Bankruptcy- Those That Have Filed or Are Knowledgeable

Updated on October 23, 2010
S.B. asks from Gainesville, FL
13 answers

I have been considering bankruptcy over the last few weeks and would like to hear from those who have. How bad has it hurt you ? I know I need to just call an attorney and consult with him but would like to get some feedback from you guys first. Do you have to file joint if you are married? Does it stop you from getting any federal jobs? Anyone with advice or stories I'd like to hear it ! Kind of just depressed about it right now. Just to let you know my debt is high enough that it will probably take me 5 or 6 years to pay off and that would mean having to live with my brother and skim from paycheck to paycheck and never be ale to save anything. Kind of impossible to live like this with a child, I need to be able to save money in case of an emergency or something.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I would also like to add that I am currently struggling through school, and I say struggling because its hard to work full time with a kid and go to school. I just want to be able to get my degree so I can get a good paying job. My credit is already shot because I had to quit paying on a ton of things and already have a car repo on my credit anyways. Can it get much worse? I can't pay everyone all at once. I try telling them and they don't's constant harrassment everyday from these people. I know I created it and I am trying but I am SO down about this.

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

Hello S., I had to file BK back in 1991 after getting divorced and being unemployed for 9 months. I kept my car loan separate from the BK, I had very low pymnts and wanted to keep something substantial to help maintain/rebuild a previously good credit history. I contacted my oldest credit card company and advised that I was filing BK and asked if they were willing to take a reduced balance pay-off to avoid being included in the BK and they reduced my total debt to one-third of its original balance and gave me a super low pay-off plan, after pay-off the card was reactivated for use. Before filing the BK, I applied for and received a gas company credit card with a $300 limit (Conoco, Shell, Texaco) so I could still get gas to job hunt and always paid it off monthly when the unemployment check arrived, this also helped me to maintain/rebuild good credit history. Then I got the blank BK forms from the County Clerk's office and filled them out myself including all the other debt, about $10K in CC debt, and filed them at the county courthouse. After about 30 days I received a bunch of forms from the BK court and had to give a detailed financial history, listing any assets that I owned that could possibly be sold to pay off debt, but I had none. After another 30-60 days I got a court hearing notice and appeared before the judge. He approved my BK and I was done in about 15-20 minutes. The law states that you cannot file BK again for seven years, then the BK stays on your credit file for ten years. Fortunately I got a job soon afterwards and kept up with my car loan, the CC pay-off program and the gasoline card. It was tough, life was lean, but I was determined not to fail simply because life had failed me. Five years later I applied for and was approved for an FHA loan for low-income new homeowners and purchased a home. I was also approved for a car loan the following year and was able to upgrade my car. Being at the same job for the whole 6 years helped a lot as well as the continuing payments made on the car loan and the gasoline card, being careful to ALWAYS pay them on time. BK can be done in a way that helps you and doesn't ruin you, as well as being done without a lawyer, you just have to think it through and be careful how you approach the whole thing. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would talk with a qualified person about your individual decision. You are going to get mostly biased opinions here. I've had friends and relatives who have had to file bankruptcy for a variety of reasons. It comes down to a business decision that needs to be made on facts, it is not a moral judgment (even though some would want you to think so). You'll want to weigh the costs and benefits once you get more accurate information.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

See an attorney. I paid $200 for an honest evaluation. He ran the credit report. You need to bring all bills. Ours were medical bills and car repairs.

It was weird. We filed jointly and it was supposed to be on my credit for 7 or 10 years. After 7 it was gone. Before that, we were offered many high interest rate cards(which we turned down).

During the 10 years I paid off 35000 in student loans every month, on time.
My credit FICO score is now 802(top rated). Had I wanted a house, I could not have gotten one with bankruptcy. I also could not even get hired as a bank teller or to work in an insurance office. And I had to pay extra for insurance on my car(that makes no sense to me).

Had I to do it again, I would have made hubby get 2 or 3 jobs to pay the 12000 off instead of bankruptcy. We ended up moving in with family later anyways.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Daytona Beach on

i went to a bankruptcy attorney. he said anything under $10,000, he wouldn't suggest doing a bankruptcy. i went thru him and paid about $1200? i owed about $20,000 with all of the interest, etc. it was an easy process. you don't have to file joint. the attorney takes care of everything and you just go to a hearing with a bunch of people and the judge signs off. it takes about a year for everything to be discharged. i've got a credit card that has no "fee" or isn't a secured credit card. and i'm building up my credit again. my brother and sil filed about a year ago and are buying a house.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Move in with your brother and skim. Really- bankruptcy is NOT a solution. My brother-in-law lived with us for three years to pay-off his debt rather than filing. He, in the process, learned how to save, plan and spend responsibly b/c he had to. Living with your brother and your child is NOT IMPOSSIBLE, it may be unpleasant but that is not the same thing.

