I Moved Out of an Abusive Home But Now I’m in Over My Head in Bills. – Sarah

I apologize in advance for the short response. I am currently away on vacation with limited internet but wanted to give you an answer as soon as possible. Steve

“Dear Steve,

I moved out of an abusive home in FL and a few states away to a VA: safe environment with friends and pseudo-family at the age of 19. I am NOT a spender and am very responsible with what I have. I have had a steady job and in-house promotions, I am a hard worker with a good work ethic.

My problem is that my income per month is $1200, my monthly bills are $1050, and I can’t cut any expenses out – rent, car payment, car insurance, and phone. In order to move to VA from FL, I incurred charges that, being foolish, I charged to my credit cards.

I have two cards over limit to the tune of $3000 total. I could have paid that off in time, except I ruptured an ovarian cist with complications of internal bleeding and required ER care – twice. Now I am looking at an additional $5000 in medical bills.

Is filing for bankruptcy a bad decision?


Dear Sarah,

It is what it is. If it was a perfect world there would be other options, but it is not a perfect world, is it?

Even with bankruptcy, the bills you would lose would be the credit card and medical bills. You’ll still need to pay all the basic expenses you currently have.

The only way to get some additional breathing room is going to be to find an alternative living arrangement that will allow you to reduce your rent, increase your income, or a combination of both things.

Filing for bankruptcy is never a bad decision if it is an appropriate decision for the circumstances. In your situation there is no expectation that you will be able to overcome this financial deficit without some sort of intervention. And for you, that intervention to solve the short term issue, is bankruptcy.

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But consider this, while bankruptcy will improve the current situation, it will not improve life moving forward unless you can resolve the imbalance between the money you have coming in and that going out.

After your bankruptcy, focus on creating an emergency fund, a savings account, so that in case of a future emergecy you will have access to cash to pay for things since falling back on credit immediately after bankruptcy is not an option.


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

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