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Filing for bankruptcy - Page 2

post #21 of 67

OP, as a fellow Chicagoan, I'm just making sure you've thought about the repercussions of bankruptcy on your rental options.  Having rented several different apartments in different areas of the city, I think that they usually looked at our credit and financial situation.  If I were you, I would want to make sure that I wasn't limiting my housing options to sketchy landlords or apartments.  I know you could probably find a rental where they just look at your take-home income, but it's good to be aware that bankruptcy might limit your housing options at least a bit. 

post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post


If this is your situation, please, please, please utilize your Medicaid to pay for your birth.  Anything else is beyond foolish.



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post

If you are on the verge of bankruptcy I strongly urge you to reconsider your birth plans. You have pregnancy Medicaid that will pay 100% of your costs. The last thing you can afford now is to spend thousands on a midwife.

 

Do not pay anyone a dime until you get independent financial counseling. Maybe someone on MDC can hook you up with help in your area. I am honestly worried that you will wind up in the same position again with no recourse. Bankruptcy is good at erasing debts that are overwhelming your income; they will not help if your expenses continue to outpace your income, such that you are putting groceries on credit.



Ditto the above.  

 

When was the last time you purchased groceries/household items/necessities on credit?  If it was recently then filing BK won't help you.  If you can't manage your normal monthly expenses already, what are you going to do if you pay for a bankruptcy  AND pay a midwife?  You won't have any available credit and you won't have anything in savings because you blew your refund on filing fees and a midwife.

 

I'd work out a budget based on your husband's income alone, plus any unemployment you receive.  Pull your credit reports and figure out what you owe, to whom and what stage of collections the debts are in.  If your income can cover your expenses adequately, see what you can put towards debt repayment.  Stash your refund in savings or use it to settle old debts.  You can't afford to pay out of pocket for a midwife if you can receive adequate care for free in a hospital setting.

post #23 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post



 



Ditto the above.  

 

When was the last time you purchased groceries/household items/necessities on credit?  If it was recently then filing BK won't help you.  If you can't manage your normal monthly expenses already, what are you going to do if you pay for a bankruptcy  AND pay a midwife?  You won't have any available credit and you won't have anything in savings because you blew your refund on filing fees and a midwife.

 

I'd work out a budget based on your husband's income alone, plus any unemployment you receive.  Pull your credit reports and figure out what you owe, to whom and what stage of collections the debts are in.  If your income can cover your expenses adequately, see what you can put towards debt repayment.  Stash your refund in savings or use it to settle old debts.  You can't afford to pay out of pocket for a midwife if you can receive adequate care for free in a hospital setting.



I haven't put anything on credit in over a year, or somewhere around that time frame.  We use our wages to pay for food, rent, utilities, etc.  We have been living within our means for awhile, just not paying off our debt because it was not within our means.  

As for renting, my current landlord is a sweetheart and has asked us to please stay until we are on our feet.  She didn't do a credit check but she knows our financial situation.  We got turned down by apartments before we found this woman, and at the time it was because my DH and his dad have the same name- their unpaid mortgage and car payments and their share of credit card stuff was on our credit report- as well as our debt.  I am comfortable in my living situation currently and I don't forsee any reason to move.  Our credit is already shot, so if I had to find another apartment *now* I'd be SOL anyways.

 

I'd rather not get sliced in half again. I discussed the matter thoroughly with my midwife.  She helped me weigh my options.  

 

I'm trying to figure out if I can even collect unemployment.  I worked there for less than a year.  I was part-time.  i'm looking into those options.

post #24 of 67
Thread Starter 

I was able to file for unemployment online.  I'll receive a letter within 7 days.. fingers crossed.

post #25 of 67

I only read the first few posts on this thread so forgive me if I sound repetitive.

 

OP, I was in a very, very similar situation as you four years ago. Here's what happened to me.

 

First with the situation regarding your husband and his debt... my fiance defaulted on payments on a personal loan so bad that an attorney for the debt agency contacted him and basically said if you don't pay the monthly payment on time and now, the company will sue you. We got everything in writing, made a payment arrangement and took care of it. It was all legit. It was the last chance before we got in serious legal trouble. And, actually, a lien was put on his credit until it was paid off, which it was after we sold an investment property. It stays on your credit report like a bankruptcy even after the debt is paid. This happened a year or so before below.

