U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-20-2019, 06:35 PM
 
50 posts, read 16,463 times
Reputation: 89

Advertisements

Again, apologies for that length. TLDR: 71 year old Dad with high debts does not meet the qualifications for filing chapter 7 bankruptcy but would be able to file chapter 13. Seems like a good idea considering and would allow him to start contributing to his employer's thrift savings plan. Any reason NOT to proceed? Dad mistakenly made me a cosigner on the lease for his timeshare, which means I'm very likely going to have to file chapter 7. Concerned about the effects this will have on my search for employment.





I posted recently about my dad and his debts. Basically he had over $86,000 in debts, with about $50,000 being related to a time share. He wanted to refinance the home to pay a portion of it off and combine the rest through consumer credit counseling to pay it at a lower interest rate. The good people on this forum helped me confirm that this would be a very unwise idea.



The lawyer was very blunt and his advice was in line with what I learned here. Refinancing or taking out a home equity loan would very likely end with him losing the house. He has enough equity in the home that he wouldn't be able to file chapter 7. He would, however, be able to file chapter 13. That would wipe out the credit card and time share debts. He would then have to pay off the excess equity that is not covered by chapter 13. Basically leaving him with a bill of 300+ a month or possibly lower depending on the home assessment.



Because of his higher income, the lawyer suggested that he stop working so much overtime, which I am all for. He also strongly encouraged dad to take the excess money that would no longer be going toward the debts and put it into his work's thrift savings program. Also advised him to purchase more life insurance, as right now what he has would not be enough to save the home in the event of his death.



So...this all sounds in line in what I was told here and the research I've been doing. Does it sound like a good plan? Am I missing any obvious pitfalls?



Now here is where things get fun for me. I didn't mention this in my last post because I frankly completely forgot about it. Dad has a loan of $38,000 with the time share. I am cosigned on that loan. Years ago he spoke to the timeshare sales people while I wasn't present. I knew that one of the things he wanted to change was to give me the ability to call in and plan vacations, something that previously only he could do. He asked me to come down to the sales room to sign paperwork to give me that ability. I did not realize that what he was actually doing was adding me to the lease...I thought it was basically like a HIPPA form.



As much as I might want to blame the timeshare, it is entirely possible that they explained to him that he was making me responsible for the debt. As I've said, dad isn't good with finances. I have witnessed people explain loan terms to him and had him repeat them back completely wrong or actually say the opposite of what he was just told. That sort of thing is why I now sit in whenever he has any kind of financial decision. I also have to blame myself for trusting in what he told me, though this was back before I realized just how much of an issue he has with understanding things.


So I'm now on the hook for almost 40,000 in debt that I never wanted, never meant to sign up for, and most certainly can't pay. The lawyer advised that I myself should file chapter 7. As I have no mortgage, no other debts, and am not currently employed, it would be a relatively straightforward process.



The lawyer is frankly a little dismissive of my concerns. I know this will ruin my credit for years going forward. I am unemployed because I was previously the full time caregiver for my mother, who passed last year after many years with dementia. I was just starting to plan my return to the work force. The lawyer advised me not to look for a job until after I have filed chapter 7. I know that many employers now check credit reports. I'm worried about how this will effect my prospects for employment. My car is paid off and very old...what if I need a new vehicle and can't get a loan? What if one of my cats needs a very expensive surgery or treatment? That's about the only reason I can think of where I would need a credit card



I also don't see any other way out of this. Dad does not seem to understand why I'm so distressed. Just how badly is this likely to ruin things for me going forward? I am generally very frugal and have very low needs (no desire for children, don't need to own a home, no plans to marry...as long as I have my cats and a little spending money for books I'm quite content.)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-20-2019, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Western MA
2,082 posts, read 1,395,118 times
Reputation: 5788
I'm so sorry for this mess. And it is a huge mess.

Bankruptcy can interfere with future employment, especially if you plan to have a career in the financial sector. However, it is not the end of the world and there are lots of stories on this board about life after Chapter 7.

Now this lawyer is looking after your father's interests, but is not necessarily going to be looking after yours. Is it possible to see an attorney yourself?

