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FloridaBKlawyer
FloridaBKlawyer, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  I have over ten years of experience in corporate and individual bankruptcy.
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My inlaws have racked up over $14,000 in credit card debt due

Customer Question

My inlaws have racked up over $14,000 in credit card debt due in part to medical expenses. They have no assets (except for their vehicle) and rent an apartment to the tune of $1,100 a month. They have no savings and their only income is a combination of Social Security and a retirement pension. They are considering filing bankruptcy (probably chapter 7) due to the $14,000 in unsecured debt. It is my opinion that they need not do this because it is my understanding that creditors may sue for a debt, but cannot garnish Social Security and/or retirement payments. It would seem that if creditors knew that their only income was "untouchable", it is unlikely that they would bother filing a lawsuit. Whereas, a bankruptcy courst could potentially seize more than major assets and potentially confiscate personal effects such as jewlery, electronics etc. In this case, it would seem that a bankruptcy court poses a far greater threat to them than the creditor. Do you agree with this assessment? Should they or should they not file bankruptcy??
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  FloridaBKlawyer replied 7 years ago.
write the creditors and let them know their only source of income and that they have no assets and intend to file bankruptcy. This usually keeps the creditor from pursuing them. However some people would rather file, because it stops the horrible phone calls. I hope this helps.

Edited by FloridaBKlawyer on 8/13/2010 at 5:51 PM EST
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Expert:  FloridaBKlawyer replied 7 years ago.
I apologize I had a typo and tried to correct it and it eliminated half my message. You are correct that social security and pensions generally can't be garnished, however sometimes they are garnished and then your parents have to use those defenses to get the money returned. I always advise elderly people to postpone filling, especially if they have pending medical issues. I also advise them to write the creditors and let them know off their only sources of income and that they have no assets and intend to file bankruptcy. This usually keeps the creditor from pursuing them. However some people would rather file, because it stops the horrible phone calls. I hope this helps.
Expert:  FloridaBKlawyer replied 7 years ago.
Thank you.