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Old 01-25-2016, 04:50 AM
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Bankruptcy

xAH has not paid his share of joint credit card debt since the initial temporary decree. As a result, my credit is destroyed.

I've called the credit card companies and they're not concerned about whose responsibility any of the debt is... So at the advice of a bankruptcy attorney, I stopped making my half of the payments two months ago and she advised me to file for bankruptcy as that way I could at least hope at some point to get my credit back on track...

I have always paid bills on time, budgeted, cut expenses when needed etc... and it is killing me to think about filing bankruptcy and basically say "hey, Im too irresponsible to be able to pay this off so help me"...

It's making me feel so crummy to have to be considering doing this.. But I just don't know what else I have for options.

So... I wondered if anyone else had been in this position and what your experience was...

The bankruptcy lawyer has been very nice and assures me this isn't the end of the world, but it feels a lot bigger to me than I think she realizes...
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:15 AM
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Well, filing for bankruptcy isn't something to be done lightly, but these kinds of situations are basically what it's there for. It's to help the person who finds herself in a situation not anticipated (job loss, illness, divorce) at the time the debt was incurred, to wipe it out and start with a clean slate. Even though the prospect feels disastrous right now, it will get you started back on the right road to getting your finances back in order. I read a lot of credit boards, and from what I understand, even though the bankruptcy stays on your credit report for a long time (7 years, if I remember right), your credit score will start improving again way before that time.

I think your lawyer, if she's been doing bankruptcy work for a long time, DOES understand what a big deal it is for you. She's there to help you, though, not to give you emotional support.

Only you can decide, but if it were me, I think I'd look toward getting things cleared up sooner rather than later and go for it.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:43 AM
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It's just infuriating you've been put in this position by someone else, but I guess the only alternative is to pay off his half, which is worse.
At least when you start again you're in control, and don't ever let that go. All the best.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:57 AM
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WTBH, I have no experience to offer, just wanted to send some emotional support. I am the daughter of bankrupt dairy farmers, spent my childhood wearing donated clothing, my mother shopped several towns away so everyone wouldn't know we were getting food stamps, etc. Paying bills on time, having money in the bank and knowing my credit is good are HUGE things to me, too--like you, I'd have a tough, tough time w/filing bankruptcy.

I'm sure your lawyer and those here who have firsthand knowledge are right in their assessment of the situation. I just want you to know there is someone who really gets your feelings about the filing, even if it IS the most sensible course and will eventually be gone from your record.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:07 AM
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I am paying his half of our joint student loans and that is something that will not go away as they're not dischargeable... I basically am paying for his multiple trips to grad school to figure out his life...

So, I can't find a way to pay his share of the credit card debt too (debt he ran up alone) so I guess I have no other option but to do this...

I had such good credit for so long and financial responsiblity was/is so important to me and so this upsets me so much
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:20 AM
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I have never filed, but many have told me that while it seems like a huge deal, the actual process is not that huge of a thing and not as complicated as many think.

Many, many hugs to you.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:49 AM
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Hey WTBH in my former career I worked in the Bankruptcy and Foreclosure field so I will offer you my advice.

BR for most people feels like a failure. I hope that you will change your outlook on this because the Chapter Laws exist to assist people, not to condemn them. Unfortunately so many I saw and dealt with involved divorce, and failure on a former spouse to meet their obligations as set forth in the divorce decree. A divorce Judgment will not supersede a contract - if the cards are in both your names joint liability will trump the decree and the Credit companies could care less. They will come after you, him or anyone that they can. You state that these are his charges - were the cards in both your names? If so, and the debt amount is too high for you to pay then yes I would go the route of Ch 7 (not a 13). Have you attempted to negotiate with the companies for a lower balance, 0% interest, removal of fees and such with 12 - 24 month payout.

While you may think this will destroy your credit its not true. If you are carrying a high debt ratio, and just paying off minimum balance on maxed out cards your credit rating is in the toilet already. Missing payments as instructed by your attorney is further lowering your credit rating (though wise advice if it was pay them or pay rent). I have seen people who filed bankruptcy, and their credit rating went UP (not common but it does happen). The worst thing you could do in not be able to pay beyond minimums and continue to hold out that paying a little is better than filing BR. Making min payments will never payoff the cards and your credit rating will stay in the Sh!tter the entire time.

The truth is someone who has filed Ch 7 becomes a more secure credit risk in the future as you won't be able to file again for many years. Most of the time after a filing people receive offers from car dealerships within weeks/months to finance, as well as credit card companies. 2 years from the date of you BR filing you can be considered buy a home........its simply not the end of the world, rather getting rid of stress and a step forward in a positive direction. The best thing to do is to apply for a secured credit card after filing and start rebuilding that credit. It does not take long.