Lastly, are you sure that you are a cosigner on this debt? Have you checked your credit report?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2019, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,125 posts, read 4,504,491 times
Reputation: 5265
I would contact the timeshare people and tell then your position and that your father is filing for bankruptcy and ask if they will cancel the debt. If they will not tell them you will file for bankruptcy too. Maybe the attorney should write a letter asking. It might get better results on his letterhead.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2019, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
2,544 posts, read 4,194,858 times
Reputation: 4663
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizcuit View Post

Lastly, are you sure that you are a cosigner on this debt? Have you checked your credit report?
This is my question. You say that your father "accidentally" made you a cosigner, and that this was a debt you never intended to sign up for. If you did not willingly cosign for the loan, it may not be enforceable against you.

Agree also with considering consulting your own attorney. Your father's attorney can ethically represent you both if your interests don't conflict, but you should have a joint representation agreement if that is the case. If he isn't representing you then he shouldn't be giving you legal advice.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2019, 08:12 PM
 
50 posts, read 16,463 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowGirl View Post
This is my question. You say that your father "accidentally" made you a cosigner, and that this was a debt you never intended to sign up for. If you did not willingly cosign for the loan, it may not be enforceable against you.

Agree also with considering consulting your own attorney. Your father's attorney can ethically represent you both if your interests don't conflict, but you should have a joint representation agreement if that is the case. If he isn't representing you then he shouldn't be giving you legal advice.
My thinking was that the loan wouldn't be enforceable against me if they didn't explain it properly to my father. But I don't know if that was or was not the case. He was then the one who told me that the papers would make it possible for me to call in to schedule. I have no way to prove that he didn't tell me I was signing into the lease.

I will see about getting a consult with a different lawyer for myself this week. My dad's lawyer did basically tell me that he's focused on his case and was very blaise about my concerns. We don't meet with him again until next Saturday, so hopefully I can get a meeting with someone else before that.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2019, 08:16 PM
 
50 posts, read 16,463 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
I would contact the timeshare people and tell then your position and that your father is filing for bankruptcy and ask if they will cancel the debt. If they will not tell them you will file for bankruptcy too. Maybe the attorney should write a letter asking. It might get better results on his letterhead.

...is that a thing that happens? From the timeshare's perspective, is it better to cancel it then have the people file for bankruptcy? I'm just confused how it would be to their benefit to just let 39,000 go. I'm going to try to find a different lawyer of my own this week, but should I try this on my own first? Because I'm thinking of this is an option (even an unlikely one), then a bankruptcy lawyer may not suggest it because it would work against their own interests
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2019, 10:35 AM
 
29,615 posts, read 20,469,514 times
Reputation: 51371
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJgalaxy View Post
Again, apologies for that length. TLDR: 71 year old Dad with high debts does not meet the qualifications for filing chapter 7 bankruptcy but would be able to file chapter 13. Seems like a good idea considering and would allow him to start contributing to his employer's thrift savings plan. Any reason NOT to proceed? Dad mistakenly made me a cosigner on the lease for his timeshare, which means I'm very likely going to have to file chapter 7. Concerned about the effects this will have on my search for employment.





I posted recently about my dad and his debts. Basically he had over $86,000 in debts, with about $50,000 being related to a time share. He wanted to refinance the home to pay a portion of it off and combine the rest through consumer credit counseling to pay it at a lower interest rate. The good people on this forum helped me confirm that this would be a very unwise idea.



The lawyer was very blunt and his advice was in line with what I learned here. Refinancing or taking out a home equity loan would very likely end with him losing the house. He has enough equity in the home that he wouldn't be able to file chapter 7. He would, however, be able to file chapter 13. That would wipe out the credit card and time share debts. He would then have to pay off the excess equity that is not covered by chapter 13. Basically leaving him with a bill of 300+ a month or possibly lower depending on the home assessment.



Because of his higher income, the lawyer suggested that he stop working so much overtime, which I am all for. He also strongly encouraged dad to take the excess money that would no longer be going toward the debts and put it into his work's thrift savings program. Also advised him to purchase more life insurance, as right now what he has would not be enough to save the home in the event of his death.



So...this all sounds in line in what I was told here and the research I've been doing. Does it sound like a good plan? Am I missing any obvious pitfalls?



