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    My (Bankruptcy?) Story

    hello...

    here's my story...

    haven't worked in 3-1/2 years.
    owe $40,000 credit card debt.
    my vehicle (ford ranger) is still being paid off...(year 4 of 5 year term)
    i own approxomately $10,000 worth of recording & mastering equipment...have a business website...but...the phone never rings...& once in a blue moon i'll make $100 cash recording or mixing or mastering someone...(not enough money to even consider it a tiny income).
    am unemployed (save for above...which is not even $1000 annually).
    i have no savings (less than $1500).
    been living of my 401k...which is now below $6000.
    do not own any real estate...I rent my flat from my stepson.
    just cancelled my health insurance (can no longer afford it).
    i am about to be approved for new jersey general assistance & food stamps.
    monday i am inquiring as to nj rental assistance & utilities assistance.

    so...if i file for chapter 7 in nj...

    1) can I keep my vehicle...??? (& if so...how long...???...i.e., it will be paid off in a year).

    2) can i keep my recording & mastering gear...??? (some if it is still being paid off, as part of my overall credit debt...but i have no idea as to what percentage that amounts to).

    3) is bankruptcy actually a good idea for me...??? (reason i ask...???...in about 90 days...i won't be able to pay ANY bills if i continue paying on my credit cards now)

    thanx very much,


    dox

    #2
    How are you paying rent, car payments and credit card payments if you have no income? Have you just been living off your savings?

    Why aren't you working? It certainly doesn't take 3-1/2 years to get a job.

    Why haven't you sold the truck and the recording equipment to raise funds?
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      Dox,

      Drawing down your retirement money to pay bills is often a terrible idea. Retirement money is protected in bankruptcy. Now there is not much left to protect.

      Bankruptcy laws vary from state to state. I suggest you consult with an attorney. You can typically do an initial consultation for free or very low cost. Don't rely on message board advice from well-meaning strangers who are most likely not licensed to practice law in New Jersey.

      What sort of work did you do in the past? If there are truly no jobs whatsoever in your area in that line of work, it is time to choose another line of work.

      Comment


        #4
        I would sell all of the recording equipment and go find a job. Any job. Walmart, McDonalds, anything.
        Brian

        Comment


          #5
          +1 what Brian wrote, sell your gear. It's certainly not paying for itself. Put it on ebay, craigslist, or maybe you have friends in the business. It sounds like you've been trying to make a go of that as a business rather finding a job. If you get some cash from that you may buy enough time to keep the truck and find a job. My experience with Rangers, though, is they're terrible on gas and depreciation, and expensive to maintain- you may be better off with another vehicle.

          Comment


            #6
            #1, this is not a bankruptcy forum. Not slamming you, I don't mind the question at all. Just saying...we may or may not be able to help with very general bankruptcy questions (such as, should bankruptcy be considered) but for specifics...you need a bankruptcy specific forum. And whatever advice you get from those forums, don't take it as gospel truth. Rather, translate the advice into questions you should ask a lawyer. I.e. if someone says "sell your gear, pay ahead on utilities, don't raid your 401k anymore" reword that as "Ask your attorney if it's a good idea to sell your gear, pay ahead on your utilities, and if you should stop raiding your 401k". BTW...this is not actual advice, just an example (though I 100% agree that you should leave your 401k alone, at least until you've spoken to a lawyer or four).

            So my advice...don't do a single thing until you've researched bankruptcy and talked to some lawyers. Don't raid your 401k, don't sell your equipment, don't pay another credit card bill until you have a plan. Don't do anything rash...talk to a bankruptcy lawyer first (and talk to several if you can, if one person gives advice that contradicts what 3-4 others are saying...then he/she just might be wrong).