 

I filed chapter 7 four years ago. It wasn't from frivolous spending. I obtained several credit cards and personal loans to initiate financing of an investment property. The one I mentioned above. We had a loan in escrow and couldn't obtain funds until we did repairs. We didn't have capital to start with so I took a huge chance on using my excellent credit to get these loans to finance the project. It was going to be either a positive or negative life-changing situation for us. Obviously, things didn't go well. I'll spare the details. Here is how the filing of bankruptcy went for me. I was living in Georgia at the time. I got all my info together and made an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney. You need to know the names, addresses and phone numbers, plus the balances you owe of ALL your creditors. If you think you will definitely file, and are continuing to use your credit cards, STOP NOW. It will look fraudulent if you are filing and are using your credit cards at the same time. So, I brought all my documents to the appointment and had to hand over a certified check of roughly 1500.00 before the attorney would do anything. So, the process began, the creditors almost immediately stopped calling and sending me stuff. A court date was scheduled within 2 months. Before the court date, I had to do a credit counseling course... one online and one over the phone. Then, I went to court and it was over. As long as everything is in order, and you are truthful and forthcoming with information with your situation, the bankruptcy gets discharged. I filed in May and it was discharged in September. You spoke of an upcoming tax refund. If you use it to pay off legitimate expenses, like your midwife, then you should be fine to do that. Keep every extra penny you obtain well documented just in case. Be upfront with your attorney and tell him everything. I had a tax refund that I used to pay medical expenses and it was totally fine. The aftermath... be sure you want/need to do this. It stays on your credit report for 7-10 years. It could potentially be very difficult for you to get a job, apartment with this on your credit report. I just obtained a secured credit card a few months ago. It only has a $200 limit. I had to put a deposit down for half. I am just now rebuilding my credit. This should only be used as a last resort. I agonized over this decision. I felt I had no other choice. I used this experience as a hard life lesson. I am ashamed I did this, but felt that my situation was dire and my credit debt was so severe that it was the only option. Yes, you instantly become debt free, but you end up paying in other ways. I feel like I was passed over for a few jobs because of my bankruptcy. We are looking to move in a few months (have been living with family most of the 4 years) and am worried about my credit file. My scores are pretty decent considering what I did (high 600's). It will take a long time to repair this damage. Just be sure you have no other choice. Don't talk to people who have done it multiple times. No offense, but it sounds like if you file more than once, then you haven't learned any lessons.

post #26 of 67

I've gone over this a few times and I'm wondering if all your debt is on one card or if it's spread out.  If it's spread out it might be a good idea to use your tax refund to pay as much as you can on the lowest amount.  And if you do start getting Unemployment that should help with taking down the other debts.  Believe me I've been there.  I was bringing in 39,000 a year on a 100,000 lifestyle.  As in we were there at one point and were too naive to think it would ever change. And when it changed we had the same bills.   But life happens and I've spent the last three years digging myself out slowly.  I started to sell things and even considered babysitting for awhile on top of working.  However any money I got went to making my life easier not harder. 

 

You should be able to get WIC, unemployment and Medicaide.  I would take full advantage of both of them.  While we all want things to go our way we can't always have it.  I know you're hoping for a homebirth with a MW, I think you might be able to get a decent experience in a hospital.  With Medicaide the price tag is free.  Your tax returns could lessen your burden financially.  That in turn will lessen your stress.  Maybe even consider watching some kids on the side if you're capable.  You can even find things on CL to sell that people are giving away for free.  I had a very good friend help me through all this. 

 

When things were looking down, I was able to keep both my cars and my house.  I sold half of the furniture I owned, clothes that were nice but unnecessary and anything else I had that wasn't going to feed my family and I dug out.  And I'll give you an idea of what I had to work with

 

Bills were approx 2500 a month, cars,  mortgage, utilities and credit cards.  My take home after taxes was 3000 a month.  We had 500 for groceries gas and anything else that we needed for the MONTH.  I spent almost 200 a month on gas going to and from work.  (if the numbers look off I'm talking about take home and not talking about taxes and what the company took out for insurance).  It wasn't easy to adjust but it was worth it. 

