Can Your Creditors Still Sue You After Bankruptcy?

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I think my biggest fear after bankruptcy was that my creditors would still be able to collect money from me, or to sue me/ garnish my wages somehow.

When my husband and I were finally able to declare bankruptcy, we had already been dealing with collection companies for several years. They regularly called us at work, at home, and they called several of our family members as well. We rarely answered the phone when it rang, and many companies called early, and late (past the hours they are allowed to call.)

We also had two judgments, one mine, one my husbands. The final straw that tipped the scales was a wage garnishment. It was the second time my husband’s wages had been garnished, and it was because of a medical bill that was way overdue.

The month he learned of the garnishment (which went through his work, so all the HR people knew about it) we would not have been able to pay our rent, or food or gas if it went through. So, we decided that it was finally time to end the mess and just declare bankruptcy. We took $200 as a down payment to a lawyer, who thankfully agreed to a payment arrangement.

Honestly I think he only agreed to the payment arrangement because we were totally organized. Before we approached him, we put together a 3 inch binder filled with all of our bills, and all of the information we knew he would need.

He took our case, stopped the garnishment, and two months later our bankruptcy was discharged.

For the first few months afterward, I kept waiting for the phone to ring. It did still ring frequently, but by then, I was happy to answer it because I knew that once I did, those collection reps could never call me again. It was very simple. They called, and called. It was usually an automated call which meant that I had to sit on the line for ten minutes or so. Once I reached a person, I gave them my case number, date of discharge, and my lawyers name and info.

After that, most of the companies never called back again.

I did have some lingering fears. For instance, I knew that we had debts that we had not listed on our bankruptcy application. We didn’t list them because our debt had been sold over and over so many times that we didn’t really know who owned it at that time.

Still, one by one those companies got in touch with us. I gave them all of our information too, and they have not bothered us since.

In my experience, a company cannot collect from you, or sue you once you have declared bankruptcy, as long as you give them the information they need. Even if, like us, you did not include the debt when you filed, it was still included as long as you had the debt before you walk into the lawyer’s office to file bankruptcy.

It is important for me to say though, that we had one medical bill that we incurred between the date we filed for bankruptcy, and the date it was discharged. That debt, we did have to pay. Apparently once you file, that’s it. It cuts off from the day of filing, not the date of your discharge.

We did not have any credit cards when we filed for bankruptcy, so I cannot tell you for sure whether or not we would have been able to keep them open. I can say that we had a very easy time opening up secured credit card account about six months after our bankruptcy. I seriously doubt that we had to wait six months to open those accounts either. We only waited to give ourselves time to get everything straightened out before we jumped back into the credit market.

Also, for those who might be interested, my first unsecured credit card after bankruptcy was a Target credit card, about two years after my bankruptcy was discharged.

Have a question for me? Leave a comment below and I’ll answer it!

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56 Responses to “Can Your Creditors Still Sue You After Bankruptcy?”

  1. Jeannie Says:

    When filing, you are supposed to list all of your debts on the bankruptcy. If there are any accounts that you wish to keep open (say, a car loan if you want to keep the car, or perhaps a credit account, a personal loan from a friend or relative), you reaffirm those accounts when you go through the bankruptcy process. Reaffirming just means that you are saying that you are legally responsible to pay the accounts that you reaffirm, and they will not be discharged (with the other debts) through the bankruptcy. The entity you have the account with must agree to reaffirm the debt with you, but apparently many are willing to do this… if for no other reason than that you are still legally obligated to pay them.

    If you had a credit card, you probably could have kept the account. But then you would still have to pay the debt on that card, so especially if you have a card with a high balance it probably wouldn’t make sense to do that. I have read that, if you did have a card with a small balance, you could reaffirm that to help rebuild your credit after filing. This would help because you would still have credit granted to you to use, and paying on time would lengthen the positive payment history on your credit report.

    The only thing you wrote that gives me pause… I would strongly caution anyone against leaving a debt off of their filing just because they do not know who now owns the rights to the debt. You may have lucked out with the creditors that you did not list. I don’t know how thoroughly collectors check these things, but the fact that you had valid information to back up your claim that you filed for bankruptcy may have been enough for that particular collections agency. They may not have actually checked your bankruptcy filing to ensure that the debt they were trying to collect was listed therein.

    I would think that, even if a person did not know who currently held the debt, they should at least list the initial account or the last known agency that held rights to that debt. To anyone who is currently filing or planning to do so, you should definitely ask your lawyer about this if it is an issue that might pertain to you. If you are going to deal with the consequences of filing, you may as well ensure that you discharge all of your debts (unless you make the conscious decision to reaffirm a debt).

    Also, it is good to know that if a debt is inadvertently left off of your filing and you realize it after the bankruptcy closes, you can have your lawyer file an amendment to add the omitted debt, which will discharge that debt as well. I’m not sure about all the details about this, but it is an option. Again, it’s another thing to talk to your lawyer about.

  2. chris Says:

    We are having the house discharged in a bankruptcy. Once the debt of the mortgage is discharged who is responsible for the HOA and COA fees? Is it the bank (Trustee) or us?

    Thank you for your time,
    Chris

  3. Nancy Says:

    My husband and I are planning to file bankruptcy.My question is, we opened up a new account with Discover in hopes to transfer a higher balance over,however Discover only transfered half because of our credit. This account is so new we haven’t received a bill yet,should we transfer the Discover amount back to the original account,before we file?

  4. jose Says:

    can a crediter cakk my sisters house because im in dept with capital one credit card they keep calling my house but im always at work . but i think its against the law to call a family member because there telling my sister how much i owe on my dept and everything can u give me an answer i live in mass.

