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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Is bankruptcy a good option in my case?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10154 points ) February 18th, 2011 from iPhone

I have many unpaid credit cards and loans. My credit is shot. I am unable to pay any of my debts off. I live in NY and am wondering if I would be able to file for bankruptcy? I estimate my debt to be around $9,000. Annually I only make around $18,000. Any information regarding bankruptcy would be greatly appreciated.

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8 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

If you mean to restructure your debt through a chapter 11, than it might be a way to go. However, I suggest you try working with the creditors yourself, perhaps with an advocate from the bank or other reputable person.

Bankruptcy is not something to take lightly. My son had to declare Chapter 7, all debts retired, because he had been separated from the Navy and discovered his wife had disappeared after running up $10,000 worth of debt, his car repossessed and he was evicted from his apartment, all while he was on an aircraft carrier in the Middle East.

faye's avatar

There are credit counselling companies that used to advertise that they would work with you and the companies you owe money to so you don’t have to declare bankruptcy. I don’t remember any names, though.

marinelife's avatar

Bankruptcy lasts for years and years and can affect your ability to get a mortgage or buy a car.

I would try working with a credit counseling group (make sure it is one that is non-profit).

tranquilsea's avatar

I would avoid bankruptcy at all costs. Get a second job, have your husband get a second job. Have the proceeds of the job go to just paying down that debt. Short term pain for long term gain.

Bankruptcy would haunt you well past when you would have been able to pay off your debts.

geeky_mama's avatar

Legislation passed in the past few years has made bankruptcy more difficult to qualify for – you’ll need a bankruptcy attorney to walk you through which kind of bankruptcy you qualify for or whether your debt to future expected income ratio even makes you a good candidate for bankruptcy.
Finding a REPUTABLE lawyer in your area would be a great first step.

You can also look at online “bankruptcy means” calculators to see for yourself which kind of bankruptcy (re-structuring, where you pay back the debts over more time, or “clean slate” where it’s wiped out) you can qualify for based on your household income.
Here’s one possible calculator link.

Last but not least, a cautionary tale. My husband’s ex declared bankruptcy and found difficulty even finding a place that would rent to her.
It’s a terrible black mark on your record for at minimum 7 to 8 years.
She’s had difficulty buying cars, purchasing home appliances and still is unable to have a credit card several years after.
Because she discharged some debts due to bad checks she wrote for the first few years she was even unable to have a checking account – no bank would touch her. Her circumstances may be financially more dire than yours (so your mileage may vary)...but something to keep in mind.

Also, some kinds of bankruptcy have rules about how many valuables you can keep. Take a look around you – if you have a good car (value in excess of $4k), good computer, any jewelry that has value..some flavors of bankruptcy would require you to liquidate (sell/auction) of anything you have of value to repay your creditors.

sharpstick's avatar

We faced this decision a few years ago at $40k in debt. I met with a lawyer about declaring bankruptcy and eventually decided work with a credit counseling group. I’m glad we did, it helped us to have a plan instead of hopelessness. It got us away from using credit cards. It also put us in a great position to pay off the debt once and for all. It was a great feeling of accomplishment and a positive step forward on our lives, something to celebrate.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Consumer Credit Counseling is available in NY. They are a nonprofit group that will work as a go between with you and the creditors. You can also negotiate directly with the creditors if your skills are reasonable in that area. Generally, creditors average 6 cents on a dollar of debt when someone goes bankrupt, so they work with you. Stay away from the services that advertise a lot. They’re often scams. If you want any more info pm me.

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