Do People Lead Regular, Happy Lives After BK?
So, I may be nowhere near BK. Maybe. But's in the back of my mind as something that I could see happening someday. We're a middle-income couple (will make gross $75,000 to $80,000 combined) with baby on the way. We've about $29,000 in credit card and bank loan debt and will soon start paying on $30,000 in school loans. We own one car, but will need another. We just bought a house, so very little equity in it. We live in Ohio. Here're my questions, and they're filled with what ifs. What if, when baby comes, it becomes obvious we can't pay the bills, which is what I suspect will happen. We'll probably be fine until then, able to put some money toward debt to knock it down. I could even get a second part time job to cover some of the cost. I've been reading some of the boards, I guess trying to ease my panic and fears. I know BK is a huge deal. Nothing to slough off. Not a simple solution, but the "last resort." And something I would like to avoid like the black plague. I'm not sure how to do it, other than try, try, try to make the payments. Anyway, questions ... Anybody out there go through a similar situation. Does our "story" sound like yours? Or does it sound like I'm over-reacting at this point? I read a lot of this-and-that about troubles post-BK with creditors and such. I'm not talking getting credit, but other problems. Is this the majority or the minority of BKs? Do most go smooth with the only worries after being "living on cash" for a couple years? I've read all about exemptions and that the majority of people don't lose anything at all. What about our one car that's paid off? Do we stand to lose that? I'm pretty sure that our house would be exempt and most everything in it. And what about needing a second car? Is BK really a "fresh start" or is it a "rough fresh start?" Do people go on to live regular, normal lives like they always thought they would? Does the fear that you'll lose everything and be homeless and destitute every really go away? That you'll lose your family and loved ones? I mean, maybe our situation is like millions and millions of Americans, but I still feel like getting up and walking out the door and never coming back sometimes. My wife told me the truth, which is no one can show you the future and promise that your life will be simple and easy. It's just funny that you really think that it will be, you know?
Our discharge was 10 years ago. The high point was right after the discharge- we had saved our house / cars and we felt like a huge weight had been lifted from our shoulders; the low point was probably a year or two later when we realized that we were still living beyond our means. Instead of living on a budget, we wasted every dollar we earned and spent years playing catch-up with our mortgage and car payments. Ten years and 3 kids later we are finaly mature enough to control our spending. If it comes to the point that bk is your only option, make the best of a bad situation and learn from it. I have to laugh at this post, only becuase I just opened my mailbox and in it was my discharge. The reason why I said laughed is because I feel so much relief now that I can get a "fresh start". After years of struggling with payments to the CC companies and other bills I now can start over. I went the route of phone calls to the compaies and even had a go with 2 credit counseling agencies I then realized that they were not in it to help me only to lengthen the time until bankruptcy. The question was do peole lead reqular lives after bankruptcy? The answer is with each person. My atttorney has said to me that he is swamped with cases right now and he feels I filed at the right time, knowing that within the next few months it is going to get harder to file a chapter 7. All I will say is today I got my discharge tomorrow I start fresh.
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