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My Husband is a Schizophrenic and Unable to Keep a Job. – Lisa

“Dear Steve,

Thank you so much for offering this service! I have been looking all over the web for something like this. Our situation: my husband is on SSDI (he’s schizophrenic, stable on meds but unable to keep a job). I’m employed, but scheduled to be laid off on October 30th. I’ve been applying and interviewing everywhere I can, but so far no offers and all the jobs I’m qualified for pay far less than I’m making now. We are in far more credit card debt than any other person I’ve seen on your site or anywhere. About $110K total, $90 for me and $20K for my husband. We have spoken to a couple of BK lawyers and are meeting with one next week. We will most likely file Ch. 7 this month or next. All debt is credit cards, with one unsecured B of A loan that I took out a couple of years ago to try to consolidate my debt. I owe over $42K on that one alone.

My question is, what will the BK trustee take if we qualify for Ch. 7? Our only assets are a 35 year old mobile home that we pay a mortgage on, 2 cars both 11 years old and paid off and I will receive a lump sum severance in early November that will probably be around $9 to $11K. I want to file before I get the severance both so it isn’t seized and so that it’s doesn’t skew our income and make us ineligible for Ch. 7. Also, can our regular checking or savings accounts be frozen, garnished or otherwise seized? I should mention that this will be a “surprise bankruptcy” since we are current in all accounts.

Thank you for your help!

Lisa”

The Answer

 

Dear Lisa,

I’ll let the bankruptcy lawyer you are going to meet with answer the question about the mobile home since it really depends on equity, value and state you live in.

Bottom line, it certainly sounds like this is going to be a straightforward case. Your situation is fairly typical.

I know you are stressed and apprehensive now but once you meet with the local bankruptcy attorney you will feel more relaxed and informed. Information is power in this situation and your attorney will probably tell you to have any creditors or collectors that call to phone him after you file bankruptcy.

Just remember this, creditors really don’t want your mobile home. They have poor resale value and are not easy to unload. People are often afraid that creditors will take beds, televisions, toasters, etc. No creditor wants your old and used stuff. They want big things with enough value that are easy and cost effective to sell.

If I could wave a magic wand over you I’d tell you to rest easy and sleep well. This is going to be just a process that needs to unfold and there are not going to be any big surprises based on what you’ve shared with me.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Lisa

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your answer. We did meet with the BK attorney last week and as you predicted, I am starting to feel a bit more hopeful. BK is all he does and I felt very confident with his expertise.

    As it turns out, we don’t meet the means test for Ch. 7 right now. Since I’m still employed, my income vs our living expenses is too high. We decided to retain him and he will file for us when we meet the means test, probably November or December. In the meantime, we’ll pay our credit card minimums. Since we have retained him, we could stop paying and refer creditors and collectors to him, but I’m still nervous about our bank account being seized.

    I’m not too worried about losing our mobile home or cars, since I do realize that creditors don’t want old stuff with little resale value. I’m more concerned about our cash assets, especially my severance. But after talking with the attorney, I’m confident that he won’t file for us until as much of our assets are protected as possible.

    I’m still not sleeping and have lost 20 pounds due to stress (the only upside!) but I’m trying to focus on the fact that it is as you say, a process, and once it’s done, life will get better. That, and if I find a new job.

    Thanks again for the service you provide. I’ll try to “pay it forward” and submit comments and support on other posts if I feel I can be useful.

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