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Before I see a BK attorney...looong story/post


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First, let me say I've gleened a lot of good information from this site, mostly pieces and parts for my complicated puzzle. Thanks for having this site.

It started last spring (actually my debt started much before that) when I was having trouble paying all of my cc debt as well as my living expenses. I was barely scraping from payday to payday - but very rarely late on a payment. I made an a$$nine move and called the number on a mailer I got from NCC (big booboo #1). I set up a debt management program with them, working with Solidium, etc. (Solidium now closed by FTC). A couple months go by, no payments are being made to my creditors until their fees are collected from my payments as agreed in the terms (ignoring the big red flag slapping me in the face). I then happened to find that Solidium was closed by the FTC and accounts frozen. I then begin contacting creditors to set up payments on my own. This got to be a very frustrating task, so I researched Consumer Credit Counseling Service and found them to be reputable from said research (partially from this site's pages). I went with their DMP and am still sending them bi-weekly payments. Two creditors refused as they were already placed with collections. The two are MBNA (now with W&A CA/attorneys - can I say their names here? Do they read these boards?) and Citibank which is also with an attorney/CA. I am now paying the Citibank CA over $300/month but W&A hasn't agreed to any payments. They even returned a check I sent them saying they couldn't accept that as a monthly payment.

Anyways, are ya still with me? Good.

I sent W&A and Nat'l Arbitration Forum the arbitration refusal letter I found here. Just sent out via certified, no response yet.

Now, I'm sending my payments ok to CCCS and the monthly money order to the Citibank CA.

CCCS is sending money to W&A but they've asked for more money through CCCS a couple months back. I absolutely cannot afford any more. I've sent W&A letters pleading with them to accept the payment plan through CCCS but they won't respond, only sending me the arbitration notices (2).

Now, if W&A can accept the payment terms I can manage until my student loans (yes, even more debt) come off forebearance. From what I've read here, I shouldn't hold my breath about W&A accepting the payment terms as they'll probably go the limit on getting a judgement.

Confused yet? I've almost got all of this straight in my own head.

I've been considering BK but really don't want to. My finances are as follows:

I hold a full time professional job - not bad pay but with all this debt it doesn't seem like much.

I have a part-time business that I would love to continue. it's not a huge money maker as I don't market myself like I should or could if I had more time (if I didn't have that other job in the way). It pays for itself and then a little extra. The income isn't consistent each month-winter is vertually null.

I have about $35k in unsecured debt. Between frivalous spending, home repairs, emergencies, equipment for business, etc. it added up way too quick.

I have a vehicle that has a balance of just about what it's worth.

I have a house, but the equity is eaten by a 2nd mortgage. It's a 2 family, but the other unit is used for the home business. It would need some serious updates at a considerable expense if I were to rent it out to a tenant.

I have a good amount of equipment used for the business, very little that isn't absolutely necessary to run the business but it makes for a better product/service (laptop/desktop computers, printers, etc.).

My furniture is all second hand given to me exept the entertainment center. I could probably get a couple hundred out of my 2 tv's and stereo. I have a lot of "junk" but nothing of real value.

My student loans are about $90k. I have respectable degrees and the interest jumps on durinig the perpetual forbearance I've been on.

My questions are, is it possible or even a good idea to file for BK and keep my vehicle, house, my business and the equipment?

If so, I'm guessing Chapter 13 would be my only option? I know the SL's are not dischargeable but how do they consider those for the payments under a Chapter 13 plan?

I'd love nothing more than to pay all my debts along with my student loans but I'm scratching as it is. The SL forebearance isn't going to last forever and has it's limits. I doubt W&A will concede to the CCCS payment plan (even though they are getting money every month) so I'm expecting them to file a judgement. I don't want my bank accounts frozen or my wages garnished. I'm just now finding out about the DV process and formalities. I think I'm too late on all of that, especially when CCCS has been successful in getting all but 2 of the accounts negotiated. This is really embarassing for me as I've talked to noone about any of this other than CCCS. I haven't even discussed this with my family or friends. My mother is proud of me and my "success" even though it really is just a facade.

I'm really trying to get out and promote my business more but it's expensive, time consuming and returns on that time and $ investment aren't immediate. I'm working on creative ways to overcome that.

If you've read all this, thank you for that at least. I'm i the hole big time and am not sure if/how BK can help.

Thank you for your time and input.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to add. Before summer, my mother became very sick and was hospitalized. In fear of losing her mobile home (no land, just an old mobile home) due to all the medical bills, she transferred it to me for $1. Since there's no land, is it real estate and will it show up during the BK process? She is now home and living in it. I CANNOT lose her home. Thanks.

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Well, I guess I'd suggest you discuss your situation with a couple of BK lawyers. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking that your mom's mobile home is going to be a problem...if its in your name, its your asset. If you don't live there, I don't think it would be protected in anyway.

As to CCCS, you've bumped your head on the problem with debt consolidators / counselors...if all of your creditors don't agree to participate, it doesn't really help much. MBNA and W&A smell money...and they're going to beat you up as much as they can to get it. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that some of your other CCs might get wind of MBNA success in getting more money from you, and pull back from CCCS.

You mention "home repairs"...to property you own? Is there equity there? I don't usually suggest turning unsecured into secured debt, but if so, maybe a refi or 2nd on the property would get the $35k taken care of. If this is a possiblity, go talk with Charles in the Mortgage forum.

Good luck!

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What state are you in ?? Exemptions vary widely by state.

If your business is not incorporated, then you are personally liable for all debts and those can be discharged. Your mother's mobile home WILL be a problem, so definitely go talk to a couple of BK lawyers.

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Thanks for the replies.

willingtocope: yes, repairs to a house I own (new furnace, a tree fell on the house and had to have it removed which insurance didn't pay for, paint to meet codes, etc). I already have a 2nd mortgage which eats up the equity.

Ladyinred: I'm in NY.

I'll be contacting a couple BK attorneys. Now, if I transfer back ownership or to my sister, would that be fraudulantly hiding assets? How long before filing would it be ok? It's old and not worth much. Like I said no land with it, just the home.

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Thanks, Ladynred. I've talked to my mother and I guess all they did was some adjustment or attachment to her will (or something like that - she's up there in years so she's hard to understand). I wasn't even there to sign anything. She's in another part of the state. I'll see if I can have a looksee at the paperwork when I'm there for Thanksgiving. I'm wondering if I should do an asset search on myself just to make sure.

I think I'm going to wait to see how things pan out with W&A/MBNA before I file. I don't have a lot of confidence in them accepting the payments from what willingtocope said.

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