We have been married almost 25 years. My husband lost his job about 3 years ago and does have another job, but making way less money. We have made alot of financial mistakes in the past and have made an appointment to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, I am now so scared.
Our bills are being paid, but we are struggling so bad….living paycheck to paycheck, adding stress to our marriage. Of course our house is not worth what we owe and we’d sell it in a heartbeat. We are just in way over our head and not able to figure how to get out…..we are at the end of our rope. We have a mortgage, 2 car paymts, 3 to 4 credit cards, college tuition payments, the the normal living expenses, (utilities)
We have made a appointment with a bankruptcy attorney and now I am so scared and wondering if this is the right decision for us, especially since we have made so many mistakes. The attorney is Jarnicki and Assoc. in Lebanon Ohio. We feel as if we should be getting ready to live our lives to the fullest with a son in college and a daughter in high school, but I don’t know if our marriage will survive. Please help and advise me.
You appear to be suffering from debtor guilt. It’s natural and normal. Typically people become afraid and fearful for a number of reasons. They feel as if they have failed in some way, or maybe they believe money problems only happen to irresponsible people. Some people get sucked in to religious beliefs or labor under misconceptions.
I’ve been helping people with debt problems since 1994 and lived through my troubles in 1989-1990. What I know after all that experience is that bad debt happens to good people. For whatever reason people hit the financial wall and then out of fear make even worse decisions and mistakes in how to get out of debt.
The fact is that bankruptcy is the only process that gives you and rights and protections under the law. And least we forget, bankruptcy is a legally prescribed process that operates with the blessing of the court and judicial system.
If I could wave a wand right now I’d wish for you to stop thinking emotionally about the situation and instead think logically. Logically it sounds like there is no reasonable expectation you are going to get caught up by staying on the current path. It does not sound like you are able to save or build up emergency cash in case of an unexpected financial surprise and it sounds like unless you take some action you will simply be trying to dig yourself out of this hole for the next decade rather than filing bankruptcy.
So let’s look at what happens if you file bankruptcy. When you file the creditors can’t call you, can’t try to collect and can’t sue you. The majority of people that file qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and their debt is discharged in a few months. After that they can begin to save, build an emergency fund and rebuild their credit. Read this guide on how easy it is to rebuild credit.
Don’t be a victim of your past misfortune. Instead, think logically about bankruptcy and if you decide to file then take what you can about your past mistakes and learn from those experiences. There is no sense wasting the education gained from perfectly good mistakes.
Finally, the bankruptcy attorney is not there to judge you. They are there to be your advocate and help you through the process. There is nothing to be afraid of. If you want, you can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.