Case study

This is the case study for Linda Collins who comes to me from Park Forest, Cook County, Illinois. Linda is interested in filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy as she had previously filed a chapter 13 two years ago and that case was dismissed. In terms of real estate property, she does not own any real estate. She is currently renting on a month-to-month lease and her landlord is accepting payments on time. She has a 2002 Nissan Altima which is paid in full, and has an approximate value of $800. The vehicle has over 260,000 miles on it so it will be exempt in a chapter 7 filing. In terms of her personal property and assets, she has no checking and no savings account, minor household goods valued at 1300, normal clothing valued at $200. She cannot sue anybody for any reason, she does not expect to inherit any money, she does not have any retirement accounts.

In terms of her working situation and household situation she is married with a 16-year-old son and she is working at two different jobs one full-time and one part-time. Between her two jobs she is bringing in $3,700 net. When I look at her monthly expenses I see the following: rent is $1300, water and sewer is $130, electricity and gas is $260, food is $300, clothing is $100, laundry is $50, gas parking and transportation is $240, child care is $400 and auto insurance is $35.

Over the past several years she has estimated approximately $40,000 from her employment. She currently is not being sued or garnished and she has not had any property repossessed in the last year. She did have a prior address in Park Forest, Illinois two years ago. She has no co-debtors, she does owe 63,000 for student loans which are non-dischargeable, and she’s on a payment plan with the IRS at the rate of $92 per month.

Linda is looking to eliminate nearly $40,000 worth of credit card debt and medical debt. She understands that her student loan debt will not be eliminated and her IRS debt will not be eliminated because it is within the last three years. Linda is a perfect candidate for chapter 7, fresh start bankruptcy. By filing chapter 7, Linda will be able to get back on her feet and maintain monthly payments to her student loan and to the IRS while getting a relatively clean fresh start from all of her other debt.

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