My Husband Lost His Job as a Minister. I Drive a School Bus. – Rose


“Dear Steve,

I am employed as a school bus driver. My husband was a minister until losing his job and consistent annual income 3yrs ago. He quickly went into Real Estate at precisely the wrong time. Since that didn’t work out so well and put us in the poor house, he has started a new carpet cleaning business that is taking off slowly.

In the meantime we put alot on the credit cards (40K+) just to finance two new businesses/careers and stay alive. His carpet equip alone was 12K. Real Estate was probably 15K. Since the income is sporadic and the credit cards have inflated our rates and payments we can’t meet our obligations and our 60-90 days late on all credit cards. Now 45 days late on our house payment (2 pmts due). My mother is the co-signer on our mortgage and named 3rd on the deed. We want to stay in our house even though it now has negative equity.

We want to file chapter 7 and probably will. Q: Will our house be lost even if we catch up the payments? I assume it is at the discretion of the lender (BOA), but what is the likelihood if we catch up payments? I heard they will still take it? Don’t know why they would if we are current and it is worth less now? Also, can the creditors (credit card companies or mortgage) take my 72 y/o mother’s small retirement savings even though she is not filing bankruptcy and is not named on any of our credit cards? Pls help …


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Dear Rose,

The good news is that it sounds like your mother is safe here. But as a co-signer she is on the hook for the mortgage. It sounds like your best bet is to get current on the mortgage and then contact Bank of America and ask about a mortgage modification to see if your payment can be lowered.

See also  I cosigned Sallie Mae student loan and now they are coming after me. - John

As far as which Chapter of bankruptcy you should file, I really think that is best left up to a local bankruptcy attorney based on the facts of your individual situation.

What complicates this situation is the fact that the house is now worth less than the amount of the mortgage, your mother cosigned for you on the mortgage and your husband has irregular income. These issues make the situation difficult but not impossible.

Please update me on your progress by

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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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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