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Bankruptcy and well being old

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  • Bankruptcy and well being old

    Hello Everyone,
    I am 68, single and have a significant amount of credit card debt that is both medical and to be honest a certain amount of foolishness. Anyway several years ago it became obvious my working days were over and my debt was not payable. Researching the matter led me to the conclusion that for all practical purposes I am judgment proof and therefore bankruptcy is something to consider given this lens.
    I have prepared all my bankruptcy papers and only need to complete a few items to update before filing. At this point I would recommend to anyone in this boat to view Bankruptcy as the nuclear option yet understand what is important is knowing when to use it. Many creditors I have found seem to back off because of my age and I am sure knowing my income ss is something they cannot grab and having little assets they can grab is important in their doing the math.
    Interesting enough 1 creditor attempted legal action with a local court but a little trick help put that to rest. Easy when they are told clearly where this is going. Few will knock themselves out if they believe they will get nothing.
    If you are an older person please research the laws in your state before just doing a bankruptcy. You maybe surprised to find out creditors can do very little but spend a lot of money and every step of the way they can be made liable for their behavior.
    Bankruptcy is a nuclear weapon. Make sure it is the last weapon you use and also don`t pay them a penny.
    Good luck.

  • #2
    We like to call this being collection-proof, not judgment=proof. No one is really judgment-proof as a judgment is simply a claim (someone owes someone else money) reduced to a judgment (how much they owe and should pay). How a creditor collects on that judgment is the issue that a creditor should contemplate before spending money on obtaining a judgment. Most smart creditors will certainly perform an asset investigation and look at the relative age of the debtor.

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the nuclear option and it takes 7 years to reload. Always use it wisely.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Candidly, I hate the analogy that bankruptcy is a nuclear options, that is stupid. It implies that bankruptcy is somehow worse than the alternative, which is not true. For older individuals, bankruptcy is even more useful. As Justbroke said, being collection proof is one thing, but there is no such thing as judgment proof. There are NO laws that say once you reach a certain age, you don't owe your debts. You are committing yourself to a collection lifestyle. You have to deal the creditors, as they pop up, one of them sell eventually sue. The question really is, do you want to go into your golden years dealing with crap, hiding our, changing phone numbers, etc. or file bankruptcy and move on gleefully. It just shows an unjustified fear of bankruptcy; what are you afraid bankruptcy is going to do that is some how worse than being in collection perpetually. I totally disagree with your TD1 and consider as it is seems to come from a position of wildly fearful misinformation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello HHM

        Bankruptcy is a nuclear option and you are just wrong. It is the option you save to scoop up as much debt as possible to place in the bucket. You use it last since at this age medical bill and other things can come along that can balloon your debt to a point that if you have already pulled the trigger you will not have the protection needed. Perhaps you enjoy arguing over words, whether one prefers collection proof or judgment proof is simply a matter of taste such as ice cream. Just because you like chocolate does not prejudge someone from liking vanilla.

        Anyone who lives their life in fear is just stupid. Just as stupid as someone trying to scare folks into bankruptcy before it is necessary. What you are doing is sophistry. It is neither reasonable advise or is it wise. You are simply scaring folks and that is wrong. Grow up.

        You are promoting stupidity and misinformation. Sad.

        Folks should use the protections provided by laws instead of simply be ignorant. Ignorance is what you are recommending.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's kind of like a starving person refusing to eat cake because it might harm their figure. Cake may not be the most nutritious thing out there, but if you don't have anything else, you should eat it.

          I look at it from the viewpoint of suffering. Why suffer? You are still playing the "what if" game. What if I get more debt, what if I need credit, what if I have a medical issue, what if my aunt dies and leaves me money, what if I get that job. etc etc. That kind of thinking stalls progress and is pure speculation. You would never get behind the wheel of a car and drive if you played that game with driving as driving is, statistically, wildly dangerous. Everyone plays the "what if" game, they continue to suffer financially and emotionally. They end up filing bankruptcy eventually and they ALL SAY THE SAME THING once its over, I WISH I WOULD HAVE DONE IT SOONER. The problem is, your so called alternative is not really a solution or alternative, it is just doing nothing and playing the collection game. That is not a solution. Those facing financial stress go through the same stages as those in grief...denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The What If game, as you might suspect is the Bargaining phase. When it comes to bankruptcy, many get trapped going back and forth between denial and bargaining. Everyone tries what you are doing, trying to rationalize their way out of filing bankruptcy...and the only reason is some unstated FEAR.

