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Why Are/Have You Filed BK?

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  • Fluctuating income, using CC's for paying bills/mortgage, business expenses and groceries adds up very quickly!
    We now have our income up to wear we can squeak by. We don't have enough for minimums. DMP would increase our monthly payment.
    We are self employed and have zero savings and no retirement plan. We cancelled the useless health insurance that was adding to the CC debt.
    Three kids. No contingency fund. Yikes.
    Money issues create major marital family stress for us.
    We need to get out, start over and breathe again.
    7/27/09 Filed Chapter 7
    9/3/09 341
    11/3/09 Discharge Date


    • The reason we are filing is due to increase in cc payments, loans, childcare, and utilites. Over the past two years everything increased and we can no longer afford to pay the minimal required so now forced into bankruptcy.


      • Originally posted by amjo30 View Post
        The reason we are filing is due to increase in cc payments, loans, childcare, and utilites. Over the past two years everything increased and we can no longer afford to pay the minimal required so now forced into bankruptcy.
        I remember a series one of the nightly news show did before the financial meltdown called the "middle class squeeze". Boy, don't we all feel it now - middle class or not.

        Mine isn't one main reason or another. Credit card debt was always a way of life. I used my VISA/MC to get me thru the last two years of school. I worked my way to a Bachelor's degree. I already lived on my own so my bartending paid for rent, food, car and health insurance and some tuition but it wasn't enough - I remember books being over $1K a semester. In Accounting, the laws change so you can't buy used. I thought the debt was an investment in a good career.

        Graduated in '92 and there were very few accounting jobs due to the S&L scandal at the time. Took entry level at a company and this started me on my path to specializing in corporate accounting - I have no public experience which very often employers treat as being the holy grail - shame they don't realize that my practical experience serves them much better.

        Husband/then boyfriend out of work for a year - could not find another teaching job (music ed) so he switched industries. A few times the rent went on a CC check.

        After marriage, my father stroked out and the insurance company denied, denied, denied. I had to sell his home to pay for nursing home care (PT and OT) and then he came to live with house. This forced us into buying a home long before we planned to.

        2 months after moving in, I became unexpectedly pregnant. I know they say that you're never ready, but we REALLY weren't ready. Laid off while on maternity leave - FMLA doesn't protect you when the position is eliminated. A handful of car accidents, BTW, did you know that to insure two cars in the assigned risk pool in NJ costs over $8,000 a year? We actually moved to PA to escape the car insurance cost.

        Another year of unemployment for me in 2005 and then I fell into the trap of working at a job with a long commute and long hours. I never stopped to realize what the increased tax bracket, nanny costs and gas were doing to me. The job promised me a relocate that was "2 months away", "2 weeks away". I grew tired of chasing that moldy carrot after two years. Meanwhile, we were incurring debt to pay debt. Oh, what a house of cards.

        Finally, I took a job closer to home, better opportunity last year - oops, laid off in August of '08 - no jobs to be had. And the ones that are there are paying $20-$30 K less than they should be. They know it's an employer's market. I can't afford to go back to work without considering the taxes, child care and commute again.

        And to finish me off, I let a friend live here with her daughter room and board free for over two years. This ended in her just moving out one day and leaving me with the car that she WAS paying for but the loan was in my name. Note, the operative word - WAS paying for.

        And here we are!
        over $100K cc debt,$20K taxes,$332K mortgages/value $190K,surrendered
        Confirmed, $801/month 56 down,4 to go


        • A number of things - unforeseen major surgery which I needed immediately...did not have insurance so had to purchase my own with high premiums, on top of credit card debt I already had, on top of a car payment, on top of rent, etc. All of this soon after I relocated.

          As soon as I applied for my own health insurance, I pretty much knew bankruptcy would be in my future but we all do what we have to in order to survive.

          ~Filed 3/31/09~
          ~341 Meeting 4/24/09~


          • Sigh, mine was due to my now ex-wife, who racked up the credit cards and left me out to dry with nothing. Bad judgment and trust on my part, of course, but I still can't believe anyone would do something like this. Anyway, i'm determined to buy a house!


            • $35K in cc debt. Laid off in '07. Fell behind in payments and never really caught up.
              Retained attorney 4/14/09
              Filed 5/29/09 :yahoo:
              341 meeting 7/8/09 DONE! :yahoo::yes2:
              DISCHARGED!!!!!!! 10/16/09 :yahoo::yahoo::yahoo::yahoo::yahoo::yahoo:


              • I voted for excessive credit card. But it is actual a combo of that and long-term unemployment. If I could have gotten a damn job before I ran out of $ than I wouldn't be doing BK. I didn't know that the economy was going to go so sour like this.

