Debtor Would Benefit From Either Chapter Of Bankruptcy Code

This is the case of Yolanda Jamison who resides in Chicago, Illinois on South Peoria Street.  Ms. Jamieson filed a bankruptcy back in 2005 under Chapter 7.  She owns free and clear with her two sisters a single-family home worth approximately $45,000.  So her one-third interest is approximately $15,000.  She is not renting from anybody and nobody is renting from her.  She has a 2001 Chevy Trailblazer which is financed through ACC Corporation and she’s up-to-date on that vehicle.  She also has a 2005 Buick Rendezvous which is financed through Santander.  She is up-to-date on that vehicle and she would like to keep that as well.

In terms of personal property, she has a checking account at MetaBank with $100 on account.  She has minor household goods worth approximately $500.  She has normal clothing worth approximately $500.  She does have life insurance but it’s term life insurance so it’s a death benefit only.  She has a 401(k) with roughly $2000 in it.  She expects a tax refund of approximately $2500 at tax time.  She is currently single.  She does have a minor child, a son by the name of Ken.  She is working for the last five years at WellPoint Companies and she is a referrals specialist averaging approximately $30,000 per year in income.  Her monthly income after taxes amounts to approximately $1736 per month.

In terms of monthly expenses, she has the typical expenses of food, clothing, and utilities.  She also has transportation costs.  She has childcare costs and she has the automotive payments.  She is showing a slight surplus per month when you look at her income minus expenses but not anything substantial.  She does have a repossessed vehicle in the last three years.  She has been at her same address for over three years.  She has not closed a bank account in the last three years.  She has not been sued nor had any property taken away other than the vehicle.  There are no co-debtors.  She does have a student loan with Sallie Mae which is a non-dischargeable debt which is going to stick around through a bankruptcy case.  She owes no tax debt.  In terms of creditors, she’s got the vehicles, she’s got some credit cards, she’s got some medical bills and she’s got an auto deficiency of $6800 from a prior auto many years back.

In this case, she can probably do either Chapter 7 or 13.  It really depends on her budget and whether or not we feel she can make the payments under Chapter 13.  Under Chapter 13, it would be approximately $500 per month because that’s what the numbers are showing she has available.  However, her budget can be altered to a certain extent so that she doesn’t have such great a surplus and therefore would qualify for Chapter 7.  So this is one of those cases for Yolanda where it comes down to a personal decision on whether or not she wants to obtain a fresh start or whether or not she wants to struggle through a repayment plan which would take all of her disposable income per month for the next 3 to 5 years.


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