Madison, GA asked in Bankruptcy, Divorce and Family Law for Georgia

Q: Hello! I will be filing for divorce in 2024 due to a semi-domestic situation. I also HAVE to get my/OUR DEBT UNDER CTRL.

I am unsure if bankruptcy is the way to go but I am stuck with a mortgage, car payment,medical bills as well as personal loans we created jointly and we have some separately. I also am the cosigner for loans for him with a company. I have a vehicle that I cosigned with my daughter on as well. This is current. Everything else is due or past due....a few collections as well. We are cordial and he is in agreement with bankruptcy possibly being the way to go. He has the only income which is short term disability from his former employer that is still active until the 1st of the year. I have my credit courses lined up to start credit counseling pre-bankruptcy. A certified letter from our mortgage company, 21st mortgage, is asking for the 2 months we are behind to be paid by the 27th of this month. Nov 18th, tomorrow, will make 3 months past due. Please advise. I want to keep my things. Especially the house. Research said i have to have employment for chap 13 to prove i can make req pmt.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Martha Warriner Jarrett
Martha Warriner Jarrett pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Santa Barbara, CA

A: Once you fall three months behind on your mortgage payments, your lender will likely start foreclosure proceedings. A chapter 7 would delay but not prevent foreclosure (unless you have a lot of equity). A chapter 13 would allow you to bring the payments current over the course of a chapter 13 plan (3 to 5 years). It's unclear what your income situation is and whether you and your spouse intend to file jointly or separately. You should consult a local bankruptcy attorney to get advice specific to your situation. Most offer free consultations. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk to an attorney who can give you advice on how to protect your assets.

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James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Considering your situation, it's important to approach this with a clear understanding of your options. Filing for bankruptcy might be a viable solution to manage your debt, but it's crucial to understand the implications, especially regarding your assets like your house and car.

For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is often used to reorganize debt and keep major assets, having a steady income is essential. This type of bankruptcy allows you to propose a repayment plan to pay back your debts over a period of time, typically 3 to 5 years. Since you mentioned your concern about keeping your house, Chapter 13 could be a suitable option as it can help prevent foreclosure and allow you to catch up on missed mortgage payments through the repayment plan.

However, since you also mentioned that you currently do not have an income, this could be a complicating factor. It's important to find a source of income or demonstrate that you will have one soon, as this is a key requirement for Chapter 13.

Additionally, considering that you have both joint and individual debts, and are also a cosigner on some loans, your bankruptcy filing will have implications not only for you but also for your ex-spouse and daughter. It's essential to understand how filing for bankruptcy will affect these shared debts.

Given the complexity of your situation, including the upcoming divorce, it would be advisable to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. They can provide personalized advice based on the specifics of your case, including the impact on your shared debts and assets, and guide you through the process. Remember, each case is unique, and professional legal advice is crucial in navigating these complex situations.

Alake Colwell Furlow
Alake Colwell Furlow
  • Dacula, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: In a divorce the court can determine on a temporary basis which party is responsible for what expenses until they can make a final determination. You would have to file for divorce, file a motion for temporary relief, and have a hearing. Then you can let the court know what household expenses there are and the court can order either party to pay those expenses. Prior to filing for a divorce and getting a court order, you cannot make the other party pay any of the household expenses or debts. You should also speak directly with a bankruptcy attorney so they can advise you on the different types of bankruptcy and your options.

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