out all of her credit card accounts. Is that a bad idea? Neither she nor I would want to see her go via Bankruptcy. It ruins your credit for at least 10 years. What are the ramifications for years to come should she choose to file bankruptcy? What are your thoughts on my taking over her credit card dept? At $30k, that would take me several years to pay off, to be honest. Thanks again and sorry if I am being a pain. Tom

I'm alive!! Laughing


What I tried to do was assess what could and could not be discharged to allow you and her to decide whether it is worth filing.


I would not advise you to take on any of her debt. You've probably got your own obligations and you should take on this burden. It is great if you want to help her pay down these debts by making payments, buy I would not advise you to transfer the accounts over to you. Also, it's a great idea to close the accounts.


You're right that bankruptcy is a tough decision and it lingers with you for a long time. If she can avoid it, I would certainly advise her to take that direction. If she files bankruptcy, her credit will not be ruined, but it will be severely damage it. She would be getting credit card offers 6 months after she was discharged. However, car loans, house loans, etc. are harder to come by because you're dealing with bigger loans and more risk to the lender.


Feel free to ask any additional questions! Glad to help.

Roger and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you