Jeannie Already Went Bankrupt And Is Now With CCCS But Can’t Afford to Feed Her Daughter

“Dear Steve,

I have already gone to bankruptcy five years ago. I am currently in credit counseling, however, I do not have enough money to provide food and clothing for my child. I am a single parent not receiving child support, I have no child support judgment. Long story, but I felt it was in the best interest of both of us to cut off contact.

If I filed chapter 7 in 2003, can I file chapter 13 in 2008? Will that be better for me than the CCCS (Consumer Credit Counseling Service) debt management program?


Dear Jeannie,

I think in a way you’ve answered your own question. The debt management plan you are on with CCCS, a non-profit credit counseling group, does not leave you enough money to properly care for you and your child.

It is understandable and admirable that you want to do everything you can to take care of your family and I recognize that it is a struggle and burden. But at this point you need to think about the fact that you probably have a greater responsibility to properly care for your child moving forward than trying to repay bills that you can’t afford to pay from the past.

I think your instincts are on target and that you should go talk to a bankruptcy attorney for a free bankruptcy review. And you are right, since it has only been five years since the last bankruptcy a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is probably the solution at this time.

In a perfect world your daughter’s father would be paying child support and you would not have to be in this position and struggling to care for your precious daughter and your debts. But then again it’s not a perfect world and we have to do the best with what we’ve got. The best you can do right now is take care of the past bills with bankruptcy and get yourself in a financial position where you can properly care for you and your daughter by feeding and clothing your child.

Don’t let your guilt about the situation and the pain of your previous bankruptcy hold you back from making the right choice this time. I think if you talk to your CCCS counselor and tell them the same thing you’ve told me that they would, or at least should, agree with my advice to look at bankruptcy again as the logical solution.

Now, please make sure that you were not using credit up till this point to help make ends meet because going bankrupt again will not solve that problem. Hopefully with your second bankruptcy you will be able to find a way to live within your income without any dependence on outside credit.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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