Bankruptcy Law

Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Bankruptcy Law
This answer was rated:

my husband is in business for 30 plus years with partner in

state of georgia. always...
my husband is in business for 30 plus years with partner in state of georgia. always meet obligations up until last year. keeping business alive barely. husband is 66 years old only means of income is social security. no check from company in last year. owes credit cards in personal name but used for business. our house has been paid for for a number of years but we mortgaged approximately 6 years ago for sba line of credit for business--what are our options/ they have done eveyrthing to keep business afloat.
bills cannot be meet. .help we are christian people wanting to do the right thing
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Bankruptcy Law Question
Answered in 3 minutes by:
2/7/2013
A.J.
A.J., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,300
Experience: Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.
Verified

SavyLawyer :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. My name isXXXXX am an employment law professional and I look forward to answering your questions this afternoon.

SavyLawyer :

First, let me say how sorry I am to hear that your husband's business is struggling. I know that in the current economy, it is often difficult for people to make ends meet, and I am sorry that your family is having a hard time. So that I understand the situation better, when you say that your husband's only income is social security, does that mean that the business is not paying him anything? Presumably the business is losing money?

Customer:

that is right

SavyLawyer :

Ok, thank you for confirming my understanding of the situation. With the sba home loan, how much equity do you have in the home? Also, how much credit card debt are we talking about?

Customer:

credit card debt over $30,000 i am not sure about equity in home. as stated before, home has been paid for for several years. i know i am not giving you a lot to work with--but i have just gotten very nervous and upset and dont know what kind of options we have. i guess i am just mainly afraid of losing our house of 20 plus years forgive me

SavyLawyer :

No forgiveness needed, you have provided plenty of information, and I just want to make sure I understand your question fully before I present legal issues that you could consider. I can understand why you would be upset, debt that high is upsetting and stressful, both normal responses to the situation.

Customer:

thank you i guess i just need a starting point. what do we do

SavyLawyer :

I understand. Now, ultimately, where debt is concerned, if the business does not look like it is going to improve, then rather than employment law, we are talking more about bankruptcy law. Unfortunately, there are not many mechanisms in the law to deal with debt, other than paying them, working out deals with creditors, or looking at bankruptcy.

SavyLawyer :

Although it can seem like trying to walk away from debt, sometimes looking at bankruptcy is the right thing to do. There are generally two types of bankruptcy that an individual would look at, chapter 7 and chapter 13, or that the business would look at, chapter 11. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, often a person's home can be protected.

Customer:

since it is a business related issue should both partners have sit down with a corporate bankruptcy lawyer and if so--does that need to be done after personal income and business tax returns have been done?

SavyLawyer :

That is a good question. In terms of the business, yes, sitting down with a bankruptcy attorney who handles corporate winding down or reorganization through the bankruptcy code would be a good idea for both partners. However, because it sounds like much of the debt is personal debt, an individual bankruptcy may be what is needed (either a chapter 7 discharge of the debt, or a chapter 13 repayment plan). There are pros and cons to each approach, but based on the information provided, you are probably at the point that sitting down with an attorney in person is the prudent thing to do.

SavyLawyer :

Depending on how much equity you have in the home, and how important it is to you that you keep the home, will be part of deciding between a chapter 7 bankruptcy, where the debt is completely discharged after selling any non-exempt property the debtor owns, and a chapter 13 bankruptcy, where the debtor agrees to pay back a portion of the debt owed over a 3-5 year period.

SavyLawyer :

Sitting down with a bankruptcy attorney in person can help you determine which is the proper course based on the details of your debt.

Customer:

after taxes have been done? and if so, what paperwork do we need to take with us to make process easier? we are just small town common folks. this is all very overwhelming and for 30 plus years, company has survived. what does non exempt property mean?

SavyLawyer :

All good questions, and don't count out small town common folks, you are keeping up just fine. Ultimately, if your income has been low for a while, it may not be necessary to wait until after this last years tax return. Tax returns for the last few years are one of the documents that a bankruptcy attorney will need from you, but there is nothing wrong with sitting down with an attorney prior to filing the most recent return, and based on what they see, they can determine whether or not it is worth waiting for filing the 2012 return. Documents to take in to a bankruptcy attorney are last 3 years tax returns, last 6 months bank statements, profit/loss reports from the business to show that it has not generated income, as well as your mortgage documents and most recent mortgage statement, and most recent bill from each creditor that you have. Generally, if there is something missing that they need, the attorney can tell you and you can mail/fax or drop it off.

