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Is Post-BK13 Life Ever "As If It Never Happened"?

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    Is Post-BK13 Life Ever "As If It Never Happened"?

    I'm curious if other BK13 discharged "survivors" feel as if their lives are truly the same as they were before bankruptcy began or if everything changed and will never be the same again.
    As the once ubiquitous tv commercial promises (after a fire or flood, or other home calamity,) "As if it never happened!" do you feel once your case discharged and closed that your life returned to the same pace and place it once occupied and you totally forgot what those five years were like, or do you sometimes feel a certain unease and fret for what the future might negatively hold?
    My life without BK13 is 120+% better but I feel much changed by the many adverse experiences we endured and believe you can never go home again to the same naivete and innocence the BK13 wrested from you and that going forward you simply will never look at financial situations as optimistically again. I also think once you have been bankrupt, it is a million times easier and more likely that you will have to file again. Hence, so many repeat "offenders", LOL!

    When the Chapter 13 drops off after 7 years, you could be in the 800s. That's 100% achievable but it depends on your post-Chapter 13 behaviors.

    I stay in the 740-780 range, and that's mostly because of a new car, house, and my relatively young credit profile (AAoA of 3 years 4 months, even though oldest account is 11 years old).
    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

    Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.


      Speaking strictly for myself, things are way better after the bankruptcy fell off my record than at pretty much any time for the last 20+ years.
      Latent car nut.


        I am not surprised at your purely analytical perspectives, justbroke and shipo because you have both rebuilt your credit with awesome skill and cunning at lightning speed and are both truly the BK Forums Super-Gurus!
        I think I was referring more to the emotional or spiritual renewal after 5 difficult years at the very least.
        Financially, we have rebounded splendidly - so far - with two highly recommended, low mileage used cars, one owed outright, the other financed with a decent, post-Bk13 auto loan(which we are still planning to pay off probably next year, since we don't want to pay interest for 6 more years) , which is rebuilding our credit rapidly, one high-limit CC and a few other CC offers, most with a little too high APR but still viable choices "should we choose to accept them" (LOL), but simply not necessary to our everyday lifestyle, in spite of needing to buy ceiling fans, portable air conditioners, etc. to make our new rental home comfortable as well as being obliged to break a lease and pay double rent for the present.
        I do find that I less able to pretend bad experiences never happened than most people and fear the old adage, "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."
        My goal is live 100% within our means and never use CCs that cannot be paid off in one billing cycle, except in those instances, where the card offers 0% interest on new purchases (as our current one offers for the next few months.) We availed ourselves of this to purchase a very high-end mattress for us (a Caspar) to alleviate many body aches our previous no name brand (purchased with much trepidation during the BK13 in 2019 using precious severance money because we feared the trustee would demand full accounting.) The old mattress was visibly sagging, settling and was too squishy to offer much firm support, so we decided to splurge during the recent holiday sales.
        It will be interesting to see how our post-BK credit rebranding goes over the next 18 months and beyond, when our faux pas should disappear from our credit reports.
        Last edited by Barbisi; 09-18-2022, 11:59 PM.


          In my case, I was definitely speaking from the perspectives of emotional, spiritual, financial, and pretty much every other "*al" out there. Considering I'd gone from a very comfortable family life, living in a nice home in a very nice area, driving nice cars, and generally living large, to being separated, living in a small caretaker apartment on a working horse farm, which required me to get up really early, get the horses fed and out to pasture, clean up the barn (including the stalls where I calculate I cleared at least a million pounds of horse poop), and driving an old car on it's last legs, to where I am now, yeah, my life is way-WAY better in literally every respect.
          Latent car nut.


            Things are definitely BETTER by an unmeasurable amount. I don't think things will ever be the same. In our case everything is better.

            Prior to even considering BK we had financial problems that we tried to get out of and would have success and then have other situations causing us to fall back. Over several years we couldn't get out from under it and were making a decent income but having not much to show for it and money going to bills. We would get one step ahead and then 2 or 3 or more steps behind. Then the realization of Chapter 13. Living through the Chapter 13 was less stressful than the debt but was by no means easy. There was underlying stress "what if we lose a job, etc" but that was easy enough to keep at bay. There was a light at the end of the tunnel that the debt would be gone and we could move on.

            It's nice not to have to scrutinize every stupid little purchase. I am not talking big items, but should I spend $10 or $20? I don't need to shop at different stores to get the best prices for the budget. No savings, no home repairs, and so on.

            It's great having a full paycheck now instead of paying off creditors before and during BK. It's nice to decide how to spend our money. We can decide what to buy or what not to buy and there's a certain amount of peace knowing I can choose to buy something or not.

            It would be interesting to see the demographics of who goes bankrupt a second time.

            I always wondered if it's easier to do once you have a Chapter 7 because compared to the 13 I experienced I always felt 7 would be easier since there's no payback. Especially if you don't have property. The 5 yrs in Chapter 13 are difficult to manage and almost punishing at times since we pay back at least a portion or as in our case 100% back. Yes, we have a higher income than those in Chapter 7 and theoretically can afford it. But having to wait to get that needed car or having a leaking toilet, even if it was clear water, draining into the basement and the stress if it was going to ruin the floor boards before you have money to fix the leak. Plumbing can be a few hundred or a few thousands and what do you do if you don't have money up front. And the car when you know you need new tires and it's risking as the snow comes, but you don't have the cash to get tires.

