C.A. asks from Wichita, KS on May 12, 2009
My husbands grandma suggested that I file bankruptcy. I am hesitant because of the major affect on your credit. One of my other friends did debt consolidation so maybe that's an option? Just hoping to get better advice! The house and car are in my husbands name. 2nd job is not an option as I already work 17-18 hrs a day. State policy for daycare is that you are not to work more then 18 hrs in a 24 hr period. Could get more kids but they have to leave by the time my 2nd shift kids get here or I would be over ratio. And most parents aren't able to pick their kids up at 3 in the afternoon.
1)I am facing some issues with my ex fiance's mom. She is suing me for rent and utilities during the time I lived in a house with her son. The grandma had bought the trailer and the mom paid the lot fee and had ALL the utilities were in her name going to HER house and she paid them, never told me how much anything was. I paid all my bills I had prior to moving in. My car, insurance, phone, groceries for both of us, plus he stole money from me ALL THE TIME for drugs etc. Not to mention her son was and pretty sure he still is unemployed(his cousin fired him TWICE) abusive(had a restraining order), and living off his family while doing drugs(he's a real winner, glad I got away when I did.) He didn't pay anything. She took me to court in Feb of 07 and even though I hadn't signed ANYTHING saying I'd pay these "bills" she won the case and I now owe her over $2,500. The whole thing is a mess and because I missed a couple payments to her lawyer I have to go to court again in June. Would like to file bankruptcy before court so that she doesn't get anymore money.
3)And last but not least I used to have a car and when I bought it, had a down payment loan(think I got suckered into that, 18 buying a car on my own.....you do the math) Anyway what was an $800 loan is now $2000 +.
Yes I know this is pathetic but I also know there are others out there in worse situations. So here is my question, do I call a lawyer.... what does it cost..... and is it worth it in the long run?
So What Happened?™
And of course today my husband was let go from his job. They said he should be able to come back in a couple months.
M.B. answers from St. Louis on May 12, 2009
I dont think you have enough to file for bankruptcy. You could try, but I think you need more debt. Not that you should get anymore. Unfortunately, the rent thing, is your responsibility. No matter how much of a loser your ex boyfriend is, his mother shouldnt have to pay for you or him to live rent free. Im sure she didnt agree to you not paying her, thats why the courts ruled in her favor. I have been a landlord, lived next door to our tenants and had to sit there and watch them lay on their butts for three months (thats how long it took them to get evicted) while I worked my butt off to pay their bills. Not fair!!
I suggest, you get another job and start paying this stuff off.
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S.H. answers from Kansas City on May 13, 2009
Call this 1-800-523-3097 and leave your name, number and the best time to call you back. We show you how to make extra money and/or replace you income.
I would start paying off my loans a little at a time. First the EX MOM, to get her out of my life. You should not file bankruptcy unless you really need to. Call all the loans and tell them you would like to pay off your loans but you just do not have it right now. Ask them to change your payment and your rates. You might have to talk to a supervisor.Tell them you can pay this amount $$. Then when you get extra money you can pay more money. Some time they will work with you just to get there money. Some time they will take less on the loan if you ask.
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A.R. answers from Springfield on May 13, 2009
Ok, I read the other responses before replying so I wouldn't be redundant. First off I don't think many read your post because they all insisted you get another child for your childcare business and i don't know where they got that you wanted another baby? I too have been doing in home childcare and this is extremely difficult. I know you know this. I do agree that you are now married and this debt should not just be on your shoulders. Is it possible for your husband to get a second job? My background is that I just filed bankruptcy Pro Se. This means I did it with out a lawyer. Sounds scary but with God's help I did it. Thank the Lord for my college education it really helped. Anyway, your total bills are not that high. I would first look at your budget & find out where your money is going. I mean every penny. Once you have established this determine your income and see what the difference or variance between the two is. Are you negative or do you have any extra. Ask yourself what you can eliminate. Personally, there is nothing that I could cut out. We were down to bare bones necessities(or less). I was making payments but it was not enough to cover even the interest so my balances would just keep increasing. Then I was sued by a financial company. If they garnished my husband's wages we would have been homeless. This is why I filed. The basic filing fee for chapter 7 is $300.00. I applied to have this waived because our income was so low. You can also make up to four payments so it is easier to pay. YOu also have to take some credit counselling classes. This will run you about $120. Anything over that is just for the lawyer and his work. It is a lot of work. The starting rate is around $1800. Often times this will include the filing fee. So if you are going to use a lawyer it would not be worth it as your bills are not much more. Your best bet would be to pay it off slowly. If you are upside down and your husband won't help (I won't give advice here) then you could file yourself or have someone help you. I am thinking of helping some friends out myself. When I went to court over my finances there were so many people there and no one could afford representation. It was really sad. My case was the ONLY one dismissed because I quickly filed bankruptcy prior to my case. Sorry, this is so long. I have no problem paying what I owe but creditors don't want you to pay off your loans. They want you to pay on them for life and they manipulate you into getting more loans to "help" your situation. If you do decide to file I would be willing to show you how to get started. It is time consuming but very possible. God bless.
