Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Filing Pro Se, Question about Preferences

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  • Filing Pro Se, Question about Preferences

    Hi, I'm new to the forum.

    Just a little background, I'm in my mid twenties, I have 21,000 Amex debt, 6000 Wamu, and 800 Capital one and 300 Mervyns all unsecured credit card debt. All over maxed out. About 2 months without payments. All debt is within 3 years. I have not charged over 500 in luxury goods in the past 90 days. Never had the intention to abuse, just wasn't smart with my spending, I would make my minimum payments and didn't really feel it until after I lost my job.

    I had payed all of my bills in September, one of which being a 600 dollar payment to Amex on the 9-9-08.

    I read on the link:
    I'm assuming this means that I should wait until 12/09/08 to file. I had wanted to do it sooner because Amex left a message today that they will not be able to "help me" for much longer and that I should talk to them immediately. (I've been avoiding all calls that I don't recognize) I'm assuming that this means that they may sue which means that I can lose the right to discharge that debt. So I want to file as soon as possible. If I filed sooner rather than later how will this affect me?

    Also my father had bought me a car a few months ago, but because he had helped me through the last few months and had bought me a car in June and I did not have the register my car again I transferred it in his name and he paid the fees in October. Is this preferential? Will this affect my bankruptcy? Or dischargeability?

    Last but not least my roommates decided that they are moving out and I have to move out by 12.06.08.
    Minimum Residency Requirement

    You must be a resident in the state in which you are filing for the last 90 days. If you have not resided in the state that long, you can only file in the state where you have resided, or which has been your principal place of business or which has been the location of your principal assets for the majority of the last 180 days.
    Am I allowed to move before filing bankruptcy? Can I put down a security deposit on a new place? I'm currently collecting unemployment and 1200 dollars a month (after taxes) is not enough to live on and pay of debts at the same time.

    My dad had helped me through a lot of the recent months, and it looks like I've spend far more than my unemployment benefits, how do I write that on the forms? Also things like money that my roommates had put in (everything is in my name) however they payed a portion to me, I payed the bills. I don't have any receipts just online bank statements, and online bills. I've saved no paperwork. Will this affect me?

    I plan to file pro se using I have NOLO's Chapter 7 book arriving on Monday, just to read as a reference. I have my pre filing certificate. I have no assets. This is all new to me and way over my head. But I can't afford an attorney, and I keep hearing that in a no asset case, their help would be minimal past the paperwork. Sorry for so many questions in one post, but I'm overwhelmed and any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

  • #2
    The 600 dollar payment is not the problem based on what you say. They wouldn't have come after you for it, but rather AMEX if they even chose to pursue it.

    The problem will be the transfer of the car to your father. That would be considered an insider trade. You mention your father has been helping you you might could argue that the transfer was in payment for monies he loaned you. In the help he gave you did you receive fair market value for the car.

    Really you'd probably be better off with this transfer to seek legal counsel. Otherwise look at 2 years for it to fall off the look back.
    May 31st, 2007: Petition Filed by my lawyer
    July 2nd, 2007: 341 Meeting Held
    September 4th, 2007: Discharged and Closed.


    • #3
      Attempting to file pro se with the issues you describe to me would be a big no-no. If you have your dad helping you through this situation, it would be to both your benefits to have you seek legal counsel.
      Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
      Early Buy-Out: April 2006
      Discharge: August 2006

      "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"


      • #4
        Thanks for the quick replies and help, I'm filing bk in california. The car is paid off in full, it was transferred as a 0 dollar family gift. He had paid for the car in the first place, not me. I believe the blue book on it is around 6000. Would none of that matter? If I absolutely have to I will get a lawyer, but what could they do for me differently in such a situation.


        • #5
          i've read your post/questions and i have to say i don't have a warm fuzzy feeling about your filing pro se. i'm concerned it will turn out badly for you, as yes - the car transfer will initially look like prefiling fraudulent activity, and the complete lack of paper trail/receipts will likely take the trustee the rest of the way in flagging your case as presumed abuse of the bk system.

          if you're deadset on filing bk soon, your best bet is an attorney to help you sort the mess out. if you can wait 6 months to a year at the least, you can at least get some distance from this lack of recordkeeping (this requires you start keeping records of income/expenditures now), get moved, establish a workable budget for yourself, and do some serious reading/study.

          good luck.
          Filed 7/28/08, Discharged 10/29/08
          (filed pro se: nonconsumer no asset CH7)


          • #6
            I will definitely get an attorney then, I am about 2000 behind in minimum payments eating once a day and way way behind. Me thinking I would be able to get out of debt myself is what put me deeper in debt. Getting in deeper will take too much of a toll. Will having the car transferred back to me help? I'll call an attorney tomorrow. I did not rack up an incredible amount of debt recently, most is over 2 years old. Do my chances still look slim even with an attorney?


            • #7
              here's my opinion on what your priorities should be: get a source of income that is sustainable, get a budget worked up that allows you to have food, shelter, and clothing at the minimum on that sustainable income, then work transportation into the equation. THIS is your priority.

              debt is just....crap you have to sort out later once you have a workable living situation. debt and bankruptcy filing can wait, they can't put you in prison (unless it is the IRS, they have special rights so don't neglect to pay them).

              stop paying the minimum payments if you can't even eat or afford your housing. get that stuff right, read up, and then file bk when you know your full situation and all of your options.

              i'd go get the NOLO book for chapter 7 because it does a good job of helping you sort out exactly how much work your bk will be. even if you're going to file with an attorney, it's good to know your case inside and out, and how the system works - because the trustee will be asking you the questions in your 341 meeting, not your attorney.

              ps: regarding chances looking slim, etc - i don't believe this is an accurate way to state what you've got going on. what you have is a disorganized pile that can look a lot like bankruptcy fraud to a trustee or bk judge at first glance. that's not what you want, it doesn't sound like that's the actual case, so what i do believe is you need to take the time to organize your assets, income, expenses, debts, and creditors owed. start organizing your receipts, your bank statements, your billing statements, your paycheck stubs, your tax returns, etc. and pull your credit reports (all three).

              that will go a long way towards helping your case feel more like an organized attempt at reorganizing your financials and less like a desperate grab at a straw you heard about once.
              Filed 7/28/08, Discharged 10/29/08
              (filed pro se: nonconsumer no asset CH7)


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