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Don't know where to turn to first........Desperate......

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  • Don't know where to turn to first........Desperate......

    I hope this site is a Godsend because we need information. If it's OK, I'll give some background on our situation. I am a compulsive shopper/spender. I am 52 years old and have been married to my husband for 10 years. I ran up credit cards again, 10K, and my husband found out. I've done this before so he wasn't mad, just disappointed. Last time, he used some of the money from his recently deceased mother to pay off the bills. I know, I feel like cr*p, trust me. This time, he said if I don't start and complete some intense counseling, he's leaving. I really do want help and I'm not going to lose my husband. He's a great guy, loves my kids, and provides for us. I don't expect him to pay my bills, so I'm considering filing bankruptcy.

    Here's my situation.

    -About 55K in credit card debt.
    -I just retired this month. I live in Ohio
    -Moving to Florida to take care of my elderly parents
    -House in Ohio is only in my name. Owned for 12 years, FHA. It might be worth the balance owed.
    -My husband has elected to leave his position in Ohio and move. He bought a house last June that is in his name only.
    -Our income will be soon to be 50% of what it was last month. We will make about 70K combined.
    -He has very little credit card debt in his name. His credit is excellent. We don't have any joint accounts. We married later in life.

    What are my options for bk/foreclosure? All I really have is a car that's worth 7K with 3K owed, retirement/pension account and a house that really has no equity. I DON'T want my husband harmed in anyway. He didn't cause any of this. I have an appointment to talk with an attorney next week. I just wanted to get some thoughts on this from the smart people on this board. I feel so embarrassed and ashamed I'm even writing this, but I'm at my wits end. I feel I'm a horrible person, but I do want to change. I can't live like this anymore!!!!! Thank you for any advice...

  • #2
    I guess I should of added that my mortgage payment is 1050 if that matters.


    • #3
      I can't give you much info for your particular situation. But I can tell you I am at the end of finishing a chapter 7. My situations I different because I a single, but I can tell you that someone will come along on this board and be able to answer your questions. But I can tell you that I had a lot of anxiety going into this process, it was a very hard decision to make, and at first I was morally opposed to even thinking about it. It is definitely a last resort decision. But being almost to the end I can say that it hasn't been near as stressful and I thought it would be. I have written about my entire experience on here, maybe you can find it and possible feel better. The important thing is getting some help for your addiction and saving your marriage. So just take a breath and start the process, it won't be painless, but in my experience it is a lot less painful than worrying about paying my bills.


      • #4
        Thank you!!! I will search for your story. I too have the same morality issues and would never tell my parents as they would look at me as a complete failure in life. Sad thing is, my father, when he worked, worked in a field that dealt with many businesses that went under, usually because of some sort of fraud or other "illegal" activity and would say, "oh well, the law is the law, they can get out of paying their debts". He doesn't hold the same thoughts for people who are in trouble. I know, hypocritical.


        • #5
          My dad passed away in 2006, and he would have felt the same way. I think it is just a generational frame of mind. I think you can find my post by clicking on my name and it will show you all of my posts from beginning to end. After you see an attorney he will put your mind at rest, or mine did anyway. It is a great idea to see about 2 or 3 before making a decision on which one you trust. I went with a attorney that had a small practice and I liked that because I felt that I got much more one on one service. The big "bankruptcy mills" are a bad idea in my opinion because they do so many and from what I understand you very seldom got to speak with the attorney you usually speak with the paralegals. If I can help you in any way please let me know.


          • #6
            Oh my God, thank you! I'll PM you after I get to meet a few attorneys. It's nice to know there are still people nice enough to offer help to others!!


            • #7
              you are welcome


              • #8
                Don't even feel bad about considering BK. Big and small companies do it all the time to reorganize and set themselves up for future success. Even for us who are individuals can look at it as a business decision, and we should. I am willing to bet your biggest cause of tension is the lack of knowledge. Once the expectations and possibilities are put on the table for you that will diminish some.
                Your retirement account won't be touched. Unfortunately household income is considered on the means test that will point you to a ch7 or ch13. So look up your areas median income and lets hope your household income is bellow that so you can file the ch7. The value of your car may be higher than the allowance and may require you pay the difference. If you are not interested in keeping the house consider a short sale.

                Every case is unique and an attorney in your area will be your best bet.