SavyLawyer :

Once you have reviewed all of this with your bankruptcy attorney, they should be able to help you determine which chapter under the bankruptcy code you would file under (as I explained above there are different types of bankruptcy with different pros and cons).

Customer:

and what is tax exempt property and what happens at end of 3-5 years if you have not been able to pay all debt?

SavyLawyer :

What I mean by "exempt" property (not tax exempt) is property that, in a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee (person in charge of administering a bankruptcy) cannot seize to sell and pay creditors. For example, a bankruptcy debtor can protect up to $3500 of value in a vehicle without risk of seizure by a bankruptcy trustee (very rarely does a trustee go after a car unless it is very valuable).

SavyLawyer :

In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, where you are repaying a portion of the debt over time, the plan is based on your current income and ability to pay, and any amount not included in the plan is not paid after the end of the repayment plan. Generally the plan is set up to allow you to repay as much as you can while still being able to pay for basic life necessities. This 3-5 year plan is only in the chapter 13 repayment bankruptcy, and will be one of the options that you can discuss with a bankruptcy attorney in person.

Customer:

i see. i guess i feel somewhat better. knowing what to take to be prepared and understanding the difference in 7 vs 13. are there any other suggestions you might have for me, other than a lot of prayer. this is just something i never thought would happen to us. any more info will be appreciated

SavyLawyer :

I don't think so, that is a good starting place. I can certainly sympathize with how you feel, I don't think anyone plans on being in a place where they have to talk about bankruptcy. The best I can do, now that you have some basic information, is to encourage you to sit down with a bankruptcy attorney in person to review your options under the bankruptcy code.

SavyLawyer :

I hope this chat has been helpful and let me know if you have any additional questions or need clarification. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

i guess i knew that was the answer. just needed someone removed from the situation to verify for me. i shall give you very smiley face for excellent service

A.J.
A.J., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,300
Experience: Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.
Verified
A.J. and 87 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask A.J. Your Own Question
A.J.
A.J.
A.J., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,300
4,300 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.

A.J. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Terry L.

Terry L.

Attorney

2,672 satisfied customers

Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.

cortrightlaw

cortrightlaw

Attorney

511 satisfied customers

Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.

JoeLawyer

JoeLawyer

Attorney

376 satisfied customers

Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996

A.J.

A.J.

Attorney

4,300 satisfied customers

Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.

Fritz

Fritz

Attorney

209 satisfied customers

Florida attorney with extensive experience in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases

Law Girl

Law Girl

Attorney

153 satisfied customers

I am an attorney.

Paul K, Esq.

Paul K, Esq.

Attorney

141 satisfied customers

10 years Exp., Great customer service, Prompt responses.

