Have been unemployed for months, behind on almost everything. How does bankruptcy work?

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Long story short, I was laid off from my job and it took unemployment 12 weeks to finally pay me anything. New York State denied my husbands unemployment because his lying employer claims he quit though he was laid off. I’m only getting $ 230 per week and cannot pay much more then my car payment and insurance. We moved in with family because we couldn’t afford to heat our home. We were hoping to find jobs, but, that hasn’t happened yet despite nearly 200 applications between the two of us. Right now, I have a $ 60,000 mortgage, a $ 20,000 second mortgage and around $ 20,000 in credit card debt. Last year our earnings were $ 36,000 combined in the state of NY. I earned $ 21,000. Do I qualify for chapter 7? There’s just no way I can ever catch up as the late payments have made the interest rates ridiculous on my credit cards, my mortgage company is charging me ‘inspection” fees. The only things I’ve been able to keep current are my car and insurance. For all the money the government has been throwing at these people, they sure aren’t willing to cut me any kind of break at all. If I do file chapter 7, can I reaffirm my car loan and a couple of the credit cards? Any help would be appreciated.
Unfortunately there was no way to live any cheaper then I did. My husband and I haven’t even been out for our anniversaries in the last 4 years. We haven’t been out to eat in three years. We haven’t gone on vacation. What went wrong for us was medical expenses and a hospital that refused to finance so that got put on several credit cards to try to save my credit rating because the hospital threatened to send it to collections. Then when our house closed our well was passed fraudulently, like they just dumped bleach in it. My lawyer charged my $ 800 and didn’t do anything about it. We lived in a house without running water for two years. Last year we paid $ 5000 in heating oil keeping our house at 55 degrees.
I don’t think many other people could have juggled it without a late payment for as long as I did. Most of the last 5 years I’ve worked 2-3 jobs trying to pay this down.

2 Comments
  1. Reply
    c.a_durham
    May 17, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I doubt many lawyers would get on this site to give you real, legal, good advice. Your best bet would be to call a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy.

  2. Reply
    Cyn
    May 17, 2011 at 1:04 am

    scrap together about 700 dollars and make an apointment with a lawyer, they’ll probably want about 350 up front. They can tell you exactly what you qualify for. Unfortunately with the new bankruptcy you’re still responsible for a lot of your debt. Your lawyer will tell you to stop paying your credit cards and not to use them for atleast 3 months before they start the paperwork.
    When you finally do go to the hearing dress casual, personally I wore black slacks and a nice top while my hubby wore slacks and a button down shirt. No jewelery except for our wedding bands, not even a watch per our lawyers advice. Most of the ppl there were in jeans.

    Wow 36k a year and 20k credit card debt. I know you don’t need to hear this but you have to start living with in your means, I honestly don’t know how you had a house. I live in NY as well, so I know how exspensive things can be. I was upset with 11k debt over 6 years, I can’t imagine how you feel…..good luck.

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