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Member
helplesslydrowning
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎05-20-2009

Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

Hello everyone. I apologize in adavance for the long post. I used to be on these boards a few years ago. I actually had gotten my credit score up over 600 which was my goal at the time! I was so proud of myself. Then things went to crap. I'm back down to low 500's again. I'll give some background.

 

We were renting an apartment that raised the rent almost $100 a month every year when we resigned our lease. For 2 years we were on a waiting list for a better place. Bigger, and cheaper rent. Well we got a call a little over 2 years ago that we were finally next on the waiting list, but we only had 2 weeks to get in! We had no money to move. Our car was almost paid off. Well we borrowed against our car loan to get some money for a security deposit, first month's rent, moving expenses, and money to break our previous lease. It worked out. At that time I also qualified for credit cards, so I used that for expenses like furniture and bills. And we had no issues paying those on time. Our credit was looking great.

 

Then we had issues with a very large heating bill and things went downhill from there. We got pretty much caught up on those. I was on maternity leave and I had to be out longer than normal so I got a few paychecks that were about $200 for two weeks. There was no way we could live off that. So we took out payday loans. (Bad idea I know!!)  We paid those off. But ever since then, we've been trying to play catch up on all of our other bills. We usually end up with our account being negative after every pay. Then we have to wait 2 weeks for money. For instance I get paid Friday. I will not have breakfast or lunch until then. I got enough food for dinner for us each night (my kids have breakfast and lunch at school).

 

We do not qualify for assistance because we "make too much". We do not take home a lot at all. Okay sorry for the novel. I feel we are just in way over our heads and I do not know what else to do. We have no family to help.

 

My husband has more than half of his bad debts being removed from his credit report in 2013. I am not sure whether to file jointly or just file alone. We also have no money for an attorney yet we do not qualify for free legal help. We cannot afford to file bankruptcy! Is that crazy?  Also we have another year to pay off our car, though we are hoping if we get a tax refund this year that we could pay it off with that and maybe we will not have to file. Does anyone have any ideas?

Frequent Contributor
bostonte
Posts: 252
Registered: ‎10-04-2009

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

What debts are you paying on that you expect to be discharged in the bankruptcy? I mean specifically ones that you are really paying, not bad debt that you are unable to pay at this moment.

 

Filing doesn't help if the problem is more lack of income than excess debt.

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Senior Contributor
laz98
Posts: 4,291
Registered: ‎09-06-2008

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

It sounds like you are struggling, but exactly how much debt do you have?  It may not be in your best interest to file at all, if you don't have a significant amount of debt.  You kept saying that you got caught up, so what is it (besides your regular everyday budget) that you are behind on?  If you give some more detail, people might be able to  give you better advice.

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Member
helplesslydrowning
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎05-20-2009

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

Sorry if my post was not clear. Based on what you all are saying maybe it is better for me not to file. I have a LOT of things in collections that I cannot pay on. I would love to, but I cannot. What I meant about getting caught up were my everyday bills. My rent is fine, I put that money first before any other bills. I am behind on daycare, a little behind on my car, and behind on my electric. Those right now are the only bills we really have. I get a discount on my cable/internet/phone because I work for the company. I had been trying to refinance my car but at this point, would it just be better to pay it off if I get a tax refund? I have to see how much I have left on it to pay off, but because our credit was bad our interest rate for our car has been 24% for the whole time we have had it. If I was to refinance it I know it would cut it in half but because of our credit score no one will refinance with us. Which I understand. Maybe I posted this in the wrong section. Our bills are more than our income at the moment.

 

I am sorry if this is rambling, I am multi-tasking. If I left any information out please let me know.

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grassfeeder
Posts: 333
Registered: ‎03-01-2012

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

you really need to outline your debts here.  how much and to whom it is owed - then include your income.  we could better understand your position.  it may be possible for you to negoiate settlements if the debt is low enough.  we won't know till you tell us.

