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Wendy writes: 

“What was the cost to you for your bankruptcy….that is, your credit cards are gone and you’re starting anew and I’m really happy that you get a do-over… 

But we all hear about folks who file bankruptcy and it sounds like the easy way out.

Surely it isn’t. I would guess the process for people is a lot like rehabilitating themselves from drugs. But folks with a chemical dependency, for example, will live with the re-building of their personal lives, relationships and often physical body.

So I’m asking…show me your scars. What’s stopping me from charging up storm on the $100,000 in credit I have with a plan to file and make it all magically go away.”

For me, the upfront cost was $2,500 for my attorney retainer, credit counseling courses and filing fee. 

Life without credit cards is not carefree.  My car transmission melted down last Saturday, and I have to borrow another $2,800 from my sister to have it rebuilt (yes, I have a plan to pay it back).  I HATE asking others for financial help, but I have no other alternative.  If I had a credit card, I could have charged it and paid it down.

Yes, that could be a down payment on a new car, but I am broke and have damaged credit at the moment, so that’s not an option.  My credit will improve after I responsibly use a secured credit card for a year or so, but even then the lenders would look at the BK on my record, sharpen their knives and charge me Shylockian interest rates.  I MUST keep my 22-year-old car running, which runs up the stress whenever I have to take it in for repairs and hope it can be fixed for a reasonable amount.  If my car completely dies, I’m f’ed.  

I have to stay in my apartment at all costs, as well, because landlords are reluctant to rent to people with bankruptcies on their records.  In my case, this isn’t so bad – I live in a rent control apartment five blocks from the beach.  Even so, this adds another financial razor’s edge to my life. Read the rest of this entry »