Re: Anyone on here filed bankruptcy?

Hey, I work at a bankruptcy firm, I file them everyday! If you have any questions, just let me know. It can be a great way to get a fresh start…

I’m trying debt settlement before going to bankruptcy. It is cheaper and easier if the creditors cooperate and you don’t have your life controlled by a bankruptcy trustee. In addition you probably don’t need an attorney. In addition if you are able to pay your secured debt you probably can keep that property. The downside is you got to be legally savvy enough to work with the settlement company or your creditors if you do it without a settlement company. If this doesn’t work and I get sued and can’t settle the lawsuit I will have file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

My husband and I filed bankruptcy in 1999. The laws have changed since then so our experience will be a little different but I didn’t find it to be horrible. We had nothing so maybe that was the difference.

My husband lost his job and I just couldn’t keep up with everything with my tiny paycheck. So, we filed. It was a last ditch effort but I really think it was our only option. I tried working with the companies but it got to the point where we couldn’t even pay rent and utilities. I sure didn’t have an extra $20 to send to anyone.

After our bankruptcy was discharged, we didn’t notice anything different. We had horrible credit before so that wasn’t anything new. We had no problems renting an apartment. I even bought a car two months after discharge.

We’re back on our feet now…bought our first house last summer. Hubby and I both have cars that are financed. That’s it though – no more credit cards And, I’m working on getting the cars paid off.

I think if you honestly can’t see a way out or have no money to send to these folks, bankruptcy is an option. I know we owed money to these people, but we just flat didn’t have it.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

I also filed bankruptcy a few years ago. I did it myself. I bought a book and followed the instructions. I think it included the forms you need to file too. Overall, it was pretty simple. Since you only have credit card debt, you may be able to do it yourself. Just be careful, not to charge anything else on your credit card. They look closely at your charges from the recent months.

As for harrassing collectors. I recently became unemployed and medical bill collectors are calling me every day. I do make very small payments compared to wehn I was working. With each payment I include a ‘form’ letter saying that I am unemployed at the moment. End- no further discussion. No need to need to talk to collectors on the phone.

I am also working with a Debt Settlement Company. I have been working with them since May 2007. I am still getting telephone calls from collections agencies. I have settled with 2 creditors but there are 4 more to go.

How long have you been with them? Are you still receiving phone calls?

I don’t get the collection calls, for a couple of

My debt settlement company makes you give them power
of attorney, and then whenever a creditor calls or
writes, you refer the call to the company, giving the
creditor the number.

I have also had to write certified letters to the creditors requesting that “Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I have the right to request that I not be called at my place of employment” (that phrase has to be in the letter.)

Also, I changed my longtime phone number at home (I would have 10-12 messages a day, and they called at 8 am until 9 pm.) I still have the same job, for 15 years, so some of them have that number .AND, they sell the debt to agencies, so sometimes you have to write a new certified letter to a new creditor.

Congratulations on your debt progress! I have about 8 cards, and only one as settled in a year and a half. I don’t have the budget to give the debt settlement company a lot, so that is why I haven’t accued that much to settle with.

Hope this helps. I get a little long winded explaining stuff!

Anyone on here filed bankruptcy?

Has anyone on here filed bankruptcy before? I’m meeting with an attorney tomorrow for a free consultation. We owe about 50k in credit card debt and can’t make our minimum payments. They are all harrassing us, and rightly so, we owe them money. I just don’t see how we will ever pay these off and wonder if we just need to do bankruptcy to wipe them out and start over. Any advice or experience?

I have never and hope I can avoid it… employement willing..

How far off on making the minumums are you if Imay ask.?

Have you contacted all of them ask asked if they can put you in forbearance ( I think thats the spelling). If you can get them to do this it may give you the ability to catch up and get beyond this without bancruptcy.

I dont know your whole picture so that all I can comment on.. if you care to eleberate I am sure the forum would be glad to comment.

I did BK in 1989. My attorney told me to look at it as a business decision – my family ‘s money situation was failing. It is not easy – it costs money, and there is a court appearance, and lots of paperwork – and it affects credit adversely for 10 years in my state. However, it was also a tremendous relief – we made an attempt to pay and went to credit counseling services and tried to make the recommended payment but it was just not doable for us.

