To File a Bankruptcy or Not??

Updated on February 09, 2010
D.B. asks from Warren, MI
5 answers

Like many families in MI, I lost my job about a year ago and have since not found another. My hubby is working very hard to support our family of three (about to four in March), but is struggling to keep up. I get unemployment right now, but know that it won't last forever.

We've cut back on all non-necessities. I tried to contact all of our credit companies in an effort to continue making payments to them at lower monthly payments/lower interest rates/etc. All but a few basically said tough luck, keep up with your current payments. Since then, in order to make sure that they house payment remains current and our cars are both paid for, we've let a few of our credit card payments just lapse indefinately. My feeling is that if they'd been even slightly willing to work with us, we would have been fine. But alas, they remained pretty stingy and greedy.

So the question that I have is do we continue to try and tough it out and keep swimming against the current or do we go ahead, like so many have before us, and file for bankruptcy on the credit cards?? I've had a few friends who candidly told me that they'd been in a similar situation and, upon filing their bankruptcy, have finally been able to breath a sigh of relief.

My hubby is so traumatized at the thought of doing this. He is a very proud man who believes that he should work as hard as it takes to pay his own way and take care of his own debts that he created. However, he/we struggle to keep up and would have been appreicativive of any assistance from the credit card companies, had they been kind enough to assist.

I guess I'm not trying to play the blame game, but I think if they had made a better effort to assist us, we would have been happy to keep working to pay them off or keep up. But I'm feeling that since they couldn't have cared less, why on earth should we.

So, any moms out there that have been in this situation. What was the eventual outcome and do you recommend it. I know it will destroy our credit, but can live with that for the next 7 years. As well, does anyone recommend a good bankruptcy attorny that assisted them??? Finally, was anyone turned down for filing a bankruptcy and why.....

Any suggestions, comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to all for your responses, both for and against filing. We have a few appointments scheduled already with attorney, consolidation firms, etc to go over our options and will make a very informed decision from there. I'm prepared to do what needs to be done, whether that's filing once and for all or consolidating or filing to lower our credit balances but still work to pay SOMETHING. The point is, its good to hear all your responses both for and against and have a better understanding of what to expect.

Finally, I'm all for paying what you owe and living up to your responsiblities, but still feel so strongly that if the credit card companies had been willing to play fair, I feel a little worse about a possible bankruptcy. As it stands, if it comes to that, I don't plan to feel bad about it for that reason.

Thanks again for your honesty and input. I feel a lot more prepared to move forward with whatever follows....

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Dear D.
I am also laid off since Nov 2009, in divorce facing forclosure and maybe even bankruptcy. So you are definately not alone. I had to file for bkpcy almost 10 years ago on credit cards and it did wipe the slate clean, I got a credit card 2 months later. The question came up when I would apply for car loan or retail CC but overall I was actually ok. I was able to mortgage a home only 4 years later after I got married. I have to say that the feeling for shame and helplessness was overwhelming, but it had to be done. Pride will not get you anywhere you have nothing to prove, the CC co DO NOT CARE about you at all. You can still keep your home and cars but you have to declare if you have big ticket items - stamp collection or jewelry furs that are worth money.
I would consult a bkpcy lawyer, they usually do the appt free and it costs about $1000 to file and get it over with. Like I said I am contemplating it as well since I can't get ahead. Don't be affraid.

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answers from Phoenix on

We filed 18 months ago and it was the best thing we could do for our family at that time. I had also been laid off and I was pregnant so it made finding a job so much easier! (jk) It was such a horrible time in our life with the debt mounting up, the calls coming in one after the other. We finally made the decision after our car was repo'd after only being behind on two payments. Thankfully we got our car back the next day after much expense but, we knew for us we had to file bankruptcy. I am happy to say now that we just got approved for another credit card to start rebuilding our credit slowly and carefully!!! And we are starting to search for a home to purchase. We are very excited about these opportunites we have now and we know we wouldnt be where we are at today if we didnt go through all that. Good luck in whatever decision you find is best for your family!

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answers from Dallas on

Instead of filing for bankruptcy, you could consolidate your debts since it is just for the cards. Not as drastic, it helps get you on your feet as well. I did it several years ago and it helped immensely.

Just do research on which companies to use.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Do NOT file bankruptcy! Get the book Financial Peace, by Dave Ramsay ASAP from your llibrary and get crackin on that debt! You incurred the debt and I gfeel there is a moral obligation to pay it off. It will not happen overnight and you need to take care of the utmost necessities first, but still pay on your debts a bit at a the debt snowball outlined in the book and it WILL happen. Plus it will make you bulletproof for the next "bump" in the road. Good luck!

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answers from Detroit on

You can file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. one totally wipes out your debt, the other one (i think) stops the interest from piling up and you repay what you owe over a period of time. that may be a better option for your husbands conscience. good luck with your decision

1 mom found this helpful
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