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Secured? & Car Loans

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What is the name of your state? What is the name of your state? MS

To make a short story long.....My husband left me a couple of months ago (but he's graciously letting me stay in the home while I go through with the bankruptcy proceedings, even though it's in his name). Now over the last couple of months I've had to sell alot of the items I have to cover bills, I just can't handle it anymore. I work for the state, which equals a very meager amount of money. Over the years, I've accumulated about 36k worth of credit, that I'm am no longer able to pay. I have never been late until this past month. I'm planning on getting my ducks in a row over the next couple of months & filing myself. Now here come the questions.....

Some of the creditors include Best Buy, Circuit City and an american general card to a local furniture store. Since I no longer have the items that I purchased, what will they do to me? Aren't these secured debts which can not be discharged or am I reading this wrong? Do they normally show up at the creditors meeting?

Just a couple of weeks before he left me, I got yet another credit card in the mail with that 0% transfer deal, and I used part of it to pay off one of his credit cards. Will I get in trouble about that?

Do I voluntarily surrender my leased car or let them take it at court?

I've gotten myself in over my head and I don't know where to turn for answers. Is there a chance that they would deny my bankruptcy and start garnishing my wages? What are they going to say about my living in his house?

Sorry for all the questions, but I would greatly appreciate any assistance.

thank you.


Senior Member

Best Buy and Circuit City MAY ask for the property back, but if you don't have it any more, what can they do ??? nothing... the debt gets discharged I believe. Are you sure they say they're 'secured' ?? I've not heard in all these thread about either of them showing up at 341 meetings, they *may* send a reaffirmation agreement.

The balance transfer could be questioned, but if your honest about why you did it, the Trustee probably won't make an issue out of it. Its not all that unusual for people to do this.

Your leased car. You may not have to surrender it at all !!! If you can keep paying for it, even if you don't reaffirm it, then you'll be able to keep the car. If you, at some point, can't make the payments anymore, you walk away from it as it will be a discharged debt. Someone else posted this exact situation here in the last couple of days. Didn't reaffirm the lease, it was discharged, but she kept making payments and still has the car. Even if you did decide to give it back you don't surrender it in court. That happens later.

Deny your bankruptcy ? The only time this happens is if the Trustee thinks there is grounds for 'substantial abuse'.. which usually means you've lied and they've found out about it. Things like hiding assets, lying about your income or bank accounts kinda riles them up.

As for where you're living.. they could care less really.. just as long as your paperwork is in order where your living expenses are concerned, it won't matter one bit to them.

Usually, transfer of assets (stuff you sold) is looked at carefully by a Trustee.. they want know if you're trying to hide assets. If you tell them you sold the stuff to pay bills, I doubt they'd question that either. A lot depends on who you sold it to and how much in total value your're talking about. Personal property is valued at garage sale prices in a bankruptcy.. not what you paid or replacement value.

I hope this helps some :)




This is scaredabout7 (had to create another name because it would not let me post.)

Thank you for your replies. I really appreciate it.

As far as them being secured cards, I'm not entirely sure. I was going by what I've read on the internet and the diy bankruptcy book. I figured (and I know I'm no atty) that secured credit was credit that was secured by some type of property, ie furniture that was purchased with a loan from a finance company, a car loan or say a credit card that could only be used at one store, like Best Buy or Circuit City. Can anyone give me insight as to what constitutes secured and unsecured debt?

There's no way I will be able to continue paying the car note (like I said, I work for the state.....Not enough money for housing, utilities, food and a car note.) How does it work if you don't surrender it until after the bankruptcy? Wouldn't they repossess it before, assuming that I don't file for a couple of more months?

How in the world am I going to show proof of selling the items? I've had several garage sales over the past couple of months and sold other items by posting ads on bulletin boards. I'm terrified they are going to eat me alive, even though I'm being completely honest.

When listing your assests do you have to list everything from your clothes, electronics, etc. all the way down to your toothbrush? Or just the items worth any significant amount of money?

I'm sorry for asking so many questions, but I feel helpless right now, with no where to turn. My soon to be ex (after the bk of course....one thing at a time) was the only family I had. This is something I find very difficult to talk about with any friend.

Thank you again for your help.


Senior Member
Changed your name ?? scaredabout7 was cute, BrokeasaJoke is better :)

The distinction as to whether or not BestBuy and Circuit City are 'secured' or not depends soley on the language in their agreements. If you read through their agreements, and they clearly state that they have a secured interest in the items you buy, then its possible they'll make a stink. I have both also, but I'd have to look them up to find out what the agreements say. Its just as possible that its ALL unsecured, or 'secured items' could be limited to items above a certain dollar amount.

The car: If you stop paying on it before you file, they'll most certainly come take it back, or you could surrender it voluntarily. That would probably leave you with some money owing, but you could then have that discharged. If you can't pay for it, you're probably better off giving it up voluntarily.

Garage sales: Ok.. they're not going to eat you alive. Trustees see people every day who have to sell things to keep a roof over their heads and food in their fridges. As long as you weren't selling big-ticket items, the Trustee probably isn't going to even blink. If/When he asks if you've sold any property, just tell the truth.. you sold off some stuff in garage sales to get money to make ends meet. What I'd do is make a list of the things you sold, it doesn't have to be exact, with an estimate of the amount you sold them for. Have that ready should the Trustee asks for any details. The key here is to be totally honest.

Listing of Assets: You basically categorize stuff. You don't have to get into minute detail. You lump-sum them: Clothing - $300, Household furnishings: $1200, etc. The forms will be categorized in that manner. If you have access to a spreadsheet program, make yourself an inventory and start plugging in values, just remember that personal property is valued at GARAGE SALE prices. You already have a good idea what that's like :)

I don't blame you for being scared of the process.. who wouldn't be ! I make this suggestion - go to the bookstore and buy a copy of the NOLO Press book "How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy", its in the personal finance section, and costs about $35. Your library might even have it.. save you the expense :) Its a VERY good book, explains everything and has helped me calm the jitters of it all.

If you'd like, feel free to e-mail me, I'll help if I can.


Senior Member
at our 341 meeting, circuit city was there for other people, questioning about their property,... they were haggling over a washer, and broken dryer, and stove vent with one couple,.. and the couple said the dryer was at the repair shop they said they would pick up the washer and then would go and pick up the broken dryer from the repair man. the vent hood was installed so they couldnt get it,........ so I would guess they are like Sears with their property... but If you dont have it, like Ladynred said, what can they do...


Thank you for your help! Now maybe I can sleep a little easier. I realize there's no such thing as a debtor's prison, but I have a million questions running through my mind. Thank you again.


There used to be debtor's prisons, but no longer! Thank God.

On the car-if it's leased, technically you don't even own it. You're paying to borrow it from a company.

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