My girlfriend divorced her ex several years ago because he was cheating. She was a housewife, inexperienced and very naive. She got shafted out of most everything, had a bad attorney, etc. Her ex later filed BK and all the lenders then started coming after her. She tried her best to pay off some bills but unfortunately has not been able to. She was forced to buy a car for transportation and an inflated price and an incredibly high interest rate. For the past two years she has struggled with two low paying jobs but has managed to keep her high car payments and insurance in tact. She now only works one job and only makes $800.00 per month. She lives part time with her brother in Glendale, Az and with me on weekends in Prescott, Az. She's trying to find work in Prescott but, it's tough for a girl with very little work experience.
It is not possible for me to tell you for certain without actually looking over her actual numbers and discussing the details. I, like many others here, offer free consultations to answer these kinds of questions. That said, unless there is more than $6,000 in equity in that car, it likely is not an issue - she could probably keep it. Whether or not she should is a different matter - high interest, high payment.
I suggest getting some personalized advice, and making a more informed decision.
Douglas Edmunds is in the business of helping people and companies file for bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy code requires that I call my firm a "debt relief agency." Any answers or information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion, legal advice or a complete discussion of the legal issues. This is not intended to create a attorney-client relationship. Each individual's situation is different and you should seek independent legal advice from an attorney familiar with the laws of your state for specific information.
Your facts are unclear. What is the $15,800 she wants relieved? Is that unsecured debt, or is that the debt she owes to the lienholder on her vehicle? In a Chapter 7 she can do what is called a "redemption" where she pays the fair market value of the vehicle to the lender in a lump sum. That can sometimes save some money. But otherwise, in a Chapter 7, the lender will retain their lien against the vehicle despite the discharge of the underlying debt.
Legal disclaimer: Mark J. Markus practices law in California only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation.
If as you say she bought it at an inflated price and interest rate this is her opportunity to return it, not to keep it.
This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.
I am so sorry to hear about your girlfriend's situation. Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process, despite the assumption that is it just "filling out a bunch of forms". It is wise for her to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona consumer bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy. Below is a link to some free videos that explain how bankruptcy works.
She should take time to educate herself about bankruptcy and to determine which attorney is the best to assist her in the process. Make sure to talk to the attorney you will be working with, not a staff person. When interviewing the attorney ask them how long they have practiced bankruptcy law. Ask what percentage of their practice is focused on consumer work. Ask whether they are experienced in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. Ask the attorney for references. Ask about their policy of returning phone calls. They should be committed to answering specific questions about her situation and help you understand your options. If, after talking with the attorney there is still confusion about the issues raised, find another attorney. Check them out with the various ranking sources: such as www.AVVO.com, and the State Bar. An attorney is should be a guide through this process. They should educate, be there to assist in how to avoid pitfalls and help plan for a debtor's future after bankruptcy. There are hundreds of “bankruptcy” attorneys in Arizona. Of those just a few will fit the criteria set forth above. Again, bankruptcy is a very complicated process and using an attorney who will be there when needed.
This firm is in the business of helping people and companies file for bankruptcy protection. Therefore, the bankruptcy code requires that we call our firm a "debt relief agency." This information is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion, legal advice or a complete discussion of the related issues. Nor is this advice intended to create a client - attorney relationship. Every individual's factual situation is different and you should seek independent legal advice from an attorney familiar with the laws of your state or locality regarding specific information.
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