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Chpt13 bankruptcy with 2nd lien strip in CA, does having huge credit card debts an advantage or disadvantage?

San Jose, CA |

I'm considering of filing chapter 13 Bankruptcy with 2nd lien strip in CA. Got 1st mortgage of $700k, 2nd morgage of $140k and credit card debts totalling $54k. House is totally underwater which values only around $400k-$450k(max). Will having a huge credit card debts like this($54k) an advantage in order for my case to be confirmed quickly by the court and the motion for 2nd lien strip approved? The reason is, I thought of settling my credit card debts prior filing chapter 13(plus 2nd lien strip) since I don't really wanted to do the 3-yr or 5-yr repayment plant thru chapter 13 BK. Total family gross income is $7600 per month.
Please help clarify CA attorneys and I highly appreciate your usual support!

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Attorney answers 2


As long as the credit card/unsecured debt does not put you over the caps then it is irrelevant. Additionally paying off your credit cards prior to filing would be considered preferential payments unless you settled all of them, and it would not affect the length of time you are in a chapter 13. The length of time in the chapter 13 is dependent upon your income, additionally in the central district if we are stripping a second mortgage then it will be a 5 year plan even if the income says otherwise.

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Legal Information is Not Legal Advice
My answer provides information about the law based on the limited information provided in the questions asked and is not intended to be legal advice. The law differs in each jurisdiction and may be interpreted or applied differently depending on the location or situation. I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney to discuss the specific details of your situation so you can get legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances. The information in my answer is for educational and information purposes only, and is not legal advice or legal opinions. The answer provided to the question asked does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship.


Even if you settled your credit cards prior to filing, you will be in a repayment plan. A lien strip does not eliminate the 2nd immediately. It changes its classification to unsecured debt. You will be making payments on the 2nd mortgage for 3 to 5 years even if you have no credit card debt.

Retaining the credit card debt will not change the time table on confirmation of your plan.

You need to discuss Chapter 13 debt limits with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who practices in San Jose. Whether you qualify for Chapter 13 at all will depend on your district's treatment of the portion of the first mortgage that is not supported by value in the house. In some California courts, you would not qualify for a Chapter 13 because the unsecured portion of the first mortgage, the second mortgage, and your credit card debt add up to more unsecured debt than is allowed in Chapter 13.

This response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response is based on the limited facts provided. Given additional or different facts, the response would change. Attorney is licensed to practice law in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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