          Comment


          • #6
            HHM,

            What I am recommending is people think. Do not let others think for you. Familiarize yourself with state laws regarding debt and also know the federal bankruptcy laws that pertain to your situation. Then develop a strategy that works for you. Go and sit in on a 341 hearing. You will come out amazed at the number of incompetent and just plain stupid attorneys that are doing their clients in from their own stupidity. Do not trust anyone. This is too important for that. Knowledge is what is important. Only then get an attorney involved, if ever, and only if you know most of the answers and you are trying to determine their level of intelligence and commitment.

            Suffering is a product of ignorance. If you know the laws you can create a strategy that fits your situation. If you come to the point creditors can do nothing but scream and carry own explain that too them and if they do not believe you cheerfully help burn their money and maybe pick up a few bucks on the way.

            Bankruptcy is important and eventually I will push the button but only on my terms and when I believe it is necessary. Not out of fear but the faith that comes from a journey that I take based or reason and knowledge. Sadly the law is a game and this is about playing a game and playing it well is very important and if you do not understand the game you are going to get shafted by attorney`s, trustees, and anyone else that can get their hands in your pockets.

            Educate people to think and leave fear out of it. Fear is the currency of failure. Ignore it.

            Comment


            • #7
              td1, I agree 100% with your analogy! For us Bk 13 is proving to be the nuclear option - when we filed , all our plans - VO demos for our fledgling VO business, refresher voice lessons for me and finding a pianist to perform live with, continuing acting classes,etc. were put on hold for at least 5 years.I will continue to practice my craft with out any hope of earning money in free student films , free VO projects etc.as long as my health permits!
              Some who do not support the arts or artistic business ventures will say we never had the right to pursue our entertainment interests to earn money and we should be thankful to the trustee and the bk 13 budget so we can "finally learn to live the way we were always meant to and give up these foolish ideas of using our interests to follow our dreams".
              . We are stuck for another 4 and a half in the BK vice and to "sweeten" our sentence , my health is currently under very expensive scrutiny (3 MRIs so far, x-rays, numerous blood tests, countless doctor visits) and our only wiggle room is the $400 the trustee kindly "allowed" us to "keep" while raising our payment by $220 a month at confirmation.
              Between my left ankle (which the MRI shows is severely compromised by ankle sprains,tears and small fractures and may need a shot or more adversely ,surgery- I will get a second opinion from a new foot surgeon next week ) and my neck (the MRI was done only last night so I will have to wait until next week for the results) which the X-ray showed has a large bone spur in the middle of the cervical area and a new bulging disc is suspected of having developed (two years ago a cat-scan found three small bulging discs), I am concerned about the amount of future costs and treatments which limit my mobility (our house for the next 7 years (until the bk clears from our credit records and and we are permitted to finance another FHA loan) has all bedrooms upstairs so it is essential I can navigate the stairs. I am too young to be rendered disabled by both my ankle and neck limitations- so I am continuing to take as many barre, zumba (always with ankle braces to prevent new sprains), yoga and weight-training classes as I can safely. I. am many years from retirement age and do not want to be crippled before then because of this bk filing so avoiding surgery on the foot and neck is paramount and being able to access the exercises to strengthen and keep the joints moving is vital!

              Luckily (or not,per your perspective) we have reached the magic $3000 deductible so until Dec.31 , we "only" have to pay 20% instead of 80% of our medical bills. I intend to get as many tests and treatments done before then as I can. (I am hoping to get some physical therapy for both the ankle and neck issues and counseling for coming to terms to with our "new life" before this medical "break" ends). And, maybe next year ,we can start to save some money for taxes and the like! (Currently, we are paying for this deluge of medical bills with small monthly payments so we can make it check to check.) We fully expect our deductible to double or triple next year so waiting to get these tests done after January is not advisable!
              Thanks for listening to this rant - my purpose is to remind every one that while chapter 13 may be the only viable option to keep property and possessions, it is not painless and often involves deprivations which may never become easier or more palatable to the affected debtor over the life of the bk. These must be endured but you don't have to like them. Of course some enjoy and thrive under their trustee's terms but not every one!
              As Just Broke always says "You have to pay to play"-well, I think we're more than paying to play -LOL!

