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Filed Today: Thoughts and Feedback

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  • Filed Today: Thoughts and Feedback

    I just returned from filing my Chapter 7 and first want to thank this amazing community for their help. While I never posted a question here and just found this place a few days ago, it saved me from some mistakes such as listing the student loans incorrectly. It also helped as a last-minute review of all my paperwork. Now, here are some thoughts I felt compelled to share for others in my position:

    1. I filed Ch 7 after seriously contemplating this action. I did not take this lightly. I'm $35k in debt to old bills I accrued after being unemployed for a very long time and as a single mother with no child support. I also have a $104k in student loan debt. All of this financial mess has led me to a severe depression and I have been so unhappy for too long.

    2. I made a plan of action as to how I would fix my relationship with money over the next year and wrote out the steps in an excel spreadsheet. Everything from my budget every month to when I would get a secured credit card to my savings plan. This also includes checking my credit report every 3 months and taking action on anything that requires my attention.

    3. Doing this without an attorney was difficult but not impossible. I'm a pretty easy case as I literally have nothing to my name. No car, no property, and $5 in the bank. Having said that, I got away with a $5 Chapter 7. I filed the fee waiver, got the credit counseling cert for $5 and downloaded all the forms from the DOJ from my home printer. Ok, so the ink was $12 I got my credit reports for free by signing up at Identity Guard with a 30 day free trial too!

    4. Check and double check and triple check your forms. If you have any questions, come to this forum and they will be answered in a simple search. Use your living room floor to put every paper out in the open in logical order and leave it there for a couple of days. By doing that I caught some mistakes like leaving off a couple of old debts.

    5. Make sure you go farther than your credit report in hunting down bills and write off ALL your bills. Get out of your cell phone contract and go to an MVNO (bankruptcy will get you out of your contract AND relieve the early termination fee). Put your utilities on there and give yourself a couple of months of breathing room.

    6. Save yourself some ink and money by not making copies of your case when you file. You can go into Pacer and save your case as a PDF. My clerk provided me a copy of the sheet that has my 341 date and time along with the Trustee name.

    7. I'm filing to get my student loans discharged. I graduated in 2007 after getting into Berkeley while raising my kids alone with almost no support system. Then, the damn economy goes to hell a year later. I got a History degree. I used loans to keep food on the table thinking that my bachelors would lift me up in my career. Honestly, I'm a bit regretful of going to college when I probably could have worked just as hard in a career while making money the whole time. But I'm here today with massive debt and while it probably won't get discharged I'm going to try by filing an Adversary Proceeding. I literally have nothing to lose in doing it and a lot to gain in knowledge. Just try!

    8. Take care of yourself. Go for a run, do bodyweight exercises, eat well, get sleep (yeah, that's not easy). You are not defined by this so don't let it kill you.

    Final thoughts: Don't wait so long. Do it before you feel so overwhelmed that self-harming thoughts start to enter your mind. Be grateful for the new start.

    I'll update here as my case progresses. For now, 12/19 is my 341 hearing and I couldn't ask for a better Christmas present!

  • #2
    Welcome to the Forum Mzbridget!

    Thank you for this excellent post and thought out suggestions and steps to take while preparing your paperwork. This will work for those filing with an attorney as well.

    Good luck with your 341 and Merry Christmas, and Happy new Year!
    "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

    "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi, good job. Just wanted to mention, although you seem to be very thorough and probably know this, student loans aren't usually dischargeable. You have to prove hardship, and I believe there are additional forms for this. I'm not an expert, so I don't know the exact procedure, but I'm sure someone here does if you need any help.

      I wish you the best.

      Comment


      • #4
        Pjmax: Oh yes, SLs probably won't discharge but I'm going to try. They require a separate lawsuit in an Adversary Proceeding. I have a pretty big hardship where my income is low enough and the debt high enough that I may be able to plead my case. I've also had a long bout of unemployment and 1 kid off to college in 2 years. Again, why not try and fail than not even try, right?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mzbridget View Post
          Again, why not try and fail than not even try, right?
          You are right about that. You have a 50/50 chance i.e., the answer is either "Yes" or "No". If you DON"T try, the answer is always 100% "No".
          "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

          "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

          Comment


          • #6
            What's a MVNO? Is that some kind of government-subsidized phone service?

            Comment


            • #7
              It stands for "Mobile Virtual Network Operator". They are no-contract carriers that piggy back on the larger networks. I use Ting and stand to save over $130/month on 3 phones combined. But there are others. Lifehacker just wrote an article about them.

              Comment


              • #8
                I filed a day after you. My 341 is set for Dec 23. I can't wait to get to that day and get passed it.
                Filed 11/14/13 ____FICO 515
                341 12/23/13 ____FICO 545
                Discharged 03/03/2014

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mzbridget View Post
                  I just returned from filing my Chapter 7 and first want to thank this amazing community for their help...

                  7. I'm filing to get my student loans discharged. I graduated in 2007 after getting into Berkeley while raising my kids alone with almost no support system. Then, the damn economy goes to hell a year later. I got a History degree. I used loans to keep food on the table thinking that my bachelors would lift me up in my career. Honestly, I'm a bit regretful of going to college when I probably could have worked just as hard in a career while making money the whole time. But I'm here today with massive debt and while it probably won't get discharged I'm going to try by filing an Adversary Proceeding. I literally have nothing to lose in doing it and a lot to gain in knowledge. Just try!
                  So how did that go? Did you get them discharged or forgiven?

                  MIGirl

                  Comment

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