Now here is where things get fun for me. I didn't mention this in my last post because I frankly completely forgot about it. Dad has a loan of $38,000 with the time share. I am cosigned on that loan. Years ago he spoke to the timeshare sales people while I wasn't present. I knew that one of the things he wanted to change was to give me the ability to call in and plan vacations, something that previously only he could do. He asked me to come down to the sales room to sign paperwork to give me that ability. I did not realize that what he was actually doing was adding me to the lease...I thought it was basically like a HIPPA form.



As much as I might want to blame the timeshare, it is entirely possible that they explained to him that he was making me responsible for the debt. As I've said, dad isn't good with finances. I have witnessed people explain loan terms to him and had him repeat them back completely wrong or actually say the opposite of what he was just told. That sort of thing is why I now sit in whenever he has any kind of financial decision. I also have to blame myself for trusting in what he told me, though this was back before I realized just how much of an issue he has with understanding things.


So I'm now on the hook for almost 40,000 in debt that I never wanted, never meant to sign up for, and most certainly can't pay. The lawyer advised that I myself should file chapter 7. As I have no mortgage, no other debts, and am not currently employed, it would be a relatively straightforward process.



The lawyer is frankly a little dismissive of my concerns. I know this will ruin my credit for years going forward. I am unemployed because I was previously the full time caregiver for my mother, who passed last year after many years with dementia. I was just starting to plan my return to the work force. The lawyer advised me not to look for a job until after I have filed chapter 7. I know that many employers now check credit reports. I'm worried about how this will effect my prospects for employment. My car is paid off and very old...what if I need a new vehicle and can't get a loan? What if one of my cats needs a very expensive surgery or treatment? That's about the only reason I can think of where I would need a credit card



I also don't see any other way out of this. Dad does not seem to understand why I'm so distressed. Just how badly is this likely to ruin things for me going forward? I am generally very frugal and have very low needs (no desire for children, don't need to own a home, no plans to marry...as long as I have my cats and a little spending money for books I'm quite content.)
If you didn't physically sign the timeshare lease, you are NOT a co-signer and not responsible whether he added your name or not. That is what co-signer literally means. Did you sign the lease?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2019, 10:58 AM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
3,185 posts, read 3,000,540 times
Reputation: 4788
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJgalaxy View Post
...is that a thing that happens? From the timeshare's perspective, is it better to cancel it then have the people file for bankruptcy? I'm just confused how it would be to their benefit to just let 39,000 go. I'm going to try to find a different lawyer of my own this week, but should I try this on my own first? Because I'm thinking of this is an option (even an unlikely one), then a bankruptcy lawyer may not suggest it because it would work against their own interests
Always read what you sign, even if you have to make everyone sit there for a while as you do. Then don't sign it if you don't understand it. The words on a signed document almost always trump the words that come out of someone's mouth. Your only possible saving is that courts tend to disfavor timeshare companies, but you may well have to litigate the matter. You may also have agreed to pay the ongoing maintenance fees.

Barring a court decision to the contrary, if you did, in fact, cosign the loan, then you are equally liable for the loan. If your father files bankruptcy, then the lender will simply come after you. Your father's lawyer is brushing you off because your father is his/her client and your father's interest and yours may conflict. You may have to file opposing his bankruptcy. Get all of the documents together and get your own attorney to review the matter and your alternatives.


Also, you keep mentioning a lease. You don't lease a timeshare, you buy a property right. The loan may be considered an unsecured personal loan or it may be secured by the timeshare.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2019, 11:00 AM
 
5,361 posts, read 3,572,058 times
Reputation: 10884
OP, you first need to get the contracts that you signed and take them to another attorney to get their opinion. You need to find out how a BK could affect you, maybe you would lose your paid off car.

I don't think it would hurt for your dad to also get a second opinion from another BK attorney.

Also, have you contacted any of those companies that buy time shares?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2019, 11:11 AM
 
14,729 posts, read 6,116,551 times
Reputation: 17517
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
If you didn't physically sign the timeshare lease, you are NOT a co-signer and not responsible whether he added your name or not. That is what co-signer literally means. Did you sign the lease?

It sounds like someone put a contract in front of him and told him to sign it, and he did so without asking what the document was or even looking at the title of the document much less reading the contents. And then says his dad has an issue with understanding things!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Personal Finance
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top