Thinking of filing bankruptcy
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|Tue, 02-22-2011 - 11:28pm|
I am 60 and my husband is 62. I have never filed bankruptcy in my life. We were doing well but then I became disabled. My disability check is $1289/month. My husband is working and almost all of our assets are in his name. The only thing in my name is our camper which is paid off and my husband uses it when he travels for work rather than stay in a motel. I have one small credit card with a $500 limit. I've been trying to go to school but health problems have caused me to drop the course I'm taking 3 times now so I have student loans. My debts are all medical for copays. I owe one surgeon alone $4500 for copays for surgery. The mortgage is in my husband's name and he has 2 small credit cards. We owe one vehicle payment. Both vehicles are in his name.
My husband's youngest child was 19 last month and we had received notice that we didn't have to pay child support any longer. We had a court order saying he had to pay $100/month on arrearages, which we have been paying for 10 years. However, the interest rate is so high that the balance on the arrearages has continued to rise. Now the interest owed is more than the arrearages. So, he has received notice that he will have to pay $665/month until it is paid off. The problem is that with a high interest rate and frequent compounding, it will be years before it's paid off. We contacted a lawyer and he said we had to pay it but when my husband retires, he could get the monthly payment lowered but that means even more years of paying. The child support enforcement agency in that state will not allow him to talk to his case manager, only a call center, and will not provide an APR or estimated number of payments so we have no idea how long we're looking at.The arrearages are $16,000. The interest due on that is $17,000.
in addition, his ex was a tax preparer. She always handled all their tax returns because he travels for work. We found out that the last 3 years they were married, she filed separately, claiming all the deductions and leaving him with all the income. We are still paying $150/month to the IRS on that debt.
This means that his debts related to his previous marriage are $805/month. Our mortgage including taxes and insurance is $785. The car payment is $450. Credit cards are $100 or more when I can. Then, we have the usual insurances - car, household goods, and life. We can't get anything but accidental death on me. He has $50,000 death benefits. We also have utilities.
My medical bills are killing us though. We had anticipated being done with the child support which would have reduced our outgo by $555/month. We intended to use that to pay off my medical bills. Last year, I had two major surgeries, a two month stay in the hospital, and I have 8 different doctors.
We have stopped buying birthday and Christmas presents. We no longer eat breakfast. My husband takes two peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and I have a bowl of ramen noodles. I'm running out of ways to make potatoes for dinner since that is our primary food. I would not have started back to school had I known that we would be paying his ex forever.
The only think I can think of is to file bankruptcy to take away my medical bills. My husband had planned on retiring at 62 which is normal in his line of work because the work is so physically taxing. He can't now. He had a retirement account but cashed it in and gave it to his ex when they separated. He says he tried to tell the judge about it but the judge refused to hear about it and she denied receiving it. The penalties for the early withdrawal are part of the IRS payments we're making.
I'm just not sure what to do to help us. My health has become too fragile to work. Last week, my husband found me unconscious and without a pulse. Paramedics got my heart beating again but I was in a coma for three days. One leg was amputated last Sept and the other may need amputation if a bypass doesn't get the blood flowing correctly.