Announcement

Collapse

Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

Welcome to the Bankruptcy Forum. Bankruptcy (BK) Forum is known as BKForum.com and will be referred to as BKF hereinafter. In order to ensure a long term success of our vibrant community, we have established certain rules and guidelines to which everyone must adhere to. Please take your time to carefully read our rules, before you start to participate in the community.

Things you agree to do:
BKFORUM.com (BKF) users agree to use the search function before starting a new thread. This prevents duplicate discussions and allows for better organized topics.

All BKF users agree to read the sticky posts which may be available at the top of a forum page. These Sticky posts often contain valuable information. They may also outline more rules and guidelines specific for that particular forum, stickies are put in place by that forums moderator(s) or admin(s).

Things you agree not to do:

All BKF users agree not to call people names or write a post simply to make a personal attack, or get a negative reaction; this behavior is not allowed on our forum. The use of derogatory language aimed at anyone will be severely dealt with. There is no need to agree with each other, or to even like each other. However, by signing onto BKForum.com you agree to treat each member and guest with the respect they deserve. No threats or personal attacks will be allowed.

All BKF users agree not to discuss, engage, or encourage any behavior or activity which violates the law. Discussion of drugs, violence, murder, theft, vandalism, fraud or any other issue which could be used to help individuals break the law is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to "bump" old threads, unless there is a specific benefit to the community by doing so. But in most cases, please don't post in very old threads, instead start new threads.

All BKF users agree not to attempt/use another members account. It is against BKF rules to use any account other than your own. Impersonating another member will result in an immediate ban. It is also against the rules to open more than one account in your own name without permission from a moderator or administrator. If you have been banned for any reason, it is against the rules to open another account. If you were banned temporarily and you are caught using another account you will be banned permanently. Choosing a moniker which is similar in either sound or spelling as a moderator or administrator is strictly forbidden.

All BKF users agree not to private message any moderator, admin, or other member with questions related to their personal circumstances (Questions about the forum or issues with the forum are ok). This forum only works when members share their experience and insights with everyone.

Things you agree not to post:
All BKF users agree not to post any derogatory/racist/or sexist remarks. This includes attachments, links and all information contained within posts, signatures, and avatars, failure to comply with this rule will result in a permanent ban.

All BKF users agree not to post any copyrighted or trademarked information without the express written permission of the owner(s) / proper citation of source.

All BKF users agree not to post any real names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, or any other personal details (their own or other people's).

All BKF users agree not to post links, pictures, attachments, videos, or the like of pornographic content, objectionable material or extreme violence, whether cartoon or real.

All BKF users agree not to use BKF for advertising purposes without a written contract between yourself/company/agent and the administration of BKF. Blatant advertising will result in a ban.

All BKF users agree not to spam the forums. Spam includes but is not limited to posting erroneous, non-relevant-useless, off-topic, or meaningless posts. Spam may also include posts which contain no text, or large areas of blank space between lines. Simply posting emoticons without text is considered spam. BKF is the largest bankruptcy message board and all the content is intended to help other users. Please help us improve the quality of our forum by making sure that your posts are well-worded, spell checked, grammatically correct and syntaxed.

Regarding actions of moderators and administrators:

The forum is no place to air out your opinion or be judgmental of our staff and its capabilities.

All BKF users agree not to abuse or mistreat moderators or administrators. It is against BKF rules to post any information regarding bans or any other action taken by a member of the moderating or administrative team. If you wish to discuss bans or warnings please do so via PM. To place a complaint against a moderator, send a PM to a super moderator. All Moderators are equal, any decision made by a moderator must be adhered to. If a moderator tells you something you do not like, do not go to another moderator looking for a different answer. If you are caught doing this you will be banned. The moderators work as a team and respect the decisions made by their peers and will help enforce them unless an administrator tells them differently.
If you have an issue with how the forum is run, then notify one of our administrator and we will look into the situation. We have in the past and still do appreciate any input that you offer this forum. But critical input and/or judgmental postings towards the staff will result in you getting banned.


Should you find a thread offensive or out of line, then notify a Mod in a PM so they can evaluate the situation and do the action deemed necessary.

All moderators do have active "other" lives outside of the forum and help moderate this forum in their spare time throughout the days and weeks.

If you have a problem with a member or Mod follow the proper channels of reporting it.

BKF reserves the right to delete any posts which contain anti-BKF comments or discussion. Any bashing of moderators or administrators, or any of their discussion or actions will also be deleted, and the responsible posting party(s) will be banned. Any public anti-BKF advertising, communication, or posts on another forum will result in permanent bans as well.

All warnings and bans are decided by individual moderators and administrators. Warnings are preferable to bans however, for serious offenses and repeat abusers bans will go into effect. The length of the bans can vary from several hours to permanent.