            Having to live through the Chapter 13 it makes me not want to go back there.

            Maybe it's the reason one finds themselves bankrupt. Ours was basically loss of income and then mismanagement of money not a terrible event like medical expenses we couldn't afford. There's a part of me that wonders or even thinks we could have avoided it whereas something totally out of your control it might feel different.

            Age might have something to do with it as well. We are older and there's really no time for another BK. I guess there could be time, but not 20-30 yrs. like a younger person who went BK in their 20's.

            I am not an expert. I just share my experiences in the Wonderful Wacky World of Chapter 13! Filed 3-30-18 Confirmed 7-11-18 Discharged 6-8-22


              I had forgotten both of your pre-BK13 and during- BK13 horror stories, shipo and Carmella - thanks for reminding me!
              I don't think I could have survived your caretaker gig, shipo ,especially the part involving the horses and their upkeep - you definitely have remarkable stamina and fortitude! Luckily, I never have been separated from my husband. Of course, I do remember the part about driving an old car until the wheels nearly fell off, LOL!
              And, yes Carmella, I'm right there with you about scrutinizing every little purchase: just yesterday, I caught myself looking for a discount I really don't need to obsess over and realized , hey, I can pay full price! And I recall your really scary Halloween auto accident that required a used car acquisition presided over by the trustee and your many Swords of Damocles home repair issues (i.e., the garage roof, the dryer (?), etc.). We had only one of those: the creaking 30-year-old furnace that just managed to barely survive the BK13 before the investor buyer finally put the poor thing out of its misery, LOL!
              I believe I am dealing with the emotional fallout from finally getting financial freedom back and the accompanying opportunity to make the same mistakes (i.e., purchasing the wrong house and spending ill-advised money to fix it up!)
              That is why I am dead set against buying another house for the foreseeable future - I don't want to repeat the past.
              Last edited by Barbisi; 09-19-2022, 12:18 PM.


                Barbisi I think when you and Zombie13 decide to purchase a home you will be very selective, have a good down payment and make sound choices! I think you will be almost too cautious looking for problems and definitely not signing up for any ad ons that the former owner is passing along (solar panels).
                I am not an expert. I just share my experiences in the Wonderful Wacky World of Chapter 13! Filed 3-30-18 Confirmed 7-11-18 Discharged 6-8-22


                  Carmella yes, definitely. We look at our current rental and say, yeah, we wouldn't buy it due to this and that. For a rental? Heck yeah it's great! And no stress with the carpet and yard. But it needs a refresh all around... but hey, not our money, not our problem!


                    Yes Carmella , buying another disaster fixer-upper is just not on our docket. We can spot them miles away, LOL!
                    And as Zombie13 noted above, while our current rental is a striking throwback to a bygone era with its gold faucets, tile bathroom countertops, Tiffany -style hanging lamps, two elegant and massive built-in curio cabinets, dance floor disco ball and crystal chandeliers etc., it will cost a fortune to remodel and update. So far, the 20+ year old fixtures are in excellent condition and that is due to the quality materials and products used: the neighbors told us the late homeowner only wanted the very best and didn't stint on the price. She never included air-conditioning, real windows which open with attached screens however, so that fell to us to survive the frequently hot summer days (sometimes over ninety) by installing our own ceiling fans and temporarily installing two portable air conditioners.
                    Whenever the land developer/landlord does sell this house, he will have no choice but to install whole house AC, replace the many huge but only decorative picture windows with modern working windows with screens, and remove the gargantuan built-in, non-working, drained "party" jacuzzi hot tub taking up a large portion of the downstairs recreation room (which once undoubtably housed pool tables and the like.)
                    He has hinted he may gut the entire basement floor which includes a small live entertainment dance floor and carpeted stage, fire log with fireplace and wood mantle, a semi- soundproofed radio room, which should be perfect for VO recording with its heavy wood door, a wet bar with glass shelves and built-in cabinets and room for a small refrigerator/ wine cooler/ freezer, a small kitchenette with sink, stove and electric burners, a fridge and cabinets, a full 3/4 bath, a small bedroom and adjoining closet and a very large storage room with lots of shelves.
                    So, for a reasonably priced and spacious rental, we couldn't have found a much better fit! The five piece MB (double sinks, mini-jacuzzi tub/shower, etc.) is still very attractive and comfortable and everything works well that we need, but as a long-term investment, it would be a floundering fixer-upper for us: We simply don't have the investor big-bucks to totally modernize this gem of a home the way it will become necessary in a few years (i.e. total kitchen and bathrooms remodels, window, flooring, and HVAC upgrades, etc.)
                    For a millionaire with plenty of $$$$$ to spare this would be a "bargain" second in the country -style home.
                    I'm grateful we can recognize catastrophes in the making before we fall in the vat of financial ruin again!


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