                I am sure more educated folks than I will come on shortly to offer their thoughts.
                11/23/'10-filed ch 13. 1/6/'11-341, confirmed. Below median. Plan completed 11/30/2015. DISSCHARGED 4/4/2016.JP


                • #9
                  That's going to be my first question, income. If I filed now, am I correct that they would use my income for the last 6 months? My pension is considerably less. My husband's income will drop to 35-40 from 72K. It probably looks like we'll have to wait 6 months, but I'll ask the attorney. Thanks!! No, I'm not interested in the house, we are moving. Should I ask them if they would accept a short sale or just let it get wrapped into a BK and let it go?


                  • #10
                    Once you retire the calculations would be forward looking, so there should be no wait time or seasoning needed. That rule changes a few years back.

                    I would get with the attorney on a short sale vs other options.
                    11/23/'10-filed ch 13. 1/6/'11-341, confirmed. Below median. Plan completed 11/30/2015. DISSCHARGED 4/4/2016.JP


                    • #11
                      Thanks. I have an appointment on the 6th of this month. The same day as my appointment with a counselor for my issues with money. Thank you again.


                      • #12
                        Hi Marley, welcome to the BK Board!

                        The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows you to file for BK on your own without having to involve your husband. You do not have to file jointly. If the debt you want have discharged through BK is all yours and not his, that may be a way to go. My wife and I filed jointly filed Ch 13 BK because she had a lot of debt in her name and we had past due amounts on our house we both co-signed for as well as past due tax arrearages (we both jointly file our taxes) However, check with an attorney to see if all aspects of your situation make filing on your own feasible and possible.

                        You said in your original post that your husband bought a house. Is that in Florida or in OH (or somewhere else?) Curious why he would buy a house on his own. Are you currently behind on your mortgage for your house in OH?

                        Shame, guilt and other feelings of inadequacy are all part of getting over your head in debt and seeking a solution to debt relief. Don't let any of that influence your decision to file BK. Remember that bankruptcy is is long standing legally-protected process to achieve debt relief through Federal law. Plus the forgiveness of debt is provided for in the Bible (Deuteronomy 15: 1-3 and other places in the Old Testament), so feel free to inform the sanctimonious and judgmental people in your life of that fact, if you should ever tell them that you want to file BK. Your creditors took a risk in lending to you, a risk that is all part of the debt game that they play with millions of people. People who you encounter on this board will tell you that filing BK was a good and sound decision and the regret comes in not filing sooner! My path to a Ch 13 filing a year ago was running up credit card and other unsecured debt, plus some bad decision making on my part to mitigate that debt. Good luck to you and what you decide to do.
                        Last edited by switch625; 01-01-2015, 05:42 PM.
                        Filed Ch 13 Fall 2013, 60 month plan


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by spidge View Post
                          Once you retire the calculations would be forward looking, so there should be no wait time or seasoning needed. That rule changes a few years back.
                          Schedules I and J are forward looking, but the means test uses income in the 6 months prior to filing. It sounds like Marley01 probably will want to wait to file, but she may not have to wait a full 6 months if the average income falls enogh before that.

                          Welcome tobkforum, Marley01. Don't be ashamed. You are working to put your mistakes behind you and repair the damage. You deserve a fresh start.
                          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


                          • #14
                            Thank you guys Switch625, to answer your question about the house my husband bought. After his mother past, he had some money to put 20% down on a modest house. He got the mortgage in his name. He has been aware of my spending issues and has always maintained that we keep our accounts separate. We knew we would be moving to Florida to take care of my parents and he found a fantastic deal on that house. No, I am not behind in my mortgage payments, but the treading water is starting to catch up to me. My house here in Ohio is in a not so nice area and it is probably a couple thousand dollars underwater and needs some repairs. I've been researching something called strategic default combined with a BK. More questions for the attorney. Thank you for everyone support. IAM trying to change....


                            • #15
                              You can let an underwater house go in chapter 7. If you don't have the money to pay the mortgage just stop paying it, along with any other unsecured debt. It will take 6 months to a year at a minimum to foreclose. It's really better if you are in the house for as long as possible even if you are not paying the mortgage, because it leaves it less of a target for vandalism. Keep the maintenance on the house up, pay the HOA fees, if applicable, and you're actually doing the bank a favor if it's going to eventually foreclose anyway. If you don't end up qualifying for chapter 7, you might need a different strategy; not sure.

                              Good luck with your counseling and your move.


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