Q: My sister just lost her husband to COVID. Her husband left her with $100,000 in credit card debt.
They own a home with a mortgage of about $300,000. He owns another home with a mortgage of about 150,000. She’s not working, she’s a retired nurse. Can she claim bankruptcy?
A: She would have to provide her documents to a bankruptcy attorney to get the best answer. She most likely could file a chapter 13 to protect the assets which is a repayment plan over 3 to 5 years based on her income. She may even be able to file a chapter 7 to wipe out the excessive debt and still keep her property. Her first step should be to talk to an attorney.
A: Probably, but she needs to consult a bankruptcy practitioner and let him analyze her financial situation. So many variables that it is impossible to properly answer this question without the documents
A: As a bankruptcy attorney, I would suggest a consult, provide proof of income, if possible appraisals of the property and rent roll for same. Also, need to determine if she is liable for any of the cards, as in were any of the cards joint cards, or were they only in his name. We offer free consults
A: Section 109 of the Bankruptcy Code deals with who may be eligible to file bankruptcy under each Chapter, e.g., Ch. 7 or Ch.. 13. There is an income ceiling (from all sources) for filing a Ch. 7 (e.g., the median income for NJ for a household of 1). To be eligible for a Ch. 13, a "periodic income" is required, because that Chapter involves a payment plan over a period of years. There are also total debt limitations. The key question for your sister will be the exempt property she may claim. I agree with the first Answer to the extent that it recommends speaking to a bankruptcy attorney. Many bankruptcy lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation. To get the maximum benefit from an initial consultation, your sister should prepare a list of all her assets, with estimated values, all her debts, with the creditors' names and addresses, and the amounts claimed by each, and whether any are in default (missed payments). It would be even better if those lists were provided to the attorney before the consultation.
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