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S.B. answers from Kansas City on May 13, 2009
You need to consult a bankruptcy lawyer. There are different kinds of bankruptcy...one that helps you reorganize and pay your debts. You have been given some wrong information below. You can file separately from your spouse and his credit in not in jeopardy. Also, a reputable attorney will work with you on fees and they don't have to be paid up front. The key is to find a good attorney. I work at a law firm; you can call the KC Bar Association @ ###-###-####...they have a lawyer referral service. Truly, bankruptcy should be your last resort. You will not be able to get credit for about 10 years, and that's not easy in our society today. Your spouse can get credit in his own name and list you as an "authorized buyer", but then you have no credit established and are at his mercy. Again, consult an attorney; they should be able to advise you of the best road to take. Your amount is not that much and you're young. You can recover from this! My husband brought tons of debt to our marriage, and with the help of a good attorney, I walked him successfully through the whole process. Best of luck.
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S.L. answers from Kansas City on May 12, 2009
I would be in heaven if I had those debts to pay. I am around 50,000 in debt and my husband also has the house and van payments in his name, though I pay them. He helps, don't get me wrong. But he puts the lion share of his money towards fixing up the house which needs it, health insurance premiums, taxes, and our dismal retirement which we are about 10 years behind on. So I pay everything else with him chipping when he can.
I take a full shift days, nights and weekends. It's not the best time for daycare. I've had a lot of parents lose jobs. But if you keep busy putting the word out, meeting people, doing the best job you can, asking your parents for referrals, watching craigslist, handing out cards etc., you'll get and keep enough kids to pay those loans off.
The bottom line is, you accepted the responsibility for the car and student loans and they are not that big. The X- boyfriend mom sucks. But I suppose the judge felt he was doing the right thing.
Is there a possibility that you could file to appeal the original decision? Maybe the judge would feel differently now if he is still unemployed after all this time.
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L.B. answers from St. Louis on May 13, 2009
Sounds like a mess. I am under the thinking of if you made the debt - you should be responsible for it. (Except unusuall circumstances like disabled due to illness or accident) I know it won't be easy but I would get more kids to watch or a 2nd job and I would quit trying for baby #2 until your out from under this burden. There is no way you will get to take care of these debts before June anyway. And as far as I know "financial aid" cannot be disposed of unless you pay it off.
And are you "married"? Im not sure one spouse can file for bankrupsty while the other keeps their good credit. Does you husband complain about your debts? Is he unwilling to help you take care of them. It's $8000 that's not a huge amount.
Praying for you,
C.W. answers from Kansas City on May 18, 2009
I know soooo many people that are in your same shoes! Good News is: there IS something you can do with just a phone call to the companies with which you still have debt! It IS a simpler solution than anything else I have heard of before or read here so far.
(A friend of ours did all of this and he was able to pay off all of his debt!! And: HE was going to file bankruptcy too!)
HERE IS THE PROCESS:
Call your credit companies and ask them for the “HARDSHIP DEPARTMENT” (or whatever THEIR company calls it...)
Once connected, let them know that you are UNABLE to make your payments any longer. They will take some “Hardship Application info’ over the phone from you. This part is NOT hard as they are not requesting exact numbers like banks, school loan places and the like. :o)
Anyhow what will happen is the Hardship Department can approve to LOWER your INTEREST RATE!!!!!!!!!!! They ALSO will LOWER your PAYMENT amounts!!
Our friend’s minimum payments went from $480 down to $120 per month, for 12 months.
His other payments went from $600 down to $210 per month, for 12 months.
In total, his payments were reduced from almost $1100 per month down to $330.
They also LOWERED his interest rate from 18% down to 6%.
At the end of the 12 months, the companies will reevaluate his progress and his financial situation and can continue it for as long as needed. :o)
PLUS: they also STOPPED all of the late charges and over credit-line charges!! (Major PLUS!!)
The ONLY downside he felt, at first, was they closed his cards. :>(
Yet, since he could pay less, but still PAY OFF MORE, he said he didn’t even miss having a card!!! The lower payments gave him the opportunity to just pay CASH for things instead of adding to his debt. :O)
He also followed some information from a class he took from www.fpu.com (This is the website for Financial Peace University, that another of your Mama-Source Mom’s mentioned Dave Ramsey- well Dave is the Author of FPU. According to our friend, Dave’s goal in life is to “Make the United States Debt-Free” or something like that. Anyhow this Dave guy had to file bankruptcy many years ago and he is trying to get the United States so that no one ever has to file bankruptcy again.[or something like that]. Dave’s site sure helped our friend. He sings Dave’s praises each chance he gets because Dave made a HUGE difference in his life.)
Our friend was sooooooo relieved after he called all of his companies. AND he said each one of them was SO nice to him when he called.
Well C., I hope this info is helpful to you.
Blessings & Much Joy,
P.S. I too run an in home day care: Heart To Heart Christian Day Care. I love the children and they bring me smiles each day. I am soooo blessed that their parents share them with me each day. :o) I am sure you can relate!
K.O. answers from Wichita on May 13, 2009
I feel sorry for your predicament; however, do NOT try for #2 until you get out of this mess. IF you feel that you can afford baby #2, then you can surely pay off the debt. Babies are far more expensive. Plus, having a baby under such stress is not fair to your body or to the new developing life.
My husband and I had a significant debt to pay off after our twins were born (more than yours)and I did not work. It takes discipline (no meals out, simple meals at home, "date night" at home with a movie and popcorn, etc.), but it can be done. We were debt free (and still are)in only 18 months! And that included one meal out a month! Bite the bullet, cut your budget, add more children to daycare, get a second job, etc. In other words, do whatever it takes to get debt free. Then, have a lot of fun trying for baby #2!
Best of luck! I'll pray for you!