  5. Louis Wein Says:

    Sir:

    I am a 100% disabled veteran. My wife and I 67 and 68 years old, repectively. Of our 7 children, one died; five are adults; and, one remains our dependent attending college. He is 21. I served 18 years in the United States Marine Corps (4 years enlisted Active Duty; 2 years enlisted Inactive Reserves; and, 13 years as an Reserve Officer.

    I was on extended Active Duty when I suffered a near-death injury. I began treatment with the VA for PTSD in April 2003. I filed my Disability Claim in Novemeber 2003 for PTSD and physical medical issues directly related to my military service. In September 2006, I was awarded 100% disability compensation on a disability rating of 130%. It took over 3 years to process my claim. Normal time frames for processing a claim was 6 to 8 months.

    In March 2005,my wife and I were forced into filing a voluntary, individual Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2005 (under the BA of 1978 as amended) due to the nonfeasance by the NY Regional Office of the VA (recently learned due to misconduct/corruption as widely reported in the media/press).

    I am not an attorney but filed PRO SE. I attended the 341 Hearing about a month after filing. I advised the Trustee that I had pending litigation involving a personal injury matter dating to 2003.

    At the time of filing, we were insolvent. Our income was about $3,000 a month and our expenditures about $6,000 a month. $1100 of income was from Social Security Disability. We had absolutely no assets. We had at that time a minor child living with us (who now attends college and remains our dependent).

    In July 2005, I received a DISCHARGE from the Bankruptcy Court (EDNY). From the time of the 341 hearing in April 2005 until Janurary 19, 2009, I had not heard from the Trustee (even though I was listed as a Pro Se filer). On that day, I was advised that the original trustee vacated his trusteeship; that a new trustee had taken over; and, that their existed $26,000 in unsecured, non-priority claims. I learned this from my personal injury attorneys (who were never listed as attorneys of record for the Bankruptcy).

    I disputed the claims listed in the Registry of Claims with the new Trustee noting that they were dated 16 months AFTER my discharge and about 20 months AFTER the Court Notice for Creditors to file objections to discharge. I also noted that one claim was listed as “secured” but that is false. The only secured loan I had was for my home for which I paid “IN FULL” the mortgage due in September 2002.

    Since 2003 until 2009, I received NO communication from the Trustee or the Office of Trustee. I did receive a Court Clerk Notice that my status had changed due to “DIVIDENDS” received, but (1) I never received any “DIVIDENDS”; (2) this notice was dated more than a year after my DISCHARGE; (3) there were NO objections filed to my Discharge; (4) there exist no Section 523 or Section 727(a) Exceptions; (5) the Registry of Claims indicates that these creditors filed their claims more than a year after the discharge; there is NO proof or justification of claims; (6) the 2 largest claims were “charged off” more than 5 years BEFORE my filing for Bankruptcy; etc, etc.

    My personal injury attorneys notified the new Trustee that my personal injury case was going to trial. the Trustee objected to the trial stating she was going to FORCE a settlement so that creditors could be paid.

    I represented myself at the NYS Supreme Court hearing (Staten Island) taking the position that my trial should proceed. It was only at this hearing that I learned that defendent’s Allstate Insurance attorney offered a $150,000 settlement. [I was initially advised of an offer of between $25k and $75k). The judge ruled that the matter belongs in Bankruptcy Court (I refute this citing both Statutory and Case Law).

    So now, following 3 surgeries; more than a dozen invasive medical procedures; six years of continuing treatment sustained in the personal injury — the Trustee is adamant in coercing a forced settlement in which I will receive less than the personal injury attorneys and after settling the Trustees estate less than $40k.

    A review of awards and settlements for the 3 surgeries (not including the SPINAL injuries sustained for which 4 VA Neurosurgeons recommend surgery)averages between $550,000 and $2.4 million.

    I claim a DISCHARGE is a DISCHARGE. The Trustee argues differently.

    I claim that Statutory Time Limits prevent non-secured creditors from making any new claims. The Trustee argues otherwise.

    I claim the existence of many procedural (FRCP and FRBP) have been violated. The Trustee disagrees.

    I claim my Constitutional Right to trial by Jury (7th and 14th Amendments) have been violated by the Trustee. She disagrees.

    I have asked the Trustee to agree to a Conference with the Judge pursuant to the FRBP. She refuses and is adamant in filing a Motion.

    The Trustee refuses to provide “Proof of Claim” which involves the specifics of the debt; agreements signed; when signed; by whom signed; under what auspices I incurred these debts, etc.

    I currently have income of about $4,600 a month (from VA Disability and Social Security). My current monthly expenses are about are about $4,100 a month (rent,utilities, food, etc.).

    I called the Pro Se Office at EDNY for assistance and advice. I also wanted to be put into contact with a PRO BONO attorney. I’ve heard nothing in 4 weeks.

    I could use some advice. Thanks,

  6. mary Says:

    People like you make me sick!!! Just the thought that you can wake up one day and be cleared of all of your problems while the rest of us clean up your mess just disgusts me!!! I sold my house and as a nice person I held a 2nd mortgage and paid settlement costs for the newlyweds with a baby. I actually paid the mortgage company some money so that they could get a good start. Well needless to say, 18mos later they decided not to pay anymore bills. They hadn’t paid me most of that time either. That is pretty much the end.
    They claimed bankruptcy and 2 months later I am out $40,000! The first bank gets to sell the house and the township gets their taxes.
    Meanwhile…they both work, had a ton of lights, decorations and trash at their house on Christmas, a new car, a new apartment….

    HOW IS THIS FAIR? THEY ARE LIVING OFF OF MY HUSBANDS RETIREMENT MONEY! NOW HE HAS TO WORK ANOTHER 2 YEARS BEFORE RETIREMENT!

    I HOPE YOU ARE PROUD OF YOURSELF. Have a nice day

  7. mary Says:

    I have a few corrections…

    This above comment does not apply to everyone but it does apply to Jenna and similar cases.

    The township does not get the taxes either, but I still donot get anything.

    MY HUSBAND HAS TO WORK ANOTHER 4 1/2 YEARS AND SAVE REALLY HARD TO RECOUP OUR RETIREMENT!

  8. David Gibson Says:

    My attorney has filed my petition for bankruptcy and my hearing is scheduled for May 14, 2009. When looking on line at my credit card accounts, I notice that they have almost all disappeared except for one. Suddenly, Bank of America has come up with a whole new account number and is claiming an amount due of approximately $5,000. I claimed the two accounts I had with them in my petition for bankruptcy and this new account number is NOT one of the two I claimed. They have gone ahead and MADE UP an entirely NEW account number. It appears that I am now responsible for paying that new account. Is that possible? Please advise.

  9. Shelley Says:

    Hi, I am recently separated and my ex left me with a huge mortgage payment, and major debt. When we were together he borrowed a huge amount of money from his parents and now they are expecting me to pay half of the debt back. I paid off most of our debt except this one and the mortgage. The house is in foreclosure and his parents are threatening to take me to court for amount owing. After the foreclosure my ex will probably force me into bankruptcy with him as he can’t affort to pay anything back. What are my options?

  10. Mary Says:

    This was extremely helpful but I have a question or clarification.

  11. Mary Says:

    I have a former tenant who chose not to pay their rent. They filed for bankruptcy in May 2008 and it closed in March of 2009. I have a judgement against them for $3000 dated 6/5/2009. This dismissal has not yet bee set.

    The former tenant says he is “re-opening his bankruptcy” and adding this debt to it. Is this possible to leverage this in this manner even after the bankruptcy is closed?

  12. Kelly Says:

    My husband filed for bankruptcy several yrs after I had and claimed all of our medical on there. The court accepted it and there was no disagreement by anyone. The court paid out on the accounts and discharged the rest. The hospital turned around and sued me for the total amount of the accounts. Can they do that?
    They also tried to garnish my checking account again even though they know I onle have disability. Can they keep trying to garnish me when they know disability is all I have?
    They also served me with papers to appear in court again and supply all my finacial stuff. When I called their office to ask them what they wanted I was told they just needed a new payment schedule. I informed them that they had not sent me a new one in 1 1/2 yrs. But I had written down my payments on the old form and made all payments on time. The form clearly says they will garnish you IF you miss a payment which I had not done. Can they do this?
    I mean sheesh, take me to court for a payment schedule and they know I’m disabled. Thanks for answers…

  13. carla Says:

    I let the company I work for use my personal credit card and the debit is up to 67,000.00. The company is an LLC in Texas and not doing very well. Is there anything I can do tomake sure my credit card gets paid off by my company? Thanks

  14. Les Says:

    How much did the bankruptcy lawyer cost?
    Do you need a lawyer to file bankruptcy?
    My credit card debt was sold to a collector and then to a law firm
    who sent me papers stating that I am sued for the debt and to respond in 10 days. Not sure what the response they are looking for?
    The only thing I owe in my name is my truck which is broken and I can not afford to fix it. My credit card debt was about $2,500 but with the late fees and interest it is up to $3,700 even though the cap on the card was $3000. I have been unemployed for 3 years. Should I file for bankruptcy and can I do this without a lawyer?

  15. Roni Says:

    My husband and I filed bankruptcy on Oct. 10. our court hearing was Nov. 15 2009.
    M

  16. Alisha Says:

    Wow, reading all of the above passages, I am saddened, and my heart goes out to all of those people who are struggling to make ends meet. There was a lady above who talked about how you “people” disgust her. And although I can understand her anger, there are thousands of people out there, especially in todays economy, who need the help ad the relief. These ceditors can destroy you life, put you on the street. And when you don’t have the money, you don’t have it. It’s not like you can pull it out of your ears.
    Of course, there will always be people who take advantage of the stuation, and with that, I empathize with Mary. But for everyone else, I say to do what is best or you and your family. There is no stress like the stress of being in debt and broke with people clawing at your back for money, money you don’t have.
    I filed bankruptcy, and was discharged two months ago. At first I was very ashamed, but you know what? The feeling of relief I felt from being cleared from THOUSANDS of dollars…it felt like a million pounds lifed of my shoulder. And now I can do things the right way…I am actually saving money every month, instead of being in a negetive account trying to pay bills. And this is a blessing, especially with a baby on the way.
    I did a lot of research on bankruptcy, and at the end of the day, it is not the end of the world. Look at Donald Trump. He filed, and he has risen a stronger business man. I think we could all learn something from him. I think that you should weigh all your options and do a ton of research before you file. If your decision is to file, life goes on, and it will only get better from here.

  17. Janet Says:

    I’m sorry if someone has already addressed this as I haven’t read all of the responses.

    Although it is important to list everyone who claims to own your debt it is the account number and the account itself that you are discharging through bankruptcy. It doesn’t matter who claims to own it meaning a collection agency can’t come forward to start collecting on an account that has been discharged simply because their company name wasn’t listed on the bankruptcy. If that were the case no one would file. What would be the point?

    So, no matter what new agency may come along and tell you, it is the account that is discharged. Once it is discharged no one can collect or attempt to collect on it.

    Jenna, you handled this well. It is so important for people to keep their discharge letters. I am always surprised at how many people don’t do that.

  18. Janet Says:

    Mary,

    I am sorry to hear your plight but no one decides just for fun to not pay their bills. Yes, you were kind to help someone out but sometimes there are consequences to pay when you make such a grand gesture without really knowing who you’re making it for.

    “MY HUSBAND HAS TO WORK ANOTHER 4 1/2 YEARS AND SAVE REALLY HARD TO RECOUP OUR RETIREMENT!”

    Then I suggest in the future that you don’t put him in jeopardy by making such large financial decisions without having all of the facts as to what can happen to you if something should go wrong.

    “Meanwhile…they both work, had a ton of lights, decorations and trash at their house on Christmas, a new car, a new apartment…”

    This statement somewhat disturbs me. Are you keeping tabs on them? This behavior could be misconstrued. My advice would be to let it go and leave this family alone before your problems get much worse.

  19. Jaknik Says:

    No,an attorney is not needed to file for bankruptcy. It’s a step-by-step process. If a person can fill out income tax forms, he or she should be capable of filling in bankruptcy forms. It takes a bit of patience and a few deep breaths. How do I know? Did it. My 341 meeting is this Wednesday, April 14, 2010.

  20. helen simons Says:

    Can a Hospital sue me on my judgement liens that I have listed on my chapter 7 bankruptcy and it was discharged I am very upset and not sure what form I need to fill out for the court

  21. Kim Anderson Says:

    I have a question I filed for bankruptcy in 1989, it’s been twenty-one years since this unfortunate incident. I have since built my credit score up to a 798 which I am veryy proud of. By primary question is this today I received a letter in the mail from a creditor that was listed in my original bankruptcy stating that I know this money from 1989. What can I do and what are the laws that will protect me against us

  22. tim nunn Says:

    i filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1994 and it was discharged in couple months first i got lawyer $300a dn he stole my money skipped town along with many others then i just went to local office supply store and bought a us bankruptcy kit and filed my self and went to counrt represent myself and was discharged of all my debt. it was very easy to file and mail in papers along with court processing fee,so for under $200 you can buy the kit and fill it out best you can and mail it in with fee and go to court and your out of debt on chapter 7.i lawyer cant really help you in court,all the judge askes is if you wish to have these debts dismissed and your done.

  23. Chris Says:

    I filed in bankruptcy July ’09 and it was discharged in Oct ’09. Since then I have had just started invesigating and applying for credit. Capital One and HSBC, I found may be bankruptcy friendly, but not to those who had them included in the bankruptcy. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks

  24. Johnny Says:

    Our Chapter 7 has been discharged for over a year. The bank has still not foreclosed on our house.(which we have been out of for over a year)We have gone about rebuilding our credit wife nearing 700 and me in the mid 600. My questions is we will be able to buy a new house soon are have to wait 3 years after the foreclosurer

  25. Jodi Says:

    We filed for bankruptcy and had our creditor meeting back in October. We are re-affirming with our cars and house, but yet have not recieved a bill from those people yet. Will we be getting these bills again soon? I don’t want to loose my house or cars from not paying. We should be discharged in a couple months. Thank you so much for any advice you may have.

  26. Bob Says:

    I owed $790,000 and could not pay it back, so I filed a chapter 7.
    Now three years later I have a mortgage and two credit cards as well as a new car. Its great, I love it, bankrupcy is the best thing, a new start….Just do it, get your self cleard to start again. Thanks America…

  27. Cleo K Says:

    I dont have a problem with creditors calling, I changed my phone numbers to a throw away cell phone and they call that now.
    I owe a lot of money on several credit cards, over $80,000 now and I havent made a payment for 5 months now. I do have some nice clothes though. I hate credit card companys, when they say, ” when are you paying us back” I said I have paid you in full. They said,’have you!”. Yes I said, tax payers money, take it out of that…Hahaha
    I also asked if I could have a new card because the old one don’t work any more.

  28. beth Says:

    Dear Mary … even though I am sure you will never read this … I just wanted to say something to you.

    By saying “You people make me sick” … it is a very hurtful thing.

    I just want you to know … that my husband and I did ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING we could to prevent filing for TWO YEARS. We have 3 kids … and lived off $20 to $40 a week on groceries. I am sure you can imagine how LITTLE that truely buys.

    We had money in the bank … ALWAYS paid our bills … owned a house … 3 vechiles … and we doing fine. Then … for the past 2 years we had one bad thing happen after another. My husband had been layed off FOUR times in the past 24 months in the construction field. Each time got harder and harder to stay a float. BUT … EVERY bill was being paid. EVERY BILL!

    Then we sold our house in hopes of saving some money … but took a HUGE loss in order to get rid of it.

    Then suddenly we had no money in the bank … and we were sinking fast. We called EVERY creditor that we owed and NONE of them cared. Not ONE of them would give us a month off from paying … or lower our payment … or seemed to even want to help us. Then one day … there was no food in the house … and we stopped paying our debt … so our kids could eat. The first bill that we ignored … was the hardest for us. We took pride on ALWAYS paying our bills … and then suddenly … we stopped.

    We did not know what else to do. Filing was the only way for us to breath again … to keep a roof our our family’s head … to put food on the table … to have money in the bank again.

    SO Mary … you might wanna rethink what you say … when you say … “You people make me sick”. Because us “people” are just trying to provide for our families.

  29. Tiffany Says:

    Wow, it was nice to read that I am not alone. I too was married for 9 years and when I seperated I bought a house, 4 months later lost my job and was completely clueless as to what to do! Long story short I filed bankrupcy Oct 2010 and was discharged in Jan, and able to walk away from my divorce debt free with a new job and a new start (and I even kept my house).

    Question- Can a debtor still try to collect? I had a disturbing call from a “payday loan shark” saying they are sueing me for writing a bogus check… At first I was intimidated, but I thought quickly and told them I would have my attorney contact them, and they magically said “oh wait a minute, we see you filed chapter 7, nevermind” sooo is it legal for them to attempt to collect after a discharge??

    To Mary…
    I’m praying for you, you obviously have some demons that you need to address!!

    Have a great day…

  30. Dawn Says:

    I filed for bankruptcy in July of 2006 and it was discharged in November of 2007 (I made monthly paymenst totaling $1000 to the lawyer because I did not have the money all at one time 0 otherwise I could have paid some of the bills I owed). My husband passed away from Leukemia in 2001. I was 21 years old. I fought to pay those bills for 5 years as a widow, working a full and part time job, and only making $28,000 a year. We did not have children, but it was a struggle to pay for our bills. I turned to a credit counseling service who made a deal with my creditors and reduce payments and interest rates. It helped, but not much. Luckily, I had parents who were nice enough to let their 21 year old daughter move back in – rent free. Finally, after 5 years of paying I decided to file bankruptcy. Four years later, I am not proud of it, but I’m glad I have done it. I have learned from my mistakes. Yes I have credit cards, but I do pay atleast double the minimum payment (every month) and they could be paid off within 3 months. I live in my own apartment, pay all of my bills on time, and still have money to buy food. Imagine at the age of 21, losing a spouse, having no life insurance, and what little estate there was went to all of the bills that had his name on it, which left you nothing but the $255 lump sum that the government gives you, and what little bit of money you make working 2 jobs. No matter how old you are you should ALWAYS be prepared for anything. My dad had retired in 2009, but still has to work part time while my mom works a full and part time job. I believe it was 2 or 3 years ago that the economy went to hell in a handbasket, and my parents lost over $80,000 from their retirement fund. So my dad, who is 67 and has health issues still works too!

    To Mary, who will probably never read this, get over yourself. You are keeping such close tabs on the people that bought your house, but maybe you don’t know what else has happened to them. Maybe one of them lost their job, maybe one became ill, or maybe they just realized they were in over their head, and thought that a fresh clean start would help. I’m sorry that you lost $40k and your husband had to work another 4.5 years. BOOHOO!!! Why didn’t you get off the couch and go work too or pick up a second job? What about those of the younger generations that will never get to see their social security benefits that get taken out of their paycheck? People like YOU MAKE ME SICK!!! Not everyone has the “I’m holier than thou” attitude that you have. There are some demons in your life that I hope you get rid of. Whether you believe in it or not, there is a little thing called Karma – what goes around comes around. I feel sorry for you, Mary!!

  31. linda Says:

    I use to be married and was going alright, then found out I have a illness that could kill me and that was the end of my life I thought but I got credit cards because my credit was pretty good even bought a new car then I got divorced a year later which never thought that would happen to me. I still payed my bills but moved to another state with family. my husband wanted out of the marriage because I got too sick and had one stroke after the other which to this day im sure it was the medications the doctor had me on. now I am being sued, but I already decided to go to a lawyer because now am on ssi and no money to really live on. i had to borrow the money for chapter7, I went to the lawyer told her my story and she said they can’t take your money if on ssi for credit card debt. i told her that i wish to file and just use cash for now on. well finially it has come to my meeting july8th 2011 and get rid of those debts, i read what everyone wrote and it made me cry and so sad. i just want a new start without all the stress for that could kill me because of my illness…I been through enouph spending my life in hospitals. i need to rest in peace when i go..I have sceroderma and rhynaulds disease..

  32. Liz Says:

    To Mary and all those attacking her.. I have been on both sides of this fence. I am currently drowning in debt right now due to my ex-sister-in-law missing rent and owing me over $25,000. I bought a house when she and my niece/nephew had no place to go. It was bought with the stipulation that she would get her credit straightened up and get it in her name in a couple years. Well 7 years later, she never did this, moved out and left the place a mess. She has done it to another couple landlords since then, so it is not a one time thing. I wasn’t snooping but my niece, her daughter has told me this. Bad thing is I can’t sue her since she is on veterans disability, although she makes more than I do – again I was told this, I didn’t ask. I work more than full time and still can’t keep up with my bills since I have 2 mortgages. I am stuck with a house I can’t rent/sell until it is fixed up and I can’t afford to do that right now. So quit attacking Mary – you don’t know all of the situation. I know that some people just get in a bad situation and truly get behind on their bills – I have no ill feelings towards them, again I’ve been there and am there. But there are those who mismanage their money and expect a free ride or others to clean up their mess – this is wrong.

  33. LadySturdivant Says:

    I am filing Chapter 7 this week and I have been in law enforcement secretarial/records clerk work for 9yrs. I am also a little sad because my husband and I wanted to be police officers, but I read that once you file bankruptcy, law enforcement agencies will deny you. I am relieved that I will have a fresh start but not relieved that I wont be able to get a better job due to my credit history. I need plenty of prayers.

  34. julia Says:

    I am in the exact same boat is you. I filed my paperwork on Friday with ant attorney that I pray knows what he is doing I have the same title as you and been working for the same amount of time only difference is I have 3 children and I am totally stressed out because of this. I have lost over 40 lbs from not eating and sleeping. I will pray for you and you do the same for me and my family. Do you know if the trustee will take our pension and I think they take your income tax return to.

  35. Ms. Pam Says:

    I found this site when looking for info about bankruptcy.I feel sorry for Mary if the ones complaining about her were in Mary’s shoes how would they feel? I can understand anyone having money problems, I am having the same problem about money, I also have the Problem Mary has. I am owed over $77,000.00 from ex-husband since 1989 and have had no luck in all the years of trying, finally got a lawyer willing to help me with him to get 33% if secussful,court ordered him to pay for the last 4yrs bcause of statue of limitations, and found out that he has the means to pay the $16,039.00.He still refusses and went to jail for 6 months for contempt of court got out bcause had wife to file bankruptcy to try and wipe out his debt to me but can’t because it’s a domestic relation order and it doesn’t stop until he dies.Oh I am also due my monthly check and its $3,000.00 behind. All while driving a 2009 cadillac, 2008 chrysler 300 and a 2010 dodge ram duly truck,brick house and rental property and didn’t turn in a lot of info to Bankruptcy court.