 

You may be in the situation where you don't have any money left over after you pay the necessities.  If that's the case then that's where the selling things comes into play.  People are always giving away perfectly good items that you can profit from. 

 

 

post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

I haven't put anything on credit in over a year, or somewhere around that time frame.  We use our wages to pay for food, rent, utilities, etc.  We have been living within our means for awhile, just not paying off our debt because it was not within our means.  

As for renting, my current landlord is a sweetheart and has asked us to please stay until we are on our feet.  She didn't do a credit check but she knows our financial situation.  We got turned down by apartments before we found this woman, and at the time it was because my DH and his dad have the same name- their unpaid mortgage and car payments and their share of credit card stuff was on our credit report- as well as our debt.  I am comfortable in my living situation currently and I don't forsee any reason to move.  Our credit is already shot, so if I had to find another apartment *now* I'd be SOL anyways.

 

I'd rather not get sliced in half again. I discussed the matter thoroughly with my midwife.  She helped me weigh my options.  

 

I'm trying to figure out if I can even collect unemployment.  I worked there for less than a year.  I was part-time.  i'm looking into those options.



If I'm reading this correctly, frankly, I hope your bankruptcy is denied, as it is clear you aren't interested in learning how to manage your finances to avoid a situation like this in the future.  And, the last time I checked, most midwives were not qualified to be making financial decisions for clients who are looking to file bankruptcy.  Perhaps I'm misreading that statement, but it doesn't seem that way.

 

So I'm clear, I don't think everyone that has filed for bankruptcy has a problem with money management.  I'm well aware that crap happens.
 

post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post



If I'm reading this correctly, frankly, I hope your bankruptcy is denied, as it is clear you aren't interested in learning how to manage your finances to avoid a situation like this in the future.  And, the last time I checked, most midwives were not qualified to be making financial decisions for clients who are looking to file bankruptcy.  Perhaps I'm misreading that statement, but it doesn't seem that way.

 

So I'm clear, I don't think everyone that has filed for bankruptcy has a problem with money management.  I'm well aware that crap happens.
 


I tend to agree with this.  Not wanting a c-section doesn't mean you won't need one anyway, and then you may end up needing one AND being out all that money to the midwife.  Are there no VBAC providers in Chicago that will work with you?

 

post #29 of 67

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post


I tend to agree with this.  Not wanting a c-section doesn't mean you won't need one anyway, and then you may end up needing one AND being out all that money to the midwife.  Are there no VBAC providers in Chicago that will work with you?

 



I'm not going to comment on the other issues, but Chicago is not very NCB friendly. The OP hired the only homebirth midwife that allows VBAC in the Chicago area.. There are hospital based midwife groups that will provide a VBAC under certain circumstances, but I believe the main group of MW's that allow them and take medicaid are the same providers she used previously that resulted in a c-section.

 

I'm not defending or attacking the OP's choices, but I do want to put it out there that this area has very limited options for NCB.

post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by IxIa View Post

Quote:



I'm not going to comment on the other issues, but Chicago is not very NCB friendly. The OP hired the only homebirth midwife that allows VBAC in the Chicago area.. There are hospital based midwife groups that will provide a VBAC under certain circumstances, but I believe the main group of MW's that allow them and take medicaid are the same providers she used previously that resulted in a c-section.

 

I'm not defending or attacking the OP's choices, but I do want to put it out there that this area has very limited options for NCB.


 

That is simply not true.  Sorry but it isn't.  Several of our hospitals now have birthing tubs in the rooms.  Two of the ones I toured had birthing balls and squat bars in the rooms.  Many have groups of midwives who deliver in the hospital.  Yes, the midwives work under an OB but you can definitely have a midwife + hospital birth.  And  many OB's are VBAC friendly.

 

You cannot make such a statement about the entire Chicago area.  It simply is not true.

 

It looks like the OP is very early in her pregnancy.  She has time to interview lots of hospital based midwives and OB's to find one who is VBAC friendly and who she clicks with. 

 

Another thing to consider is if insurance covers a hospital transfer if the homebirth does not go as planned.

 

post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post


 

That is simply not true.  Sorry but it isn't.  Several of our hospitals now have birthing tubs in the rooms.  Two of the ones I toured had birthing balls and squat bars in the rooms.  Many have groups of midwives who deliver in the hospital.  Yes, the midwives work under an OB but you can definitely have a midwife + hospital birth.  And  many OB's are VBAC friendly.