All messages posted or sent including through PM are the property of BKforum.com.

All BKF users agree not to advertiser on the forum (Niether by posting, private messaging or using your signature). If you are a company/attorney/legal adviser wishing to advertise on the site or sell a product, you must contact the head administrator and inquire about our advertising packages.

All bankruptcy related opinions expressed on BKForum.com are those of their authors and not necessarily of BKF, its staff or representatives.

You agree not to copy any material/post/content from BKF without written permission from our head administrator .

By posting on this forum you agree to these terms and conditions, including any punishment deemed appropriate by moderators or administrators in the event of an offense.

Administrators/Moderators can change these rules at any time without prior notice.
See more
See less

20k in debt, broke, 35, full time student in WI. Is BK right for my situation?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Question: 20k in debt, broke, 35, full time student in WI. Is BK right for my situation?

    I'm trying to decide what to do about my financial situation because it's coming to a point where I can no longer just scrap by month to month and I'm not going to be able to pay all my bills anymore.

    I've got 4 credit cards, and the total debt is a little over $20k. The credit cards range from a few years to almost a couple decades old. The interest rate is between 20-30% or so on most of them. I never miss a payment. I'm 35 and went back to school for an associate degree in EET in the spring of last year and since last fall have only worked part time. I'm broke, have no car, and I'm a renter. My total credit card payments each month are around $700 or so. I expect to be in school or either another year or another few years depending on whether I decide to go for a 4 year degree (I probably will).

    I'm not really sure what to do and I'm very seriously considering bankruptcy at this point. I haven't met with a debt counselor or anything like that but I imagine that should be my first step. Some concerns I have about filing bankruptcy:

    - From what I've read it looks like I do not need a lawyer to file chapter 7, but some people say that it's highly recommended. I have absolutely no money for a lawyer.

    - I've been about as frugal as I can be for a while now, but what exactly will the creditors be looking for in my financial statements/history? One of the things that worries me is a couple times in the last year out of total financial desperation with no other way to pay bills I did something like used an Amazon Store credit card to buy a couple Ipads and sell them for cash. The last time was in January. I can't imagine that would look good, and obviously I don't have them anymore for the creditor to reclaim.

    - A little under a couple years ago I used my Amazon Store CC to buy a macbook for school. Would something like that be considered a non-exempt asset that they would take?

    - Obviously this will have an effect on my credit, but, assuming I continue making payments I'm required to make and I rebuilt my credit, will this severely impact my ability to get an auto loan in the next year or two, or a home loan in say 5 years? I've even read that employers can see that you've declared bankruptcy and are allowed to use that as a reason not to hire....does that happen often?

    - One of my credit cards is with my credit union that I've been with for a very long time and really like, and it's the only one without an insane interest rate. There's around $4k on it, near maxed out. Part of me is wondering if I should leave that one be so that I don't tarnish my relationship with the institution and so that I still have one credit card (there are times when a credit card is just needed for something). Is that stupid?

    If there were another option that wouldn't have such a profound and long-term impact on my credit while reducing my overall payments by a very significant amount then I would definitely consider that, but a total fresh start would be really nice especially considering I won't have any real money for a long while.

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Stop paying everything now that is unsecured. Research how to file Pro Se. It will be easy enough for a case like yours.

    Get a new bank account because your Credit Union will either want that $4k or close your account.

    After at least 90 days, take the pre-bankruptcy course, fill out your paperwork and file it with the court. There will be a fee around $300, but you can get it reduced by filling out more paperwork.

    You can get a credit card shortly after you receive your discharge. It will have high interest and a low balance, but it will allow you to still participate in society.

    Of course your credit will suffer and you will pay more for your next car, but doesn't sound like you have any good alternative.


    Comment


    • #3
      Order the Nolo book "How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy". The Nolo site has it and so does Amazon and other retailers. It's around $30 and will be a big help.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, just put the latest edition of that book on hold at my library.

        Originally posted by youngman View Post
        Stop paying everything now that is unsecured. Research how to file Pro Se. It will be easy enough for a case like yours.

        Get a new bank account because your Credit Union will either want that $4k or close your account.

        After at least 90 days, take the pre-bankruptcy course, fill out your paperwork and file it with the court. There will be a fee around $300, but you can get it reduced by filling out more paperwork.

        You can get a credit card shortly after you receive your discharge. It will have high interest and a low balance, but it will allow you to still participate in society.