Deal with emergencies if they arise, but you have a viable option. You have not been able to save anything to date, so no loss there. At least your credit will remain intact. Do what you can to access public assistance and start digging yourself out of the debt YOU created.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I've filed Chapter 7. It was finalized March of 2009. No regrets.

If your credit is bad enough, Bankruptcy can actually make it a little better than before you filed. That's how it went with me.

If you can't use any credit cards now... What difference does it make if they don't exist anymore. I wasn't married when I began the process so I filed alone, but I do believe as long as your spouses name is not on anything you plan to file against, you can in fact file alone. You won't get rid of any school loans or medical bills with bankruptcy (dispite what many think).

It's helped me greatly. I've also already started to get new credit card offers to begin rebuilding my credit, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet. My phone bill is still rebuilding a little at a time.

ETA- I already have a home and a car. I don't need a new loan on a home or car....... That makes a difference too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Avoid bankruptcy if at all possible. Get a Dave Ramsay book and work the steps yourself!


answers from Orlando on


I want you t know that Credit CAN be Restored. Don't let that stop you - ifyou can not afford to pay off your debt and you qualify to apply - then do so. We are Credit Restoration AND Education "Crusaders". We will show you how to do it again in a smart way. Message me for more info.

There is no law that credit has to be reported - so most people feel that they will be stuck for 7 to 10 years - it is not true. So PLEASE don't worry.

I hope this helps.





answers from Dallas on

There are certain professional fields that will view bankruptcy in a poor light. Find out about your field of study and see what impact it would have on your career. It would be terrible to not be able to pursue your goal that you have studied for due to a bankruptcy. Also, you are in school --your future earnings should be greatly increased after you graduate which should help your debt situation. You really do need to consult with an attorney--when you ask about filing jointly, you need to know the law. You could very well go through bankruptcy on your debts and find you may have spousal debts that you were unaware of. I know your situation looks hopeless to you, but you might benefit from listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio. Good luck to you!



answers from Philadelphia on

I think if you can avoid filing you should. I think you should move in with your brother and is not impossible.

Years ago my husband wanted to file and I really didn't want to as it stays on your record sorry I can't think of the right word, for I think 7 years and I desperately wanted to move and buy a new house. It makes it harder to get a loan.

We met with 1 lawyer with our kids and she was really nasty, she wanted me to go home talk to just my husband and I refused so we both left. Then we met with another lawyer and I didn't like what she was saying so I told my husband I wouldn't do it. I just really didn't like it. So we waited it out and we got very close to losing our house but we got through it. 3 years ago my husband got a good job that pays well so we are doing much better.



answers from Port St. Lucie on

Hello S..
I want to first share with you that how you are feeling is exactly or probably even worse feeling when we were going through it. So just have faith that everything will be great soon. We had to file bankruptcy because we were getting sued left and right.

If this is not your situation I would recommend not going for it. BK will stop you from getting all the calls etc. but will ruin your credit. After we filled BK, we could not even find a place to live, apply for any loans, our car insurance went through the roof, home insurance increased and had to pay down payments on everything which we could have easily avoided had we had great credit and on and on.... So if you only have credit card debts I would recommend not filing bankruptcy though I am not an attorney so of course can not give legal advise.
We do have faith in God and always believe that he helps all humans learn from their challenges which my husband calls them "opportunities" :).

Anyway, depending on what type of debts you have, you answer might change. How long ago was it when you stopped making the payments, if you have already.

My husband now works with Financial Education company and teaches people on how to live financially smart and not only save money but also how to make sure you are able to maximize what you have. He also helps in building and helping improve their credit.

He has written an article that you can read about at
If you are interested in talking to my husband you are more than welcome. Hope I was able to help you with something.


answers from New York on

I just filed this week and I tell you the amount of stress that I lost afterwards is unbelievable! It cost me about $1500 cause I had some other issues but it is well worth it. And it is so simple. I filed alone. My husband was not involved at all. The only thing that you need to consider is do you have any credit cards with his name on it? Nothing that you do in the bankrupcy can have his name on it. Since my husband and I both have our own things this worked out great for me. For the credit cousiling that you have to do I went to which is much cheaper then the recommended sites that they give you. It was $36 for the pre-filing and it will be $24 for the after filing. It takes some time to do and you have to put all your finances in like credit card debt, loans, how much you make and they will set up a budget for you. They then send you a certificate that you give to the lawyer and they take care of the rest for you. You get your date to appear infront of a trustee and then your are done. Start your new life! I tell you that I am so excited about this. I tried credit management companies but they only got me into more trouble. So filing was a last resort for me and I am glad that I did it. I should have just did it last December and got it over with but I tried to do my part in paying them back. I made the debt and I should pay it. But with loosing my job and what I get for unemployment and trying to care for my 2 year old was just not cutting it anymore. I was broke all the time. So if you feel that this is what you need to do then make an appointment with a lawyer and talk about your options. Good luck to you!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions