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Why Are/Have You Filed BK?

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  • #31
    Why I Filed

    Girlfreind was unexpectedly pregnant. Still spent like I was single. Started to support her, her daughter and get ready for my son. I didn't slow down my spending and she also had to use her credit cards for living exspenses and moving 3 times to different states. Very unwise decisions and imaturity. I've learned my lesson and will never go into debt again. We are married and Filed Jointly, discharge was in Jan 05


    • #32
      Excessive medical bills for baby boy, and a 'dead beat' ex who refuses to pay his court ordered 50% of these bills. What a life!!!


      • #33
        CC and pure stupidness

        Couple of reasons, the best being pure stupidness. Was in a relationship with a guy with a spending problem, racked up about 50K in debt - 30K of which I took since I called off the wedding (co-signer on most of it).

        3 years later he paid off his now is coming after me for 1/2 of what he paid.

        Student loans have taken up the majority of my income that doesn't go to everyday expenses and entry level job in the degree that I got only pays about $25K.

        Finally - I'm at rock bottom. Didn't have heat on all winter (and I live in WI) because I couldn't afford it, don't buy food because all my money goes to debt. I just want to start over with a clean slate.


        • #34
          too much credit card debt. then when that got too high, i started getting cash advances to pay off the other credit cards. the cycle got worse. by the time i filed, i had wracked up more than 100k in credit card debt. i was never going to pay that off.


          • #35
            I guess I would have to pick all four reasons in the poll. My credit issues began during my first marriage almost ten years ago. We moved to a different state together right after we got married and bought a house--both the move and the down payment were pretty much financed with credit cards in my name (x-Husband didn't have any credit). Then the house needed a bunch of repairs, all of which went on my credit cards. Then x-H left, and good riddance really, but while he was still around and was supposed to have been keeping on top of the bill-paying, it turns out he hadn't been. My cards were months behind and had been raised to 25% interest. The banks would not work with me on lowering the interest. I had started going to college by that point and did not have much of an income so I just tried to keep my head above water best I could. I would make the minimum payments, largely through my student loan money, and when home or car repairs would come up I'd charge them. I always paid on time, and whenever I would get near the limit on a card the limit would be raised--I never asked for this, it would just happen. Meanwhile my payments never touched the principle because the interest rates were so high. By the time I was a senior I had about $35K in available credit, even though I only earned about $7/hour at a coffee shop! I wasn't maxed out, tho--at that point I think the total I owed was around $25K. And I can't claim I never wasted a single penny, but at the same time there was sort of a psychological effect to those high limits--I thought they wouldn't be offering me all that credit if they didn't think I could pay it back. I was about to graduate and sure I would get a great job and it would be no problem. I still had good credit so I opened a couple new accounts to take advantage of promotional offers for balance transfers.

            Meanwhile I had remarried to a man with a good income so everything looked pretty rosy. We decided to have a baby. We spent that first year we were married, before our baby arrived, paying around $1000/month or more to my cards. We knew we would pay less once we had the baby but we had such a great head start that it seemed like it would all work out. We made a LOT of progress paying it down, and the banks responded by raising my limits even MORE, sending me convenience checks multiple times per month, basically BEGGING me to transfer balances back to cards I had zero-ed out, etc. And we maybe overspent a little on things for the baby--it just seemed like everything was going great. Our combined income was $90K/year, it seemed like we ought to be able to afford a nice stroller. We were planning to move across the state, so we sold the tiny house we were in and started renting a bigger place. Then husband's car died right before the baby was born and we had to replace it, so then in addition to the bigger housing cost, we now had a car payment we hadn't anticipated. We weren't able to send much more than the minimums to the cards at that point, but the balances were all at 5% or lower, so we weren't too would all work out.

            Husband was laid off right after our son was born...and then things really began to snowball. I went right back to work but my salary was only $30K. We would pay the minimums to conserve our cash--then use the cards to buy groceries or other things. I also had medical complications from the pregnancy/birth that even with insurance had high deductibles and co-pays, nearly $5K total. Our landlord wanted to sell the house so we needed to move again, and that's always expensive. Our credit was a little less rosy by that point--it showed high balances and some late payments so the new landlord wanted two months' rent as a security deposit. What to do but write him a big check and put all our other bills that month on the cards. Oh, and our nice low interest rates had gone up to 25% and even 29%, because of some late payments. We were making minimum payments of about $1200/month which weren't even touching the principle. We did that for almost 2 years...when I add it all up it makes me feel sick. I feel like we have PAID and PAID and PAID. I am DONE. For at least a year now we have refused to put even groceries on the cards, and somehow we've scraped by--family help, selling things on eBay, etc. This past month I had to decide whether I was going to pay the cards, or pay for groceries, housing, and daycare. I have to say I think food and shelter come first. We went to see a financial counselor who told us "the math doesn't work" and that our family's immediate needs should come first and to stop throwing our money away on the debt ($48K at this point). It was such a relief to hear we are not bad people for being in this situation. I wish we would have done this a few years would have saved a lot of stress, but on the other hand we had no idea how much worse things could get, and at the time we may not have even qualified for BK 7 anyway.


