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freakofrog

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Should my husband and I file for bankruptcy or try to solve it?
My husband and I have roughly $17,000 in medical debt. I have one credit card which allows me up to $600; it's currently maxed out, although I do regularly pay at least the bare minimum. I have tried before to get another credit card, but am unable to, despite the fact that my credit is okay (in the mid-600s). My husband is unable to get a credit card at all due to a low credit score. He is currently the only one working, and brings home about $1,100 a month. I currently am unable to work due to medical reasons, although I am currently attending college and will have to start paying back my student loans (about $20-25k) next May. We rent a house for $800 a month, and pay monthly bills for water (usually around $30-35), Internet ($62), gas (usually $80-90), and electricity (usually around $130). Our monthly groceries are around $140, although my husband tends to get fast food more than I would like. We are currently on a payment plan with the dentist for my husband which currently is about $40 a month, but may very likely increase. We do not pay any car payment bills, as both of our cars are second-hand and paid for, although we are looking at getting a new second-hand car for my husband. We haven't been to a sit-in restaurant ever since we got gift cards for one. Despite the fact that we have health insurance from my husband's work, we cannot afford to go to the doctor. We have little to no money for any entertainment; his paycheck this month is a little higher than usual, and we had to debate between going to an early show at a movie theater or going out for a somewhat nice dinner. We have very little money in our savings account (currently about $150), and that usually goes towards the bills when we don't have enough money for them. Due to a pregnancy that I had last year (and unfortunately lost), we are getting about $9,000 when taxes come back. We owe money to over ten collection agencies that I know of at the moment, and I am constantly getting calls threatening to bring us to court. We are currently trying to have a child-- I know that it is financially unwise, but with one of my conditions, it may be our only chance.

Please don't automatically judge us for thinking about filing for bankruptcy. It may seem like a minor amount of money to some people, but to us, it is a crippling amount of money. We talked to a lawyer about it, and with him, it would cost $1,400 to file. We would be able to do this with our tax refund. With our refund, we would only be able to pay some of our debts, and then be back in the same situation.

Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated!

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From reading your post it is obvious that you are in a very tight financial spot and I think that bankruptcy probably is your best option. Keep in mind that Federal student loans usually cannot be applied in bankruptcy, but in some cases they can be, so it would be good to consult with more than one bankruptcy attorney to try to find a very sharp one. Your medical issues may open the door to eliminating the federal school loans, but it may still be difficult. If you decide to go the bankruptcy route, when you get your tax refund, do not pay any bills with it that the bankruptcy can take care of. Leaving it in the bank may not be an option either, may have to stuff it away. Don't worry about the credit problems from the bankruptcy as you will probably have more credit problems exceeding them if you don't file bankruptcy. Now for a personal note. I do understand that many people feel that they need to have children to be happy, but understand that it is not necessary to be happy. The world is overpopulated as it is, the world is a rough place. The way the world is makes many people in good financial situations question whether or not they should bring a child into it and when you have a bad financial situation it should really make you question it. Eventually, the government systems are going to run out of money, meaning no more help for the poor, starvation, dying from treatable diseases, etc. will become commonplace in the U.S. In this generation? Maybe, maybe not, but the risk is certainly there.

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I left a long response, but Credit Karma spam filter flagged it, because it doesn't work correctly. Check back in a day to see if the post it. Long story short, yes bankruptcy is probably your best answer, Federal debt CAN sometimes be applied, but usually not, and I would suggest further thought into having a kid.

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