We are going to examine the next case because the debtor is considering hiring a Crete bankruptcy attorney. The gentleman’s name is Mr. Hoff. He lives in Crete, in Cook County, Illinois. Mr. Hoff is married, but is filling an individual case. He owns two properties, one is a condominium which has two mortgages and he is current on each of them. This property has an association that he is also current on. On the other hand, he would like to surrender the property. The second property is a single family home, with one mortgage that he is also current on. This property he has a co-owner. The debtor also owns one auto with a lien on it. He is current and would like to keep it.
Let’s examine some of his bankruptcy options. He could look into filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and getting a complete fresh start. He can also look to reorganize his existing debt and keep some property. To examine this further, we need to see what he has in the way of property. He has a checking and a savings account; he has a term life insurance policy which has no value, except for a death benefit payment. He does have a 401k (which is an ERISA Qualified, exempt asset), and has some stock in a business that has little value.
Before we can give any bankruptcy advice, we also need to know his income and expenses. Mr. Hoff has been working as a Field Service Technician for about 11 years; his wife is a stay at home mom with a newborn. The only income he has is his income; he gets no income from the other property.For his monthly expenses, has three mortgages totaling about $2,996 and this includes property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. His utilities and association fees are about $1,110.00. His food, clothing, laundry, medical, and dental expenses are about $650.00 per month. He also has gasoline, tolls, mass transit, auto, health, life insurance and other expenses totaling approximately $465.00 per month.
Based upon the high amount of expenses, I would recommend that Mr. Hoff consider filing for Chapter 7. He should contact a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney to learn more about the requirements for filing under that Chapter. At a minimum, he should start to gather information concerning his debt including bills, statements, etc. He should also gather a copy of his most recent Federal tax return. This will be needed to proceed with Chapter 7.