It limits your options if you are a renter, and it appears on your credit report when you apply for some jobs. Nowadays you have to get the counseling before you can even do it. So it is a huge decision. (I have this fear I will be forced to move and be unable to rent due to bad credit, so I am staying in my place that is expensive out of this fear.)

Perhaps you can still work with your creditors. Under the Fair Debt Collections Act, you can request not to be contacted at work – I get the address and send them a certified letter requesting not to be called at work. I changed my phone number as well, when I was getting way too many calls. But it may still be possible to negotiate with them.

I got myself in a bad situation again currently, but I don’t want to do BK again. So I enrolled with a debt settlement company, I send them money each month, an amount we (me and the company) thought I could afford, and when it accumulates, they try to get the company to settle. Just today one of my creditors agreed to settle. Also, I gave the company power of attorney, and direct all the phone calls to them – that gave me relief. HOWEVER, it is bad for your credit for sure.

But, in my case, my credit was shot anyway. And it can be scary – I was served with a judgement on one of the cards also. But I just sent the judgement paperwork to the company, and nothing else has happened.

For me it makes me feel like I am doing something about the debt, and I am paying the principal, not the (to me) trumped up interest charges. Just a thought if BK seems too enormous a proposition.

Curious what other people out there think about this video:

I’m not disagreeing that it is our choice to use responsibly or not.

I’m not disagreeing that it is our choice to use responsibly or not. What I am saying is that the big credit companies want Americans believing the must have a FICA score to live, which is not true. It is more difficult in some realms.

Therefore, if we get legislation at the state levels restricting the use of credit scores for nothing but obtaining credit, then there would be no need to have credit just to have a credit score. The other thing is, it won’t be like telling recovering alcoholics that they must consume just a tiny bit of alcohol to survive.

Most people on this forum want to get out of debt, so why get out of something that was bad, only to dabble in it again?

I can tell ya, it ain’t going to happen, it’s a nice dream, but it ain’t going to happen.

And, many times, ppl sign the agreements without reading. One thing to want to play well and right, but the companies can jack up APR’s without any fault on your part.

Case in point, my fella’s always on time, always minimum or better, but a letter comes with a raise in his interest to 26+% or more, without a given reason.

IMO, there should be a law against that practice.

I agree 100%. Credit Cards weren’t always the *necessary* financial tool it has become today. When did we all start using credit cards? I’m thinking they weren’t so popular 40 years ago….and people (and our nation) weren’t in the kind of debt they are now.I refuse to own a credit card and have told my hubby he’d better not ever get another one….considering the debt he got himself into before we married. When you own more than a couple of credit cards and are NOT paying them off at the end of each month I’d dare say you are in trouble.

I have a terrible credit score and just have to live with it for awhile, and always worry about a house or a new car at my age (52) and my ysalary and my marital status (divorced) and that fact that I live in the Bay Area BUT

I just thought isn’t there a difference between bad and good credit? In other words, jacking up your credit cards and only paying the mininum is of course not a good idea, but isn’t paying off a car and paying off a mortgage the kind of credit that IS good to have?

So if you don’t use credit cards but you are responsible with house and car, doesn’t that give you a good score right there?

Just wondering,

If you never travel and need to secure a hotel room or a rental car or an airline ticket, you could probably get by without a credit card. I don’t know a way to get any of these items without a credit card or a debit card directly patched into your checking account, since the ones that have the items to offer require SECURITY.

I know that Dave R. tells people to use a debit card for these items. Save the money ahead of time and then use the debit card to pay for the purchase. However, if that debit card is tied to your regular day-to-day checking account and they (hotel, rental car, airline) decides to freeze additional funds over and above the actual cost of your hotel stay, for instance, you can run into some real financial troubles since they most likely will not release the freeze until after you complete your stay. (Could be several days or a week before all of your money is accessible to you again).

In years gone by, it was rare that people traveled very far from home and needed to secure a rental car or an airline ticket. Yes, you can pay cash for a rental car, but in this area, I know that they require $1,000S (Yes, that is THOUSANDS) of dollars as a down payment if you pay cash instead of using a credit card. I also know that it is illegal for them to try to charge the cost of a wrecked car on your credit card, but they will max it out and then you get to fight it. (Call up your local car rental place and offer to pay cash for a rental car. Ask them how much you have to pay to rent even a compact car. Please, post your findings on here and share with the group.)

