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Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2889
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
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I am a 24 year old female approximately 132k in debt. The first

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I am a 24 year old female approximately 132k in debt. The first 74k is student loans, which I understand I will need to pay off in full and have no issues doing so. The remainder are credit cards and 1 vehicle. I was on my own at 17 after my parents passed, so this isn't about me refusing to accept responsibility. My vehicle is worth 18.5k, and has a 16k debt (lien perfected) on it, it is currently in a charge-off status, but since my address changed they were not able to get it (it has been over 1 year now).

I plan on going to medical school next year. I have a Bachelors currently.

Most of my previous credit card debt happened when I was alone at 18-19 and was used for living expenses etc.

Should I file Chapter 7 and get it over with, or, since I will be "judgment proof" for at least 5 more years, should I just ignore them all and try to defend or drag out any potential suits (Should I seek a default judgement as soon as possible to start the clock)?
How often are judgments renewed?

I still need my car, but financially I am working several jobs at once to pay for school so it it's hard. My primary checking account is located in Italy and I use a brokerage account as a pass through to prevent attachments if I did have a garnishment. Will this help me?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Terry L. replied 5 years ago.

Terry L. :

Hi, thanks for your question. You should hire a lawyer for specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created here.

Terry L. :

You would probably be better off filing the case, if you do nothing, they can still sue you get judgments, then garnish you once you start working, so you are not really judgment proof.

Terry L. :

Your credit will have lots of negatives that way.

Terry L. :

if you file, you wipe the slate clean, clear all the past debt, and when you finish school, you will be able to move forward much easier.

Terry L. :

Lenders want 2 years usually after bankruptcy to get a home.

Terry L. :

Bad history would make getting an apartment more difficult than a few years removed from bankruptcy would.

Terry L. :

Plus, you clear all the bad debt, don't have to worry about old debt rearing it's ugly head to collect down the line.

Terry L. :

It depends on the creditor regarding renewing judgments.

Terry L. :

For the car, you can surrender it, wipe out the debt, and get a new one right after the case.

Terry L. :

Otherwise, unless the creditor is willing to re-write the note, they'll want you to be current or they will repossess the car (you are telling them where it is when you file).

Terry L. :

You have to disclose all assets in a bankruptcy case, no matter where they are located. You also have to disclose them for judgment citation hearings too, and the court could order you to turn them over to the creditor if you do not file bankruptcy.

Terry L. :

Hope that gives you some more information.

Terry L. :

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If I have just changed schools, for a masters, would I need to file in my old district? How long would I have to wait before filing in the new one? Can I use a PO box in the old district to accept mail? Which one would be used to calculate a household in terms of a roommate?

I am just worried about the negative aspects of bankruptcy, because it seems there is such a stigma attached to it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Also, I forgot to say that a lot of the debt is past the 3 year statute of limitation in my state. So I am not quite sure if they can still even come after me 100%.
Expert:  Terry L. replied 5 years ago.
You would file where you have been living for the greater part of the last 180 days. Basically, once you have been where you are for 91 days, you can file there. PO Boxes work for mail, not for jurisdiction though.
You would list where you live, and also where you have lived for the last 3 years. You can also list your mailing address, if different from your living address. But, you file where you have lived for the greater part of the last 180 days. It's basically a math equation to determine. This way, you can also plan on where you wish to file. Bankruptcy clients get new credit right after the case, none of my clients calls with problems doing so. Credit scores generally go up, i would say 50-100points within a year after the case on average too.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
About the requirement to disclose in a judgement hearing, I was told that you can simply transfer the money out and get a new account as soon as you leave the courthouse, because the money and statement of where the assets were was true and correct at the time of filing. That and the fact that they can't attach an asset located outside of the courts jurisdiction i.e. (italy)

Is this true?
Expert:  Terry L. replied 5 years ago.
You have to disclose all assets when there is a citation to discover assets. The court could order you to transfer them in if they wanted to. Once the judge orders what the creditor can attach, that's it, until the debt is paid. The creditor can always come back once they know of other assets to issue a new citation etc. I have not heard of a creditor garnishing a foreign bank account, but I don't know if that is absolute. Either way, I would file the bankruptcy, since having a stack of judgments against you does not look good on applications to med schools and on job resumes. While the bankruptcy is a negative, the benefits far out way any negative connotation that may be there.
THanks for your question, good luck.
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