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Chapter 7, Then 13

We filed a Chapter 7 in 2003. Now in Chapter 13 since 02/2011. I want everyone to know that you will get through this. It is so hard. But you can do it. I will be reviewing posts and commenting to share my experiences. I have learned so much and realize that the attorney does not and cannot do everything for you. You can contact the court directly. Although they cannot give legal advice, they can review your case with you. So, if your attorney is not processing your requests as timely as you would like, you can document your situation and possibly save your case. You can even email them! It is also helpful if you ever need to seek alternate counsel as you will then have a documented record of dates and communications showing your personal efforts to improve your situation.
The most important thing I have learned is that all the worrying I have done over the years was for nothing. I now channel my energies toward improving our situation, and take it day by day. We are looking at a shortage of $20,000 this year, as compared to 2011. And I'm not even going to stress over it. I will take each day as a new challenge and overcome obstacles! Bankruptcy has given us a chance to survive. The court is there to help us - not scare us. The attorney is there to help us. Thank God we have this option to enable us to recover from this disastrous economy, live through extended terms of unemployment, and to save our home and vehicles. We have children, and would do anything to keep them safe and secure! This was our only option after our finances became unmanageable. And if the Chapter 13 case gets dismissed because we can't pay, we can always re-file and start over again. My message to all who are scared and ashamed... DON'T BE! You will find that almost everyone is struggling. If they say they aren't, they're lying! Hold your head up and keep forging ahead!
dwatson1 dwatson1 36-40, F 4 Responses Apr 20, 2012

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!! My husband and I are going through the process now for various reasons! I have always been very frugal and conservative with money, but here we are in this situation! I needed so badly to hear some personal experience from someone! I'm so scared! I want to pay back everyone, but want to be able to give my kids there typical things they are use to! I'm so scared of what the repayment plan will be! I just want it to be fair. There is so much negative and scary things written on the Internet, I made myself sick reading it! I finally found this site. I know nothing with be easy, I just needed to read about some hope! I worry about providing for the kids after they tell us what the repayment plan will be! I'm not materialistic, but my one daughter takes modestly priced danced lessons! I would rather not eat myself than take that away from her. I know Ch 13 is very individualized, but there is still so much I don't understand. About six months ago, I started working over night and then going to my day job, getting no sleep. Did that for six months before quiting, because I started being no use to my girls. I thought I could save enough to get ahead. I'm scared they will use that income I was making to help determine the repayment plan. So trying to save money to catch up will probably backfire on me. How do I let them know I no longer have that income, when they look at six months of prior work stubs. Sorry! I'm just so scared and relieved to hear of other people going through this!!

Can you speak to the process of a CH7 at all? Do you know of anyone with a mortgage and some equity who has kept their house and their immediate possessions, (i.e., car that's paid for, the paid for lawn mower, etc). thanks. [This would mean that the lender "reaffirmed" the mortgage.] thanks again.

Hard? It's devastating. I'm terrified. By the time my five years is over I'll be 70 years old. What kind of life can I possibly hope for at that age? No extra money to start over with. I'll have nothing except a house to keep paying on.

Your payment to your creditors will not interfere with your house payments. If you cannot make the payments as directed by the trustie, you can convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Everything will be OK.

I'm having a difficult time keeping my head up. After receiving lawsuit papers I'm headed for chapter 13. I am totally frightened of going to court, what am I going to say? After my husband maxed out his credit cards he'd coerce me into getting cards in my name, promising he would pay them all. Now a lawsuit. What's my reason? Obviously stupidity on my part, I'm pretty sure that won't help me win the judgement. And here I am at 65 starting bankruptcy. Five years from now I'll be 70. What is there left for me in life? I've been throwing up both ways..........sorry. I can't sleep, crying all the time. I don't see any hope of any kind of future left for me.

DO NOT fear anything. Your time in court will be minimal. You will answer a few simple question asked by a trustie. Cut and dry. I have filed a 13 and a 7, you will be fine. Do not worry.

You sound like me. I am 50 years old and am in the process of filing chapter 7. I divorced 5 years ago and this left me with less than $35,000 a year to live on with no help from anyone. I was so depressed from my divorce that I chose to not deal with it until I was so far in debt the only option was bankruptcy. What I am going to tell you next did not come to me easy. I spent 3 years taking antidepressants, seeing a counsellor (until my insurance would not pay), drinking off and on to forget, grinding my teeth so bad during my sleepless nights I broke several teeth. Ok first I would highly recommend filing chapter 7. The creditors will quit calling, you won't be struggling to pay off the debt for 30 years, your credit is poor anyway....... Look at it as a clean slate. Another thing which truly helped me was when I had two good friends whom financially were doing great come down with terminal cancer. I realized I was so wealthy in a way all the money in the would could not make me. As I was healthy enough to enjoy my life and I would be damn if I was going to let being broke rob me of that! My friends with cancer would have gave the world to trade all their money for my health. Both passed away last year. One never lives to see her first grand child, what price can you put on this? It's ok to be broke at 65, or 70! It's not the end of the world. I don't expect I will ever have any money beyond just enough to buy $50 of food each week and live in my torn up trailer house. Sure there are times when I am out with my many friends whom live in new homes, don't have to work because hubby provided well for them and they shop like it's nothing to push a cart of $200 worth of new clothes up to the counter while I quietly say oh I did not see anything I could not live without, in my heart knowing it's because I don't have a $1.00 in my pocket and saved all month to pay for my $12 meal on this outing. Sometimes I do feel less than and have myself a pity party,,,, but when this dark cloud creeps in I remind myself I only have so many days on this earth and I be damn if being broke is going to rob me of enjoying them! I am not less of a person because my hands bare no diamonds and my home has wheels on it. This does not make me less. I make myself less when I chose to let those things make me feel less. Your life is far from over! Let me know how your lawsuit goes. If you file bankruptcy there is nothing they can do in regards to credit card debt. That's why the freaking interest rates are so high because that is a risk a credit card company takes when loaning money. It is not a secured debt. Do you have enough income to put food and shelter over your head after your credit card debt is discharged in the bankruptcy? If I were you and could qualify for chapter 7, I would do that instead of 13. Did you make less than $45,000 the last two years? What state do you live in? The state you live in makes a lot of difference in how bankruptcy is handled. You remember to hold your head up high and repeat to yourself you are not defined by the money you have but by the person you are!