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Afraid to File BK / Should I ?

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  • Afraid to File BK / Should I ?

    This is SO very difficult. Hubby and I are in dire straights financially and we just don't see light at the end of the tunnel. I am SO discouraged!!

    Here is the short of it. For the last 3 years, we are living off of about 25% of what we did back in 2013. We live in a VERY rural area. Think "Mayberry" and scale back. We are in our mid-late 50s. I stay at home with our special needs son. The jobs within driving distance are VERY few and far between. We have made some really stupid and poor financial choices that have left us about $35k in credit card debt. We are so sick of credit cards and made the decision to NEVER use another one - EVER!! We are actively working the Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace University material. We have a budget and have been sticking to it for quite some time. Our credit is actually pretty good due to the fact that we do make every payment - even if it means we don't eat. We live in a home that is provided to us in exchange for taking care of a small campground. If they didn't provide that, we would be homeless. Every day - EVERY DAY - we have this 10-ton debt weight that is so heavy looming over us. We literally live penny to penny. If one thing goes wrong...the car has issues...we do to the doctor...ANYTHING, our budget goes out the window. We have no extra, no savings. We have sold anything and everything we can to get extra money.

    We have so many people telling us DO NOT FILE BK! That is the WORST thing you can do. Just keep paying your minimum payments on your credit cards....some day it will change....someday. I am losing sleep over it. I cry....every day....months and months...crying every day. A lot of people have told us things like, if you are sitting on a couch, sell it! Don't file BK!! EVER!!!

    I just don't see a way out. If we go through a consumer credit counseling service that will only save us about $50 a month due to our minimums being so high. We've been told every scary story there is: no one is ever going to rent you an apartment. Forget ever having a home. Your credit will be trashed for 10 years. Your life will be over as you know it. If you can pay you're minimum payments on your credit cards you don't need to file BK.

    I just don't know....I just don't. It's going to be another sleepless night. I don't want to make another emotional decision that is going to be wrong. EVERYONE says we are going to regret it but I just don't know if I can take the pressure...it's so heavy. Now in the interest of full disclosure: my husband and I have been married for 11 years. I was married about 15+ years ago for one year and had to file BK along with a divorce due to being in a marriage with someone whom I later found out was a criminal, forged MANY docs with my name on it and left me in financial ruin. I had a good attorney who filed everything but at that time, BK was better than death...enough said about that one. Hubby was married for 20+ years and had an ex who no longer wanted to be a wife or mother and walked out leaving him with 3 kids. He did the best he could but filed for divorce and BK along with his ex to dissolve the marriage and finances. My BK was about 15 years ago and his was about 12-13. When we first got married we were making close to $100k a year and credit card debt was no big deal. Now, with the economy and living in such a rural area, our situation has changed. And trust me, you couldn't say anything more than what we have said to ourselves. We are bloodied and bruised from kicking ourselves. We HAVE learned our lesson. There will not be another credit card in our family - EVER!!!!!

    We just can't decide how to proceed. I feel like BK is our only option but we have everyone pointing saying, "Don't you dare!" We feel such shame. Such despair. If nothing else, thanks for letting me rant.

    Valerie

  • #2
    This is a financial decision only. Life happens. The economy has turned many of us from not worried about the future (financially) to scared out of our minds. A bankruptcy is a chance to press the reset button and try again.

    The people that say don't do it fit into one or all categories of a.) never filed bankruptcy, b.) don't even "really" know what bankruptcy is and does -- other than what they "heard" or "read", and c.) are living high on the hog. Bankruptcy is a financial tool. Businesses do it all the time (even Ford, General Motors, AT&T, the list goes on). Celebrities, politicians, and probably some of your neighbors.

    You have to take the emotion away from the decision. It's a business decision. Bankruptcy is the best thing that I ever did. I shed over $1,000,000 of debt and could not have bounced back quicker or higher trying to do it on my own or through the "debt management" companies (which seem to never work anyhow).

    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


    • #3
      I notice these phrases in your post: "We have so many people telling us..." "EVERYONE says..." "A lot of people have told us things like..." So my question to you is why have you told "so many" people? Have you considered not sharing that you're considering BK at all, or limiting it to only people who have an urgent need to know (I wouldn't count people you know that you owe money to (if any) in that group, they can always be told when you file the petition and they can get in line to be paid like every other creditor).

      I can tell you that I only let ONE person know that my spouse and I filed BK because of the negative perceptions that surround BK, a number of which are due to the overall lack of information that is publically available about BK. And I only told that one person because that person was in financial dire straits and was seeking my advice. BK is one of those situations in which only those who have a "need to know" should be in on your decision making (me, myself and I..and those who you shares debt/assets with). Yes, BK is public information, but it is public information not easily obtained (unless you local newspaper publishes weekly filings or you subscribe to some public information search service).