            Divorce/Separation - check
            Long-Term Unemployment - check
            Excessive Credit Debt - check
            Excessive Medical Bills - check

            What we have going in our favor is we are still fairly young, able-bodied, and can recover. We can start using our earnings to pay for what our family needs and to save for education and retirement. We can even have another child. We had been feeling like we couldn't have a second child until our debt was taken care of, which looked like it was going to take ten years or longer...I'm 31 now, my fertility would probably be gone by then. I think that honestly broke my heart more than anything else.
            Last edited by wednesday; 08-26-2005, 09:28 AM.


            • #36
              How about a little of all of the above?

              Was working 2 jobs, then had a car accident that put me in the hospital for 3 weeks and another month of rehab before I could go back to my full time job, but could only work 30 hours a week, and another 2 months before I could return to full time hours at my full time job and pick up again the part time hours at my part time job. (The accident happened while I was working on my part time job, so did draw worker's comp benefits at 70% of my part time pay.)

              Later that year, lost my full time job. Didn't find another right away, and when I did, it was a much lower pay. The settlement from the worker's comp case covered living expenses, etc.

              Mixed in with that, there were some bad choices and good intentions along the way also...
              Most of my information is from personal experience or HOURS and HOURS of online research. When you're searching online, keep in mind there is no guarantee that the info is completely up to date, and your situation is unique from anyone else's. Do your homework, and consult with an attorney so you can make an informed decision.


              • #37
                My father was ill for a long time. Supported him, mother, 2 kids, my college. Change in residence that was unexpected. Inflation. Married someone from another state - 2 places to upkeep. DOwnsized as much as we could. Old car and storm damage that wasn't totally covered by insurance and medical bills. Guess that pretty much sums it up. (also, it was easy to justify using charge cards, especially when the minimum payments don't seem that much)
                I'll be watching, you may never know when or how, but I'll be there. I am there now....


                • #38
                  Well where do I start. All comes down to a nutshell. In December 2001, was a bright college student who got pregnant in my Junior Year of College with my then boyfriend, now husband. Had excellent credit and 10 credit cards all with no lates, no nothing. In August 2002 had my daughter. I stayed home with her and finished my degree. Was unable to find a job after the first six weeks (my job laid me off while I was out on maternity leave, not supposed to do but what could I say). Ended up being out of work for 10 months, and basically was unable to pay the bills. Had ten credit cards, and had to support my family so we paid the bare essentials and never looked back. Since 2002 haven't touched a credit card, and have not added to the debt, just never paid what we had racked up until that point. So now finally, here it is 2005, my daughter just turned three and I thought in March of this year I would try to work things out with a couple creditors (had tried this previously and they just couldn't understand why I couldn't pay the full balances on my bills, or at least half, go figure , so I did pay down two of my credit cards, but then the rest of them got wind of it, and they all started suing me thinking that I had money to pay them. After the second lawsuit was filed, that is when I filed bankruptcy pro se. Finally three years later I will be discharging approximately $20,000 credit card debt. I have $16,000 in student loans through Sallie Mae which I know are not dischargeable but I am currently in forebearance on them, and I also have a car payment that I will reaffirm.
                  Filed 08/04/05
                  341 09/14/05


                  • #39
                    Why I will file

                    Here is my story: Got married in 2000, my hubby did not have a green card so I applied for him to receive one. This meant attorney fees which ofcourse, I paid. Because of his legal status, he could not find stable employment so I frequently footed all the bills sometimes resorted to my credit cards when times got tough. Green card got denied in 2002 due to previous immigration problems (deportations), so we appealed (I was still paying attorney fees, rent, etc., etc.). 2003 we received final denial. Hubby got depressed due to green card denial, our relationship deteriorated, I left him 2004, divorce was final 2005, now I'm stuck with $30,000 in credit card debts all in my name. I only make about $26,000 a year. Tried to get ex to help me pay since he helped me incur the debt but he refused!

                    To top things off, I have been dating a wonderful man for a year now and I just found out I'm pregnant! I'm very happy about my baby but I'm not sure what the future will bring. My baby's daddy also has a lot of debt. I feel the only way out for me is to file for Chapter 7.
                    My BK Status:
                    10/12/2005 Chapter 7 petition on file w/ BK court
                    11/17/2005 341 Hearing (Done)
                    1/17/2006 Deadline for Objections (Scheduled)


                    • #40
                      Mine is because of a few things. My debt over the last couple years has been getting worse and athough I had been paying on time it was getting to the point to where I couldn't do that anymore. Mainly my debt was because of a lot of stupid purchases and alot of situations where I needed credit (like my truck going into the shop).

                      But what really put the nail in the coffin so to speak is a group of people and I got sued back in July for copywright infringement by a record company for some music cd's I sold on ebay (long story, but basically the distributer that sold them to me knew they were fakes, I didn't and I got caught in the middle of it). The record company wants 75k for a settlement and since I can't afford to pay that let alone fly to New York for the court date and my rising debt I decided to file. Even if I had the cash to fight it, I would probably still lose considering how deep the pockets of the record industry are .

