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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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Im separated from my soon to be ex-husband. We have not filed

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I'm separated from my soon to be ex-husband. We have not filed for divorce yet but I may need to file for bankruptcy. I have no income and am still not released for work from workman's comp but have credit card bills. I would rather not file, but may have to. would it be better to file before or after filing for divorce? He's filing because I can't afford to. We are working out the divorce details, but I'm not sure what to do about my debts. Someone told me I could file the bankruptcy before the divorce and put my soon-to-ex as a creditor... is this even feasible? Any help would be appreciated.

cfortunato : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy attorney here to assist you.
cfortunato : Why were you told you could list your husband as a creditor? Are you anticipating that you will owe him money as part of your divorce agreement?
cfortunato : If so, he will not be a creditor until after your divorce is finalized.
cfortunato : However, in general, debts that result from a divorce agreement are not dischargeable in a Bankruptcy.
Customer: I'm not sure why I was told that. It was from a divorce attorney consult. I won't owe him money. In fact, he's getting the house we built on his 5 acres, his car, and various other things so I can live in his family cabin for a period of time to get on my feet. But, I may not be able to pay all of my bills. It's completely dependent on whether or not I get a job quickly or workman's com has to pay me for the 2 months I haven't been paid even though I'm not medically released for work. I am trying to write up an agreement that we are hashing out where he will give me some maintenance. He wants to pay me $250 month until the end of the divorce, but that will not be enough to pay my bills and live. He makes 80-110K a year and he is able to get help where as I am not in a position to. I have a lot of medical charges from having several major surgeries under his insurance so I have to pay the 15%, the deductible, and many other charges along with cost of living and heat etc. I owe about 21,000 total. I have NEVER filed for bankruptcy and don't want to now, but may have to.
cfortunato : Thanks for your response.
Customer: Also, we had a written agreement that in the case of divorce I could live in the cabin for a year. He wants to make that 9 months from now, with is substantially less time than our agreement. Don't get me wrong, he's helped me a lot, but I am drowning.
cfortunato : Given the information you provided, it would not matter if you filed a Bankruptcy now or after your divorce is finalized.
Customer: will they go after him? I don't want that.
Customer: without the cabin agreement, I'd be on the street. I have no where to go.
Customer: should I continue to pay what I can on the cc's? or just stop? I don't want collection agencies.
Customer: sorry, I'll stop asking so many things.
cfortunato : In general, anything that you and he built or acquired while you were married is considered to be marital property. That means the Bankruptcy court would be able to consider your share of the house.
cfortunato : What is the house worth? Is there any mortgage on the house?
Customer: we just got it built and got occupancy Jan 2012. There is barely any equity in it. it's worth about 400,000+/- and he owes about 385,000. He does not want to give me anything on the house, but the place to live is paramount to me so I must accept that so I can get my life together.
Customer: the property loan was rolled over into the house loan as well....
cfortunato : Okay - since the house has little equity, the Bankruptcy court would not be able to touch the house.
Customer: I am not on the mortgage, but am on the title and the constuction loan
cfortunato : Also, since you are filing without him, your filing will not have an effect on him.
Customer: good
Customer: I am not sure that I will have to. I am wanting to sell some thbings but the divorce will have to allow me to so I don't have to file bankruptcy. I'd rather pay my bills.... I always have.
cfortunato : Once you know you are going to file a Bankruptcy, you are supposed to stop paying your credit card bills.
cfortunato : I understand.
cfortunato : But if you are struggling to pay your bills, you may not have a choice but to stop paying. However, if you have no income, and no assets, you may not have to file a Bankruptcy. This is because there is really nothing your creditors can do to you if you have no income and no assets.
cfortunato : And your unemployment insurance payments are exempt (protected), so your creditors cannot touch any money your receive from unemployment.
Customer: I don't qualify for unemployment. I had to stop it when I reopened my workman's comp claim and it's been too long since then. I won't have any help until I find a job. And it's difficult when one hasn't worked since '09. But, I will try to find a way and am trying to negotiate with him for a bit more maintenance. Thank you for your insights.
cfortunato : I misread your facts, but workers compensation payments are also exempt.
cfortunato : You're welcome!
cfortunato : And I do hope everything works out well for you!
Customer: Thank you. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
cfortunato : I forgot it was the holiday!
cfortunato : You have a great holiday weekend also!
Customer: hahaha... thank you again. Bye for now. I may have more questions after I find out what the divorce agreement will be.
cfortunato : But before you leave, please don't forget to provide a positive rating for my help.
cfortunato : Thank you!
cfortunato : Okay!
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