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Senior Contributor
laz98
Posts: 4,291
Registered: ‎09-06-2008

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns


helplesslydrowning wrote:

Sorry if my post was not clear. Based on what you all are saying maybe it is better for me not to file. I have a LOT of things in collections that I cannot pay on. I would love to, but I cannot. What I meant about getting caught up were my everyday bills. My rent is fine, I put that money first before any other bills. I am behind on daycare, a little behind on my car, and behind on my electric. Those right now are the only bills we really have. I get a discount on my cable/internet/phone because I work for the company. I had been trying to refinance my car but at this point, would it just be better to pay it off if I get a tax refund? I have to see how much I have left on it to pay off, but because our credit was bad our interest rate for our car has been 24% for the whole time we have had it. If I was to refinance it I know it would cut it in half but because of our credit score no one will refinance with us. Which I understand. Maybe I posted this in the wrong section. Our bills are more than our income at the moment.


Bankruptcy won't help you with your everyday bills.  Do you have a budget in place?

 

Yes, I would recommend just paying off the car so that you can use that money on things like childcare.  You mentioned you are already behind on it, so you may as well pay it off to get it off your back.  I agree that your chances of refinancing are probably pretty slim.

 

Sounds like you just need to cut your expenses.  Perhaps cut cable altogether.  I don't know what other expenses you might have that could be cut out or reduced.

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wallyworld123
Posts: 455
Registered: ‎01-04-2012

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

bankruptcy is not the problem  there is no balance.I would suggest a part time job at least 2 days a week. if u have a cell and a land line thats a bad idea. you need to cut back possibly whatever u can cable is a want not a need. U may want to establish your needs verses your wants. I am not sure how much u are paying in rent but if heat is additional that can be a big problem because that bill can be just as high. Best of luck to u in this trying time.

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webhopper
Posts: 7,230
Registered: ‎09-16-2011

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns


wallyworld123 wrote:

bankruptcy is not the problem  there is no balance.I would suggest a part time job at least 2 days a week. if u have a cell and a land line thats a bad idea. you need to cut back possibly whatever u can cable is a want not a need. U may want to establish your needs verses your wants. I am not sure how much u are paying in rent but if heat is additional that can be a big problem because that bill can be just as high. Best of luck to u in this trying time.


Look at babysitting other people's kids, selling stuff on Craigslist.

 

I think you went wrong when you went for the Bigger Apartment even though you couldn't afford to move...   Call your utility company and ask about levelized billing, if they offer it.  Or ask if you can sign up for a hardship program.

 

Sorry to say, but everything that is in collections will have to wait until you have a small emergency fund.


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Member
helplesslydrowning
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎05-20-2009

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

Sorry for the late reply everyone. It's been a hectic week. I really do not have any bills I can cut. And like I said I work for the cable company so my bill for cable internet and phone is next to nothing. Less than $10. Plus I have 2 asthmatic children so I cannot be without a phone. And I feel we made the right choice in moving, if we had not moved our rent would be over $250 more per month than what we are paying now. Our issue started with that large heating bill. And we were on a payment plan but our power company switched hands and they took us out of our payment arrangement. We are back on one now, but it is more than double what it was to start off with. But based on all of your responses I agree bankruptcy is not the answer. If either my husband or I get another job that money would mainly be going to whoever would watch our kids. We do not work the same shift right now, they overlap somewhat so we pay for daycare for those very few hours. so there really is no good financial way to do that. I have been trying to sell things on Craigslist. I am going to keep working on that. I haven't had much luck sadly. A lot of people trying to scam me though. Now I have to put cash only on all my postings. I am hoping that when we get our income taxes we can pay some things off and get back on track. Thank you for your help everyone.

New Member
Royzo
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎12-03-2012

Re: Considering Bankruptcy with Concerns

  If you can read instructions you can file your bankruptcy pro se (without an attorney) and also file a moption to waive the fees.  If your income is under the poverty guidelines you will not have to pay the fees.  I just filed my own bankruptcy with no problems.  It was discharged in October.


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