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Chapter 7 No job or income

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  • Chapter 7 No job or income

    I currently have around $15,000 in credit card debt. I haven't had a job in around 8 years. I was living with a girlfriend who made decent money and paid for everything. It's been 6-9 months since payments were made on most cards. I don't care about my credit.

    I don't have a job/income. The only property I own is a 96 F-150 pickup. No bank account. I want to file Chapter 7 in the state of Georgia and I can handle it without a lawyer after doing some research. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Why do you want to file? It sounds like you are judgment proof at the moment. I would hold off until you have something to protect, like saving income from garnishment. If you are getting harassed there are ways to reduce that but if you have no income or assets to protect then I wouldn't pull the trigger on bankruptcy. Unless there is more to consider, given the level of debt you have filing bankruptcy now is like using a bazooka to kill a fly.
    Case Closed > 2/08/2010

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by BobMango View Post
      Why do you want to file? It sounds like you are judgment proof at the moment. I would hold off until you have something to protect, like saving income from garnishment. If you are getting harassed there are ways to reduce that but if you have no income or assets to protect then I wouldn't pull the trigger on bankruptcy. Unless there is more to consider, given the level of debt you have filing bankruptcy now is like using a bazooka to kill a fly.
      I really just think filing would be best for me. I know some would say wait, but I want to do it. There are reasons I don't really want to get into. As long as they can't take my truck, then I'm set on doing it.

      I did have my name on her checking account (which only had her paychecks being deposited into it) for about 6 months and I had my name removed from a Joint Tenancy with Survivorship agreement because the house has a lot of equity. Will those things be an issue?

      Comment


      • #4
        Fair enough, it's a personal decision, but the quality of the feedback you get from the community here is directly related to having all the facts to consider. For instance, is the credit card debt only for cards in your name or were there joint accounts or accounts with co-signers? Your filing could have an impact on others if so.

        Whether they can take your truck depends on what state you live in (vehicle exemption limit, wildcard available), whether you can use Federal Exemptions, and whether the truck encumbered by a loan, So if you can identify what vehicle exemptions are available to you and determine if the fair market value of the truck is under that, your truck should remain yours.

        As for the checking account, community property laws could come into play, but if you did not make any deposits into it, then your equitable interest is generally zero there. Time frame may be an issue if you just got off the account and file right away. Better if you did it as a result of a breakup or other life event unrelated to your bankruptcy filing.

        As for the Joint Tenancy agreement, I have no clue so perhaps others could weigh in. Again timing will be a factor, did you just walk away from equity if you had any, or did you receive cash for your equity? These will be looked at to determine if there was a preferential or fraudulent transfer intended to hide funds from the estate.
        Case Closed > 2/08/2010

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BobMango View Post
          Fair enough, it's a personal decision, but the quality of the feedback you get from the community here is directly related to having all the facts to consider. For instance, is the credit card debt only for cards in your name or were there joint accounts or accounts with co-signers? Your filing could have an impact on others if so.

          Whether they can take your truck depends on what state you live in (vehicle exemption limit, wildcard available), whether you can use Federal Exemptions, and whether the truck encumbered by a loan, So if you can identify what vehicle exemptions are available to you and determine if the fair market value of the truck is under that, your truck should remain yours.

          As for the checking account, community property laws could come into play, but if you did not make any deposits into it, then your equitable interest is generally zero there. Time frame may be an issue if you just got off the account and file right away. Better if you did it as a result of a breakup or other life event unrelated to your bankruptcy filing.

          As for the Joint Tenancy agreement, I have no clue so perhaps others could weigh in. Again timing will be a factor, did you just walk away from equity if you had any, or did you receive cash for your equity? These will be looked at to determine if there was a preferential or fraudulent transfer intended to hide funds from the estate.

          Cards were only in my name. No co-signer. 100% me.

          I live in Georgia, my truck was given to me about 12 years ago and is a 1996 F-150. I'm pretty sure it is exempt.

          I just got removed from the checking account, so I'm thinking it would be best to wait a bit to file.

          With the Joint Tenancy agreement, I just "walked away." No cash was received by me. I still live at the house. Would it be better if I did not live there?

