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I have 30, 000 in unsecured credit card debt due to divorce. Is there any way I can keep my house?

Carrollton, GA |

I was a homemaker for 27 years. Now divorcing, my only asset is my home, owned jointly but my spouse has agreed to give it to me in the settlement. I am currently unemployed. We have an estimated 50, 000 in equity. The defaulted cards are in my name. I have someone willing to pay off the mortgage in full, about 65, 000. Do I have ANY hope of keeping it? Bankruptcy would take it, right? I defaulted on the cards probably in late 2010. Three of the cards have high balances, the others, a few hundred. Is there any hope for me?

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Attorney answers 3


You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Georgia as soon as possible. In many cases, bankruptcy allows you to keep your home without paying the credit cards.


You need to see a lawyer, yesterday! Georgia will allow you to protect slightly under half that equity. So if you get divorced first, get all the house, and then pay off the mortgage, yes you would probably lose the home in bankruptcy and be a great target for the credit card lenders.

It may be, with a different order, such as waiting on the divorce and bankrupting first (depending on the details), you may have a better outcome. Don't wait. You need legal counsel now.

The details may also generate other suggestions for you. But the steps you outline are probably exactly the wrong ones.

If you need a consultation at my office, call me at 404-768-3509.

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


Your situation requires you to sit with an attorney to discuss what is going on and the best course of action for you. The timing of filing the divorce and the bankruptcy will also impact how much equity there is in the home and what the effect of a bankruptcy attorney would be. If the house is currently in both names, then your portion of the equity in the home would be in the $25,000 range, and there's a good chance that the equity could be fully protected in a Chapter 7. If your goal is to get a job, then you would need to be concerned about the debt that you owe, since non payment will lead to lawsuits, which could lead to judgments and eventually garnishment of your wages. You should not make any decisions, pay off the mortgage, etc. without first consulting with a bankruptcy attorney. I am happy to speak to you.