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Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice on refinancing a HELOC to pay off a huge amount of credit card debt. Several years ago we paid off the mortgage ($53,000) with a HELOC for a total line of $100,000. The bank closed the remainder of the HELOC because of declining home values.

Brief description of situation is: DH has not worked in the past 5 years (he's 61) and is not/will not return to work citing health reasons/mental reasons but has not/will not go to get any kind of medical help. In addition, my eldery parents (no siblings for me) moved in with us about the time he quit working. Bad decision, didn't work out - they ended up in assisted living. Over the past 5 years, my dad passed away, mom ran out of money, and until she passed last year, I was helping her fund her living expenses which were VERY large.

Bottom line is: I'm broke. I'm still working (I'm 59), but it just isn't enough to cover all the debt I've accumulated to keep it all going. Basically I was taking cash advances to pay my mother's caregivers. The debt is now roughly $60,000, which is more than my annual income. All but 3 of the cards are in my name alone.

So, I have two choices - file Chapter 13 or try to refinance (I'm talking with a broker this week) to get out from under the $2,500 or so I pay each month to creditors, in addition to regular living expenses.

And one more very important item - DH is unaware of the extent of all this as I just can't bring myself to mouth the words to him yet.

My concern is that the house will not appraise high enough, and that at our age should we really shouldn't be taking on more mortgage debt.

I would appreciate any comments an advice any of you could offer.
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