I Just Want to Run Away From This Financial Mess. – Denise

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I lived in a nice house with our five kids. He made six figures until his business went under in 2007. We filed for bankruptcy in 2008 thinking we could save our house and car. We ended up losing the house anyway because our trustee payment was $900 and they increased our mortgage to help pay back what we owed. We ended up moving to another state so my husband could get another job (he’s in construction) and I went back to work.

We thought it would get easier. Now we pay $900 for the trustee, almost $2000 in rent, $1200 in daycare and the rest of our fixed expenses make it almost impossible to live. We are truly struggling to figure out how to fix this problem. To make matters worse, my mother fell very ill last month and I flew to see her, then she passed away so I flew to the funeral. My family paid for the trip, but I have to pay them back and my husband’s job didn’t have enough work so he missed a week’s worth of pay.

We are on the verge of having everything shut off, water, electric, car insurance canceled, and I am trying to juggle what needs to be paid and there’s not enough to go around.

What happens when you miss a trustee payment? How do we get out of this mess? I just want to run away. The stress is keeping me up at night. Is there any place we can get immediate assistance? I would appreciate any advice at all.


Dear Denise,

The first thing that comes to mind is maybe you need to talk to your bankruptcy attorney about converting your Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It sounds as if your situation has dramatically changed and you’d probably be able to now pass the means test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. My mother has cancer now and it is something that I think about, dreading. I hope she doesn’t read this. I can’t imagine the pain and loss you are dealing with.

Not only have you lost your mother but your past financial life as well. When I was living through my financial problems I wanted to run away as well. It’s a normal and natural response to the stress.

But let me suggest an alternative path. The money troubles will be resolved once we can tackle the past debt, hopefully by converting your case to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you get your current life to fit within your current income, and you can find a glimpse of gratefulness and acceptance in your daily life.

Much of the stress we create for ourselves in this mess is caused by our desire to alter the physics of life. It’s like being disappointed when you can’t make the sun shine when you want it to. Wanting the financial problems to go away and the stress to vanish when your outgo is more than your income is just not possible. Until you bring that equation back into balance you will continue to feel like running away.

So how do we bring it back into balance? With action. I need for you to take action to talk to the bankruptcy attorney about converting your bankruptcy and I need for you to take action and read this, this, and this.

Please update me on your progress by

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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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