I am a Sales Professional, Unemployed and Unable to File Bankruptcy Again. – Vicki


“Hi Steve,

I have been in sales for quite some time. Unfortunately, the last three years I have had to take a reduction in pay when the companies I worked for either went to commission only, the housing market crashed, or the total compensation packages were “streamlined.”

I took what was to be a good job with a great opportunity last year, and was replaced with the person who was the original choice for the position. I lost a nice job with benefits, and have been living on unemployment since.

I was making some headway after getting behind on my bills, but now I am “barely surviving” on unemployment. I have had interviews with several good (and large) companies, but no real prospects now. I am getting further and further behind as I have no extra money to pay my credit card bills (which were all current last year when I was working).

I don’t have the money to enter a debt restructure plan (Consumer Credit Counselling, etc.) as I need a surplus and am not eligible for bankruptcy until the fall of this year (needs to be 7 years for Chapter 7).

I am trying as hard as I can but these people will NOT work with me. I have received 2 warrants in debt already. Do you have any ideas for my situation? Thanks for anything you can suggest.

Fortunately, my rent and car payment (and life and auto, renters insuranc) are all paid and up to date. This has been (and is) one of the most difficult times I have ever faced. Also, I am thankful my daughter is grown and married and I have no children depending on me.

Unfortunately, I have no one to help as I am divorced. By the way, there is a limit on how much I can earn additional while receiving unemployment benefits (50. weekly). I do have a part time job which pays exactly that, so my benefits aren;t affected. Thank you for ANY help you can provide. I am glad I found your column.

Do you have any ides on how to survive this mess until I can file Chapter 7? I see it as the only way out.

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With Regards,


Dear Vicki,

Thank you for writing me. I think that by the time you finish reading this you have a pretty good game plan on what you need to do.

The situation your are going through really makes it difficult for you to pick up the energy and enthusiasm to get back in your sales groove. Because you filed bankruptcy less than seven years ago, you’re right, you’re not eligible to file again right now. However I would urge you to schedule an appointment with a local bankruptcy attorney and ask for a free bankruptcy consultation. A little prior planning at this point to get the timeline perfect for you to file again is what we need to do. No reason why we can’t plan in advance for what we both know is inevitable to come unless you can find a replacement job.

Being in sales requires you to have both self-esteem and self-confidence to project yourself in an effort to make the sale. Being laid off and being in debt really isn’t conducive for you to be able to put your best foot forward in your sales career.

I think that the only option that you have right now, is to sit tight and wait for your eligible date to, to refile bankruptcy again. During this waiting time you already know what’s going to happen, collectors are going to call, demands are going to come in the mail, and pressure will be applied on you. However at this point it’s a waiting game. And the best thing you can do is to just flow through the collection queue as smoothly as possible.

That means that you don’t need to be rude or nasty to the collectors. Just let your account flows through the normal collection cycle. And if it turns out that you are sued, and your situation has not changed, then there really is no expectation that you’ll be able to put forward a defense which will cause you to win the case. However if you are sued and lose, that does not lead to an automatic judgment or wage garnishment. Those things come with a second effort from creditors. And even if the creditors were awarded a judgment or attempted to wage garnishment I think that by the time that happens enough time will have passed that you’ll be eligible to file bankruptcy again.

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These are definitely dark days. It sure seems that you’re doing everything you can. Attempting to find a job and gain employment is not only good for your bank account at this point but good for your emotional health as well. You need to get yourself into a place that provides you with positive feedback, healthy recognition and emotional support that you all are a valuable person and have a lot to offer.

Regarding how much you can earn while on unemployment, I’m afraid I have no idea about that since I don’t know what state you live in. However, the website in your state for unemployment should have that information readily available for you to find.


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.

Steve Rhode

2 thoughts on “I am a Sales Professional, Unemployed and Unable to File Bankruptcy Again. – Vicki”

    • Dirk,

      To file bankruptcy, simply find a local bankruptcy attorney you like and call to make an appointment. It is emotionally stressful but painfully simple to find a local attorney. Use the internet or your local yellow pages.



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