  36. Larry Says:

    My tenant filed Chap 7 in June and stopped paying rent in Sept. I won a judgement in court against her in Nov. Can I garnish her wages?

  37. Gabby Says:

    Larry- Any debt that was incurred after her filing date, not discharge date you can collect on that debt. Any debt incurred prior to her bankruptcy filing date is dischargeable and not collectible.

  38. Mark Says:

    In defense of Mary:

    Mary has a right to be angry she’s out 40,000 dollars and with the realization her husband is going to have to work another 4 years to recoup this loss!! I do understand that people can find themselves w/o health insurance or find themselves between jobs. I do consulting work and pay out of pocket 350 a month for health insurance. After reading these comments i don’t even know why i bother; sounds like I’d be better off not paying for insurance and file for chapter 7 if i encounter a large medical bill. Good credit after only 2 years of a discharge – its BS.

    Yes there are proud honorable people who find themselves needing to file for bankruptcy…I get it. There are also a lot of irresponsible people who run up debt, buy stuff they can’t afford, and who never have any intention of paying anything back. I am glad to see in 2005 that they made passing a “means” test a requirement to file for Chapter 7. A perfect example of this kind of greed and stupidity is the housing crash. Many to blame but in reality it was a bunch of greedy home buyers who thought they could afford something that so clearly they couldn’t. In turn this made the stock market crash due to the way these mortgages were bundled as investments, and in turn this killed the job market and many people have found themselves w/o a job because of it. As a result these people who played by the rules and who actually bought a house they could afford now find themselves in a position where they have to file for bankruptcy – my sympathy to these people. But whatever the cause don’t be mad at Mary, you’d be pissed too if someone owed you 40000 dollars so get off your high horse. The reality is all of you who file for Chapter 7, 13 pass your debt to consumers and is one reason why healthcare and “stuff” costs so much. Please try to pay your debts, please try to insure yourself if you’re able, please try to buy things that you can actually afford. If you are one of those who played by the rules but “sh*t” happened i understand and that’s why we have debt forgiveness and i’m all for it.

  39. Melanie Says:

    To Mary, I truly understand your anger and frustration, but everyone files bankruptcy for their own reasons. My husband and I followed all of the rules, paid all of our debt on time, and the company he worked for closed their doors in October of 2008 after 50 years of business. My husband went back to school for two years, while I worked full time and he collected unemployment, as we lived off of our savings also. Two years and 4 months after loosing his job, my husband found a new position in his new field, however, pay was 1/2 of what he was making before. Unemployment was a 1/3 of what he was making when working. He did the right thing by taking the job, but after 3 years of using all of your savings, cutting back as much as you can while raising three children, and living pay check to pay check things get tough. Creditors did not care about our situation, called and harrassed us as we found ourselves having to now pay bills 30-45 days late. After having years of perfect credit and savings which allowed us to function for almost 3 years after his lay off, all of the money was gone. Bankruptcy was our only choice to insure we could feed, clothe our children, and keep our house. Stating “You people make me sick” is harsh and unnecessary when you don’t understand someones situation. We have filed Chapter 13 in an effort to pay our debt back as well as release the stress in the household. At this point the only thing we can do is look forward to completing our payment of debt and rebuilding our lives. Stuff happens and people should not judge!!!

  40. Melanie Says:

    Oh, I should have also stated soon after my husband found his job, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to go through surgery and treatments, STUFF HAPPENS STOP JUDGING!!!!

  41. Shelby Says:

    @ Mary, You are the idiot for being “NICE” and LETTING someone take advantage of you! If anyone is to blame as to why you are in the position you are in now it’s YOU! And clearly you TRYING TO BE NICE TURNED YOU BITTER! So what was the point? Did you do it in attempts to prove to someone that you are a decent person?????? And not the EVIL BITCH you truly are!!! You mentioned 18 months later they decide not to pay, but never paid the majority of the time……HELLO if they are not paying WHY did you let them stay for a year and a half? STUPID! IGNORANT! NAIVE! My question is did you even know these people or were they complete strangers? If strangers its even worse. PEOPLE LIKE YOU DISGUST ME! Wanting sympathy from everyone just because you make poor judgments! What was your career? A stay at home wife with no kids? MUST BE NICE! GET OVER YOURSELF! And when you and your husband do retire YOU ARE WELCOME for living off of MY MONEY! MY MONEY I am paying, TAKEN out of EVERY CHECK I MAKE for some BS Social Security that will be EXTINCT 30 years+ before when I will be able to retire! CRAZY! I have been working legally since I was 14, but technically since I was 7 at a family business so I have paid my fair share into and will receive absolutely nothing in return! You won’t catch me acting like a fool over this besides to reply to your insulting remarks. 1 more question….how did you stumble across this website to begin with? You must be thinking of filing bankruptcy yourself! You just need to mind your own business. I say if people in my generation want to file bankruptcy GO AHEAD because we are the ones getting screwed in the long run anyway! Be glad you get to collect SS after paying it your whole life! I will NEVER see the day.
    @ Mark…You are an idiot too! Everyone know that people didn’t just go trying to buy houses they could’t afford IT WAS THE LOANERS selling broken dreams! They intentionally sold people houses THEY KNEW THEY COULD NEVER AFFORD! If the lender is telling you this is what you qualify for and can afford, then fast talk you into signing your life away, one would think that the bank isn’t going to give you a loan that they KNOW you can’t pay back but that was the EXACT PURPOSE. So then people would get head over heels in debt have to take out a 2nd mortgage just to pay the 1st mortgage and before you know it FORECLOSURE! Not only did you loose all the money you been paying for years living paycheck to paycheck to provide a home for your family, you also loose that home, shelter, roof over your head, Thrown out into this selfish world with nothing and nowhere to go, But wait a minute…it doesn’t end there you are also left with horrible credit all because some GREEDY LENDERS with the only intention in mind to make tons of money at the expense of someones whole life. Then they go and do the same damn thing over and over and over and over AGAIN! Taking another family’s money for years on a house while none is being applied to the principal then after you invested 10 years+ of all your income, made the house a home, memories etc….ITS ALL TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU! So they can keep repeating the process. See this way the lender stands to make 10 to 12 times the money (depending on how many x they foreclose and resale) what they would have made selling the house to someone who really could afford it and make their ridiculous interest. And why do they need to do this? Why isn’t the outrageous interest enough profit for them? You said it Mark… GREED just you accused the wrong people its the lenders not the buyers. From they way you talk mark I am assuming you are a republican….THE GREEDIEST OF ALL. SO YOU AND YOUR BS CAN SHOVE IT WHERE IT CAME FROM….OUT YOUR ASS!

