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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I just have one more question regarding my dads credit card

Customer Question

I just have one more question regarding my dad's credit card problems. He owes about $6000 on his Discover card & what he's thinking now is that he will just continue to pay all of his other credit cards but is going to stop paying Discover because that is the card that he owes the most on. Can he do that? Will they sue him or take his house or garnish his social security money?

thanks for the help,
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.

Hi JACustomer,

How much equity (market value minus balance on mortgage) does your father's house have?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I believe his house is worth about $80,000 and he still owes about $17,000.
Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.

Pennsylvania does not have a Homestead Exemption. This means a creditor can take his house if he stops paying - unless the house is owned as "Tenants by the Entirety" with a spouse. He will have a similar problem if he files a Bankruptcy, which would allow a $20,200 Homestead Exemption, which means the Bankruptcy court could take his house, sell it, and give him $20,200 from the proceeds.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Is it likely that they will take him to court & take his house since he is only receiving Social Security or is that something that rarely happens? So what's his best options as far as the $19000 in cc debt that he has, what should he do? He has Parkinson's so is there some kind of protection for him since he has medical problems?



Expert:  cfortunato replied 6 years ago.

They cannot take his Social Security. Creditors will generally not sell a house - they are more likely to place a lien on the property, and then wait for it to be sold. Unfortunately, there is no protection for someone who has medical problems.

This may sound extreme, but perhaps he should consider moving to a state that does have a Homestead Exemption - such as Massachusetts or Florida.


Edited by cfortunato on 10/4/2010 at 4:07 PM EST