                I was laid off from my last "real" job (where I was making good bucks) in mid 2006 but I had lots of $ in my savings and I also had severence and unemployment. So, I wasn't worried about running out of money or not finding another job right away at that time. I was kinda burned out anyhow and I was happy for the break. I took classes towards my Masters and took slower than I normally would for a bit.

                Than last year I still hadn't found a steady real job so I had to do early withdrawal of my 401K. I was trying to let my cash last as long as I could by just making my minimums and paying other bills with my cash and balance transfers and anything I need to buy or pay for I would use my cc's. I honestly thought I would have a job by now so I could catch back up but it didn't happen.

                Right now, I have 3,000 left to my name (the last of my 401K) and I can't get a job while I am filing because my income can't increase so I am stuck with what I have left until the bk is final. I owe 1,197.00 on my federal and 503 on my state which I am doing payment plan for since I can discharge those. This is the first time I have owed anything on my taxes - normally I get alot of money back.

                I couldn't believe how high the vote count was for excessive credit card debt. It really goes to show you how much our modern day society relies on cc's. The culture seems to be built around them. I remember when you couldn't pay for everything with a credit card. Now, that seems to be all people use.

                It took me 20 years to really realize how evil the cc companies are. I will admit there have been times I was very grateful to have the cc's - emergencies and such and I feel that is what they should be used for but we all know how it can spiral out of control. I used to see cc's as a neccessary means for freedom. Now, I see the light. It really can be a big trap.

                But I honestly hope that after this is over that I can live without a cc at all. If I can't and I have one small one, I am insisting on a super small credit line so I won't end up with a super big debt again.
                "I broke, I broke, it's off to Chapter 7 I go"
                1st meeting w/ Lawyer: 4/3/09 * File: 4/30/09 *341: 6/23/09 * Discharged 8/25/09!


                • I hope you are able to get it all sorted out.
                  Retained attorney 4/14/09
                  Filed 5/29/09 :yahoo:
                  341 meeting 7/8/09 DONE! :yahoo::yes2:
                  DISCHARGED!!!!!!! 10/16/09 :yahoo::yahoo::yahoo::yahoo::yahoo::yahoo:


                  • We used our credit cards and an unsecured loan totalling 50k in 2007 thinking it would be short term to rehab 3 condos that we intended to sell . My husband lost his Union Job, tenants lost their jobs and the properties are now worth 35% less than we owe.
                    I have a pension and we started to collect some SS and were hanging on paying erything on time. After paying much more than the min. they raised our interest rates, cut the limits, cut off our home equity lines and I said, scr*w them. I found that we can't file BK without giving up the condos. The lawyer said that the trustee will make us let them go because the rents don't cover the costs. The extra $ that we have to put up each month for the mortgage could be going to the creditors. He said STOP paying any unsecured loans, credit cards and timeshare payments and we will get "offers to settle". In less than 6 weeks we got the first one but had no cash to do so. Our savings are gone but without paying the cards, etc. We will be able to accumulate money to settle. He said because we are "seniors" not to worry about the credit reports. We were in the high 700's now afraid to look.
                    Good luck to all you younger people with families to support. We feel for you.
                    Last edited by nana; 04-20-2009, 07:47 PM. Reason: misspelling


                    • This *@4#%* ECONOMY!

                      Not filed yet, but Dh is in construction. Got an inheritaace, invested in land, then the work just stopped...all of a 2006...while the house was for sale and we had paid for plans to build the next one. He re-invented, kept working a little, but we borrowed against home equity. Now the work has dropped even more...AND WE CAN'T SELL ANYTHING TO REDEEM OUR MISTAKES! I was a SAHM for years and I have no particular career or job skills. I hate myself for that and feel like the biggest waste of air ever on the earth. I don't know how we're gonna even make it after BK if he can't get enough work!!!???


                      • I want to thank the irs in which i never missed a payment on my plan for putting a tax lien on my house. That is my reason. Thanks uncle sam.


                        • Originally posted by Inthestorm View Post
                          Not filed yet, but Dh is in construction. Got an inheritaace, invested in land, then the work just stopped...all of a 2006...while the house was for sale and we had paid for plans to build the next one. He re-invented, kept working a little, but we borrowed against home equity. Now the work has dropped even more...AND WE CAN'T SELL ANYTHING TO REDEEM OUR MISTAKES! I was a SAHM for years and I have no particular career or job skills. I hate myself for that and feel like the biggest waste of air ever on the earth. I don't know how we're gonna even make it after BK if he can't get enough work!!!???
                          Aw, I am so sorry. You seem so sad. You are not alone in this. Everyone on this board is having a crisis like this in some way. You will make it through somehow. You don't always need to have a degree or lots of skills to get job - since you were a SAHM I assume you have experience with children right? That is always something. Lots of SAHM take care of other peoples children at home and make money that way. I have degrees and career experience but no children experience so I couldn't do that ever.

