Need Help and Advice About Filing for Bankruptcy
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|Thu, 01-03-2013 - 3:46pm|
I’m hoping someone can help us or steer us in the right direction in regards to bankruptcy. To tell you a little bit about ourselves, my husband works and I’ve been out of work for several years--I returned to college and graduated 2 years ago but still am unable to find work. The kind of work I’m looking for is in the accounting field which I’m worried will be a big problem if I have bankruptcy on my record. Some of the debt we have is two mortgages, student loans and almost $60,000 in credit card debt. We drained my husband’s 401k and an IRA just to get by and now we are really struggling since all the savings are gone.
We’ve gone to two different lawyers but haven’t been real happy with our consultations. The first lawyer really won’t answer questions until we pay $500 up front to have the means test to determine if we qualify for chapter 7 or 13. My husband’s income is about $10,000 over the median income for chapter 7. The second lawyer we saw immediately said chapter 13 with high payments that would still leave us in trouble with debt. We questioned him about the means test and then he ran through one quickly and said our payments would only be a little lower. I guess we thought we would qualify for chapter 7 with the debt we have and the income we have.
There are some additional problems. One problem is my husband will be 66 years old this year. He could retire but since we have no savings and so much debt, he’s hoping to keep working. We really need help so we can hurry and try to save some money but I want him to be able to retire sometime in the near future so he can enjoy some time off.
Another problem is our home equity line of credit. Right now we are only paying the interest on this loan. In two years it will come to an end and we will need to refinance this loan--the bank said we will need to be approved again and will have to go through another closing. We still owe $44,000 on this loan. This bank has our checking account, the two mortgages and one credit card that we owe $15,000 on. I’m worried if we’ll be able to refinance with them if we go through with bankruptcy and because one of the credit cards is with this bank.
We were wondering if it would be a better idea for my husband to start taking his social security now while he’s still working for some extra income and file for bankruptcy later this year? I’ve read online that social security should not be included in the means test or in chapter 13 repayment but I don’t know if that’s true?
Another problem is our cars. We have two older cars with high mileage. One car constantly has problems. I thought if we had the social security income that we could possibly get a car loan to replace this car. Would it be a good idea to try and get a car before filing bankruptcy?
Should we try to refinance the home equity line of credit before filing for bankruptcy? I don’t know if that’s possible even if we have the social security income? or is it better to leave it go and hope we can get financing?
I’m just lost on what to do. I’m not sure if we should try to find another lawyer or not.
I’m so sorry this post is so long and thank you so much for your help.