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My sister

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  • My sister

    She is 30k in CC debt, new house, missing payments on utilities (4 of them this month she is behind on) regularly. Can't pay or save for anything.

    I didn't intend to tell my family about my Chap 13 but i really felt bad for when she disclosed this (when saying how she doesn't have any money for even a decent bday gift for our nephew..). I explained to her that it is the 'working mans plan' and you will build up your credit again - not to worry. She said she will wait until she can't pay her mortgage. (insert eye roll)...

    She didn't think her amount was enough to warrant such a "drastic action". How can i get her to understand that once she does this - she will wish she had taken this step a year ago?

    She can't get ahead of her interest rates - she is chasing her tail on them yet she is concerned that she won't have credit to get a new car when she needs one.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    When you're to the point of not being able to pay your utilities because you're so worried about sending money to credit cards... That should be a real eye-opener. Unfortunately, for many, it isn't -- and they keep up this game longer and longer, hoping for it to somehow magically get better. Is there any magic in her foreseeable future? An inheritance? A new job with a crazy raise? Does she have some magical way to sweet-talk these credit card companies into being nice and bending over backwards to help her out?

    If the answer to this is "D" -- none of the above -- well. Guess what.

    If she needs a new car, she should get one now, before she misses a mortgage or credit card payment, and her credit starts to tank.

    And I see you are suggesting a Chapter 13 for her -- but are you sure she would not pass the means test for a Chapter 7? If her house is new, meaning she has no real equity, and she doesn't actually own much of value -- she may qualify for a Chapter 7 and have this debt wiped out completely.

    Comment


    • puppiesrock
      puppiesrock commented
      Editing a comment
      Great reasoning. Thank you. I will try with her one more time. I know her reaction because it was my own husbands reaction. Maybe she feels shame - doesn't understand it.
      but you raise all legit points here. thanks!

  • #3
    I don't know if she would qualify chap 7. She makes a decent income - she is just in over her head. They bought a new house 2 years ago, made bad $$ mistakes (one being clearing all the trees in her backyard for 20k as well as having no down payment for the house - but using her 401k for that). so i'm thinking this is why she's in bad as she is. I remember right after she bought her house she was talking about going on a very nice extravagant vacation with her hubby's family. i think they were enjoying the influx of extra cash she had from her 401k loan without thinking of the consequences down the line. her step daughter file for 7 and has bad credit. but i tried to explain to my sister that everyone's situation is different. she has no reliable form of income. that could be why she's never gotten better.

    Comment


    • #4
      My husband makes what we consider "a decent income", as well. This comes down to what the median income is for a family of their size, in their state. Then the means test. Tell her to check out the means test calculator at legal consumer. It is not as accurate as speaking with an attorney -- but will give her a general idea of where they would stand (7 or 13) and can be done in the privacy of her own home. It costs nothing to look & costs nothing to speak with attorneys. No commitment to any of this until you spend money and start signing papers.

      Comment


      • #5
        I sent her more info. I hope i am not annoying her since she's already told me yesterday she won't consider it until she can't pay her mortgage. Let's see how she responds...

        Comment


        • #6
          Tell her that while BK may damage her credit rating, it will improve. The better her credit is at the time she files BK, the quicker it will improve later. Waiting until she can't pay her mortgage just delays the inevitable and will likely result in a more difficult recovery.

          Don't push too hard and allow for the possibility that she does have room to change habits and turn thinks around without BK. She is right that filing BK is a drastic solution and it is good she takes it seriously. But, just because it is a drastic solution doesn't make it a bad solution. If she can't make ends meet without using credit cards, she is bankrupt. Delaying drastic action doesn't help anything.

          I hope you send her a link to this thread and encourage her to register and ask questions, or at least read and learn a bit.
          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

          Comment


          • #7
            She is dead set against it. Says she will wait until she can't pay her mortgage. She has actually stopped talking to me for a while, which was odd. I think she was tired of me talking about it...

            I am not sure why she wouldn't consider this...

            Comment


            • #8
              You can provide her information but you can't live her life. Everyone has to come to this decision on their own. The one thing you hear more than anything on this site is I wish i had one it earlier. Giver her space and llet her make her own choices.
              Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
              Discharged 8/2/16

              Comment


              • #9
                This is true. And it's exactly how i feel now after all is said and done. I was thinking about it but never pulled the trigger until i was completely under water. I regret that so much.

                Comment

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