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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I received a Chapter 7 discharge May, 2010 which included the

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I received a Chapter 7 discharge May, 2010 which included the surrender of my home. My wife was diagnosed June 25, 2010 with stage 4 lung cancer that metastasized to her spine & brain. She was admitted to the hospital immediately and received brain surgery to remove one of two tumors. Standard cancer treatment began. Based on answers from the law office about any liability towards any HOA expense and lack of upkeep of the property if I vacated our home, there was nothing to worry about, so not knowing when we would be removed from our home by the courts, I vacated my home July 2010 (now over 3 years ago) in order to bring my wife to a residence free of disruptions, as she was totally disabled and fighting for her life. The bank has still not yet foreclosed even though I was served the foreclosure notice shortly after the discharge of my BK.. Knowing that the mortgage holder was actively proceeding with their legal action, I was thankful that I made the decision to move. On a couple of occasions during the next two years, I spoke with the HOA representative in respect to the whole situation. They weren't happy but understood. Now (in 2013) I'm getting collection letters from an attorney's office. I lost my wife at Christmas time. I was her 24/7 caregiver. I have been trying to obtain employment. I'm living on my SS income. I have nothing but my 13 year old car. Am I going to loose my car? Is there any logical direction I can take on my own?

cfortunato :

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection attorney here to assist you.

cfortunato :

I am truly sorry to hear about the recent loss of your wife.

cfortunato :

You Social Security income is exempt (protected) from collection efforts for most debts - includine HOA dues.

cfortunato :

What is the approximate value of your car?

cfortunato :

Are you currently renting a place to live?


The car is worth about $4000.


I am currently renting from my mother in law. The other problem is that years ago, my mother in law (89yrs of age) added my wife's name to this rental property and to her home because she thought she would die before my wife. Do I need to worry

cfortunato and 2 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Last question - do you owe anything for the car? If so, what is the balance on the car loan?

Thank you for your response.

Regarding the last question (deed in your wife's name) - did your wife also file a Bankruptcy, or did you file on your own?

Also, do you owe any money for your car?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The car is clear. I filed BK in my name alone.

Thank you again for your response.

It is true that Bankruptcy filers remain liable for any HOA dues that accrue after their Bankruptcy is filed - until the property is sold to someone else - usually in a foreclosure auction or in a short sale .

It is also true that you did not have to move out of the home, even though you did so to accommodate your late wife. However, you do have the right to move back into the home, and you have the right to remain there until the house eventually sells - which is something that can take another few years to happen. Moving back into the home will allow you to use the money you are currently paying for rent for the HOA dues instead - because even though your SS income is exempt, the HOA may be able to take your car if they go to court to get a judgment for what is owed - since your car is worth more than $1,000.


I hope I was able to help you.

Please let me know if you need any clarification, or if you have any additional concerns.

Thank you.