Pre-bankruptcy Detective Work Prevents Disaster

by | Jan 2, 2022 | Bankruptcy, Chapter 7

It seemed like a vanilla chapter 7 case. A widow, living alone, impacted by Covid. $25,000 in credit card debt with high minimum payments. A prior bankruptcy more than 10 years ago. Under $60,000 in income.  No house. No personal injury case to protect.

But I kept looking for RISK. Did you EVER own a house?….. and there is was:  “My name was never on the deed, but when we got divorced I became entitled to a share of the sale proceeds. But the house is not going to be sold now because my adult children are living there with their father.”

Conclusion: no chapter 7. The bankruptcy trustee would clearly offer to sell the wife’s equitable distribution interest in the house to the ex-husband for $25-30,000. My client would lose more3  more than $100,000, and I would be sued for malpractice.

Instead, we decided to file a chapter 13 repayment plan. 100% of credit card debt over 5 years with no interest. The monthly payments would be about 1/3 of her current minimum payments, and she could afford them. https://www.silawfirm.com/bankruptcy-overview/the-chapter-13-bankruptcy-process/

Moral of the story: be careful who you choose to help you with bankruptcy. https://www.silawfirm.com/attorney/paul-hollender/

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