If the cards are not in your name as well then I am wondering why you are paying for them? Also why are you paying half of his student loans? Was this in your divorce decree?

One last piece of advice....if you BR don't hold ANYTHING out to pay off. I have seen people do this as well. I think its because it makes them feel better about it, or perhaps they got a loan based on a personal relationship and feel bad. Don't do that. If you are going to do it CLEAN THE SLATE.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:25 AM
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redatlanta-

THANK you so much for the info....

to answer some of the questions... the student loans were consolidated into both our names when we got married. they can not be unconsolidated, ever. ive spent hours and hours on the phone with sallie mae and the consolidation choice was a poor, stupid one.

so the collection student loan debt is in both our names. that's why im paying his share too because otherwise im at risk of defaulting too-- consolidating loans together was so stupid... i had very few loans, he had tons, and it was a horrid mistake to do that on my part.

i own my home (i have a mortgage) so ive been worried about BR because i don't want it to impact my ability to keep my house... i had been looking at ch 13 because of that vs. ch 7...

again, thank you so much for your post... it makes me feel somewhat less terrible about this inevitable choice i have to make...
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:41 AM
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wanttobehealthy.......over the years, I don't think that the stigma of BR is what it once was, to many people.

The world has changed.....during the last recession....millions that thought that they never would, did the BR route.

If you google "celebrities who have filed BR"....I think you will be surprised!

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Old 01-25-2016, 08:12 AM
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You did your part. You WERE responsible. You DID pay your bills.

He didn't.

Sometimes we just step in a hole we had no part in digging.

Be kind to yourself.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I am paying his half of our joint student loans and that is something that will not go away as they're not dischargeable... I basically am paying for his multiple trips to grad school to figure out his life...

So, I can't find a way to pay his share of the credit card debt too (debt he ran up alone) so I guess I have no other option but to do this...

I had such good credit for so long and financial responsiblity was/is so important to me and so this upsets me so much
Joint student loans? Nothing is in his name at all? Tough call.

Although I know people whose credit rebounded fairly quick, especially if you keep paying the other stuff on time. I never had to declare but was always told when rebuilding your credit first thing to do is get a small department store type credit card and take 3-6 months to pay off a 100 dollar debt to show you can make payments on time.

For what's it worth I've seen people try to "help" people financially and the help they gave just prolonged bad habits. Paying his debts for him won't do you or him good. Some people need to be slapped in the face with reality. I hope they come after him for something & force him into bankruptcy.

Peace
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
redatlanta-

THANK you so much for the info....

to answer some of the questions... the student loans were consolidated into both our names when we got married. they can not be unconsolidated, ever. ive spent hours and hours on the phone with sallie mae and the consolidation choice was a poor, stupid one.

so the collection student loan debt is in both our names. that's why im paying his share too because otherwise im at risk of defaulting too-- consolidating loans together was so stupid... i had very few loans, he had tons, and it was a horrid mistake to do that on my part.

i own my home (i have a mortgage) so ive been worried about BR because i don't want it to impact my ability to keep my house... i had been looking at ch 13 because of that vs. ch 7...

again, thank you so much for your post... it makes me feel somewhat less terrible about this inevitable choice i have to make...
If you are current on your mortgage you most likely can keep the house without issue. A problem might arise if you had significant equity in the home, and significant debt you were trying to discharge. Additionally, IF you have a second mortgage on that house that is dischargeable in Ch 7. My hope would be that you rolled the student loan debt into a second , but it doesn't sound like it.

You have an attorney and they are the best to advise what you can and can't keep. I don't want to totally get your hopes up because there might be some reason why you couldn't keep the house, but I doubt it IF you are current on the mortgage. While in BR you also might look at modifying your loan if you are paying a higher interest rate. Your atty can answer every question about what is best for you.


Ch 13 has its merits but 9/10 times I would push for a 7. When you are already struggling I say just get rid of it. You'll have a 60 month payout with a 13 and yes you may be reducing the monthly costs, but its still the same amount. I would advise only going for 13 if its the difference between keeping the house and not and yo want to keep it AND can afford the additional payment under 13..

Do you have any remedy under the Divorce decree to file for contempt for his failure to make payments? Were you both ordered to pay x amount?
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:52 AM
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My wife and I filed for bankruptcy at the end of our drinking career. Only a couple years later, I have a moderate credit score and a credit card with a limit high enough to allow me to travel and, well, the interest rate is 22.9% but I am not carrying a balance.

I was amazed at how quickly we recovered from bankruptcy (of course, as long as we aren't drinking...)
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