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Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
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my elderly mother has about $35,000 in credit card debt. she

Resolved Question:

my elderly mother has about $35,000 in credit card debt. she is 86 and has only social security for income. she has no savings. she has an assisted living home which will pay about $150,000 in equity to her estate upon her death. My father has passed away. what will happen to the credit card debt upon her death, will it have to be paid out of the estate? should she declare bankruptcy now to discharge these debts before she dies?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 7 years ago.

I am the JustAnswer expert that will be helping you today. I am a lawyer with 25 years experience. Although I am not your attorney, I hope that I can give you helpful legal information.

The credit card companies can attach the $150,000 payable to your mother's estate upon her death. They cannot attach the Social Security during your mother's life.

You may want to consider a chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could discharge (erase) all of the unsecured debt such as credit cards, judgments and personal loans.

Here are the exemptions for California:

Best wishes for a successful outcome. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to submit them to me directly.

Thank you,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What prompted this question was that one credit card company is currently suing. If they get a judgement, could they put a lien on her residence? Would this be discharged by the bankruptcy? or would it be better to file Chap 7 before the judegement? or does it make any difference in the end as long as she files bankruptcy before her death?
Expert:  Ellen replied 7 years ago.
It would be is simpler matter to file bankruptcy prior to the judgment attaching to the house. Once the judgment attaches to the house as a lien, a 2nd procedure called Avoidance of Lien will become necessary in the bankruptcy proceeding
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