                          I think that the construction field is going to get better esp. if you do any sort of "green" construction. I am looking into a green career myself (not construction) but maybe your DH can learn a few skills for free from somewhere. Obama will be creating lots of green jobs in the future so there will be something in construction surely.

                          I can't sell anything I own either - it is the economy. It isn't our faults. Hang in there with us!

                          There is no hug emoticon or I would send you one. :hug: :hug:
                          "I broke, I broke, it's off to Chapter 7 I go"
                          1st meeting w/ Lawyer: 4/3/09 * File: 4/30/09 *341: 6/23/09 * Discharged 8/25/09!


                          • After reading most of the posts I must admit my story is pure stupidity. I got my first card at freshman orientaion in 1995 ( Still have the sweatshirt to prove it ). I remember it like yesterday, I went out and bought a $150.00 pair of sunglasses the same say. The bill came and after fees I owed $315.00, my 20 hr a week seven dollar an hour job made the minimums rough. I took out some student loans ( which I paid off amazingly ), and the spiral took off from there. I graduated and bought a buisness which paid well when I was 21. Thats when I discovered the joy of the 1099, turns out you have to pay taxes on that big pay check, go figure. A few years go by and I met the woman that would later be my wife. Turns out she hadn't paid on a card since 1996 and was up to her neck in student loans, Just like the free credit report. com commercial. We bought a house in sunny south florida during the boom. And lived there for a couple years before I took a new job in another county. Turns out that we couldn't sell our house because it was depreciating so fast. We were paying big rent in the new town and trying to sail the ship down south. I had a few tennents, mostly old college friends that would rather smoke pot than pay rent. This continued for five years, I just couldn't bring myself to throw those guys out. Meanwhile I was trying to keep up with the jonses in the new town, dinners, golf three times a week, new shiny guitars, and new cars every 10,000 miles. We wanted for nothing, times where good. My credit card limits kept raising, and we kept spending. Pretty soon the mortage on the house was two, three, four months late. I had turned into a monster, I forgot who I was, where I came from, If my dad would of known the mess I was in, he would of personally drive up and knocked the sh*t out of me. My parents raised my brother and I on a peanut butter and jelly budget, and managed to scrape and save enough money just to put us through school, at the expense of their own dreams. The guilt I felt when CW sent the letter of acceleration was miserable. I broke down paying bills one week and finally realized that I was screwed. I put on the stereo and blazed Skynyrd's "Simple Man", I made a couple calls and found a lawyer. In the past six months I have completely changed my life, created a budget, and rediscovered hope. After discharge I will fix my reports, but I am done with credit and payments. In five years or so when I want a another house, I will start to re establish, until then cash is king.


                            • We overspent.

                              We kept it under control for a while. The first big debt was for a direct-sales business that I abandoned.

                              We paid faithfully and when we'd get an ITR we'd apply that to the debt, but it kept growing.

                              Last year we moved from Hawaii to TX (military) and ended up staying in a hotel for a full month. We bought a house (which we love and got a great deal on) but had to purchase appliances.

                              I could see the beginning of the end last year when I begged BoA to lower interest rates (instead they gave us a balance transfer to an MBNA card that had a 0 balance). Rate changes, and balance transfers passing their dates, as well as having a cc tied to our checking for overdraft helped us create a situation where once we paid the ccs there was not enough money for living expenses, so that went on cards. Or, more often, cc overdraft protection.

                              It just kept getting worse and worse. When we got this years ITR we intended to apply it to cc to start a "snowball" but after crunching the numbers I realized there was no way it was going to make even a small difference in our situation.

                              Instead, I saved the money to pay the lawyer and file.

                              The relief we feel already is priceless.
                              Ch 7 Filed: 4/27/09
                              341 Meeting: 6/11/09


                              • I have to add...

                                Previously I would wake up in the middle of the night in a panic over our finances and our future.

                                Now I actually feel optimistic. We know what we did wrong, and how to fix it. Even with Citibank calling every three hours, I feel good. That's what caller ID is for, right!
                                Ch 7 Filed: 4/27/09
                                341 Meeting: 6/11/09


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