< Previous | Next >

Related Bankruptcy Law Questions
I have a Bankruptcy question, Maryland Yes, Yes, relief of
My mortgage company lied to the bankruptcy court and stated that I have not made any payments, since my bankruptcy case was filed… read more
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq.
Juris Doctor (JD)
11,190 satisfied customers
My husband and I filed chapter 7 in 2007. We did not
My husband and I filed chapter 7 in 2007. We did not reaffirm our home. After the discharge we tried to make mortgage payments and the bank would not accept (they also wouldn't accept payment while th… read more
GoLaw
GoLaw
Doctoral Degree
751 satisfied customers
I filed bankruptcy in 2008 and an automatic stay was issued.
I filed bankruptcy in 2008 and an automatic stay was issued. The bank (BofA) was ordered not to take automatic payments for credirt card payments as of 1 Aug. In the next three months these payments w… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,812 satisfied customers
I FILED BANKRUPCTY AND BOUGHT A CAR IN ONE OF THOUSE HIGH
I FILED BANKRUPCTY AND BOUGHT A CAR IN ONE OF THOUSE HIGH RISK HIGH INTEREST RATE ON A FIXED I THOUGHT IF I COULD REFINCE GET A LOWER PAYMENT I COULD SEND MORE ON THE PRINCIPAL AND SAVE A LOT OF MONEY… read more
Linda Roch
Linda Roch
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
529 satisfied customers
Can I file bankruptcy when I have a law suit against me?
Can I file bankruptcy when I have a law suit against me? It's for a credit card my ex wife applied for online when we were married.… read more
Attorney2020
Attorney2020
Lawyer
2,479 satisfied customers
I signed a quit claim deed in 2005 and my wife was suppose
I signed a quit claim deed in 2005 and my wife was suppose to get the house in her name as soon as she was able. It is now 2010 and she has made every house payment to date but her house in my name pr… read more
lwpat
lwpat
Doctoral Degree
256 satisfied customers
I filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and it was discharged, but
Hello, I filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and it was discharged, but the only item I left off of my bankruptcy was my car- i paid it every month, on time and paid it completely off in 2008. Well, once I p… read more
FiveStarLaw
FiveStarLaw
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
477 satisfied customers
I have filed a chapter 7 back in June of this year.. today I
I have filed a chapter 7 back in June of this year.. today I got into an accident to which the other party was at fault.. i has to go to the hospital... if I am … read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,812 satisfied customers
CAN A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGED ON 12/09 BE OVER
CAN A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGED ON 12/09 BE OVER TURNED BY A $15,000.00 BREACH OF CONTRACT THAT ACCURED ON 3/08 THROUGH A CIVIL SUIT?… read more
FiveStarLaw
FiveStarLaw
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
477 satisfied customers
My case is complicated, I filed Chapter 13, I received the
My case is complicated, I filed Chapter 13, I received the completion of plan January 8, 2017, a Final Report, all of my money paid in plan returned, the trustee said we didn't owe anything, no claims… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,972 satisfied customers
I am going through a bankruptcy and my name was on my mom's
I am going through a bankruptcy and my name was on my mom's deed for her house. She put it on there during the time she was sick and and for probate purposes in case something happened. I signed a qui… read more
Terry L.
Terry L.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,672 satisfied customers
I live in Texas and am in the second year of my CH 13
I live in Texas and am in the second year of my CH 13 bankruptcy. I remarried after my filing and my wife is the sole owner of our home (She had it before we were married and it is mortgage-free). She… read more
Legal Expert Justin
Legal Expert Justin
Law Degree
206 satisfied customers
I really do not want to file bankruptcy but i have a equity
i really do not want to file bankruptcy but i have a equity line of credit and a vechicle and a home i want to keep but i am also in debt up to about $45000 and need to do something. everything is in … read more
Terry L.
Terry L.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,672 satisfied customers
If I file bankruptcey on because my house is in forclosure
If I file bankruptcey on because my house is in forclosure and I can not get help because they say we make to much money what will happen, and can i even file if there has already been bankruptcy file… read more
FiveStarLaw
FiveStarLaw
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
477 satisfied customers
Let me start over, on the bankruptcy, sorry for the trouble?
Let me start over, on the bankruptcy, sorry for the trouble? Now when I filled for the chapter 13 I was paying 160.00 a month, now at the time I had 2 motorcycles I was paying on. Now at the time I to… read more
Terry L.
Terry L.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,672 satisfied customers
Pro Se:Legal Aid for Bkruptcy? Can Judge order us to get an
Pro Se:Legal Aid for Bkruptcy? Can Judge order us to get an attorney? Can we find attor to wk for us? Removed case from st. court due to improper $200, judgement due to a loan that was'nt properly han… read more
KUMI95
KUMI95
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
17 satisfied customers
I filled for bankruptcy that was discharged on March 24,
I filled for bankruptcy that was discharged on March 24, 2017. Then I got a medical bill that was not included in the list of creditors during the bankruptcy process. Since this bill was incurred befo… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,224 satisfied customers
Im filing for chapt 7 bankruptcy. My income is 379,000. I
im filing for chapt 7 bankruptcy. My income is 379,000. I pass the means test. I live separate from my wife during the week in another state because of work reasons. Is this considered a "special circ… read more
KUMI95
KUMI95
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
17 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x