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2nd time filing.

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  • 2nd time filing.

    Ok so this will be my 2nd time filing bankruptcy. I'm am so ashamed that I ended up back in this position. First one was due to a giant medical bill that we got after our son was born premature that put us over the edge. SO after that discharge, we set out to re-build credit so we could buy a home and everything was looking great. My husband started school so he could get a degree and a better job, which he did. I am currently in school so I can make more than minimum wage. Fast forward.....I end up pregnant with our 3rd which was a surprise!! All while still in the works to buy a home and get rid of the debts incurred trying to boost our credit score. We ended up in a situation where we HAD to move into something bigger but much more quickly. Meaning, we were buying a house before paying off the debts. We were still doing ok. Well 2 weeks after buying our house, we had a HUGE flood which wiped out 50% of our living space and damaged items and was NOT covered by homeowners insurance. While trying to fix that, we ran into a mold issue which also needed to be dealt with. We were stretched SO thin at this point that we began relying on credit cards for repairs and installing a sump pump and repairing walls and flooring and lo and behold....at right about 8 years after the last bankruptcy discharge....we are back at square one. We are back to paycheck to paycheck and the student loan bills are not even due yet...those come in about 6-9 months from now which will be the final nail in the coffin. What a mess! We thought getting our degrees would get us the jobs that would enable us to have more financial freedom but unfortunately, I am learning that student loans are the devil. If not more so than unsecured credit cards. It's just a mess.

    Thing I am worried about is that they won't discharge us since it is our 2nd round in this situation. I feel like an idiot. I also can't file for about 5-6 months so at what point do I stop paying all the unsecured debts before I file? My minimum payments alone are about $1000 so we never get ahead and end up having to re-use the card for basic things like gas and groceries. This doesn't even cover the medical bills I have not been paying on. We have 1 vehicle and our house which is current and we plan to keep paying it in full and on time...no way are we losing this house! I was thinking about this almost a year ago and we did end up paying off some cards and settling with some but it just wasn't enough to get us ahead at all. The other thing is....if I suddenly stop paying all the debts, we will end up with a lot of extra money per month and I don't know what to do with it. It's not like I can pay some and not others like I have been doing because the interest and late fees are drowning us at that point. My husband gets quarterly bonuses that are not guaranteed and the amounts fluctuate quite a bit but will have enough to use it to pay a lawyer and to file. Either way....we pass the means test as our income is well below the threshold but I still worry that when you remove the debt payments out of the equation, we actually look like we end up with a lot of extra cash each month even though I know that savings would end up going to needed things like clothes, food, gas, etc that we were putting on the credit cards.

    I don't know. I need advice! Can anyone share experiences with 2nd time filing?

  • #2
    I have no experience with 2nd time filings, but I do understand the law regarding eligibility for discharge. As long as you put 8 years between your two filings, the fact that you had a prior bankruptcy will not disqualify you from discharge. Being an idiot will not disqualify you either, but I don't think you are an idiot.

    Generally, you should stop paying your unsecured creditors as soon as you know for sure you will file BK. Also, even if you are not filing BK, if you can't pay credit card debt and pay living expenses without using more credit, you should stop making credit card payments. The biggest danger of not making payments is that a creditor sues you and gets a judgement before you file BK and starts to attach your bank accounts and garnish your paychecks. That is unlikely to happen in 5 to 6 months, but there is no guaranty. So, worst case scenario is that if a creditor does get a judgement (it won't be a surprise) you keep your bank accounts empty and have some of your paycheck garnished. You are in Kansas, right? According to Nolo, they can only garnish 25% of your net paycheck. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...ws-kansas.html. How does that compare to what you are paying on credit cards now? Can you tolerate a garnishment for a month or two in the very unlikely event that a creditor moves that quickly?

    Money you put in savings to cover expenses that fluctuate throughout the year is not "extra cash". Your expenses for the entire year are averaged to come up with your disposable income for purposes of determining if your disposable income is too high even though you pass the means test. If your income is well below median, your disposable income is unlikely to be too high to qualify for a Chap 7 discharge.

    It is not to early to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Doing so may help put your mind at ease.
    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!

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    • #3
      Thank you LadyInTheRed! I am definitely going to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. I didn't think about that...that even the garnishment would be less than what we normally pay. Unless the student loans are in re-payment...then we would be in the red every month...in which case, I am sure the bankruptcy would go through without a hitch. I am just worried about being stuck in garnishment orders for the next 10 years lined up and my bankruptcy being dismissed for whatever reason. We are definitely past the 8 year window....by several months. I just can't believe we are back to this. We are a household of 5 and our total income is approximately $58,000 and that includes my husband's fluctuating quarterly bonuses.
      Last edited by Piecukonis; 06-20-2017, 05:32 PM.

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