 

You cannot make such a statement about the entire Chicago area.  It simply is not true.

 

It looks like the OP is very early in her pregnancy.  She has time to interview lots of hospital based midwives and OB's to find one who is VBAC friendly and who she clicks with. 

 

Another thing to consider is if insurance covers a hospital transfer if the homebirth does not go as planned.

 



This is true if you have private insurance. If the OP wants a midwife that accepts medicaid, to the best of my knowledge Chicago is down to two midwife groups that accept it. The Swedish Hospital MW group, and the Oak Park group out of West Sub.

post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by IxIa View Post



This is true if you have private insurance. If the OP wants a midwife that accepts medicaid, to the best of my knowledge Chicago is down to two midwife groups that accept it. The Swedish Hospital MW group, and the Oak Park group out of West Sub.



Yes, but the Swedish Cov. midwives and the West Sub. midwives are also known in birth circles as being the most "natural friendly" hospital groups you can find.  If one is looking for a hospital birth (or needs a hospital birth due to finances), I would recommend one of these groups without hesitation.  You really will not find hospital care more patient friendly than these two groups, in my experience as a doula.  Also, OP, if you do decide that the hospital might ease your financial burden, please contact Chicago Volunteer Doulas.  They should be able to provide you with a doula free of cost; they're a great organization. 

post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachieface View Post



Yes, but the Swedish Cov. midwives and the West Sub. midwives are also known in birth circles as being the most "natural friendly" hospital groups you can find.  If one is looking for a hospital birth (or needs a hospital birth due to finances), I would recommend one of these groups without hesitation.  You really will not find hospital care more patient friendly than these two groups, in my experience as a doula.  Also, OP, if you do decide that the hospital might ease your financial burden, please contact Chicago Volunteer Doulas.  They should be able to provide you with a doula free of cost; they're a great organization. 


No..I agree. smile.gif I would easily choose either of these groups if I were to have a third. But I believe the OP had her cesarean while under the care of the Swedish Cov. midwives (if memory serves correct) and appears hesitant to return to their care. Other posters suggested that she seek out other providers that support VBAC (which I agree with) and my only point was that being a VBAC, medicaid mama seeking NCB in Chicago, your options are not going to be wide open. 

 

post #34 of 67


No not wide open, however she has time.  It's worth it for her to look into it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IxIa View Post


No..I agree. smile.gif I would easily choose either of these groups if I were to have a third. But I believe the OP had her cesarean while under the care of the Swedish Cov. midwives (if memory serves correct) and appears hesitant to return to their care. Other posters suggested that she seek out other providers that support VBAC (which I agree with) and my only point was that being a VBAC, medicaid mama seeking NCB in Chicago, your options are not going to be wide open. 

 



 

post #35 of 67

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IxIa View Post


No..I agree. smile.gif I would easily choose either of these groups if I were to have a third. But I believe the OP had her cesarean while under the care of the Swedish Cov. midwives (if memory serves correct) and appears hesitant to return to their care. Other posters suggested that she seek out other providers that support VBAC (which I agree with) and my only point was that being a VBAC, medicaid mama seeking NCB in Chicago, your options are not going to be wide open. 


That isn't even the point.  When you cannot afford something, you cannot afford it.  If you're filing for bankruptcy, it isn't the time to incur additional expenses because ultimately, it's irresponsible.  People lose money when other people cannot afford to pay their bills.  Bankruptcy isn't to be taken lightly and I'm sorry, but sometimes you (general) have to do without your wants.

 

I'm not suggesting that people who are struggling and/or looking to file for bankruptcy shouldn't enjoy a want now and then, but I can tell you from experience that sometimes the only way to pay your bills is to do without.  I experienced it and did without many things - furniture, TV, decent food, eyebrow threading, Hanna Andersson clothing, and even Waldorf toys.  Sometimes paying your bills is more important than indulging in your wants, but maybe that's just me. 

post #36 of 67

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post

That isn't even the point.  When you cannot afford something, you cannot afford it.  If you're filing for bankruptcy, it isn't the time to incur additional expenses because ultimately, it's irresponsible.  People lose money when other people cannot afford to pay their bills.  Bankruptcy isn't to be taken lightly and I'm sorry, but sometimes you (general) have to do without your wants.

