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My Fiance Agreed to Pay Half of Everything. It Didn’t Work Out Like That. – Kimberly

“Dear Lewis,

About three years ago I was living in a house with my fiancee and his grandparents. They had agreed to pay half of everything but to no avail they never paid a penny. I had to let me credit cards fall by the wayside so I could make sure I had a roof over my head, my car didn’t get repossessed, and that I had food to eat.

Once I let the credit cards go it was pretty easy to let the smaller debts go as well. No I have about $15,000 in debt that has been charged off on my credit. My credit score is pretty low around the 500′s and I currently only make $1800/month. I have two cars in my name, which I have never defaulted on or made a late payment on. All of my debt is credit cards, utility companies,apartment complexes, etc. I want to be able to buy a house soon because I am currently expecting my first child in August of this year.

Should I file bankruptcy? If I do which chapter? My car will be paid off on or before December of 2013 and I might need to trade it in before that. Will I be able too if I file bankruptcy? Will I be able to rent from apartment complexes? Any guidance would be helpful. Thank you!

Kimberly”

Dear Kimberly,

For many people, I would say that $15,000 is not enough debt to file bankruptcy. But that is the easy way out to answer someone. For some people $15,000 in debt is nothing, for others it can be a never ending battle.

With $1800/month income, and two car payments, without earning more money, you will never dig out of $15,000+ in debt.

I am not sure why you have two car payments? Why do you have two cars? Why not let one go? Many of my clients have been able to get a new car after filing bankruptcy. It won’t be a perfect interest rate, and it might not be a brand new car, but it is a great way to re-establish your credit after bankruptcy.

As to buying a home, I am afraid that might take a longer time. Your credit scores are pretty low, and a bankruptcy can show on your credit report for up to 10 years. The other large problem is: where will you get a down payment from? The banks are very tight these days, so getting a mortgage is near impossible with nothing down.

You may have to look to other ways of buying a home. Like renting to own, contract for deed, or agreement for deed (basically all are forms of owner financing – maybe someone owns two homes and needs to get one sold and is willing to carry their own mortgage). A strong word of caution on that course of action: make sure the owner/seller is not in financial trouble themselves; make sure they are not in foreclosure.

Lastly, if you need to rent for a while, my clients do not seem to have problems renting after bankruptcy (whether in an apartment complex or from an individual owner). I can only base this on the fact that my clients don’t call me back after their bankruptcy to tell me they are having trouble renting. I don’t hear from them, so I have to assume that is a form of positive feedback on their ability to find housing.

I hope this helps, and good luck!

My Fiance Agreed to Pay Half of Everything. It Didnt Work Out Like That.   Kimberly My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

If you have a bankruptcy question you’d like to ask just use the online form.

My Fiance Agreed to Pay Half of Everything. It Didn't Work Out Like That. - Kimberly by

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Lewis Roberts
Florida Consumer Protection Attorney

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