34 answers

Desperate for Financial Help

I am at rock bottom. My husband came to me today and wants to file for bankrupcy because of a 2 month unemployment and years of financial mistakes. I am desperate to talk to someone who has been through this process and can give me some insight into what to expect or alternatives to talk my husband out of this. Please help!

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I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and ideas that I have received. Thank you to everyone who took the time during thier day to write to me and help me feel that I am not alone.

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Research on line. You may have to have a lawyer and they can give you the pro and cons which are many. Free budget help is available - call Legal Services.
If you are interested in a home based business email me at ____@____.com H. H

If you can avoid filing bancruptcy, I would. My sister did this several years ago and has stuggled ever since to build her credit back up No one seems to trust her financially and won't give her another chance.

If you work at a pre-school you probably have a little bit of free time in the evenings and in the summer. Have you thought about a part time job that has full time income potential? I am a mother of 4 wonderful children that keep me very busy and am a Unit Manager for lia sophia jewelry. This company has helped me tremendously with finances for my busy growing family. As an advisor just starting out you can make an extra $1,000 or more per month working just 2 nights per week. It't easy to do since the jewelry sells itself and the start up cost is pretty inexpensive, I may even be able to work with you on it. If you would like more information visit my website: www.liasophia.com/carinkleekamp
Good luck!
C.

More Answers

Hi,

It not to late to get a book by Dave Ramsey called Total Money Make Over. He also, has a radio show and will be in Kansas City on May 2, 2008. There are churches all over the Kansas City area that host his classes called Financial Peace University...http://www.daveramsey.com/

I would also like to invite you to take a look at my opportunity that you can earn extra income around your present jobs. Call this number (3 min message) 1-866-852-0631 #51. If you would like to get more information I will call you back.

http://pamp.tellmethestory.com

1 mom found this helpful

A.,
Hubby should work at Lowes or a place like that for now until he gets one in his field. Look into the "Financial Peace" program. My neighbors did it and they have been sticking to the program for 9 months now and they are reducing their debt Big Time! Also, contact a credit counselor because they can really help you. They are meant to help people in your exact situation. Try to avoid Bankuptcy as much as possible. You need to be responsible for your own debt even if it hurts for a 'little while' - You will come out on top! I bet every one of these girls answering your question is praying for you. I am and I hope you reach your goal and find youself in a comfortable place, financially, in no time. Remember, It might hurt for a 'little while', but soon the weight will be lifted off your shoulders and you'll come out much smarter. No one has ever regretted strapping down to pay off bills but many have regretted bankruptcy. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Can't wait to hear what you plan to do - remember, it's Your Life and Your Descision, we're just putting in our two cents. Good Luck!
C.

1 mom found this helpful

Call and get a credit report from each agency for both you and your husband. They are free. Figure out who you owe money to and how much you owe each person.

Call each creditor and make a deal with them. Tell them you want to pay them back. Ask them to lower your interest rate and try to pay as much as you can each month. If there are too many different people you owe, talk to the bank to see if you can get all the loans consolidated into one bill with a low interest rate...because you are probably a credit risk, don't expect it to be too low....maybe if you'd get a cosigner it might drop a little.

Live within your means ...which is very hard in this society. Yeah, it sucks to shop at Aldi or Save A Lot...wouldn't we all love to shop at Whole Foods and Straubs? But cutting corners in places in which you shop frequently helps the most.

Try not to buy anything new and sell old stuff that's been laying around on craigslist.org . If you need something newer try to do a swap on craigslist.

Pinch your pennies at school. I know it's hard to say no to the soda machine but bring a cup and fill it with water or drink the coffee that they have in the lounge. Don't even shop the dollar menu at McDonalds....bring your own lunch etc......It's hard but it can be done. Once all debt is paid off continue living that way.

I'm a stay at home mom of 2 children. My husband did not work for most of the first year of our second child as he was in and out of the hospital. Even with medical bills, we were able to live off our savings account by living cheap. We didn't do food stamps or welfare or gov't assistance. Though, I tried talking my husband into it, but he said he's home by choice and didn't feel right taking a 'handout'.

Take the kids to the park, the zoo, etc....bring a sack lunch and have a picnic. Other free things around the St. Louis area....

1 mom found this helpful

A.,
I would suggest avoiding bankrupcy if at all possible! It will maybe give you relief at first, but will follow you for years to come!! I understand how you feel as we have been in your situation. My husband and I have been married for 30 years and have made some horrible financial decisions, but now we are very close to being debt free (except for our mortgage). It can be done! It takes a lot of hard work and most creditors will work with you if they know your situation.
Go to DaveRamsey.com. He has incredible advise on how to get out of debt and stay out of debt. You can also hear him at 1310 AM on the radio @ 2:00 in the afternoon.
Hope this helps you! God Bless! ~J.

