Question: I want to keep my rental properties, but I need to file bankruptcy because my credit card debt is huge and I’m getting calls because I haven’t paid it for a few months. I haven’t made any credit card payments for a few months. I’m getting the harassing calls all day. I mean every day the phone is ringing with debt collectors. I mean they’re right, I haven’t’ paid. But the thing is, I can’t pay.
The good news is that I’m getting another job, in Buckhead, and I start in about 2 weeks. So I will be able to make some payments. But since the debt is so big, I can’t pay it all back and also keep my rental properties. I own three rental properties and I want to keep them. I think they will go up in value over time and they will be good investments. I’m pretty sure of this.
My wife works, but only part-time and her pay is low. She used to work in retail in Atlanta, and the money was pretty decent, but now she works part-time in Roswell and the money is much less. She used to be able to help out with the bills, and she still does, but only a little bit.
Can I keep my invest properties if I file for bankruptcy? I think once I get my new job and I’m there for a year or so I’ll be alright financially. But I need something now to protect my real estate investments and to address my debts. Do you think I’d file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13?
R.B. in Roswell, Georgia
Answer: As a Roswell bankruptcy lawyer, this is a frequent question. It is possible that you can file bankruptcy and also keep your investment properties. In fact, that is done all the time. Real estate can be a great way to build wealth and just because you file bankruptcy doesn’t mean that you have to give up your properties.
To keep your investment properties when filing a bankruptcy usually involves a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
In a Chapter 7, all of your debt is simply wiped out (although there are certain types of debt that survive.) In a Chapter 13 plan, you can consolidate ALL of your debt into ONE monthly payment that you can afford.
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