I really need some advice on bankruptcy and I didn't know where else to go, so I hope that some of you good people can come to my aid.
I'm 21 years old, I've been on my own since I was 16, and the past two years have been, for a lack of better words, rough. I live in Indiana, and I have a student loan that I am behind on (but if I could get my other dept taken care of, I believe that I could catch up on it), I had to have a very serious surgery and I now have a medical bill of $17,000, and I am trying to catch up on a payday loan. I work full time, make minimum wage, and pay my rent, electric bill, and phone bill every month, and use what is left for food. I do not have internet, cable, or anything like that, and I own next to nothing. I have a futon, my mattress, a couple tables, the TV I grew up with, books, and the same clothes I've had since I was 18. I looked into bankruptcy (I am still researching as well), and I think that I need to file Chapter 7, but I can't afford it. I know that there are people out there who are worse off than I am, I really do, but I'm scared, I'm broke, I'm on my own, and I don't know what to do. If anyone has any advice....thank you.
I'm sorry to hear how rough things are.
I'm not sure I completely understand, you have student debt you could catch back up on if you could take care of your other debt. Do you owe debts besides the $17,000.00 medical bill?
You are what is known as "judgment proof" because nobody can force you to pay anything right now, because you don't have anything. I doubt they could garnish your minimum wage job. So focus on your health and developing skills to get a better job / career.
Your major debts (student loan and medical) should be able to be dealt with at least to get some time to get on your feet.
Assuming it's a Federal Student Loan (not private) I thought you can get a period of forbearance, and a payment based on your income. Is it in collections or still with the lender?
Talk to the hospital and other medical providers. When you show them you just don't have the money they should have programs that forgive much of the debt. They also may be able to help you get Medicaid retroactively which is the only way they'll see money.
Take some deep breaths, you can always file Chapter 7 but you may be able to work things out without that.
IMHO, one of the biggest reasons one files for BK, besides the obvious one of getting their financial house in order; is to garner some symblance of "peice of mind". For me that was a HUGE relief. I mean words cannot describe how my life literally changed over night when I filed. It was incredible. My only regret is that I didn't do it a year earlier!!!! I put that last sentence in bold because I tried all of the things the 2nd poster suggested to you. I did not want to be "one of those people" who filed for BK. I tried everything in the book and did all of the things that your supposed to do; developed and followed strict budgets, went out and got another job, cut back on all of the extra expenses. Heck I even sold my house via short sale and let the bank repo my truck that I was totally upside down in. Now I'm not going to say that I wasn't 100% to blame for getting myself into the situation in the first place, but I busted my but trying to work my way out of it. At the end of it all, I had convinced myself that I had just ran a marathon and things would get better. Little did I know, I had only ran a 5k. The letters still showed up saying I owed the deficiency of 17k on my truck. The difference between what I owed on my house to what I sold it for was reported as income to the IRS (Almost 80k) and I now owed taxes on it. Oh and all of my credit cards where still there racking up interest to the tune of 30%. And you really want to know the worst part of it all was my student loan debt. I had put them into forebarrance multiple times over the years trying to stay afloat and by the time it was all said and done, I owed an amount equal to what I owed in 2006!!! So I was basically 4 years behind in paying them off. I think it is a HUGE mistake to put any student loan into forebarrance. You can NEVER get rid of it and the interest continues to accrue regardless of your situation.
This is just one mans opinion here, but if your even seriously considering BK then your probably a perfect candidate for it. Go talk to an attorney. Most of them offer a free consultaition. The fee to file is $300 if your eligable for a Ch 7. Having the weight of that debt off of your mind would then allow you to truly focus on your health and future. Good luck to you my friend.......