    For everyone else who is stuck upside down in debt, DO WHAT YOU GOT TO DO! Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed, and remember the only one that can judge is the lord and he is a forgiving lord unlike the ruthless people in this world. Everything happens for a reason, even though you may not see why now, you will eventually see why in the future. God has a plan for everyone, we are just traveling down the road God has intended for us. And when you see nothing but dark ahead know the light is soon to come. When you hit bottom there is nowhere to go but to RISE UP!

  42. Fran Says:

    Mary,

    I am sorry you are out $40,000.00 but imagine this — get sick with cancer, work while you are being treated – make arrangements with hospital’s attorney to turn over every penny you make for five years to pay their debt (where they added thirty percent for their fee). After working five years for free (even though you had insurance), get sick again and this time have your youngest diagnosed with mental illness. Prior to this have perfect credit, work all of your life, now your 62, broke, have ended up with another $145,000.00 of medical bills, lost your retirement money paying on hospital bills. Now you are about to lose your home despite the fact that you have always paid it on time.

    You have no credit cards, you have no savings and you are living on less than $1500.00 a month for two people’s social security. No food stamps, no nothing, no help, driving a 15 year old car that needs major repairs. Yeah, I have worked since 14 and my husband 15. We really are bums, we don’t deserve the relieve that bankruptcy would afford us.

    Not everyone is a bad person because they file bankruptcy. Maybe if we had health care that actually took care of us, instead of bleeding us to death more of us wouldn’t consider bankrtupcy. My one asset left is my home and because of that i haven’t filed bankrutpcy. Its easy to talk crap when you aren’t in someone’s shoes. I’ve given away more money than you are out. I helped family and friends for years. I lived by the old saying to never loan money you expected to get back. Now your crying. I wish I could work, I wish I didn’t have medical bills, I wish that my husband’s health wasn’t deteriorating and most of all I worry about what happens to my son when we are gone because there are no programs in place to take care of him except putting him in jail. But I guess that would suit you that everyone dies, or goes to jail if they can’t pay their debts. You make me sick with you whining. Try walking in my shoes for over twenty years and tell me how having my husband having to work an extra four years would be so bad, his retirement is long gone taking care of my medical bills.

    May God bless you so that you never experience these trials, I don’t think you could handle them. That is right I am angry for your judgmental thoughts, and think you should be ashame of yourself.

  43. sheila Says:

    me and my exhusband ia chap 7 bk was discharged 2010 , we filed “community filing’ i do not have the case , its all in my husbands name , all my credit cards under my name was filed too under his case no. after a year we got divorced ,, and 3 mos. after my divorce got finalized , im receiving call about me having a court hearing the next day.. verifying if i changed address etc they are calling my employers too to verify my employment, they started calling 2-3 a day in my work place. my question is after the bk discharged which my husband has the only one that has a case discharged , creditors have still the right to collect me with credit card debt s i have under my name even it is under community filing.. is divorce has something to do with it.. thats why these creditors starts calling me again? please help answer my question.

  44. Mandy Says:

    I filed for bankruptcy approximately two months ago but since filing for it I left my ex because he hit me. He, and his father, are now saying that I owe them money but I am unsure if because of the bankruptcy that goes through them or not. I just don’t know if it my concern because the monies they say I owe was before I left him. I just don’t want go to court or the like so am unsure what to do.

  45. beverly Says:

    All of you turn my stomach. No sooner then you are out of one bankruptcy you are out there applyin for more charge cards. You’re all deadbeats and losers. If I owe something I work 3 jobs to pay it. I made the debt and I should pay it.
    Most of you go out there and buy things with the intention of NOT PAYING FOR IT!!! You are what’s wrong with this country and why this country is being run into the ground. I can only hope and pray that what goes around comes around and one day someone knocks you on your deadbeat asses.

  46. Sarja Says:

    The lack of empathy on this site for people who have serious medical problems and other unavoidable hardships and have to file bankruptcy is disturbing. Why not support those in need? I am not in favour of the hard line approach; it doesn’t work, not with friends, neighbours or strangers. I often think that if I was laying on my deathbed, I’d rather think I gave someone the benefit of the doubt then to think I judged them too quickly. I genuinely feel for those who find themselves in desperate situations, whether it is their fault or not. We all make mistakes and can do with a bit of help and forgiveness from time to time.

