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Should I settle my HELOC with bank?

Warren, MI |

My ex-wife and I have been going back and forth about settle our second mortgage or HELOC the bank called me and said the payoff is $5100 and she will pay half if I pay half so it would cost me $2550 to settle the HELOC with PNC. My question is should I do this or try to declare bankruptcy? I'm worried about it being reported to the IRS and biting in my butt on my taxes? See I gave up the property about 6 yrs ago and I really don't feel like helping my ex nor spending money on something I haven't had interest in. My gut says settle so I don't have to worry about collections and other things but I have been bent over so many time son this property and not sure if I should give in again. Please help

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You will need to provide the details, who was to be responsible for the second mortgage in the divorce? If there is a compromise by the bank, a forgiveness of debt, there is an anticipated tax effect. I do not understand your "gave up this property" comment. See an attorney with all of the details and history.

    To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call myself or another attorney for your choice with more detaiils and an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.. .


  2. There is no way we can answer your question without knowing a LOT more about your situation. In fact, the "should" part of your question is not really appropriate for any lawyer to answer. We can lay out options but it always up to the client to determine what option to take based on the options available. I can tell you that you are likely liable for the debt on the HELOC and that if you do not reach some sort of resolution, the mortgage company is likely to sue you at some point. I can also tell you that a Ch7 bankruptcy will cost you somewhere between $1,500-2,500 and a Ch13 will be more than $3000 and as much as $4,500. So if this is the only thing that you would be discharging, it is probably about the same cost or possibly a little more than filing a bankruptcy.

    I'd strongly recommend you consult with a local attorney who can give you much better advice and lay out your options in better detail.

    DISCLAIMER: This message is intended as a general discussion of legal issues and not as a statement of fact, legal advice or a legal opinion. No attorney-client relationship is created by this message. Do not act or rely upon law-related information in this communication without seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant area. I am a Federally Designated Debt Relief Agency under the United States Bankruptcy Code. I proudly help people in financial need file bankruptcy cases. IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment).


  3. If a $2550 debt, and your desire to not help your ex, are the top reasons for filing a bankruptcy case, you need to re-adjust your thinking.


  4. Yes, we need more facts. However, if the balance is $5,100, I suggest you make a lower offer should you agree to pay a share of the debt. Have any documents which PNC asks you to sign reviewed by an experienced lawyer. Also, you must consider the credit reporting aspect of any settlement.

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