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Should We Consider Bankruptcy Again? – Kathy

“Dear Steve,

I’m a 63-year old RN who has worked full-time for the past 43 years. I’m currently still working, but it is so physically demanding, I won’t be able to keep up much longer. I’ve sought less demanding positions, but my age (I feel) is a liability when working for work.
Both my husband and I receive a monthly annuity from Civil Service since we both worked for the VA. We have this plus my current salary.

I’ve gotten into major debt over the past several years due to a gambling addiction. Now when my body is ready to retire, I can’t financially do it.

We had an attorney “sell us” a Chapter 11 individual bankruptcy which cost us thousands of dollars before it was dismissed. He’s now telling us to consider a Chapter 13.

At this stage of our lives, is bankruptcy the only answer? I cannot work much longer due to physical limitations. Our annuities are large enough that a Chapter 7 is out of the question; I’m not sure my husband will even consider another bankruptcy attempt after the last failure.


Dear Kathy,

It sounds like you had a bad experience with your attorney. He might had gone for the Chapter 11 due to the amount of your assets. It’s a rare approach but not unheard of.

Just because you had a bad experience with that one attorney does not mean the solution is not correct. It’s a bit like not going back to any fast food place because you had a bad experience at a different one once.

I don’t know if bankruptcy is a good solution to pursue but what I do know is at the very least you should get a second opinion from another bankruptcy attorney in your area to ease your mind what the first person is telling you is right.

In medicine a second opinion for a difficult medical condition is just a smart thing to do. Same for a financial problem as well.

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I’m more worried about the gambling problem and want to make sure you’ve sought treatment for that. Unless we tackle that issue first, well, trouble could ensue again.

The debt you have right now is the symptom of the underlying issues that led to the debt, not the problem itself. Let’s deal with the cause first and then we can treat the symptoms.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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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