PostHeaderIcon Should we file for bankruptcy?

I am confused as to what to do – my husband and I recently reconciled and between the two of us, we have $40,000 in unsecured credit card debt. Although he makes very good money, approx. $3900 per month, we cannot keep up on all the minimum payments for these cards, let alone trying to pay the principal.

He has a car payment and we own our house (or we will in 27 years anyway 🙂 – we have not been late on the mortgage as that is our top priority. We also have 4 kids…… should we file? We figure since we have the house and vehicles that we can deal with the bad, bad credit that this will result in but are we forgetting something?

We considered a debt consolidation but we heard this is more often then not a scam and ruins your credit as much as or more then a bankruptcy. Any advice is appreciated ~ thank you.
Unfortunately all the late payments have resulted in a credit rating in the 500’s which is too low to qualify for a re-fi.

12 Responses to “Should we file for bankruptcy?”

  • Ipsydoodle says:

    can you roll your credit card debit into a 30 year home equity loan?

    If so, then do it and shred the credit cards.

  • SPIFIMAN1 says:

    Before you can file bankruptcy you are going to have to go through credit counseling so why don’t you call Consumer Credit Counseling Services at 1-800-388-2227 and talk to them first.

    They are the largest non profit credit counseling service in the Country. I used them several years ago and they worked with my creditors to lower my monthly payments and interest rate. I was debt free in 36-months.

  • Lola says:

    Definately get credit counseling before filing. Federal law has recently changed bankrupcy rules, so taht when you file, it stays on your record for 10 years instead of 7 and you still have to pay back the full or majority amount of debt.

  • lionht007 says:

    get a book from the library called, ‘how to do bankruptcy yourself. its a great book. its has a dog on the cover, if i have the name wrong’. it goes into all the details on how to qualify and what you need to do.

  • Gary C says:

    Try refinancing your vehichles or maybe trading down on more affordable vehichles… Plus don’t eat out and buy cheap food and indgredients to cook with… Cut down your expenses as far as you… Get rid of anything that you can do without like the internet or maybe get another job or 2…

  • haggamuffn says:

    Rather than asking in a public forum, where members aren’t privy to the myriad details of your individual situation, you should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney.

    Most attorney’s offer a free initial consultation, and with the new bankruptcy laws it would be best to get this advice from an expert.

  • Mr_Blue_Eyes_27 says:

    As someone else stated, If you can get a home equity loan to pay them off, that should be your first option. The next option would be a call to each of your creditors asking them to work with you through reduced rates, lower interest, etc. Many of them will work with you and that may be enough to help.

    Bankruptcy is definitely an option, but that will also require a payment plan. The bad credit score that will result will not be much worse than the impact of paying your bills late each month.

  • Ask M says:

    yes, I would consult a bankruptcy lawyer because the rules
    have changed.

  • bdancer222 says:

    Here’s the website for Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS):

    They will be able to look at your finances and advise you how to proceed.

  • Slim Whitman says:

    Bankruptcy No!! Lifestyle Change DEFINITELY!

    You may want to consider selling the “Stuff” and getting multiple jobs to get on track. We’ve play the CC shuffle and finally got “SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED!”

    We’ve paid off about 50k in unsecured crap in the last 3 years we still have a ways to go on our snowball, We are about 4 yrs away from being debt free except the mortgage.
    We don’t purchase sh&t we don’t have cash or money in the checking account to pay for.

    It requires discipline and motivation.
    Check out Dave Ramsey!!!!!

    look into FInancial Peace University,

  • Studly says:

    I don’t think you will qualify for a Chapter 7, that means you will get a Chapter 13, and have to pay back a portion of your credit card debts.

    I simply don’t have enough info on your finances to tell just how much you will be paying toward your “plan”, but it’s going to be a rough 3-5 years for you.

    But should you file?

    Do some simple math! You owe $40k. If you were to go on a very strict budget and cut out everything (cable tv, phones, dining out, entertainment) could you find $700 a month in your budget?

    If so, your next challenge is to try and negotiate a deal with each of your creditors to a)lower your balance b)lower your interest c)grant you a 5 year payment plan.

    This is going to be very hard to do….that is why most people file BK.

    Debt consolidation does NOT going to hurt your credit that badly. It’s not a scam.

    Debt REPAIR is a scam. Credit Counseling CAN be a scam, because there are people who call themselves counselors, but are nothing but fronts for loan companies or BK attorneys.

    Do what Spiff says, and contact a local non-profit debt counselor first so see if you can repair your budget. $39k a month is nice, but with a family of 6 it’s not really that much to live on while trying to knock down $40k in debt.

  • Gary says:

    You are not bankrupt, you just have to trim the debt fat. I would sell your car, depending on how much you owe and how much the car is worth, you may have to find or borrow the difference should you sell your car.

    Your family needs a major lifestyle change. You have to get on a written budget. The budget helps because you can find out where your money is going. Since you have so many credit cards you, it isn’t a surprise you aren’t making a dent on any of them. Stop eating at restaurats and eat at home.

    Cut up all your credit cards and pay your house payment, food, utilities first. Line up all your debt from smallest to largest. Be agressive on the smallest debt, get rid of it fast, then pay the minimum on all the others. Once you pay off the first one, then use all the money to pay off the 2nd, then once you pay off the 2nd then start paying the 3rd and so one. It’s a long process but it will work.

    Debt consolidation is a joke. You are paying someone to clean up something that you can do for free. Besides, it doesn’t sound like you have money to pay the debt consolidation folks so I wouldn’t do it.

    Check out Dave Ramsey’s books. They are pretty good in dealing with getting out of debt.

    Don’t forget, sell your card. That will eliminate a lot of your debt!

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