                      It was a hard descision; ya I could have not filed and let the lawsuit go through but with just the thought of some record company getting a garnishment from me for the next few years just makes me sick to my stomach.
                      Last edited by theurge; 09-28-2005, 06:20 PM.
                      Filed: 10/3/05
                      341: 11/15/05
                      Discharge: 1/14/06


                      • #41
                        Ours was a medical catastrophie(self inflicted). Husband spent 4 months in the trauma center and the rehab center. Because it was self inflicted we could not get disability, social security, etc. Went to work full time and husband went back to work full time but by then it had become a robbing Peter and paying Paul scenario. On top of that IRS zapped us for taxes we should have paid 3 years prior. Then husband's insurance company refused to pay for his food which he had to have for his stomach tube - that was $600-$900 just for the food. So, we finally cried uncle and filed. It was painful and embarrassing, but we like the rest of you guys, simply had no choice. We tried for 3 years to juggle everything and do the "right thing." We even worked 2 jobs. Ironically our attorney told us we should have filed right after my husbands medical situation.


                        • #42
                          I had an emergency medical situation last year that resulted in 3 separate weeks in the hospital, at least 4 E/R visits, umpteen tests and procedures, and ultimately, major surgery.

                          We didn't have insurance (DH's job of 11+ years had ended (not his fault), and we couldn't afford to keep coverage under COBRA). DH was trying to find another job, with insurance, when my emergency happened. We were both healthy other than me having a bad knee (unrelated), and figured we'd be okay for just a few months. But what happened couldn't have been anticipated nor avoided. Just rotten luck and rotten timing, I guess.

                          We did qualify for state assistance on part of the bills, but nowhere near all.

                          Although we did have some credit card debt, a truck payment (only 3 payments left at the time), and a mortgage, we were doing great until I got sick. We'd never been late on a payment or anything. Excellent credit. But with the medical bills, there was just no way.

                          So, as bad as we hated to, we filed bankruptcy. I paid minimum payments on all the household bills, and sent all the medical bills some small amount each month, up until the day the lawyer specifically told us to stop paying them. That felt really strange, not paying my bills. We were on food stamps for a time, because we literally couldn't buy groceries. We had some friends and family who helped out, too. It was humbling and rather embarrassing, but we didn't have any choice.

                          But we've made a fresh start. DH found an excellent job, which is a miracle in this area of the country, making almost the same money as he was at his previous job. Yippee! We have insurance out the wazoo. The truck is paid for. We were able (by the skin of our teeth) to keep the house. And although there have been a few snags along the way (had to have a root canal before the dental insurance kicked in - ouch!), we're almost there. I think we'll actually have a Christmas this year!

                          We still haven't attempted to get any type of a loan or credit card in order to rebuild our credit. I still cringe at the thought.

                          Although we hated to do it, filing bankruptcy ended the stress and protected what little property we have. Now I wish we could've filed sooner, but I needed to make sure my medical problem was resolved (it was).
                          Last edited by Annika; 09-29-2005, 04:19 AM. Reason: "bills" only has one "s"
                          Filed Chapter 7 (Medical Bills) - 12/16/04
                          341 Meeting - 1/28/05 | Discharged - 3/31/05 | Case Closed, No Assets - 7/5/05
                          Update 2/15/11 - Still totally debt-free except for the mortgage, which we're paying down quickly!


                          • #43
                            I am new to the boards, filed bk7 no assets on 9/02. 341 meeting in on 10/28, I guess they are busy in Missouri. I filed for various reasons, excessive credit card debt, loss of income due to 2 hip replacements last year and the unfortunate habit of gambling (although not in quite some time). I used my cc for everyday stuff, instead of having cash in hand. Have used cash only since filing. Finding that money over debit or credit cards cuts down on the Monopoly money factor.

                            I am learning so much from reading here everyday and since I still have such a long time to wait for 341 am not too nervous just yet. Did have the barfy feeling when I filed.

                            Such a great place to obtain support for this stressful event.


                            • #44

                              Got out of control with CC debt a few years ago. Borrowed equity to pay off CC debt. Was okay until my previous employer began cutting hours and I lost income. Was really hard to make ends meet. Then, a lot of medical cam e up (surgery, birth of child and then another surgery) and it was overwhelming. No equity left in property and credit pretty much shot. Got tired of stressing over who would get paid this month and who wouldn't.

                              Starting over and looking forward to making a new beginning.
                              Bankruptcy History:
                              Chapter 7 filed - 10/12/2005 - Asset
                              Discharged - 02/16/2006
                              Case Closed - 11/08/2007

                              A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain ~ Mark Twain

                              All suggestions are based on personal experience and research and SHOULD NOT be construed as legal advice as I am NOT an attorney. Always consult with competent counsel in your area with regards to your particular situation.


                              • #45
                                I picked credit card debt, but it's both job and bills. My wife and I were both out of work for about five months during the SoCal grocery strike of 2003/2004. We couldn't catch up are bills. Right before the strike I was on CCCS for about two months, but couldn't make the payment any more, it was either make the payment or put a roof over are heads.


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