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Starting the process, making me physically ill

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    Starting the process, making me physically ill

    Hello all,

    I am just starting the process of filing Chapter 7 (so I don't know a lot of the terms you guys use yet). But even just now, it's making me sick to have to do. It's not the filing that is bothering me so much. ALL of my creditors are paid on time. I never miss payments. BUT I also have to keep financing things (like tires for my car and a furnace recently) because the payments leave me with NO disposable income. Last night is when my husband and I made the final decision to file (We've already met with a lawyer). So now I know that I am no longer supposed to pay my lenders other than mortgage, car payments and that furnace (since it's new). The idea of missing those payments is causing me HUGE amounts of anxiety. The idea of missing those payments and still feeling now relief for a couple months while we pay the lawyer instead is also making me ill. This whole process is really. Can anyone make me feel better about this? I KNOW we will eventually feel the relief and I'm sure it will be worth it at that point, but in the meantime, there is none (and on top of all of that, my father is in another state dying of cancer - that is not helping). The last couple nights I've been up in the middle of the night just sick with it all.

    I should probably give details too. My husband and I have almost $40,000 in credit card debt. Roughly another $5000 in medical debt. I personally have $86,000 in student loans (I know those are not dischargeable - just giving facts). We have a home which is valued basically at what we owe on it, no real equity - $115,000. We have two car payments. Both cars are valued below what we owe on them. Together, my husband and I make around $100,000 a year (in illinios). We have two children living in the house and he pays $7592 in support each year for another.


      Hi nicole97

      I know it's an awful gut wrenching experience to make the decision and then follow through with it. I know this because my husband and I went through it.

      There's a matter of acceptance and realizing you made some mistakes or had some bad events happen that were out of your control or a little of each. RIGHT NOW you NEED to do what will HELP make it better.

      Please believe me when I say it will most likely--or maybe I should just say things WILL only get worse if you don't do something about it now.

      We tried to fix our debt problem ourselves, but since we had no savings we always had to charge repairs for the house, for the car, for child related expenses, etc. The debt continued to grow, we'd start to get ahead and then would have a set back, over and over it happened.

      You are stuck under the debt and making a plan to get out from under it and the key is to learn how to stay out of debt after bankruptcy so it will not happen again.

      Try to look at the future in a positive, think about how much income you have and your expenses, plan a budget for the future and see that you will be ahead. Bankruptcy is available to help you get out of a bad situation and move forward. You going through Chapter 7 which means your debt will be gone and you can start right away getting a budget and moving forward. We have Chapter 13 with 5 yrs of payments which makes the day to day hard because we have less of our income available for immediate needs and savings.

      Once it's all said and done you will have a relief like you won't believe!


        Hi Nicole97, I just found this forum and yours was the first post I read. I joined so I could reply to you. I am preparing to file Chapter 7 as well, I am in my late fifties, have a low income (under 20,000) with 13,000 in credit card debt and 56,000 in student loans from the mid-1980s, the student loan amount is almost all interest, penalties and fees. I have done a lot of research on discharging student loans in bankruptcy and the most helpful and informative thing I found online was this report of a study done on bankruptcy filings and student loan discharges: An Empirical Assessment of Student Loan Discharges and the Undue Hardship Standard

        The author looked at bankruptcy filings by individuals who had student loans, and discovered that because people have been told that student loans are non-dischargeable, they don't even attempt to include them in their filing. He said only about 1% of people with student loans who file for bankruptcy include them and that when they do, the student loans are treated like any other debt. The catch is that you have to file separate paperwork called an "adversary proceeding". I am still learning about this but my understanding is that you include the student loans in your list of debts, and then the trustee dismisses them (doesn't discharge them), and then you file the separate proceeding which is a complaint to contest the decision to not discharge, and you make a case for "undue hardship" which isn't impossible to prove and I think it's getting easier.

        I haven't read the student loan section of this forum yet. I am sure this is all discussed at length. Of course you may not qualify for a discharge on the basis of undue hardship but it is worth looking into and that paper above is a good place to start. Best wishes to you.


          I am not an expert, but my understanding from reading, mostly at this forum, that student loans are not dischargeable unless it's an extreme circumstance like becoming disabled and unable to work. Check with the attorney, of course, but since it's only 1% who include it makes me think it's not an easy thing to do. My understanding for student loan payments is that they will work with you for smaller payments or deferring, but you will still accrue more interest.


            Hi Nicole, I sympathize with you. I know the feeling. Things will get worse before it gets better. Eyes on the prize.

            Acceptance of circumstances beyond our control will help too. Please be at peace with the decision your family made. Things will get better in no time.

            The community here has been a tremendous help while I deal with my bk issues years ago.

            Take care


              Thank you all, so much! It is very gut wrenching, though I am starting to make a little peace with it. As mentioned, we are always in a position where we think Oh well we can fix it ourselves, no problem, just keep chipping away. But then, something happens and that little chip is gone and we start all over. It's frustrating and I have definitely learned many lessons along the way. I only hope it goes smoothly and we can feel the relief soon. It's all taking its toll for sure!


                I had no late payments prior to filing. Once I met with lawyer, he told me same, stop paying credit cards. But he filed fast and no payments were more than 30 days late so no late payments showed on credit report prior to filing, which I think helped keep my score up through the process and after. I was nervous about not making payments that first time too, but honestly if felt great. Don't sweat it though!

                If you do have any payments to creditors within 90 days all that will happen or could happen is the trustee can recoup the payments from the creditors and redistribute them "equally" to all creditors. They started to do that with mine, but it was discharged and converted back to no asset. When you are talking $4,000 for 90 days of payments on $500,000 total debt including mortgage it's not really that much to be re-distributed among all creditors. Had they followed through it would have only helped me as the credit card payments would have been re-distributed among all debts including the mortgage and auto that I kept. I have read many of stories that said no-asset cases were converted to asset cases only to be converted back to no-asset cases in the end for this reason. When you are only talking about minimum credit card payments, it's not worth the time, money, and effort on anyone's part to go through that process.
                Last edited by vet2019; 12-04-2019, 05:42 AM.


                  I just want to say I completely understand what you're feeling. It is gut-wrenching. It's already a foregone conclusion for me. I will need to hire an attorney in the very near future and begin this process too. It's a nerve-wracking experience because so much about the process is an unknown, as a newbie to the scene. And just like other big life changes it's more than just the 'event' itself. It's all the emotions and feelings and struggles that generate as by-products.

                  For me, in going thru bankruptcy, I would imagine it will be a lot like the divorce I went thru a few years ago. The 'event' itself was bad enough. It was all the other things that came out of that 'event' that ripped a massive hole thru my soul.

                  It's hard to let go. A few years ago I had a credit score of 813. I don't check it anymore but I reckon it's closer to 613 now. When I inevitably miss my first payment, likely within the next 8 weeks, that'll plunge things further into the abyss. I'm running a massive deficit every month and so my fate is sealed. I don't want to think about missing payments because that's just not me.... I don't even know how to process that right now.

                  I was judged harshly for my divorce. Where I come from, a divorce auto fast tracks you 'downstairs'. You're just condemned. You're a failure. Now I'm staring down bankruptcy. I will do my best to keep it a private battle, unlike the situation was for my divorce. With that said, it will be hard (make that seemingly impossible) to avoid the wrath of self-condemnation on that. The last few years have been rough. Yes there were a few things I could've done better (and I will learn from that) but I've also had a number of terrible things happen too, that I certainly didn't ask for... here's to a brighter future for all of us!!


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