Can I lose my home if I file bankruptcy?
I plan on consulting with an a bankruptcy attorney this upcoming week but was hoping to get some information and advice to help prepare myself for what I am facing. Long story short, I grew up with my grandfather who retired from DuPont and was receiving retirement as well as social security, which was the reason I was able to get a lot of debt, in my name (mainly credit cards, computers, and furniture etc.) Not long after he filed bankruptcy, we had to foreclose on our home and with the help of a generous family member we were able to purchase a new home with this family member cosigning for me in 2007. Not long after, he passed away so we opted to pay off the home. During this time and before, my Grandfather was getting credit cards in my name. Most of them I was aware of and did not have a problem with because we were family and had to get by. He used my bank account for his income. With my decent credit score and household income totaling approximately 50k I was able to get approved for numerous cards and other forms of debt even though I listed my occupation as student and worked part time around school. As far as I knew, all the cards were being paid and up to date. In January 2010, my Grandfather passed away and I did not have a clue on handling finances or even where to begin on who I owed what. Now, some of these old debts have incurred interest and I have made several bad decisions on my own, since his passing. I work full time now and hope to get in a position to finish nursing school as soon as possible. The only good decision I have made, financially, is holding onto my house which would be worth 85k at best. One of the collection agencies has proceeded to take legal action for a Lowe’s card and I have a court date mid January. The total of this debt is approximately 1,700 but this is one of many. I would guess my total delinquent debt would be close to 20k. I have a small car loan and student loan I have been keeping current to try to rebuild my credit thinking most of the other was written off and in the past. I would like to claim chapter 7 bankruptcy to just start over and just get out from under this mountain of debt and stress. My biggest concern is the safety of my home since not having mortgage or rent will be a huge advantage when I decide to finish school. I am in Tennessee and I know laws vary from state to state. Any advice and information would be greatly appreciated.
Overtime and Saturdays are common and sporadic so a second job or even a third is impractical, to say the least. Im in a bad situation, like a lot of people and if a clean start could be an option, my integrity would be fine, but thanks anyway. Making payments on my vehicle and with the other costs of have of insuring and maintaining the house leaves me with a tight budget. One place I spoke with, would only do an equity loan(or whatever its called) for 20,000 minimum and I doubt I could make that payment. Id rather just sale the house and take care of the debt. The home loan seems like I am taking more debt to pay for debt. Probably best I consult with an attorney and take the fastest route to resolve this and finish school. Thanks for the help so far!