      If you do get questions from people or comments or statements or advice, I would suggest you ask them: "What is your experience with BK? Why was your experience a bad one? How do you know I won't get credit again?" You can always tell these people that you know of one person who filed six bankruptcies for his business and that did not stop over 60 million people from electing him as our President. Challenge them, knock them on their heels. Also, you filed BK before, you lived this experience. the "many people" you refer to probably did not.

      This forum is filled with posts from people over the years who had similar concerns and trepidation about filing BK, and stores of success, struggles, challenges and failures with filing BK. and success stories about getting credit after they BK was discharged. Seek them out and read them. Let the people who have lived BK help guide and inform your decision. You (and your spouse) and only you can decide your financial future. You know what needs to be done to improve your situation.

      I too had trouble sleeping pre-BK. After I filed my petition, I was much happier. I wasn't happy to discover that I would be paying back most of my debt under Ch 13 to debt buyers, but that's a rant for another day, but I was happy to exert some measure of control over my creditors rather than vice versa.

      As for stigma and shame, if the "many people" make you feel that way, it says more about them than it does about you. Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, Switch for your response. The "everyone" I am referring to is not literally everyone. I probably just threw that word around too loosely. The everyone I mention are those select individuals that we have tried to seek Godly council from. We have several individuals from our social circle, our Pastors included, who are using materials like Dave Ramsey's FPU & "I Once Was Broke & Now I'm Not". In discussing budgets, cash envelopes (which we use now) and such, we have tried to get advice about debt management in general. Since we are making no headway at all, the topic of BK has come up within the group and the reaction to BK has been like a nun seeing a zombie for the first time!! Once our decision is made, no one is going to know unless it is vitally necessary. We know loose lips sink ships and it is definitely not a subject for social media.

        I guess now, we just need to see if we can find a reputable attorney. Hopefully we can get a free consultation and at least get more information.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow, I could say a lot... But I will just agree with what has already been posted. Have the people in your support group read in the Bible about how it is wrong to charge interest to people? How long it is OK to hold someone in debt before you forgive it? I believe it is seven years. And it is right there in the Bible. I am not a religious person, but my sister is very much so. They had to file bankruptcy years ago, and trust me, she researched all of this in her Bible. Agonized over it. Went on to file bankruptcy and they have been in a much better position ever since.

          My father always encourages me to make a list of pros and cons. If you go back and read the original post and really try to remove the emotion from it and look at it as we can, as an outsider, you would see this one is a no-brainer. You are losing sleep every night, but do you think that one person at a credit card company is going to lose sleep if you file bankruptcy? As for people telling you this is going to be the worst thing you could ever do, well, from your post it sounds like you are already doing the worst thing that you could do. Your sanity and your health are more important than your credit. You have to eat. None of these minimum payments are going to matter if you guys kill yourselves with the stress of trying to make them. A recurring theme on this forum is that people wish they would have done it sooner. Best wishes in finding a good attorney. It sounds like it is time!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks, Chrysalis! We decided to move forward with an initial consultation with an attorney. Our appointment is set for tomorrow evening. There are still aspects that scare me about BK like, am I going to have to sell my wedding ring? I've seen some posts about the Trustee selling personal items. We aren't rich by any means but back when we were "young", hubby did buy me a nice wedding set ($5k). It's probably my only real treasured earthly possession. We'll do what we have to do though. I did read that if we go through with the BK, it's probably best to leave it at home during any proceedings. I SO appreciate all the encouraging posts. It has really helped!!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Do not take tension. Bankruptcy provides us many options with different bankruptcy chapters such as chapters 7,11,12,13. If you want to file bankruptcy then you need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. He/she can give you the best legal advice and with the help of a lawyer you can easily understand bankruptcy law with the different chapters for bankruptcy and fulfill your paperwork without any mistake.

              Comment


              • #8
                Tandv, going to see a BK attorney is your best move. Yes the thought of BK can be depressing and scaring but once you learn more about it, the more sense justbroke's post will make. What we found out was that the general perception of BK is not very accurate. It is a business decision and not a personal failure. Given your post on what you are currently doing to keep your head above water, strongly suggests that you will do well post BK so that you will truly get a fresh start and never face this again. BTW: if you can try to see several attorneys and go with the one that you are the most comfortable with. Best of luck and keep us posted.
                Chap 7 Non-consumer --Realized headed for bankruptcy Nov 2010 --Started planning BK7 Spring 2011 -- Filed Sept 2011 -- 341 & Continued 341 Meetings Nov 2011 --No Asset Case Nov 2011 --Discharged Jan 2012 --Closed Feb 2012

                Comment

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