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Hello, Everyone! I'm a Newbie!

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  • Hello, Everyone! I'm a Newbie!

    Good Morning, Everyone!

    I'm a newbie from Dallas, TX.


    My husband and I are in the process of filing a Chapter 7. We passed the Means Test and we will be taking the Pre-Filing Class later on this morning.

    I have a few questions....

    1) Were any of your scared of filing Chapter 7 pro se? I'm a bit nervous and I don't wanna screw it up.

    2) I know my student loans can't be discharged (sucks), but can the interest be discharged?

    3) We have two cars. We have a 2002 Chevy Cavalier (paid for) and a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS (financed, but will surrender it). Will we have to give up the paid-for car?

    4) We're renting an apartment, but we're current on the lease. How will the BK filing affect our lease?

    5) My husband pays Child Support and is NEVER LATE. It's deducted from his wages. Seeing that he's current, does he still have to list it?

    6) I see a Schedule that says "Co-Debtors". As Texas is a Community Property State, it says we have to list former spouses within the last 8 years. I have been divorced since 2001, so this does not apply to me. However, my husband divorce was in 2012. Does he still have to list her even though they never had any debts together? Everything from that marriage was in HIS name only or in HER name only.

    7) How do you guys value you assets? We don't have a whole lot, but I bought a viola on eBay for $50. How will I value that? Do I have to give it up?

    8) Did anything happen with y'all's bank accounts? We bank with Wells Fargo and we would like to keep them. I also bank with Inwood National Bank and I would like to keep it as well.

    9) I tried to start a business years ago, but I never got it off the ground and never made any money at all. Do I have to list it? It was a sole proprietorship.

    Thank you for being patient with me and thanks for your answers!
    CHAPTER 7 PRO-SE
    Filed: April 17, 2015

  • #2
    Hi and welcome...you have good questions and I would suggest you read all the stickies at the top of the pages, tons of information and a lot of your questions will be answered. Do a search if you don't see something you have asked about and then go back and read all the stickies again. If you are filing pro se then you will want all the knowledge you can get.

    Even though you are pro se, make 2 or 3 attorney consults (free) and get some insight from a professional, ask your questions and get their advice as you have nothing to lose. It would be worth the extra effort on your part to do so.

    Also you might want to purchase the latest version of the book "Nolo" for bankruptcy, plethora of information and forms, the bankruptcy bible if you will, especially if filing pro se. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible and you should be ok.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the info! I will definitely do that. we have an appt. with an attorney this morning.
      CHAPTER 7 PRO-SE
      Filed: April 17, 2015

      Comment


      • #4
        Texas allows you to take Texas or Federal exemptions. Texas exemptions are good for people with more than $22,975 equity in a house, but there's no wildcard exemption or auto equity exemption. You said you rent, so federal exemptions will probably be what you take. There is a $3,675 auto equity exemption which should cover your 2002 Chevy, plus there's a generous wildcard exemption for anything that doesn't fit in other exemption categories.

        Regarding your viola, federal exemptions allow for "$12,250 aggregate value ($575 per individual item) on household goods, furnishings and appliances, clothes, books, animals, crops, or musical instruments". Unless you have a lot of stuff, your viola should be fine, and even if it wasn't then there's always the wildcard exemption.

        http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...xemptions.html
        http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...-property.html
        Chapter 7, above median, no asset. Discharged with no UST involvement.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          Good Morning, Everyone!

          I'm a newbie from Dallas, TX.!
          Welcome to BKforum!


          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post

          My husband and I are in the process of filing a Chapter 7. We passed the Means Test and we will be taking the Pre-Filing Class later on this morning.

          I have a few questions....

          1) Were any of your scared of filing Chapter 7 pro se? I'm a bit nervous and I don't wanna screw it up.!
          Good! If you weren't nervous, I would be worried you aren't taking filing pro se seriously enough. You will be acting as your own attorney, so you need to familiarize yourself with the relevant parts of the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and your local court rules. Have you found all of those things? When you read them, are you able to make sense of them? We can help you here, but most of us are not attorneys and even the couple who are attorneys are not your attorney. So, you should independently confirm anything we tell you.

          You really should consider hiring an attorney. The cost is well worth the piece of mind of knowing you have a professional on your side. Have you considered stopping payments on all of your dischargeable debt and saving money to pay attorney fees?

          Keep in mind that some attorneys are more generous with their time and provide more information than others during an initial consultation. Don't be afraid to go for more than one consultation.

          Buy Nolo's guide for filing Chapter 7 as Drazil65 suggests.


          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          2) I know my student loans can't be discharged (sucks), but can the interest be discharged?
          Nope.