          Thanks for the help.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you are looking to file pro se: do a few free consultations with attorneys and ask about having just had your name removed from the property. How much equity? GA allows $21,500 exemption in a house. So if it was a total of $50,000 equity then your half was $25,000 and the trustee may have a claim to $3,500. If your share of the equity was over $21,500 and you have no reason to file right away, then don't rush into anything.

            GA allows $5000 vehicle and a small wild card. I'm doing research for my own filing and I also live in GA. I am not sure I could attempt to do the filing on my own.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GAonmymind View Post
              If you are looking to file pro se: do a few free consultations with attorneys and ask about having just had your name removed from the property. How much equity? GA allows $21,500 exemption in a house. So if it was a total of $50,000 equity then your half was $25,000 and the trustee may have a claim to $3,500. If your share of the equity was over $21,500 and you have no reason to file right away, then don't rush into anything.

              GA allows $5000 vehicle and a small wild card. I'm doing research for my own filing and I also live in GA. I am not sure I could attempt to do the filing on my own.
              I'm sure I could handle filing on my own. That's usually how it is with everything I have to do. I just have to do some research and make sure I have all my facts straight.

              We definitely have more than that much equity in the house. It's probably close to $100,000. So I may have to wait a while to actually file bankruptcy. That way they don't say something like you just a few months ago had your name removed from this. I'm pretty sure my truck is worth less than $5,000. I really need to look it up and see though. It has around 240,000 miles and is 22 years old.

              I will probably just take my chances for a little while and let anybody that's going to sue me go ahead and do it. I already have one threatening to sue. I thought that was a little unusual considering it's only been about 9 months since my last payment. It usually takes a few years I thought. But if I have nothing they can take then suing shouldn't affect me right now. I will for sure eventually file Chapter 7. I just have to figure out when the best time to do it is.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't see how bankruptcy benefits you at this point in time. As you are not legally married, there is absolutely no way for any of your creditors to attach any of your girlfriend's property. They also aren't coming after your 22 year old truck. You really don't have anything to gain by filing now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bcohen View Post
                  I don't see how bankruptcy benefits you at this point in time. As you are not legally married, there is absolutely no way for any of your creditors to attach any of your girlfriend's property. They also aren't coming after your 22 year old truck. You really don't have anything to gain by filing now.
                  Yeah, part of me thinks the same thing. Another thinks that the sooner I do, the sooner I can get a job if I need to (without the threat of garnishment) and the sooner it will come off my credit. I don't really care too much about my credit right now, but I also know that could change 1 day. I know $15,000 doesn't sound like much to some, but to me, it feels like $1,000,000 sometimes. I've been through hell the last 15 years and I just want to be able to start over.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I believe the look back window for property transfer is 1 to 2 years.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GAonmymind View Post
                      I believe the look back window for property transfer is 1 to 2 years.
                      I wonder how long the window is if I get sued?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It does not hurt to consult an attorney of course - but if you get sued I don't believe they can put a lien on property you do not currently own. The BK Trustee has greater power than the creditor.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It sounds like you transferred your interest in the home to your girlfriend without consideration. That will be an issue in the bankruptcy unless you don't care if the trustee sells the house and keeps the share of the proceeds you would have been entitled to. You are in a situation where you should at the very least consult with an attorney, even if you eventually do decide to file pro se.
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GAonmymind View Post
                            It does not hurt to consult an attorney of course - but if you get sued I don't believe they can put a lien on property you do not currently own. The BK Trustee has greater power than the creditor.
                            Transferring property without consideration while you are in debt is considered a fraudulent transfer, even if you didn't do it to keep the property out of the hands of creditors. A creditor could get a judgement and then reverse the transfer to the girlfriend (state laws on how that works vary). A Chap 7 trustee can do the same thing on behalf of the creditors.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post

                              Transferring property without consideration while you are in debt is considered a fraudulent transfer, even if you didn't do it to keep the property out of the hands of creditors. A creditor could get a judgement and then reverse the transfer to the girlfriend (state laws on how that works vary). A Chap 7 trustee can do the same thing on behalf of the creditors.
                              Ok. I just briefly looked into what "without consideration" means. Basically no money was received. Would it had been better if some money, even just $20, had been received by me?

                              Comment

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