[COLUMN] Disabled senior needs Chapter 7 relief from $50k credit cards 

AT some point in your life, you will have to confront your own mortality as well as the mortality of your loved ones.

When you’re 12, you’re in a hurry to become a teenager. When you’re a teenager, you’re in a hurry to become 21. In the meantime, before you turn 21, you’re in college or starting to work and earn a living, becoming independent. From then on, you’re just living life as it comes, just enjoying yourself, your good health and your youth. You feel like you will never get old. How old is old? You can’t really say. If you’re 21, someone who is 45 appears old to you. But 45, I can tell you, is really young from the perspective of one who is say, 65.

That is only a 20-year difference numerically, but physically, the outward appearance of one who is 65 now comparing himself to when he was 45 is quite obvious if you look at a picture of yourself taken now at 65, and a picture of yourself taken while you were 45.

There’s less hair and whatever hair is left has, or at least a big portion, turned white. If you haven’t exercised regularly and controlled your diet, you probably have a little tummy over your belt, a kangaroo pouch. But if you have been exercising regularly and controlling what you eat, you probably are still fit and trim and the only sign of aging is the change in hair color, and the lessening of it.

Going back to business. By young senior, I mean the client is only 63. He has never married and lives by himself. He has no children. He used to work for a bank in mid-level management. For 30 years, his life was good. Then last year, he suffered a minor stroke.

He’s recovering well but he can’t work anymore. He receives a disability payment of $1,800 a month. The problem is that he owes $50,000 of credit cards. Why is this a problem? For $50,000 of credit card debt, he needs $1,500 a month for minimum payments to keep all of them current. Since his disability is $1,800 vs. $1,500 of minimum card payments, there’s only $300 left for rent and living expenses. Even if he became homeless and lived out in a tent by the 101 Fwy, he would not even have enough for food after making the minimum credit card payment of $1,500. So, there’s no question that he needs to get rid of the $50,000 credit cards if he wants to keep his $1,800 of disability income intact for rent and necessities. He quickly decides to obtain Chapter 7 relief for a fresh start and wipe out the $50,000 of credit cards.

Senior needs Chapter 7 relief for $30K credit cards

Another senior is a little older. He’s 74. He owns a house with an equity of $200,000. As I said earlier this year, if you live in LA, the size of the equity will be completely exempt from bankruptcy up to $600,000. Some people think there’s a three-year waiting period or residency requirement. No, there’s no such thing as a residency period requirement. As long as you live here in LA, it doesn’t matter when you bought the house; its equity is exempt up to $600,000. Maybe you just bought it yesterday. That’s fine. No problem.

Debtor now receives $1,600 of social security. His wife still works and makes $3,000 a month. He owes $30,000 of credit card debt. He needs $1,000 a month for minimum monthly credit card payments. Well, obviously, there’s a financial hardship here with credit card payments eating up 65% of his social security income. It’s ironic that you work all your life; then get social security that’s a paltry amount, but you have to give more than half of that to your credit card masters when you retire. It’s just not right. This is as ironic as getting the virus today when the vaccine is now available to anyone who wants it. I got mine two months ago. You should get yours too. If you’re an anti-vaxxer and anti-masker, good luck with your opinion. You’re not superman and even superman succumbs to kryptonite. My HS classmate just died on the 24th from the virus. His wife and daughter also got it but they recovered. He could not get the vaccine in the country he lived in.

If you need debt relief, please set an appointment and I will analyze your case personally.

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Disclaimer: None of the foregoing is considered legal advice. Each case is different.

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Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in Bankruptcy, Business, Real Estate and Civil Litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 20274 Carrey Road, Walnut, CA 91789 or 1000 S. Fremont Ave., Mailstop 58, Building A-10 South, Suite 10042, Alhambra, CA 91803.

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