              Last edited by Barbisi; 09-21-2017, 03:23 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Barbisi View Post
                As Just Broke always says "You have to pay to play"-well, I think we're more than paying to play -LOL!
                Thanks for the attribution, but that saying is from a Federal Bankruptcy Judge.

                Some people certainly pay more in their game. I converted from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 after my payment jumped to over $7,000/month. Sheesh, I should have won the Superbowl paying that much money. (Trustee was earning over $700/month to write 3 checks.)
                Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, justbroke you seem to have come out, justfine since then! May we have some luck to survive now and someday thrive too!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    td1, distinguishing between "collection proof" and "judgement proof" is more than an argument over preferred words. Words have meaning. Nobody is judgement proof if they default on a valid debt. To suggest otherwise gives a false sense of security. A creditor can sue you and will get a judgement unless you settle or the creditor cannot prove you owe the debt. You will then have a judgement against you and will have to live with the consequences of that. The consequences vary depending on what state you live in. Your bank account could suddenly be frozen. Even if all of the funds in that account are exempt from collection, you will have the hassle of having to prove that in order to regain access to the funds. If you ever decide to get a job to supplement your social security, your wages may be garnished. Even if state law doesn't allow wage garnishment, the creditor may be able to get at the cash after it is deposited into your account. An aggressive creditor may try to get at other assets, like a car or home. Your current creditors may realize it is not worth pursuing you. They will likely sell your debt and you very well may hear from new creditors.

                    Being collection proof does not mean you will know for sure that you will not have to deal with collection attempts. You may be okay with that. If in your position, I think I would prefer the finality and certainty offered by a bankruptcy discharge. If a creditor tries to collect a discharged debt, there is nothing like a discharge order to stop them in their tracks. You are right that before filing BK it is important to understand and consider all options and it is good to remind people of that. But, different people armed with the same facts will come to different conclusion on the best course of action. You have investigated your options and made the right choice for you. That does not mean that somebody else in your position would be taking a drastic action by filing BK.

                    If people only filed BK when there were absolutely no other options, nobody would ever file BK.

