Q: Bankruptcy Question - I have vast amounts of credit card debt that I need to file...but I am also a homeowner.
I'd like to know if the creditors (Citibank and Amex) can force me to sell my house. I don't believe so since I don't believe to have signed a securities agreement with either. I have credit card debt and personal loans with them.
Q2 - I have an LLC with a tax ID #...this LLC also has credit card debt...I am the sole owner...can I put the amount owed as part of my personal bankruptcy?
Q3 - if I have bank accounts and brokerage accounts with >$15K...does it go to pay creditors?
There is not enough information provided to answer your three questions, but I can provide some general information.
1. Even if a borrower did not execute a security agreement with an unsecured creditor, the unsecured creditor may possibly obtain a civil judgment against the borrower which enables the unsecured creditor to place a lien on real property.
2. There are situations where both an LLC and its owner are simultaneously liable for a debt. If the LLC and its owner share liability, the owner may possibly discharge his or her personal liability via the bankruptcy process. However, if the owner discharges the debt through the bankruptcy process, the LLC (as a separate entity) may continue to be liable for the debt.
3. Debtors are often permitted to claim exemptions for certain assets during the bankruptcy process. The exemption amounts vary due to multiple factors. For example, I've helped certain debtors protect $15k held in their bank accounts. On the other hand, I was not able to protect the bank funds of certain other clients. Your exemption possibilities can only be determined by speaking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your state.
1. You may be entitled to a Homeowner's Exemption but it depends on the equity you have accumulated in your property.
2. Generally, unless you are a guarantor then the answer is yes otherwise it is the debt of the LLC.
3. Unless it is a retirement, SEP IRA or 401k type of plan then the Trustee can get a hold of it to pay unsecured creditors.
Attorney at Law
A: You have many issues that require discussion and analysis in detail to fully cover your issues and come up with solutions. Answers provided by my colleagues include some good points in response. However, Your situation has many parts and for a true understanding and for complete analysis, I suggest you meet with a bankruptcy attorney for an initial consultation, which would cover all of your issues in more detail. In addition to the debt issues, a detailed analysis needs to be completed of all your assets and a budget of your income and necessary living expenses. In addition to your home (value versus secured debt against the house) - all of your assets need to be discussed - particularly if a chapter 7 is being considered - which, if successful, would result in a discharge of your unsecured debt and retention of your assets.
Regarding your first question, typically credit card debt is unsecured debt and therefore creditors cannot force you to sell your home to satisfy the debt. However, in some cases, creditors may place a lien on your home as a result of a judgment against you. This lien could potentially affect your ability to sell or refinance your home in the future. Additionally, if you have a significant amount of equity in your home, this may be subject to seizure by the bankruptcy trustee.
Regarding your second question, if the LLC is a single-member LLC and you are the sole owner, then the debts of the LLC may be considered your personal debts for the purposes of bankruptcy. However, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
Regarding your third question, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any non-exempt assets may be sold to pay creditors. However, there are exemptions available to protect certain types of assets, including bank accounts and brokerage accounts up to a certain amount. The specific exemptions available to you will depend on the laws of your state. It is recommended that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand how exemptions may apply in your case.
Overall, bankruptcy can be a complex and overwhelming process. It is recommended that you consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you navigate the process and make the best decisions for your financial situation.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.