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Coping with the stress of debt lawsuits and/or bankruptcy


BlackMetallic
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Hi All,

 

I'm just looking to find how some of you cope with all the stresses of fighting debt lawsuits or surviving bankruptcy, whatever your predicament is. I initially fought debt lawsuits in 2011-2013 period, but have eventually decided to file for Bankruptcy.  I have a good Bankruptcy attorney, but he is not equipped to be my psychologist , so I am trying to find a way to cope. What do all of you do when the blues hits hard? It doesn't happen much to me, but when it does, it's with full force...

 

Last week has been particularly hard. After a lot of push and pull with the Trustee for the price/terms of the car buyback agreement (unfortunately, I was able to exempt only part of my equity as the car has been paid off), and finding out that he won't budge on the price, I've realized that the agreement is not really a good deal for me, and have started coming to terms with surrendering the vehicle. And then, the mortgage lender comes in on Friday with their motion for relief of stay (even though I've been actively closing the gap and doing the loan mod), and I realized I will need to essentially give up the car to save the house. I'm pretty confident my Attorney will defeat their stupid motion (per my attorney, their motion's got a couple of major flaws in it), but it sucks when you find out on a Friday that they have filed for it. Plus it reminds of the saying that "the difference between a rattlesnake and a bank is that a rattlesnake will warn you before it bites!"

 

It's been much harder than I thought it'd be, emotionally. I guess I got quite attached to my car over the years, even though it needs a bunch of maintenance and repairs. So, I am looking for rentals to tide me over until the discharge (when I can get a car loan again), and the emotions have been a bit overwhelming a bit. First I kept telling myself that it was "just a car", but then going back to 2006 when I bought it, I recall how happily I drove it off the lot (was just a 1 year old car), and, after a couple of cheap econoboxes,  it was my first comfy car with a V6 that I was planning to use for a bunch of road trips, etc. But then, the financial troubles hit a year or two after, and there was never enough money for those trips, so I ended up with a not very fuel-efficient commuter vehicle.

 

Eventually, when the dust settles, I'll be able to get another car, more suited for commuting and with better mileage and all. I know things we'll get better, but it sure stings a little bit right now :(

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As you already know the worst thing about all of this is worrying until everything is finalized. I could have filed CH7 without any major issues, but I decided to fight them one at a time instead. Probably the best thing you have going for you is once its done then it should be done. Unlike my choice, which even after defeating several in court, I still have a couple hanging out there. I have no clue if they will never act or are waiting until just before the SOL expires to attack. I have fought some on my own and others with an attorney. Either way I have worried day and night about each one. The really sad thing about it all is that you know the other side has probably not lost a second of sleep over any of it. For us its personal and for them its just another day at the office.

 

The hardest thing for many here, including myself, is to have someone to discuss things with. CIC has been a great outlet since I don't feel comfortable speaking in detail with those around me. Prayer and/or meditation can be very helpful while you are going through this. Once your BK is over with I would just try to concentrate on going forward and don't look back. 

 

Good Luck! 

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The hardest thing for many here, including myself, is to have someone to discuss things with. CIC has been a great outlet since I don't feel comfortable speaking in detail with those around me. Prayer and/or meditation can be very helpful while you are going through this.

 

I think you've really nailed it with that statement. There is just so much social stigma regarding debt and bankruptcy that most people hide their problems and project a happy face to the world. It seems that too many people look at all these issues EXCLUSIVELY from the personal responsibility angle, as if we had total and complete control of everything happening in our lives. Yet it is incorrect to take a look at the personal behavior alone outside of the system and ignore the context it which it all happens. Maybe we should blame it on schools, but people really do not get taught systems & organizational thinking nearly enough. Somehow, the debt trouble so often gets pinned down as an individual problem and not the weakness of the system itself. I think the credit card universal default laws that were passed in 2004 created just so much pain and misery, but it's hard to find people who are willing to put the judgments aside and have an open discussion about banking, finance, debt collection industry, etc. I love the fact that we have this forum. It has been absolutely incredibly helpful.

 

I could have filed CH7 without any major issues, but I decided to fight them one at a time instead. Probably the best thing you have going for you is once its done then it should be done.

 

 

I can only imagine how difficult is to know when the new JDB is going to wake up and hit with a lawsuit. During my lawsuit fight phase, there were periods where I had months worth of piece, and then periods when I had 2-3 "attackers" going at the same time. I'm happy the debt will be discharged in Chapter 7, but since I am late on both of my mortgages, I am prepping for a foreclosure fight of my life. For a while, I wanted to procede fighting JDB's and OC's one by one, but then I got in mortgage trouble, and decided to focus on saving the house first and foremost, so BK came as a handy tool to wipe out CC debt, so that I am not fighting on too many fronts. But, bankruptcy is really not an easy way out, and it took me very long time to decide to actually do it.

 

I need to resume my meditation practice. I did a lot of it in the 90's, but unfortunately stopped. Lately, I've been going swimming, and that has really helped with the stress level. Something about the water being so relaxing...

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The really hard part...deciding to file...is over.  Now, just wait.  You'll get thru it.  And rest assured, you're not alone.  Look around your neighborhood.  Chances are 1 in 5 of your neighbors have filed.  And, like you, they weren't "deadbeats".  The economy chewed up a lot of us.  In our case, we had a business and our major customer declared BK 11...left us holding $250k in uncollectable receivables.  We used CCs and LOCs to meet payroll, and then had to file personal BK to get away from the personal guarantees.

 

Stuff happens.

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I need to resume my meditation practice. I did a lot of it in the 90's, but unfortunately stopped. Lately, I've been going swimming, and that has really helped with the stress level. Something about the water being so relaxing...

 

I forgot to mention the exercise part! Things as simple as riding a bike, walking or jogging can really help get your mind straight. 