1 mom found this helpful

I've heard good things about Dave Ramsey, too, but a book that I got that I thought was incredible was "Debt-Proof Your Marriage: How to Achieve Financial Harmony" by Mary Hunt. The reason I liked this book so much is because the author was something like $100,000 in debt which she initially hid from her husband and they managed to work their way back from enormous debt and save their marriage. It's an amazing story, but at the same time, logical and easy to follow. It seems incredible, but also very doable. Best of luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

There are a few different types of bankruptcies - and I would encourage you to look into it. Chapter 13 is more like a debt consolidation program - and may be a good solution. I know several people in similar situations, (my best friend, my husband's best friend) who took this option and their credit ratings actually improved while still in the program. It's not as scary a process as you think, and I know it helped them out. Think of it as a 5 to 7 year plan to getting yourself "fixed" financially. Chapter 11 does not require that you give up of all your assets and such (that is Chapter 7), it just takes all your debt and compiles it and then you use whatever your income is to pay the debts off - you pay only what you can pay, and your debtors have to accept that... They get a little rather than nothing at all - and you still get to keep all your stuff...

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry to hear about your financial situation. I had to go through a bankruptcy less than 2 years ago after a divorce of 23 years. I was in the situation because my ex took care of financials and was supporting someone else, while living a double life. It was after the "revelation" that I found out our financial situation was bad. This all took place in Georgia. I now live in Missouri. I have to tell you that it is scary when you file bankruptcy, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I thought my credit would be totally ruined. Since then I have been able to rent a really nice duplex, even with the bad credit. And I was approved for a visa credit card...which I am using wisely. So it can be a scary proposition and some may give you different advice, but if you have to file, trust me, things could be alot worse.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister filed for bankruptcy a few years ago & discovered afterwords that most of her debts (student loans etc) were exempt from bankruptcy forgiveness so all it did was put a huge black mark on her credit so it wasn't possible for her to buy a house, but it didn't actually get rid of her debts.

My credit is bad enough that many people thought I "should" file for bankruptcy but I just haven't. I think refusing to file bankruptcy was the right decision. I haven't been able to pay off all of my debts but after 7 years many debts will "drop off" your credit report. That's not guaranteed though - sometimes creditors will renew past the 7 years or will continue collections attempts.

Just keep trying to pay things off a little at a time, or make something a higher priority when you get a letter saying it's getting reported to "legal". You want to avoid having any "judgements" hit your credit report. Most companies will be happy to get some kind of payment even if it's small. If you send something in every month they'll usually leave you alone. Sometimes when you try to set up payment arrangements, they'll tell you some large amount is the minimum monthly payment that can be officially accepted as a payment plan, but if you pay less than that, and just do it consistently each month they'll almost always leave you alone. ($25, even $10 sometimes - just do it consistently!)

But yes it definitely sounds like you guys need to add income however you can, and take a serious look at how you can reduce expenses. You might be surprised what you can actually live without once you get used to it! I actually eliminated the car expense for almost a full year recently by cycling/busing it to work. That was huge! The only reason I got a car again was that I'd started a business outside my 9-5 job, as a birth doula. I can't be on call for a birth when a bicycle is my only transportation. If you live anywhere close to your city's bus system, you can get around with your kids without a car. Or even consider moving so that you are on the busline, then you can definitely eliminate the car.

My parents worked through Dave Ramsey's course as well. It sounds really good from what they told me about it.

I've done the fast-food or retail thing on & off when I was between jobs. It's not ideal but at least it's something. Unless your husband is disabled he needs to be working. If he was homeschooling the kids or something that's a different story, but since you're a teacher I assume your daughters are in public school, so your husband definitely needs to be working somewhere. Driver jobs pay really well if you could handle being apart some. There's always SOMETHING you can do, and there are always ways to reduce expenses. Are you on welfare (food stamps etc). That helps, and many places have pretty good food pantries as well. Reducing or eliminating your food expense can help alot in tight times. If your troubles are bigger than that, you may need to seriously down-grade your housing expense.

It doesn't sound like you're quite at the end of your rope yet. I would strongly recommend NOT filing for bankruptcy unless you have so many aggressive collections - with creditors actually scheduling court dates & such that result in wage garnishments so that there's no way you can make ends meet. At that point you might be forced into bankruptcy but since it doesn't sound like that situation is upon you yet you've got time to add income & reduce expenses & get things straightened out before anybody forces you into bankruptcy.

That's my 20 cents.
Good luck!!
S.

1 mom found this helpful

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