My Husband is Going to Be Laid Off This Friday. – Lori


“Dear Steve,

My husband is going to be unemployed Friday. We aren’t in dire straights just yet however there are only so many hours I can work.

He is making the radar but with 9 interviews underfoot and 2 more scheduled he still has found no work. We have submitted over 50 applications to still have no job.

The plant he works for is closing which is predicted to increase the areas unemployment by about 2%.

Debtwise- I have visited with a bankruptcy attorney and because the items we stand to loose are the items we need most- house (house payment is cheaper than rent would be), automobiles (need reliable transportation since live in rural areas and commuting is a must) we don’t stand to really benefit by bankruptcy.

I made the mistake of paying down credit cards instead of car loans. We have about $5,000 in credit cards between 2 cards. The automobile loan is what is going to kill us. We have 2 houses- 1 of which we rent out. (Couldn’t sell the house for the loan value when we moved.) The other house we live in.

I’m working all the hours I possibly can and actually more than I physically can. At some point in time it is going to have to stop.

Once unemployment kicks in we won’t be sitting as bad however for right now things are looking fairly grim. Any other suggestions. We have looked at our budget and cut expenses. About the only additional solutions anyone has is for me to quit working and live off the system.

I make too much for public assistance and it is simply going to get overwhelming in about 1-2 months. This option isn’t one that I relish since I have the physical ability to work I really don’t feel this is the honest and fair thing to do.

We have 3 kids- and although they are helping out where they can getting kid type jobs in the area is very difficult if not impossible. It is a poor rural area. People don’t have money to pay to have lawns mowed, babysitting etc.

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Relocation/temporary separation is something we are considering so he can gain employment.

What is your suggestion to do besides just keep looking for work.


Dear Lori,

While the situation is bad, and feels horrible, it could always be worse. I know it sounds crazy but seriously, rather than look at what is broken, find something each day to be grateful for.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

I’m a bit confused why the bankruptcy attorney might have said that bankruptcy is not for you. It seems that if you can make at least your regular mortgage and car payment that under a chapter 13 bankruptcy you could rein in your other debts and still keep the home and car. It might be worth a follow-up call or visit to the bankruptcy attorney and ask about that.

At some point all you can do is all you can do. You can only work so hard for so long. I don’t want you to kill yourself trying to fix a situation that is impossible to fix on one income alone.

As far as relocating goes, it is always a consideration. When the dust bowel hit the midwest, farmers moved on because it was not raining, no matter how much they wanted it to. No matter how much you want new jobs to be available where you live, if there are no jobs available, there just aren’t.

In that situation you have two options, move, or start your own business and create your own income stream. Some people are naturals at stating their own business, other people are not.

If you did decide to relocate then that might give you the fresh start you so desperately need right now. It’s worth careful consideration.

Your situation highlights what I’ve been saying about the need for a savings account or an emergency fund in these difficult times. Once you find your way through these difficult times I want you to focus on slowly building a savings account that you can fall back on in case another unforeseen situation develops in the future.

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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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