I am not saying they are right. You should be able to just pay cash for your hotel stay and be on your way. Will it happen? I don’t know, but it never hurts to ask.

For traveling, we try to save up in advance, then we have a checking account with a debit card, opened up solely for that travel. That way, each time we use the debit card, the merchant gets to use a “credit card” and we know that our regular checking account is completely safe, free from “freezes”, etc. Best of all, when we get home, there are no lingering expenses. If they decide to freeze any amount or hold any amount, they do not affect our regular day to day lives. We are sure to take a certain amount of the money out in cash or travelers cheques before we leave home as well. That assure us that we are not purely at the mercy of the various merchants, who are only concerned with covering their own assets, not at all with mine.

Basically your credit score is based on certain criteria

Basically your credit score is based on certain criteria and that criteria, such as car/mortgage loans or credit cards, is either good or bad. Credit cards, loans, etc. are not weighed equally when determining your credit score. For example, if you have perfect payments for your car loan or have even payed it off, that will help to improve your score. However, if you have very high balance or over limit credit cards that reflects negatively on your score, and it has more weight than a car loan and therefore will cause a larger negative effect on your score. There is no exact formula for calculating it on your own (i dont think). Also when you apply for payday loans online from companies like Elc Loans there is usually no credit check performed.

There are some sure fire ways to build up your credit though.

  1. Do not close any existing credit cards, paid off or not. This is because these cards give you credit history. Having a longer credit history reflects POSITIVELY on your score. Of course, you will want to pay down your balances but you shouldn’t close the account if you’ve paid it off.
  2. Pay your bills on time every month. This is so obvious but it is so key when determining your risk level, which is really what the credit score serves to show anyway. Consistentl, on-time payments reflect POSITIVELY on your score.
  3. If you have NO CREDIT history, and you dont own a home, it would be wise to obtain a credit card and simply use it for gas or something menial like groceries and pay it off each month. This is simply an easy way to establish some sort of credit history.
  4. Owning a home is a huge influence on your credit. Maybe even more so than credit cards, you will want to pay on-time every month. Forclosure or short sales will absolutely kill your credit.

I hope this helps to understand. It’s good to monitor your credit by using those Free Credit sites because they show you what your credit history looks like so far and then you know what you need to fix.

Most rental car companies will NOT accept prepaid cards….been there done that.

It was Advantage Auto Rental. Be cautious with these companies and read the contract. Most of the time they are local car rental companies and you can’t take the car from the state. But they do serve a purpose of renting without a credit card if you are in a bind. I read any and every contract which I might sign and did research on the company. I took the car out of state, too. :) It worked out very well.

I have to agree, my car insurance is 50% more than it should be because of my credit score i’m 34 years old, perfect driving record, no accidents ever, not even a fender bender. Even the insurance guy couldnt figure it out till he saw my credit score. I pay $150 a month car insurance on a Hyundai Accent. That price is almost have my car note! My grandmother who I live with and who has great credit, pays around $150 a YEAR!!! She’s had accidents but then she also has a longer driving record too.

I am not an advocate for running up credit card debt

I am not an advocate for running up credit card debt, as that is just ridiculous. However, I do think that the average person needs a credit score. I intend to pay off all of the debts and sparingly use one single credit card. Until I am able to pay cash for a car, never need to rent a car, or buy a plane ticket (much easier with a credit card); my husband and I are going to work at building up our ability to do just that. Then, we are going to have one card that we will use and pay off the same month. Maybe just charge one meal on it, then pay it off in full when the bill comes. So there is a record of our using and paying off credit card debt. Our scores will be GREAT and we will be able to get a loan at GREAT rates, as opposed to the loan sharkish rates that some people are offered.

If we could live in a totally credit card free way, that would be our ideal.

So, we are going to do in our own lives, except for this single card, which we will allow ourselves. No more store credit cards at all. Just one single VISA or MASTERCARD that can be used and is widely accepted everywhere we might need to use it.

If you have no control at all and will run yourself into overwhelming debt again, you should probably skip credit card usage whatsoever.

