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Bipolar Spending Spree Results in $79K in Credit Card Debt. – Scott

“Dear Steve,

Well, I had finally got my debt under control until suffering a major manic episode. Within 5 weeks I went from 0 revolving debt to 79000 in credit card debt (with nothing to show for it materially other than a TV).

Oh, I also bought a new car ($46,000) even though I already had one.

Anyway, I know you have encouraged people to file for bankruptcy under similar circumstances. However, with my long term disability and social security checks, I make too much to file a Chapter 7 (I would need to file a Chapter 13).

If I returned the car and just didn’t pay on my credit cards (as opposed to Chapter 13), what’s the worst that could happen? The only money I have is tied up in an IRA from my employer before the whole bipolar thing. (No house or anything)

I don’t care about being harassed (been through much worse)…..

What would cost me the least? My gross income is 55K a year.


Dear Scott,

Unfortunately these types of spending sprees are common with bipolar patients. The manic phase can make you feel invincible and result in a lot of debt. Many people just don’t understand this.

If you have not done so already you may find my interview with Paul interesting. Paul also suffers with bipolar disorder and had a similar experience.

My vote would be to go for the Chapter 13 over nothing. At least the Chapter 13 would give you legal protections. Doing nothing leaves you exposed to being sued and I don’t want to see that happen. I’d rather you focus on tackling the debt comprehensively so it does not create an emotional burden which may contribute to a deeper depressive phase.

You can click here to talk to a local bankruptcy attorney and if you’d like a second opinion about your situation or a personal consultation by another debt coach, please feel free to contact Damon Day.

See also  I Worked For You, Remember Me? I'm Now Bipolar and in Debt. - Victoria

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

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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