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To file or not to file Chapter 7?

Syracuse, NY |

I have a judgement against me for a credit card from Capital One. They are garnishing my wages at 10% and have been for the last 2 years. The balance owed is $22,049. The unpaid principal balance is $20342 at a 9% annual interest rate. I am told that interest accrues daily at approx $5 per day. I have $656 of accumulated interest and have paid approx $5056 in the last 2 years. Each paycheck they take out anywhere from $80-$100 depending on the wages I earn for that paycheck (i get paid hourly). How do I know if filing Bankruptcy is the right course of action. And is it even possible for this to be done for free or atleast inexpensively. I am a single mother of 2 children with a gross income o $27,000/year. Thank you in advance for any and all advice.

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Attorney answers 4


To determine if it would be good to file bankruptcy - first add up the current value of all your assets (what you own) and then add up all your debt (what you owe). If you have more debt than assets, then you should go further in your examination. Do you have debt that is not dischargeable in chapter 7, such as student loans, taxes, secured debt on items you want to keep (car loans, etc.)? What would your monthly budget look like without the debt? Do you need to set aside funds for education, health insurance or treatment, retirement. If you cannot afford those things now, you do not want to send your money to Capitol One. IF you file a chapter 7 but will still have to pay on taxes or student loans or other debt that you cannot discharge in chapter 7, you might consider a chapter 13 to get rid of all your debt.

There are organizations that assist people in their bankruptcy - legal aid, the county bar association, consumer credit counselors, etc. Additionally, the court website has forms for peope to use so they can file a chapter 7 case on their own. You can also make an application to the court to pay the filing fee in installments. There are forms for that at the court website. I do not know precisely where the boundaries of the various bankruptcy courts are in New York, but the Eastern District has a website:
You can call up the clerk's office and ask where you need to file, the website will have the proper forms and procedures and possibly a list of organizations that will help you. Good luck.

Lysbeth Goodman is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of California. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Lyasbeth Goodman and any other person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


Bankruptcy is more than likely the right course of action because it is the only one which will eliminate your debt to Capital One and give you the chance to start over. I would venture to guess that it is simply mathematically impossible for you to ever pay them off. Please consult a bankruptcy attorney in the Syracuse area immediately.

Please consult an attorney who is licensed in your state to evaluate your case if you have any questions at all. This communication does not in any way create an attorney client relationship.


Talk to your local legal aid society. There may be lost cost or pro bono counsel available to help. Do not go it alone. Mistakes can be costly.

Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney 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. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.


Check with your local bar association they can refer you to a local attorney who will review your situation and advise you as to the right course of action. Depending on your court you may be able to to get your filing fee waived. From the information you provided bankruptcy seems like your only option.