 

Less time on the computer will also help. Every time I'm online I start researching lawsuits. 

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I m tired of fighting, I have 3 coming at me right now,plus house in foreclosure , went to arbitration today they will get a judgement of 12,000. it was awful debt collector phoned in with a witness to prove he was representing Citi ....I don't know what to do, I want my life back ...So is bankruptcy the answer and what kind do I need . I have always paid my debts I have my own biz but with relationship break up left me with a mess and kept digging a bigger hole .

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I m tired of fighting, I have 3 coming at me right now,plus house in foreclosure , went to arbitration today they will get a judgement of 12,000. it was awful debt collector phoned in with a witness to prove he was representing Citi ....I don't know what to do, I want my life back ...So is bankruptcy the answer and what kind do I need . I have always paid my debts I have my own biz but with relationship break up left me with a mess and kept digging a bigger hole .

 

Yup, I second what @willingtocope said. I'd go and get even 3-4 free bankruptcy consultations with different lawyers before you settle on the one that's the best for you. You are also going to get the most ouf ot these lawyers while they're trying to retain you as a client. Once you pay your fees, most lawyers (there are noble exceptions, though) become a bit scarce, so you end up working with their paralegals more than with lawyers themselves. They becomes less available for questions, etc (my experience). For that reason, get as many free consults from different lawyers as possible.

 

As far as which bankruptcy: there is a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. If you are unemployed or have low income, Chapter 7 is the only solution. If you have steady income, Chapter 13 may be better, as it is better equipped for saving your house from the foreclosure. But it lasts for 3-5 years and you got to be current on the payments throughout that period. Chapter 7 will delay a foreclosure, but it is a temporary measure. However, even a 3-4 month delay (that is how long a Chapter 7 usually lasts) will help you get the stress level down and give you time to consider your options, which is very hard to do with aggressive creditor attorneys breathing down your neck, and impending wage garnishments and such.

 

Finally, when you consult with a BK attorney, try to find out how long it will take your creditor to start garnishing wages/levying bank accounts after they won that judgment. You have some time (I think), but you probably want to synchronize your BK filing before they start doing so. Filing for BK stops all wage garnishment and bank levying dead in its tracks, but if they start garnishing before BK filing, then it'll get more complicated to get that money back. Also, it takes time to assemble and file all the documents for BK, but some of the Lawyers use software packages that make entering all that data easier for you.

 

Yeah, Citi is by far one of the worst banks to deal with. They very rarely sell their debt and almost always eventually sue. When I search through my local court for the debt lawsuits, the vast majority are by Citi. They are a big reason why I filed for Chapter 7. They got so much money through bank bailouts yet they keep suing and suing. Isn't that called double-dipping???

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@BlackMetallic - I can tell you my husband and I have gone through a business failure, foreclosure on our house, BK, and the IRS harassing us - we are still together through thick and thin and you have to know that it will be over eventually and things WILL get better!  Life is for sure cyclical and what goes down, must come up!  Keep your chin up - know you ARE NOT ALONE. 

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Thanks every one it sur helps to know you are not alone, it sucks that so many of us working hard in America got the shaft ...I own a building ok so the bank owns most of it , so I spoke with a lawyer and he said to get a cma on it, property values are pretty low here on the Oregon coast so If I can prove they won't get anything selling it perhaps I can keep it . It is where I have my business and for what I pay in a mortgage I can not find a rental ...ugh! This would be a definate last resort BK.

 

::drowning::

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I met with another lawyer got lots of info , started the course online , he said his fees are 2000 is that the going rate? I did receive good news he was concerned about my business building being worth more than I owe. Yesterday I got my property taxes and they reduced the building assed value to 84,000 , well that's a first, down 120,000 in value so there is no way they will make me sell it. worth less than I owe...

So I feel pretty good about that .

Thanks everyone for the great feedback...S.

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I met with another lawyer got lots of info , started the course online , he said his fees are 2000 is that the going rate? I did receive good news he was concerned about my business building being worth more than I owe. Yesterday I got my property taxes and they reduced the building assed value to 84,000 , well that's a first, down 120,000 in value so there is no way they will make me sell it. worth less than I owe...

So I feel pretty good about that .

Thanks everyone for the great feedback...S.

 

Did he tell you if it is $2,000 all together, or if it is $2,000 plus the court filing fees? I would tend to think it's probably the latter, and it sonds like a deccent deal, considering that you have a business, and that the Chapter 7 (I am assuming you're going for 7) gets a bit more involved if you have a business/business debt. If you look at some of the bankruptcy schedules (forms), there will be a lot of extra questions to answer if you have been running a business in the last 6 years. I don't recall the section all that well, since it didn't apply to me, but I believe you have to include some profit/loss statements, bookkeeping records, etc. Doesn't seem too bad, just time consuming. I think this may be on the statement of financial affairs form, but I could be mistaken. If you google "Statement of financial affairs", it will take you to uscourts.gov web site, where you can see all of the empty bankruptcy forms. These will give you a decent idea of what kind of information is be requested of you to provide.

 

You are a sole proprietor and not a corporation, right? The reason I mention this is that corporations, unlike real people, do not survive chapter 7 bankruptcy. But if you're the sole proprietor, the business is you, so you should be fine!

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  • 2 months later...

Thank you all for your support it has been invaluable...I filed Bankruptcy Dec 5 , all my debtors have been notified , court cases shut down ...that feels good ....I have not heard from the courts regarding trustee yet. I did the paper work myself just keeping my fingers crossed that I did it right. I went thru a online company which guides you for 150.00 bucks then I went through the state forms , it is a paper tiger but is possible ....I am keeping my fingers crossed I did it right ...Happy New Year

Susan ..

The paper tiger Queen

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