 

I'm not suggesting that people who are struggling and/or looking to file for bankruptcy shouldn't enjoy a want now and then, but I can tell you from experience that sometimes the only way to pay your bills is to do without.  I experienced it and did without many things - furniture, TV, decent food, eyebrow threading, Hanna Andersson clothing, and even Waldorf toys.  Sometimes paying your bills is more important than indulging in your wants, but maybe that's just me. 


I tend to agree with this... also, not everyone that needs Medicaid can get it, so I'm kind of off-put that the OP does have it and doesn't seem to be wanting to use it to pay for her birth - which could easily cost 50k in our city! 

 

post #37 of 67
Thread Starter 

I'm giving up the birth.  I'll be using the midwives at Swedish again.

 

Haven't read all of the replies yet, but I wanted to say thank you.  And yes, the debt is very spread out over multiple frivolous-spending-cards.

 

The tax return is going towards rent, pantry staples, kids summer clothes (most thrift store), past-due utility bills (boiler was broken and the bill shot up, all is fixed now), and a few necessary items for baby, including cheap crib from craigslist (we sidecar but sold off DD2's crib because we intended to not have kids for awhile...) and a car seat (not used, no way, but a cheap-er one that will fit our vehicle situation).

 

I went to the apt at the DHS office.  We got approved for Medicaid (all of us) and for the Link card (food stamps).  I was informed by my caseworker that my unemployment will likely not take effect since I worked less than 6 months.  I only had 89 working days, but the majority of the ones during the summer and early fall were 12+hour double shifts... so I'm wondering if I can appeal based on hours worked.

 

As of right now I still have access to the employee scheduling software- which I was informed would be deactivated for me.  I am going to try to get my job back when they send out the e-mail... I make only .25 cents higher than minimum wage, and was up for a promotion before I had to cut my hours (I cut my hours initially because the kids were being watched by my in-laws, my DD was taught that saying the "N" word was okay, and fed candy and junk food every day multiple times per day.  She was also in front of the TV all day (which I'm willing to give in on now given the circumstances).  Talking with the in-laws didn't help, they said that they were their grandkids and they'd do what they wanted to with them.  But right now, I need to go back to work.  Since I had requested to reduce my hours, and they give priority to full-timers... I got laid off.

 

Second of my concerns is that my job is outdoor, on my feet with only a meal break.  The peak season is in the summer. I'm pregnant.  That does concern me... but we'll see.

 

It will be incredibly hard to get a job while pregnant.  I had that issue while pregnant with DD2 and had to go back to an old job of mine (where I had to quit during my 7th month because I started spotting and contracting after being on my feet all day).

 

So there's a lot to think about in addition to the bankruptcy stuff.

 

post #38 of 67

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

I'm giving up the birth.  I'll be using the midwives at Swedish again.

 

I'm glad to read that you'll be going for an option that will be 100% covered for you. It really sucks to have to give up on our ideal version of things, but sometimes we have to. I would hate to see you in a position where your birth expenses would skyrocket due to unforeseen circumstances (transfer to OB care, hospital transfer, whatever) and I think that having the funds you'd otherwise be paying to an independent midwife will be some additional peace of mind to you.

 

ETA - If you are less-than-pleased with Swedish, you might check out Evanston Hospital - that's where I delivered and they do have midwives. I had a great experience there. I don't know if they accept Medicaid, but it's certainly worth asking, so you know what all of the options are. I was with the Midwest Center for Women's Healthcare/North Shore practice - pm me if you'd like some more info. 

post #39 of 67

Good luck with it all, WCM.  You don't have to give up on your birth, even at the hospital (I know you know that, and while it won't be at home, it sounds like there are some great midwives that catch babies at your hospital).

 

Mostly, I just wanted to say I like your new av pic! Super cute.

post #40 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

 

Mostly, I just wanted to say I like your new av pic! Super cute.


 

Thank you :) It's actually kind of old... but it's of all four of us and I love it :)

I realize that I shouldn't be totally giving up on *birth*.  I'm going to remain hopeful that everything will turn out OK.  

 

Wading through bankruptcy attorneys is tough work... especially in a big city.  I feel lost.

 

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