          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          3) We have two cars. We have a 2002 Chevy Cavalier (paid for) and a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS (financed, but will surrender it). Will we have to give up the paid-for car?
          The trustee has a right to liquidate any non-exempt assets. Make sure you understand the exemptions available to you and how to use them. TXskyblue provided some good links on exemptions.

          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          4) We're renting an apartment, but we're current on the lease. How will the BK filing affect our lease?
          See Schedule G. I am not sure exactly how it works, but I believe the lease needs to be rejected or assumed by either you or the trustee. Maybe the Nolo book will be helpful. Keep in mind that if your lease was for an initial period and then changed to a month to month, then that may not be considered an "unexpired lease."

          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          5) My husband pays Child Support and is NEVER LATE. It's deducted from his wages. Seeing that he's current, does he still have to list it?
          He will have to disclose the payments and certify that he is current in order to get a discharge. I have no experience with this, so I am not sure where this comes up in the petition other than on the means test and Schedule J.

          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          6) I see a Schedule that says "Co-Debtors". As Texas is a Community Property State, it says we have to list former spouses within the last 8 years. I have been divorced since 2001, so this does not apply to me. However, my husband divorce was in 2012. Does he still have to list her even though they never had any debts together? Everything from that marriage was in HIS name only or in HER name only.
          Follow the instructions on the form. Note that whose name is on a debt doesn't necessarily determine whether a debt incurred during marriage was a community debt.


          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          7) How do you guys value you assets? We don't have a whole lot, but I bought a viola on eBay for $50. How will I value that? Do I have to give it up?.
          If you can't exempt it, the trustee has the option of taking possession and liquidating it for the benefit of creditors. If he doesn't think it is worth the cost or trouble to do that, he will abandon it. The advantage of having an attorney is that an experienced local attorney will be familiar with the general habits of the local trustees. Your assets should be valued based on what they would sell for on the open market. That is going to be a lot less than you paid for them new. Some suggest using garage sale or thrift store values. Some also suggest using Ebay as a guide. You do not need to list every single item you own. You might want to list large items separately, but you can also have groupings like "clothing" "dishes, pots and pans and cooking utensils" and "miscellaneous household goods".

          If you recently bid on the viola in the auction, I would think that what you paid is a good indication of the market value unless you have had work done on it that increased the value. You could take it to a music store and ask them what the value is.

          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          8) Did anything happen with y'all's bank accounts? We bank with Wells Fargo and we would like to keep them. I also bank with Inwood National Bank and I would like to keep it as well.
          My accounts were unaffected. That seems to be the experience of most people who file BK unless they have an account with a credit union to which the owe money and there is a cross collateralization clause. But, Wells Fargo is known for freezing accounts when people file bankruptcy and holding it until they receive instructions from the trustee. I believe that is for accounts over either $3,000 or $5,000. To be safe, I would make sure the balance in the Wells Fargo account is very low and that you can do without it for a while if they freeze it. If the account is frozen, and the funds are exempt, then you will get access to the funds eventually.

          One thing you should keep in mind when listing your bank accounts on the petition is that you must list the balances without reduction for un-cashed checks. If you have un-cashed checks and can't exempt the money that is supposed to cover them, the trustee doesn't care and can make you turn the funds over to him. So, make sure all checks clear before you file.

          Originally posted by Kaminoyousha View Post
          9) I tried to start a business years ago, but I never got it off the ground and never made any money at all. Do I have to list it? It was a sole proprietorship.
          Read all questions on the petition carefully to determine whether any of them require you to disclose the business.
          Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 03-18-2015, 03:36 PM.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
            Welcome to BKforum!




            Good! If you weren't nervous, I would be worried you aren't taking filing pro se seriously enough. You will be acting as your own attorney, so you need to familiarize yourself with the relevant parts of the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and your local court rules. Have you found all of those things? When you read them, are you able to make sense of them? We can help you here, but most of us are not attorneys and even the couple who are attorneys are not your attorney. So, you should independently confirm anything we tell you.

            You really should consider hiring an attorney. The cost is well worth the piece of mind of knowing you have a professional on your side. Have you considered stopping payments on all of your dischargeable debt and saving money to pay attorney fees?

            Keep in mind that some attorneys are more generous with their time and provide more information than others during an initial consultation. Don't be afraid to go for more than one consultation.

            Buy Nolo's guide for filing Chapter 7 as Drazil65 suggests.



            Nope.


            The trustee has a right to liquidate any non-exempt assets. Make sure you understand the exemptions available to you and how to use them. TXskyblue provided some good links on exemptions.


            See Schedule G. I am not sure exactly how it works, but I believe the lease needs to be rejected or assumed by either you or the trustee. Maybe the Nolo book will be helpful. Keep in mind that if your lease was for an initial period and then changed to a month to month, then that may not be considered an "unexpired lease."

            He will have to disclose the payments and certify that he is current in order to get a discharge. I have no experience with this, so I am not sure where this comes up in the petition other than on the means test and Schedule J.

