The Minnesota Bankruptcy Process isn’t as scary, threatening or intimidating as many believe. In fact, if you have an attorney on your side, these fears will likely be non-existent. It also helps to know that you are not alone. Many people visit bankruptcy attorneys every year – to seek advice, comfort and often assistance through the bankruptcy process. Here is an example of a young couple’s financial struggle and journey to debt freedom, it represents a common set of circumstances we see fairly frequently.
A Slippery Slope
Corey, 30 and Angie, 27 have been married for 5 years and have a two-year old daughter and a boy on the way. Corey has a decent job as a local golf course and restaurant manager and Angie worked at Target until their daughter arrived. At that time is was more cost effective for her to stay home than it was to pay for daycare. Unfortunately, this dropped their annual income from just over $50,000 to $32,000. The expenses of a newborn, on top of rent and two car payments, were unmanageable with their lowered household income; so they turned to credit cards. Two years later, another slight drop in income due to poor business and increased interest rates caused by a few missed payments has this once happy little family drowning in credit card debt and panic. They are unable to provide for their current family and they have an addition coming soon.
They started ignoring their credit cards and stopped answering the phone, fearful of the creditors on the other end of the line. In desperation, they made an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney and have this story to tell:
The Darkest Days
We were at least $25,000 in debt to our creditors and there was no end in sight. My wife was six months pregnant with our second child and emotions ran high. I was exhausted from picking up extra shifts at the bar to make sure we could keep our apartment and have a decent meal every night. I rarely got to see my daughter and Angie turned defensive, becoming nearly unbearable after a long night at work. I didn’t blame her; when you are continuously trying to catch up from behind you become exhausted. I know she blamed herself because she couldn’t find a job in the current market that will hire a very pregnant woman and pay enough to cover daycare expenses, but it was easier to blame me. However, I couldn’t keep living that way, so I mentioned meeting with a bankruptcy attorney to her. She surprisingly, willingly agreed, and we spent the night dreaming of a debt free future. It was our first night in two years that wasn’t overshadowed with debt, stress and frustrations.
Our MN Bankruptcy Process
Our meeting with the attorney went as well as expected. He advised a Chapter 7 because our household income was less than Minnesota’s median income of $61,170 and we didn’t own a home. He also told us we would be able to keep one of our vehicles through reaffirmation because it was a necessary form of transportation for me to get to work.
Working extra hours at the bar helped us save up the money to pay our court and lawyer fees and through the following week our attorney helped us file all the necessary paperwork and submit our petition to the court. Angie and I also completed a certified financial management course, which taught us a lot about managing our income and expenses (especially with the new baby on the way). About three weeks later we sat through a creditors meeting where we were asked questions about our debts.
The Weight Lifted
About two weeks after our son arrived and three months after our creditors meeting our bankruptcy attorney delivered the good news. I can’t explain the physical and emotional relief I felt just by hearing those words. I imagine it is similar to finding out you are pregnant after being told you can’t have kids or discovering Atlantis. It’s like finding the sun after months in darkness, and unless you’ve been in that situation you can’t fully comprehend how it feels.
I have a car, a job, a beautiful wife and two amazing children. I don’t have debt, debilitating stress or bitterness. Our life has turned around and 12 short months after going through the bankruptcy process we are building up our credit and a savings account. My wife has started a daycare and credit offers are arriving in the mail. I never would have thought debt freedom would have opened up this life to us, but I will be forever grateful for our bankruptcy attorney and the help and advice he gave us.
Talk to a MN Bankruptcy Attorney today to see what potential lies in your future.