Bankruptcy Case Study From Evanston, Illinois

This is the bankruptcy case study for Clay and Janice who reside in Evanston, Illinois. They are here to seek chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. They filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case over 12 years ago and they found it to be very helpful and relieving. The couple does not own any real estate. They are currently renting on a month-to-month lease from a gentleman who lives in Highland Park, Illinois. In terms of vehicles, they have a 2011 fusion which is financed by GM financial. The car is worth $20,000 and they owe approximately $17,000. They are up-to-date on the vehicle payment and they wish to keep the vehicle by reaffirming the debt. They also have 2013 Ford Escape which is financed by Ford Motor credit Company. The current value of that vehicle is $20,000 and the amount due and owing is $24,000. They are up to date and current on that auto payment and wish to reaffirm that vehicle.

In terms of personal property, they have a checking and a savings account with a zero balance. They have a security deposit with their landlord in the amount of $1200. They value their household items at $2000. They have minor clothing valued at $700. They have term life insurance which provides for a death benefit only; thus no cash surrender value. The wife has a 401(k) with approximately $3000 in it. The couple is married and they have one dependent child who is 15. In terms of employment, they are both gainfully employed. Husband has been working for the past two months in the city of Evanston and the wife has been working for the past 10 years within the city of Evanston. When we look at their combined income, it totals $3700.

Moving to their expenses: they pay $1335 for rent, $50 for electricity, $200 for cellular phone, $150 for cable TV, $250 for food and groceries, $100 for clothing, $50 for laundry, $200 per month for medical, $450 for transportation, $150 for recreation, $130 for auto insurance, $460 for one auto payment and $484 for the other auto payment.

In terms of financial affairs, the parties have earned anywhere between $10,000 and $35,000 per year respectively. Husband was on unemployment parts of the last three years earning anywhere from $2,000 to 10,000 in such benefits. The couple has not been sued, they have not had any property repossessed and they have not closed any bank accounts within the last year.

In terms of debts, the couple has approximately $7000 in credit card debt, $1000 owed to Sprint, and $1000 owed to T–mobile.  My recommendation would be a chapter 7 fresh start filing. This will allow the couple to keep their vehicles provided they continue to make their monthly payments and eliminate the miscellaneous credit card and other debt.

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