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Please get me out of debt and let me keep the house

Question: I need to file bankruptcy and I need to keep my house. I just have too many bills that I can’t pay and I need help because I got served with a lawsuit and if I get my wages garnished I won’t be able to make any payments.

I have been using credit cards because at the end of the month I don’t have much money left and paying all of my bills is impossible. My wife doesn’t work anymore and has depression and anxiety issues. My dog is always sick and goes to the veterinarian at least once a week. It’s a pure breed and I don’t want to put him down. My kids need special assistance because they have mental issues and hostility. So much of my money is spent on doctors and therapists that I have little left over for bills.

Making matters worse is that my wife is always buying clothes; it’s part of her mental issues. She just buys them and never wears them and all they do is hang in the closet with the tags on them. And they’re expensive and she buys them mostly at Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square. She’s depressed and has to buy clothes.

The good news is that the wife, dog and kids are now, finally, in a decent place. The cutting, vomiting and excessive barking has stopped. But my credit cards are at their limits and I can’t get a bank loan even though we have equity in our house.

I need to know if I can file bankruptcy and keep our home. I’ve sworn off the prostitutes, gambling, drugs and alcohol that my wife used to complain about. Please get me out of debt and let me keep the house and stop the foreclosure.

M.T. in Roswell, GA

Answer: Most of the time when someone files bankruptcy they can keep their house. This is true whether a Chapter 7 is filed or whether a Chapter 13 is filed. But, of course, each person’s situation is different and we’d have to do a financial assessment to determine what your specific options are.

An important factor is whether there is equity in the home and how much equity there is. The good news is that, generally, no matter how much equity exists, a Chapter 13 can be filed and you can keep the house. If there is less equity, many people file a Chapter 7 and retain the property. Either way, you should have some options.

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