Hello everyone,

I'm going to completely put my business out here so that I may get some help/advice on what I should do. 

Ok, here it goes. My husband and I filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy last year and we're in it for 5 years. The main reason we filed was because we were looking at losing our house (which belonged to my grandparents, so I've lived in it my entire life basically) because we got so far behind on our mortgage due to my husband losing a really good job back in 2016. My husband was in a new job (about 2 months) when we filed. Our main problem is that we barely get to bring home enough money to buy groceries, pet supplies (one chihuahua) and essentials, that we're really struggling with being able to pay all of our other monthly bills. The house is over 50 years old and is starting to fall apart and we have no money to get anything fixed. And on top of all that, my husband lost his job and they won't pay him unemployment and he's been trying so hard to find another job but is having a hard time getting hired. He does handyman type jobs but not enough to really make an impact. I would get a second job but at the moment I have some health issues that prevent me from being able to work more than my regular 40 hrs.

I guess what I need help/advice on is should we try and stay in the bankruptcy and keep struggling or should we just let in get dismissed and move on? Even if he finds a job we'll still be struggling.

Ugghh, I hate being in this position.

Thanks for any and all help/advice.

Kiersten

Kiersten

Original Post

I wish I could offer something other than encouragement. I went through a bankruptcy, but it did not include my house. 

I am 7 years out now, and things are much much better, but it has been a struggle. (It would have been a struggle even without the bankruptcy though.) I guess you should consider, which I'm sure that  you have, what your expenses would be if you walked away and lost the house. What is rent in your area? Would utility bills be the same? How much would walking away help you? 

You will come out on the other side of things, one way or another. Good luck. 

Hi there, Kiersten,

@KellyFromKeene has some great advice above about what to consider in this situation.

Since you're struggling with your monthly bills and you may be reaching a point where you need to seriously consider whether to give up the house, you may be a candidate for converting your Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7. (Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and you should definitely speak to one before making any decisions involving bankruptcy. If you can't afford one, there may be a free legal clinic or legal aid society in your area that can help.)

The advantage of converting your case is that you can discharge your qualifying balance with a Chapter 7, whereas if you walk away from Chapter 13, you'll still be responsible for the outstanding balances of debt you were making payments toward. Chapter 7 is also a lot quicker than Chapter 13 (usually takes a few months vs. three to five years).

I know this is a tough situation, but you can get through this. Best of luck to you.

Kelly and Robin's advice is solid. If you are in a town that has a university with a law school, they often will take cases in their law clinic to help them learn - definitely worth checking out. Getting converted to a Chapter 7 would help you a great deal. Due to a bad divorce (and shame), I stuck it out for a couple of years, but even though I had a good job, I had severe difficulty in making the payments, and I was looking at a lot of "solutions" that weren't really good for me in any way. 

So check and see if the law schools near you can help you- and keep trying, try all of them- and if you have to travel, to find one, do it. If you get told they don't have that sort of program, ask if they know who does.  After going into Chapter 7 my credit was close to pre-marriage level in 3 years, and it was vastly improved after a year.  And now that it has been long enough, there's no effect at all.

Best of luck to you- keep looking for help- it's out there, you just have to hunt for it. Hang in there- you WILL make it!!!

Thank you all for your advice. I do actually live a few short miles away from a major Big 10 University but unfortunately they don't have a clinic for bankruptcy help. I'm going to try my best to see what my attorney says but I'm sure we're going to be dismissed. I've already started checking with a few banks to see if they may be able to help with the mortgage and no one has said "No" outright yet, so I may have a fighting chance to get through this and keep my house.

Thanks again for all of the advice. This is a great place to be able to come to with our struggles as well as our triumphs and know that we'll get nothing but encouragement from each other! LOVE THIS GROUP!!

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