I am a 63 year old single woman who has been living in a condo that I have been paying a mortgage on for almost 27 years.
I am presently collecting social security and have a small part time job. I have very little savings which I am using to pay bills. I am struggleing.
In April of 2003 I was laid off of a job that I had for 13 years. I was 56 years old at the time and have been unable to find a full time job with benifits. In 2008 my savings were diminishing and I have been having a hard time paying my bills.
Earlier this year I started talking to bankruptsy attorneys. In New Jersey where I live a person can not declare Chapter 7 bankruptsy if they have over $20,200 in personal assets. I have about $100,000 equity in my home and less than $8, 000 due on the mortgage.
One attorney advised me that being I was at least 62 years old I could apply for a reverse mortgage. The closing costs on this mortgage were about $7,500 and the younger you are the less you get out of it. For example a person 72 years old could get more than a person that is 62 years old.
I have contacted numerous attorneys and non-profit groups and no one can help me. The non-profits wanted a monthly payment of several hundred dollars a month which I can not afford. I can not afford to go for Chapter 13. As I spent months looking for someone to represent me to my creditors my debt was going to collection agencies and I have been sued. There may be liens on my home.
As I am not eligible for Chapter 7 in New Jersey and I can not afford the monthly payments on Chapter 13 I can not get any kind of representation or support in New Jersey. I have contacted NJ State Legal Aide and they will not represent me. The problem is that I don’t feel that I can go this alone or use “Do It Yourself” plans that a lot attorneys and non profits think that people can do. I really feel that I need someone that is legally qualified and will handle my case with understanding and respect.
As a New Jersey resident who does not qualify for Chapter 7 and can’t afford the monthly payments on Chapter 13, will not be represented by the state legal aide what help and support is there for someone in this situation?
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