        Of course your credit will suffer and you will pay more for your next car, but doesn't sound like you have any good alternative.
        When you say wait at least 90 days to take the pre-bankruptcy course and actually file, why should I wait so long? So would I be looking at a few, maybe several months of having to just grit my teeth and bear endless nasty calls from creditors etc?
        Last edited by dwiscb; 06-12-2017, 09:52 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you made purchases on the CCs within 90 days of filing, the creditors might (key word: MIGHT) object to your filing as fraudulent. You don't HAVE to wait that long, but it's a good idea. If you have a cell phone, set it so that any calls from numbers that aren't in your contact list go to voicemail...you'll never have to hear from a collector that way. (They'll mail you, and eventually perhaps sue, but by then you'll be filing so who cares?)

          As for your 4k credit union credit card, you don't get to pick and choose what debts to file on. It's all or nothing. It will have to be included.

          The iPads you bought and sold probably won't be an issue as far as the creditors go. It doesn't sound like they were "secured" purchases. However, the Trustee will ask you if you have sold any property in the last year or two...you'll have to disclose the sales and show where that money went....not for the benefit of the creditors, but just so the Trustee knows you're not hiding money somewhere.

          As mentioned above, you'll be able to get a credit card once you get your discharge, and an auto loan even earlier if you need it. I got literally dozens of "pre-approved" car loan offers in the mail the week after I filed, and was able to get a $19k loan for a new-to-me 1-year old vehicle 10 days after I filed. The interest rate sucks, of course, but I *needed* a replacement vehicle. My clunker wasn't gonna make it another 90 days. If your timeframe for buying a car is "a year or two" as you said, you should be fine, and, assuming you handle your credit properly post-discharge, you can qualify for an FHA mortgage after 2 years.

          A bankruptcy isn't super likely to affect your employment prospects, unless you're trying to get a gov't or finance job and need a security clearance or something. And even then, as long as you fully disclose everything, you'll most likely be fine. Where people tend to get in trouble is lying on an application and then the employer finding the bankruptcy in a background check. Everyone's situation is a little different, of course, I'm speaking in generalities.

          Also, even if you're sure you're going to file on your own, it doesn't hurt to do a couple free consultations with local attorneys. They can point out potential issues in your case, and some will do payment plans if you feel you need an attorney...but if you're doing chapter 7 they'll insist on you completing the payment plan before filing.
          This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
          Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17

          Comment


          • #6
            Is it more the making purchases with your CCs that would look fishy or making payments to them? I've had very minimal activity on my cards the past couple months in particular anyway, aside from some bills and small grocery purchases here and there.

            Comment


            • #7
              CC purchases within 90 days are for the most part only an issue if they total over $700 (I think I have that amount right) to any creditor and are for the purchase of luxury goods or services. Those are the types of charges that are presumed to be not dischargeable if a creditor files a complaint to have them declared not dischargeable. Regardless of the time and a nature of a charge, a creditor can object to dischargeability of any debt that it believes was incurred fraudulently (i.e., without the intent to pay), but they would have to prove that you fraudulently incurred the debt if it doesn't qualify to be presumed non-dischargeable. The debt would have to be more significant than a few hundred dollars to make it worth a creditor's trouble to file a complaint to determine a debt is not dischargeable.
              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


              • #8
                Stop making payments on your credit cards and use that to hire a BK lawyer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  LadyInTheRed ,

                  CC purchases within 90 days are for the most part only an issue if they total over $700 (I think I have that amount right) to any creditor and are for the purchase of luxury goods or services. Those are the types of charges that are presumed to be not dischargeable if a creditor files a complaint to have them declared not dischargeable. Regardless of the time and a nature of a charge, a creditor can object to dischargeability of any debt that it believes was incurred fraudulently (i.e., without the intent to pay), but they would have to prove that you fraudulently incurred the debt if it doesn't qualify to be presumed non-dischargeable. The debt would have to be more significant than a few hundred dollars to make it worth a creditor's trouble to file a complaint to determine a debt is not dischargeable.

                  Is there a sticky with this info laid out? My family and I are planning on filing chapter 13 in the near future due to our income. We are are getting all our documents, and finances in order. I dont want to do anything to impede our case. The lawyer we are going to use has given us a worksheet to fill out but the 'rules' arent in there. i have been reading through all the fine folks experiences here and you seem to be one of the most informed. Your post have been greatly appreciated.

                  The playbook/rules seem to be very specific around values and amounts. We can spend 400 dollars at 'Sams' (costco) in a single trip. I have 4 kids under the age of 10 and they can hide groceries with the best of them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FatherOf4nSC View Post
                    The playbook/rules seem to be very specific around values and amounts. We can spend 400 dollars at 'Sams' (costco) in a single trip. I have 4 kids under the age of 10 and they can hide groceries with the best of them.
                    Purchasing necessities is not considered a "luxury" purchase. Buying groceries, medical care, gasoline or other items necessary for the health, care and safety of you or your family is not counted.

                    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

                    Unconfigured Ad Widget

                    Collapse
                    Working...
                    X