My Fiance Left Me With His Bills. I Am Struggling to Get By. – Angela

“Dear Steve,

I currently separated from my fiance and am left with 2 car payments, a motorcycle payment, mortgage, student loans, credit cards and everything else. I obviously, no longer have his income to count on. I have received payment extensions, “down-graded” phone and tv plans, but this stll leaves me negative every pay period. I have not been delinquent YET, secondary to the payment extensions, but these are only temporary.

What plan should I take?? Should I stick to the old standby of picking up overtime at work or should I consider bankruptcy?? And would I qualify? My annual income is $52,000, for a single person in NY state. I’ve considered bankruptcy but do not want to lose everything and would I ever be able to buy realestate again?? What would my financial future be like after claiming bankruptcy?


Dear Angela,

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From reading your question I assume that you got the financing in your name because the fiance had bad credit and could not qualify. A fairly common situation. Surprised their wasn’t an engagement ring payment in the mix as well. When these things go bad, they go all the way bad.

Situations like this are not really helped by downgrading a cable plan. While that does help to save money, you are so far underwater that a little bit of a lift to the surface by trimming expenses, still leaves you drowning.

I’m not going to lecture you and tell you to go out and work all the OT you can and damn-it, pay these bills. From a reality point of view, basing financial obligations on overtime, which is not guaranteed, is a recipe for disaster. Since it will take you so long to pay down this mountain of debt he left you with, I think it is unreasonable to expect you to get constant OT for years and years.

In a situation like this bankruptcy is an option, a legal option. The question is not if you will qualify, but which chapter of bankruptcy will work out best for you in your situation. That is really a conversation you need to have with a local bankruptcy attorney. There is a formula and all involved in the determination.

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You would be able to buy real estate again. And the irony is that without going bankrupt, your financial situation will not improve. People that learn lessons from bankruptcy are generally better off financially afterwards in the following years, than those that were struggling and did not go bankrupt. Crazy, huh?

There is no reason to delay this. Find a local bankruptcy attorney, make an appointment for a free consultation and go in and ask all the questions you can think of before you make a decision.

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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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