Another option, instead of Visa or Master Card, is to get an American Express Card because the balance has to be paid off each month.

That is no longer the truth and I can give you nearly $8k of proof. And their interest is a serious ‘gotcha’

Amen to “Life is pretty darn gray”! :) I think we’re all here because we feel we could do better with our finances–whether that’s because we’re going through bankruptcy, getting stalked by collectors, or like me, just in a mountain of debt.

Everyone needs to do what’s best for them. I like many of the ideas I’ve heard on here but some of them may not work for me. As my other support group says (yeah, I know, I need a lot of support!) “Take what you like and leave the rest”.

American Express regular charge card is an interest free charge card that requires the balance to be paid off each month. Of course, American Express has a variety of credit cards, but i was referring to their charge card.

How about trying this?

Keep pestering your state legislators to change the laws to prevent insurance companies, apartments, cell phone companies, etc. from using your credit score to determine eligibility or premium. They can only look at negative comments for the past xx years.

I have been pushing GA to do this and some of it is making its way into bills being proposed. I haven’t yet seen anything pass, but I keep pushing.

This is about the only way we can break the back of the creditors who love the FICA and want to keep it around. As long as Americans believe they must have a credit score to survive, American Express, CitiGroup, Chase, Capital One, and the likes will win.

I don’t believe that, it’s individual choice to use credit responsibly or to abuse it. Just like it’s individual choice to smoke, or overeat.

No where do the credit card companies force anyone to max out their cards.

Yes, they have some iffy business practices, BUT it’s still OUR choice and OUR responsibility.

Living without a credit score is a great idea

Buy insurance, get a job, etc, etc, etc. Living without a credit score is a great ideal, BUT it doesn’t fit in with reality very well.

It fits very well if you live on a cash basis. One doesn’t have to have good credit or any credit. Yes, it might make some things easier but it isn’t necessary.

Doesnt’ fit in very well because people borrow on everything, even stuff they don’t need most of the time. A credit score is based on borrowing everything and being in debt instead of saving up for things and paying for them.. Weird concept isn’t it?

All I have left is my mortgage and once it’s paid off no more credit for me…. Fits in reality just fine but Im also determined not to get in debt again…

I’ve heard that before, but when you get turned down for high paying jobs, or you insurance goes up 50% or more, lost a rental property that would have been perfect for me long term, it’s not that easy to agree with.

And these are things that have PERSONALLY and RECENTLY happened to me.

And I truly feel that it will get worse before it gets better.

wait until you can’t get a job based upon your credit score – happened to me. Wait until your car insurance goes up close to 50% – happened to me. Most rental companies are running a credit check for renting properties, lost one because my credit score is in the tank.

Reality is changing. I’m not saying go out there and run up a ton of debt, but just saying we don’t need a credit score, I don’t think is very reasonable in where this society is heading.

Personally, I will be SOOOO glad when I’m completely out of debt, but I can guarantee I will have something that keeps me a decent credit score for those and many other reasons above.

Credit is necessary. As you said in a prior post, renting an apt and getting a job are two major areas where they check – and will refuse you – if your credit sucks. Ever need a home phone? Other utilities? Yeah, they check too.

With five years of experience working in consumer credit industries, I know what I need personally. I also feel like I should have been so much smarter but no one’s perfect and I’m working on my mistakes now.

It sounds like some of you have managed to screw up your financial management after you own houses, but I am not in that situation. I also am being responsible by not keeping my cards in my possession, etc. And like I said, I don’t know the numbers and my “sponsor” isn’t handing them over.

Didn’t mean to stir up a storm so I hope we can stop here. But I wanted to respond because I felt a lot of judgement, which isn’t what I expected. I actually expected support here – I “tough love” myself quite enough. If I were not acting in a responsible way, I’d appreciate the feedback. But black/white judgement isn’t appropriate in most situations. Life is pretty darn gray.

I joined to hopefully find a lifeline to normal

I joined to hopefully find a lifeline to normal.


  • Ran up debt.
  • Declared bankruptcy.
  • Ran up debt.
  • Had a family member pay that off (and make me repay only half).
  • Ran up more debt.

Now I’m pissed. I’m smart, educated, successful, and well-liked by friends and colleagues.

But I couldn’t even tell you why I have this debt.