                    I agree that the "nuclear option" analogy is not a very good one. Dropping a nuclear bomb results in great devastation to many innocent bystanders. In BK, the only harm done to others is to creditors who knowingly took a risk in lending money. Risk is part of their business model and they somehow manage to still make pretty big profits. While there may be some harsh realities debtors have to face as they lose assets in a Chap 7 or have to cut expenses in a Chap 13, the results for the debtor is more the opposite of a nuclear option. BK allows the debtor to get control over their financial situation and prevent an explosion of debt as late payments and penalties are piled on. But, that is my opinion. If you believe it is a nuclear option, that does not mean I am "just wrong". It means I have a different perspective which results in a different opinion.
                    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would agree with the idea that a person should file BK only when the underlying issue that led to the BK is either resolved or the BK will resolve it. That is not what you are saying. You are really saying that you should never file BK because you will always be trapped in a What If mode of thinking. That doesn't help anyone.The reality, most people do not act rationally under stress. Financial stress creates the same psychological fear as our ancestors felt living on the African plains with predators. Most of us don't face physical life and death situation, but financial stress in the modern equivalent. It makes people incredibly irrational and emotional. That is why they get stuck in the denial - anger - bargaining cycle. The cynical side of me would say that you are an old coot who is bull headed and stubborn and views filing bankruptcy as giving into the system whereas not filing and saying to hell with creditors makes you feel tough and like an outsider.
                      Last edited by HHM; 09-21-2017, 04:49 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well being an old coot is really a compliment. Have to be old to make it and why not a coot it beats being a person who doesn`t do their homework and falls prey to the paradigms of what other folks think instead of thinking for themselves. Actually thinking is one of the most rational things a person can do. Familiarize yourself with the laws and speak with folks, make you own decision and move forward.
                        I have seen too many pundits and attorneys set people up for failure than to ever do anything other than what president Reagan said, "trust but verify". Is bankruptcy a rational choice? Of course it is. It is the nuclear option and should be used accordingly. The difference between being judgment proof and collection proof is just silly. Bankruptcies are not cheap, in terms of money and stress. If a person lives in a state where your property and income are exempt then the only reason to do a bankruptcy is to prevent a lien on your property. The other reasons are just nonsense. A creditor can determine you have nothing and then the business side sets in. Why get a judgment if you will get nothing but more expense. So you get a lien big deal, strip it in a bankruptcy.
                        Also you folks do not understand that saving a bankruptcy till the end gives you the opportunity to use it against other debt that may come up such as medical. Basically speak strong and keep your powder dry.
                        Debt is not a one size fit all proposition. People in trouble need to learn the laws that pertain to them and act accordingly. If thinking is something that is reserved for old age god help us all.
                        As far as being an outsider. I prefer that to being a fool, and going down a trail that is a dead end and ultimately destructive. Yes the trail is dangerous but it is dangerous for the folks taking it not the folks sitting in the grandstand eating popcorn.
                        By the way in my state a creditor is prohibited by state law from touching an account that social security income is deposited in. Why not advise your readers to check state law and segregate
                        their ss income into one account only and never co-mingle funds? Now that would be helpful to someone in the fight of their life.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by td1 View Post
                          The difference between being judgment proof and collection proof is just silly.
                          Actually, for true junk debt buyers (JDBs) that consider the risk (by buying portfolios for, literally, 4.5 cents on the dollar), they make very large profits. It is very easy and cheap to get a judgment on debt since most of these cases go through as default judgements. The payoff is immense because you can collect on a judgement for 10 years and, in most cases, can renew the judgement (and judgement lien) for another 10 years. This is true investment with small risk. Even if the JDB collected only 10% of the portfolio, they'll still make a 120% profit; and that's entirely likely. Like they say (I don't know who they are)... this is business.

                          Originally posted by td1 View Post
                          By the way in my state a creditor is prohibited by state law from touching an account that social security income is deposited in. Why not advise your readers to check state law and segregate their ss income into one account only and never co-mingle funds? Now that would be helpful to someone in the fight of their life.
                          We do advise people that have exempt funds to keep them in separate accounts and never-ever commingle a single penny. But, alas, not everyone reads about filing bankruptcy years in advance, or doing any sort of asset protection... until it's too late. If a person is thinking of filing bankruptcy and visiting this board, it is likely too late to do asset planning (unless they are several months away from filing). Most people come to a bankruptcy board, "the" bankruptcy board, "this" bankruptcy board, BKForum, because they are already desperate.

                          But, alas, also, not everyone is in that position where they have Social Security income. Some debtors actually want to file bankruptcy to protect property using Chapter 13. In a Chapter 13, your social security income can be used to pay creditors (it's a pay to play scheme). So the answer is not so cut-and-dry. Each individual should seek professional advice and find the solution that works best for their financial situation. A blanket statement about "hanging tough" does not work for the super-majority of BKforum visitors. In the end, no one is judgment proof and few are collection proof. The few that are collection proof can be more... cavalier, but the supermajority (everyone else) must be more circumspect.

                          Last edited by justbroke; 09-30-2017, 01:41 PM.
                          Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                          Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                          Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                          I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sooo..... I'm confused. Is td1 filing or no? The paperwork being nearly completed would lead one to believe so.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I know several people who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as did I back in 2013. Do you know how many of them (us) regret filing? None. In fact, all of us would have been better off filing sooner rather than procrastinating.

                              Unless you have ongoing medical problems, and expect to incur more hospital/doctor bills which you can't pay, you should file now. I don't see what you gain by waiting. If you have already defaulted on all your debt--which you must have if you believe you are "judgment-proof"--then no one is going to lend you money anyways. Therefore, the only dischargeable debt which you can possibly incur between now and whenever you decide to file is medical debt.

                              Comment

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