            Follow the instructions on the form. Note that whose name is on a debt doesn't necessarily determine whether a debt incurred during marriage was a community debt.


            If you can't exempt it, the trustee has the option of taking possession and liquidating it for the benefit of creditors. If he doesn't think it is worth the cost or trouble to do that, he will abandon it. The advantage of having an attorney is that an experienced local attorney will be familiar with the general habits of the local trustees. Your assets should be valued based on what they would sell for on the open market. That is going to be a lot less than you paid for them new. Some suggest using garage sale or thrift store values. Some also suggest using Ebay as a guide. You do not need to list every single item you own. You might want to list large items separately, but you can also have groupings like "clothing" "dishes, pots and pans and cooking utensils" and "miscellaneous household goods".

            If you recently bid on the viola in the auction, I would think that what you paid is a good indication of the market value unless you have had work done on it that increased the value. You could take it to a music store and ask them what the value is.

            My accounts were unaffected. That seems to be the experience of most people who file BK unless they have an account with a credit union to which the owe money and there is a cross collateralization clause. But, Wells Fargo is known for freezing accounts when people file bankruptcy and holding it until they receive instructions from the trustee. I believe that is for accounts over either $3,000 or $5,000. To be safe, I would make sure the balance in the Wells Fargo account is very low and that you can do without it for a while if they freeze it. If the account is frozen, and the funds are exempt, then you will get access to the funds eventually.

            One thing you should keep in mind when listing your bank accounts on the petition is that you must list the balances without reduction for un-cashed checks. If you have un-cashed checks and can't exempt the money that is supposed to cover them, the trustee doesn't care and can make you turn the funds over to him. So, make sure all checks clear before you file.

            Read all questions on the petition carefully to determine whether any of them require you to disclose the business.



            Thank you so much. :-D
            CHAPTER 7 PRO-SE
            Filed: April 17, 2015

            Comment


            • #7
              Just want to reiterate what LITR said re Wells Fargo. They were pretty notorious for pulling some lame stunts even when it didn't affect them- they kinda decided on their own to be the world's BK police. I think they got their wrist slapped a few times but may still be at it. If you keep them at all, don't keep much with them.

              Keep On Smilin'

              Comment


              • #8
                One more time WF, They Froze my Account the Day after I filed Luckily Pulled out everything but 5.00 and mad sure my Pay checks were in a new account I didn't have credit with. Info I got from this board saved me a major headache!!! I

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks, guys. I really appreciate the info. Were taking care of that asap. Oh, on another note, my husband told GM Financial to pick up the car. How do we file the voluntary repo?
                  CHAPTER 7 PRO-SE
                  Filed: April 17, 2015

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm sorry to hear that you guys are facing that right now Kaminoyousha! I hope you guys are able to get back on your feet and keep focused on a solid plan.
                    Life on planet earth is fun and I enjoy being here.

                    [advertising removed by moderator -- please re-read BKForum rules]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jedolaw View Post
                      I'm sorry to hear that you guys are facing that right now Kaminoyousha! I hope you guys are able to get back on your feet and keep focused on a solid plan.
                      Thanks! We will! We have to! Anyway, GM picked up the car yesterday. I have a question. i thought we had two TVs. Come to find out that we now have FIVE. For some reason, my husband keeps bringing home TVs from his job. He words for an home entertainment audio/visual company...when they deliver new TVs, they bring the old ones back to the warehouse where the manager told DH and his coworkers they can have those old TVs if they want them. Back to the issue at hand...I told my husband, "You KNEW we're filing Ch. 7 and you keep bringing home TVs. Yeah, they don't work properly, but that's beside the point. The point is we're trying for NO-ASSET and you keep bringing them here!" My question is this...how do we get rid of these TVs? Do we have to include them in the CH. 7 even though he didn't buy any on of them? I'm freaking out because I don't want the BK to be dismissed...I don't want to be accused of hiding assets...I don't want to be accused of lying to the Trustee...and I don't want to be prosecuted for fraud.
                      CHAPTER 7 PRO-SE
                      Filed: April 17, 2015

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bringing home free TVs is not fraud in any way. Just list them as an asset on the petition. I would make it a separate item "Misc. old non-working tvs). The trustee is not likely to want them. If he does, he'll be doing you a favor to take them off your hands.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
                          Bringing home free TVs is not fraud in any way. Just list them as an asset on the petition. I would make it a separate item "Misc. old non-working tvs). The trustee is not likely to want them. If he does, he'll be doing you a favor to take them off your hands.
                          Thanks. I've been pulling all-nighters doing this pro se BK. I bought the Nolo eBook. It's really helping.
                          CHAPTER 7 PRO-SE
                          Filed: April 17, 2015

                          Comment

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