Chapter 7 Questions
My wife and I are seriously considering Chapter 7 within the next few months. I do have some questions on what we will be able to keep. We would like to stay in our current home. We have between 8 - 10% equity in our home (depending on what an appraiser would come up with). It is currently assessed around $150,000. We have a 15 year old car that is paid in full and a 6 year old Camry that will not be paid off for another 2 years (the market value is at best equal to the payoff). I personally have 13 years in a pension with my former employer. My wife has a small amount in a 401K with her former employer. Our situation was started by my wife loosing her $65,000/year job. We were bringing in around $100K a year. We will be lucky to bring in $55K for the foreseeable future. We are current with all our major payments for now. Do we need to liquidate our equity or retirement plans ? We reside in IA.
What you are able to keep and what you have to sell depends on your state. Each state sets it's own monetary limits on these things, so you should contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area to discuss this. Retirements plans, as I understand, may be exempt. Again, it's best to check with an attorney on this. Initial consultations are usually free and the fees, should you wish to proceed, vary depending on where the attorney is based and how many creditors you have. Filing fees for a Ch. 7 are $200.
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