I took out a loan to remove most of my debt from credit cards, but this just sucks. I hate being stressed about money and I’m so over doing this to myself.

My goal is four years to debt-free (excluding student loans).

hi! I joined the group for the same reason. so i dont feel like i am alone in this mess.
i also ran up debt, paid it all off, ran it up again to an astronomical amount

was going to file bankruptcy, even spoke to a lawyer. but right now tryiing to make deals with my creditors to see what is best. for me if i have to budget and pay something off even if its a settlement amount. i feel like its a lesson for me to not do this again. my goal is also 4 years to debt free!!!

Depending on what the debt is, you may want to look at something I call ‘Emotional Consuming’. You’ve done this in and out of debt repeatedly, so I’m wondering if… like an emotional overeater, you may be trying to ‘feed’ a hunger within. My fella’s sister is in your shoes too.

I know some compulsive shoppers and such never even wear or use what they buy, they just love the sense of empowerment and in some cases, respect when they whip out that credit card. I work in retail, and while *I* do not do this, some places actually tell their employees how to make the customer buy things they do not need. Usually, in the telemarketing side, brow-beating is also used.

Having said this, of course Medical emergencies and debt incurred by medical and home repair on an emergent status is another kettle of fish.

Many compulsive shoppers and so on ARE charismatic and quite nice to be near as people, they hide their hurt well.

IMHO, I think a support group for compulsives or even a bit of counseling would also help you, along with being here. Many of us CAN help you, but if (I say IF) you are shopping to sho and feel good about yourself, this would be served with a counselor.

The loan is to lower the interest rates and make the payment manageable. I’ve also locked those cc’s up with a family member who lives far away and is supportive of my efforts. I don’t know their numbers so no more spending.

I’m choosing not to close them because my credit score is actually pretty good. And with my experience in the credit industry, I know that it will tank if I close them. But they’re gone. Out of reach. Every five months or so, I’m going to buy gas or something small so I have usage to report to keep my rating up. But again, I’m going to have the fam member with me and they keep the card. She’s serving as my “sponsor.”

And to the person who brought up the emotional spending, thank you. It is a compulsion. Just like an eating disorder or gambling disorder. I now check out a personal finance/debt management book out of the library every two weeks to get wiser.

Refinancing Mortgage

Hi everyone,

I have a question about refinancing my mortgage. I have just started getting my program to get out of debt, so my credit rating is very low right now. My mortgage, which I took out two years ago, is a 30-year ARM and had a two-year period to readjustment. It just hit the two-year mark and adjusted up, though due to interest rate cuts, not as much as it could have.

Because of my credit score, I can’t refinance or get a better interest rate. But … I am wondering … if I were to call my mortgage lender and request to change to a 15-year mortgage instead of the 30-year I have now, would they be more likely to refinance at a better interest rate?

Internal Revenue Service

I thought I’d write while I’m on hold for now 40 minutes with the IRS. I’m sure this won’t get through but it will be cathartic for me.

a) Obviously the IRS does not have enough seasonal employees or I wouldn’t have to be on hold this long.

b) Why do they ask you for a bunch of information they already have? I put my SSN in the phone pad when I first called so why are they asking for it again.

c) Why does the recording tell me my call is important? I’m sure they could not care less about my call or anyone else’s. My call and everyone else’s is disturbing their nap.

Well after several months of back and forth with them I finally got them to agree to remove the garnishment while they analyze my correspondence.

I said it once and I’ll say it again. The IRS is nothing but a government-sponsored scam!

I agree. So we should all tell our representatives to push for the Fair Tax as written be Congressman John Linder! It was an independent research conducted by top notch Universities and it will work.

You would not believe the sheer volume of phone calls that the IRS gets on a daily basis. Many of them have no real purpose. Such as “Did you get my check? I mailed it 3 days ago and I got a signed receipt for it. I am just calling to double check.”

So, that is who is taking up the time and making you wait 40 minutes or more to get your call answered. I’ve been dealing with the IRS for over a year now with many, many phone calls. It’s always at least 45 minutes or more on hold. Funny thing is the on hold music is the music from the Nutcracker!

I knew they were classical “standards” but I didn’t realize it was from that ballet. I figured they were using music in the public domain so they didn’t have to pay royalties.