  47. Anjana Sharma Says:

    Hi,
    i have a credit card loan in UAE. i lost my job and came back to india. i am now residing outside india but sitll getting calls from collection agency. i have no job and cant pay back those loan. so i want to declare myself as bankruptcy. what is the procedure to declare myself as bankruptcy. can i declare it outside from india.

  48. Shannon Says:

    I officially filed BK as of yesterday. The 341 hearing is 11/13. I’ve been living on disability for the past ten years and was never able to get ahead of my debt.

    Once upon a time I had prime credit. I had a house, car, a good job and money in the bank. I was shooting pretty good all around. I never had to struggle or think twice about things financial. I was living the good life.

    Then one day, a traumatic event changed all that for me. Imagine if you will: You’re out and about, running errands and taking care of business. While crossing the street to get to the restaurant for dinner, a drunk driver runs a red light and hits you. You suffer a concussion, a broken leg, foot, shoulder, arm, three ribs, a skull fracture and dislocated hip. And surprise, surprise: the drunk driver isn’t insured and is broke as fuck, so no money for your pain and suffering. So you have to shell out thousands of dollars toward your own hospital bills that insurance won’t cover, which drains your savings. Since you can’t work, there is no money coming in, but since eating is a really nice habit you have to maintain, you begin using credit cards to pay for basics. Three years after the accident, you finally start receiving Social Security Disability. In the meantime, you’ve lost everything you’ve worked for, including your house. Your children are in foster care because you have nowhere to live and in the meantime you live in your car. Almost a year passes before you find another apartment and then you slowly recover…only to be slapped with a termination of benefits and that is all the income you have, so you are broke and unable to work. The creditors ring your phone for money you don’t have until you reach the breaking point and file BK.

    This is my story. I know once I recover from my debt, I will be able to start fresh. A lot of people have filed BK, including Heinz and even Donald Trump. So it does help. Plus, you can still choose to pay your debts even after BK.

  49. Colleen Says:

    My son is filing bankruptcy. Last May he received the final distribuiton on an inheiritance. Before that he borrowed $6,000 from me in an agreement that he would pay me back when he received the final distribution. Due to his financial problems I agreed to accept $4,000 and call it paid. Now his lawyer is saying I should give the $4,000 back or his creditors could sue me for it after he files bankruptcy. Is this true?

  50. Raymond Says:

    I filed bankruptcy in June 2003, all went well until now. I have refinance my home twice since than and all went well. Trying to take advantage of the lower interest rates i am refinancing again. I have very few debts and every dollar counts. I was told from the title company that there was a lien on my home form February 2003. I new nothing about this and it has never been mentioned before. What due I due in this case? I was never served to appear in court and was never notified of a judgment. Looking at the lien dated 02/10/2003 and i filed 07/2003. Since i knew nothing of this judgment, due i have to pay said judgment? Im stumped.

  51. Rosa Says:

    I am a senior citizen and I want to give my car to my oldest granddaughter, who is 17 and needs a car to go to college.
    The problem is that her parents are applying for bankruptcy, and they don’t know how to tranfer the title to my son (my granddaugher’s father) in order to include her on their insurance. My son said that their lawyer told me they cannot own more than 2 cars. Can I just tranfer the title to my granddaughter who is 17? and can her father include her in their insurance? I would appreciate any information.

  52. ro Says:

    I filed chapter 13 with less than
    10,000 debt. but I had two homes I didn’t want to lose debt stopper lawyertold me I could. Cram down rental property (pay off in 5 yrs) but my original plan$1400 included. a car, which I gave back….I can’t offord plan any longer……rental income unstable

    The only thing left of pay check is $350 per 2 weeks pay….can they adjust my plan.w

    …may lose a house anyway

  53. ro Says:

    Continue …….I pay out $1400 a month, I take home $350 every 2 weeks my home will be. foreclosed on although I have paid $18000.00 in 16 months…and they..didn’t adjust. Payments., when I gave car back.
    .my taxes will be taken and once my401k loan is paid of ….they will continue to pay the. Trustees ….,.after 5 yrs I will have paid $85,000.00 in to bankruptcy over what started. South as $10.0000 debt

  54. Nick Says:

    Not sure if you ever got an answer but if you want to give your car to your granddaughter you can sign over the title to her. There is no special law or procedure that says you can’t give you car away to someone or that you have to do something special…Look on the back of the title and follow the instructions

  55. Blaine Says:

    after my discharge i found out they were not recording my ontime truck payments. so i contacted the Bank they will not report or refinance. so i will be paying for 5 years on this with no credit repair so i was told i could return the truck to the Bank and they cannot mark it as a repo on my credit is this true

  56. Chuck Says:

    Wish all of that was true. I filed a spousal Chapter 13 under my name (in our state in means I could include my spouse’s debts withoug affecting their child support, etc.) All debtors were notified, all secured debts were repaid, approx. 50% of the unsecured debts asked for repayment. My Capital One account was repaid, spouse’s Cap One account never filed for repayment. After discharge, checked all credit reports and learned mine was clear except for the bankruptcy and payments on the secured debts. Spousal credit card was till showing. It had been written off at the time of the bankrupcy filing, a few months later with interest added it had been put back again, written off … this happened a total of 17 times over the course of the bankruptcy. When notified Capital One claims this was not included in the bankruptcy even though all paperwork was presented, our attorney also mailed them the reports, and the debt shows on the credit report at this time as written off with over $1400 in added interest to it. Capital one claims this debt is still due. I claim I wish I had the money to hire an attorney to sue Capital One because they’re breaking federal laws. Beware … Don’t assume anything is over after filing bankruptcy. It’s been 6 years and this think still ruins our credit reports and hangs over us with a threat of collection.

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