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We Filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Now Getting Divorced. – Nicole

“Dear Steve,

We filled backrupcy 2 years ago and it was a chapter 13. We are now going through a divorce. We have two small children and I am going to be relocating back to my home town which is cross country. At the time my husband made too much to get us into a chapter 7. Since then I had to fill unemployment because I was laid off, I have since started working. We also have about $1500 in medical bills from an accident from one of the children. Neither of us wants to keep the house. Can we get into a chapter 7? Should we just forclose on the house?


Dear Nicole,

Frankly, after years of watching these situations I can tell you that typically the financial situation radically changes, for the worse, after a divorce. The expectation you will be able to retain obligations like a mortgage that were paid for by both partners, is not reasonable.

A divorce is also one of those life changing events that should prompt you to evaluate your overall situation and take some action to make things better moving forward.

I suspect the home will no longer be affordable and that converting to an individual chapter 7 bankruptcy is a logical consideration after you let the house go. Consider wrapping the debt up into one big pile and then dealing with it all at once.

You should pick up the phone and talk to your bankruptcy attorney about this or click here to find a local bankruptcy of your own.

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

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About Steve Rhode

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.
  • Emily Debt Crusher

    I agree with Steve. The success rate of Chapter 13 bankruptcies is about 20% for just these reasons. Chapter 13s are a minimum of 3 years and are usually 5. A lot can happen in 5 years.

    Your bankruptcy attorney can help you convert your 13 to a 7 – which you will likely qualify for due to the divorce. Chapter 7s also help your divorce go more smoothly because there’s no debt to divide.

    Best of luck to you!

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