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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I was laid of December 2009, have been on unemployment since.

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I was laid of December 2009, have been on unemployment since. Husband was furloughed in 2010 till March 7, 2010, and laid off again December 3, 2010. He collects a government annuity, and social security. We sold our home in California on a short sale December 2010, and moved to Oregon. We had to use our credit cards the past couple of years because of a decrease in earnings, and a duplex we bought in Texas 2006 cost us a lot each year for fixups, due to bad management by our management company. We sold the duplex June 2010, for $15,000 less than we paid in 2006, plus had to put in approx. $6,000 to close the deal. We used our credit cards to keep the duplex going. Plus we used our credit cards to just make ends meet for some time, plus when we moved to Oregon we needed to use them to get set up to live there. Chase held the second on our CA home, and wants us to pay over $100,000 - they had us sign paperwork to that effect in order for them to agree to the short sale. We owe $40,000 in credit card debt. We were going to cash in some IRAs and pay off the credit cards, but when Chase said they would not forgive the $100,000 we realized our plan would not work. We are paying the minimum on credit cards. B of A held our first, and they were paid off in the short sale. Also we had to pay almost $9,000 to state of CA and IRS for 2009 taxes, which we were on a payment plan. We paid that off in 2010. We moved to oregon December 2010. Where would we file for bankruptcy, and do we qualify? There is a means test, but I don't know how that works. We gross approx. $6,000/mo, with his annuity, social security, and my unemployment from California, and with minimum paid on credit cards, we pay out approx. $5,600. My husband is 67, I am 62. What are our options? Also, because we have used our credit cards to help us get established here in Oregon, will the credit card banks fight to not let our bankruptcy go through? We were not expecting my husband to be laid off, and he made around $76,000 in 2010 just from the construction management company he worked for. We would not have considered bankruptcy had he not lost his job.

Hi JACustomer,

Is your husband retired, or is he still looking for work? If the latter, is it anticipated that he will be able to find work within the next year?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, he is not looking for work - he is tired. He retired from the Corps of Engineers, and then went to work for private company - he does not want to look for work again. Plus, construction isn't exactly booming right now, and especially for 67, soon to be 68 year old men. Also, I am not sure how long my unemployment from California will continue. If it stops, my social security will be half the amount of unemployment, roughly $800/mo. I have not applied for social security - I still look for work, but I was in construction also. Worked for same general contractor for 11-1/2 years before being laid off.

If you decide to file a Bankruptcy, you would be able to file in Oregon once you have lived there for at least 90 days. 28 USC 1408(1).

To pass the "Means Test", you and your husband's combined gross monthly income has to be less than $4,555, but as Social Security and unemployment income do not count, I am sure that you do qualify to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

The general rule is that you are supposed to stop borrowing once you know you are going to file, and the Bankruptcy court does not look at the use of credit for every-day essentials. When they look for fraud, they look for purchases of luxury items of more than $600 per creditor within the 90 days before filing, or cash advances of more than $870 within the 70 days before filing. Bankruptcy Stat. 523(a)(2).

Given the information you provided, you should not have any problems if you file. If you decide to do so, you should call the Oregon Bar Association and ask for a recommendation for a Bankruptcy attorney. The number is 1(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong>.


I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.

Thank you!

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