Single or joint bankruptcy filing? —

THE debtor is 50, while the spouse is 48.

They have two children — a son aged 18, and a daughter aged 16. The son is about to go to college out of state. The daughter is about to graduate from high school and applying for college in state. They expect that once the son is in college and the daughter is in college, they will have additional expenses related to college matters of their children approximately $500 to $700 monthly.

They did not anticipate that their children would grow up so fast and already going to college soon. They were married in 2000. That was only 21 years ago. Then the son was born followed by the daughter. What a delight they were when they were babies, toddlers, and up to 12 years old. Once they entered junior high, they started socializing and going with the wrong crowd became constant problems. This went on until high school. They provided all their love and concern for their children, so despite all the negative forces both their children are now looking forward to college.

America is a meritocracy despite its imperfections

America, despite all its imperfections, is actually still a meritocracy. A college education and a profession are a sure way of getting ahead and rising out of mediocrity here. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t have connections. If you have the right qualifications, the right higher education, good income and realization of the American dream of having a house, a nice car, and prosperity is within striking distance. No one can seriously argue against this statement. Race doesn’t come into play. You can be black, brown, red, yellow or white, it doesn’t matter really as long as you have the right educational qualifications, a good future for you is almost assured. All immigrants know this and have lived it as reality.

Immigrants who are professionals get a head start

Immigrants come here and immediately those who are professionals get a head start. Let’s just talk about nurses. If you are a registered nurse when you migrate here and are able to get a local license here as a registered nurse, then you are practically assured of finding a job that will eventually pay you between $80,000 to $150,000 a year. There’s a shortage of nurses here so the nursing profession rewards those that are able to get a local license. Without a local license, sorry, you don’t get paid as a registered nurse, even if you are a registered nurse in your place of origin. That’s just the way it works. You can be a doctor in your country of origin but when you arrive here you have to take the medical board exam, pass it, and get a local license to practice medicine. Without the local license to practice medicine here, you’re out of luck. You’re relegated to a peon and will be stuck in a rut of routine lower-paying jobs. Doctors here get paid a lot. If a registered nurse is looking at up to $150,000 a year, medical doctors are looking at $500,000 a year, and this is not even a ceiling.

The problem of course is that it’s not that easy to pass the medical board exam if you graduated somewhere else other than the USA. I know people who are doctors abroad who can’t pass the medical board exam here who have made many attempts to pass but cannot. They take some other courses here to become registered nurses so they can work as such. This is really disappointing for them and it’s sad. But the lure of living here in the USA attracts a lot of adventurous people I know, as I am one of them. Jesus and God the Father have given me all the support and guidance and protection here for my family and me. You have to pray a lot and ask for divine guidance and support.

Joint or single Chapter 7 filing?

Back to the client: He owes $100,000 of credit card debt. His income at $96,000 a year is good. He’s thinking of getting rid of the $100,000 of credit card debt with a Chapter 7 petition as he now pays $3,000 of minimum card payments monthly. His wife owes $30,000 of credit card debt and she pays $1,000 of minimum credit card payments monthly. Together, they pay $4,000 for minimum credit card payments. Certainly, this is a lot of money for credit cards! If they continue with this payment, they won’t be able to squeeze out another $750 monthly for the college expenses of their children. So push comes to shove and they have now to seriously consider getting rid of credit card debt. If the husband himself files a Chapter 7 by himself and wipes out $100,000, then they will save $3,000 a month. If the wife also files with the husband, making it a joint Chapter 7 case, then they will save $4,000 a month.

I suggest both of them together file a joint Chapter 7 case. There’s no advantage in wife keeping her $30,000 current at $1,000 a month. Her credit score is not that great either. If both of them file together, both of their credit scores will become over 600 next year and will significantly improve yearly.

In three years, both of their credit scores will be close to 700. Both of their credit scores now are already below 600. In 10 years, there is no record of their Chapter 7 filing and they’re looking at over 800 of credit score assuming they handle new debt well. They can get new credit, but whatever they use, they should pay up in full when due, not minimum payments. If they buy a new car, they have to make sure all payments are timely to boost their credit score faster after bankruptcy.

At this point, I would like to introduce the blessed Carlos Acutis. He was a teenager who died at the age of 15 in 2007 who devoted his entire life since the age of 7 to being close to Jesus. He was a computer genius and set a web page chronicling the Eucharistic miracles that occurred all over the world. HIS BODY IS INCORRUPTIBLE. His body lies in Rome, Italy and the public is allowed to visit to see his body that is completely fresh and he just looks asleep! This is 14 years after his death! This is an ongoing miracle in our world, and you can visit his website on the Internet. You will see pictures of the Eucharist that have turned into human flesh of heart tissue and blood of Jesus Christ! These human blood and tissue have been determined by medical doctors to be type AB from heart tissue of a person who has gone through a lot of pain. The blood of Jesus Christ has been determined, from droplets salvaged and preserved when he carried the cross, to be AB. These are examined and certified by medical doctors after the scientific examination. Fraud by external source has been completely ruled out. Please visit that website, it will make you feel good. If you still have doubts, use your credit card to go to Rome to examine the incorruptible body of the blessed Carlos Acutis. He was an Italian born in London. If you still don’t believe, you are an idiot.

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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