            Comment


              #7
              Income

              Obviously income is the key here...whether you sell your recording equipment or other valuables or go work two jobs at Wal Mart and McDonalds you must bring in something if you're going to have a chance at staying afloat. What skills do you have; do you have a degree? What efforts have you put into finding work? Have you met with any career guides or have you considering getting certified in other areas where work is in demand?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by josetann View Post
                So my advice...don't do a single thing until you've researched bankruptcy and talked to some lawyers. Don't raid your 401k, don't sell your equipment, don't pay another credit card bill until you have a plan. Don't do anything rash...talk to a bankruptcy lawyer first (and talk to several if you can, if one person gives advice that contradicts what 3-4 others are saying...then he/she just might be wrong).
                I agree with not raiding the 401K and holding off on the credit cards, but I don't see how holding onto the music gear is going to benefit OP. What possible reason would an attorney give to hold onto that stuff? It's been gathering dust for 3 plus year while OP is struggling to make ends meat. Selling it would not be rash at all. It would be smart. OP needs to raise cash. He owns $10K worth of sound equipment. Sell it and use the proceeds to start fixing this mess.
                Brian

                Comment


                  #9
                  Something fishy about this post....
                  Got debt?
                  www.mo-moneyman.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Very unfortunate story. I really believe that you need to find a job, if possible in the country and with the course of business you are skilled in, if not change whatever is required. Keep moving. Stacking with something, which is not worth, doesn't make any sense...

                    Didar


                    Originally posted by doxology View Post
                    hello...

                    here's my story...

                    haven't worked in 3-1/2 years.
                    owe $40,000 credit card debt.
                    my vehicle (ford ranger) is still being paid off...(year 4 of 5 year term)
                    i own approxomately $10,000 worth of recording & mastering equipment...have a business website...but...the phone never rings...& once in a blue moon i'll make $100 cash recording or mixing or mastering someone...(not enough money to even consider it a tiny income).
                    am unemployed (save for above...which is not even $1000 annually).
                    i have no savings (less than $1500).
                    been living of my 401k...which is now below $6000.
                    do not own any real estate...I rent my flat from my stepson.
                    just cancelled my health insurance (can no longer afford it).
                    i am about to be approved for new jersey general assistance & food stamps.
                    monday i am inquiring as to nj rental assistance & utilities assistance.

                    so...if i file for chapter 7 in nj...

                    1) can I keep my vehicle...??? (& if so...how long...???...i.e., it will be paid off in a year).

                    2) can i keep my recording & mastering gear...??? (some if it is still being paid off, as part of my overall credit debt...but i have no idea as to what percentage that amounts to).

                    3) is bankruptcy actually a good idea for me...??? (reason i ask...???...in about 90 days...i won't be able to pay ANY bills if i continue paying on my credit cards now)

                    thanx very much,


                    dox

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by buildmybudget View Post
                      Obviously income is the key here...whether you sell your recording equipment or other valuables or go work two jobs at Wal Mart and McDonalds you must bring in something if you're going to have a chance at staying afloat. What skills do you have; do you have a degree? What efforts have you put into finding work? Have you met with any career guides or have you considering getting certified in other areas where work is in demand?
                      I agree. Bankruptcy and selling things alone aren't going to fix your troubles, only coming up with some form of income can. Whether you use bankruptcy or the selling of things to get rid of your debt, you're just going to build it right back up again paying for every day living expenses until you find a way to make money. So, I would focus on finding an income first. Then, once you have money coming in, you can judge whether or not that income alone will be enough to dig you out of the hole or whether you have to sell things and/or declare bankruptcy to get yourself back on your feet.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I guess my question is as well is why aren't you working at something? Why and what excuse are you giving welfare for why you have no job and why you need to apply for assistance? Buying a bunch of equipment and then making maybe $1000 a year with it means you either aren't in business or aren't serious about business. You are apparently waiting for the phone to ring. Why? Why aren't you marketing this business? Until you get this business up and going with some actual busting your tail work, get a part time or full time job or several jobs anywhere doing anything as long as it is legal. There is no reason that the citizens of NJ should be paying your living expenses after you took 3 1/2 years off from work. Nor should you be trying to figure out what articles you can protect from bankruptcy. Sorry but that just sounds like you are seeing what you can cheat with. Sell what you can, earn what you can. Perhaps you have done this, but your original note didn't mention anything other than sitting around for 3 1/2 years. If all this time was spent getting this business up off the ground, you should have seen after the first 6 months that something wasn't working and trying to figure it out instead of waiting for business to come to you even though it hasn't.

                        I realize this sounds harsh, but very hard to hear about someone living for over 3 years not doing much of anything with no mention at all of your trying to find a job of any kind, just a 'business' that never even took off and then expecting taxpayers and credit card companies to take the hit for that nice vacation you just had including the comment that in 3 months you won't have any money--apparently no plans yet to get a job to help out.
                        Gailete
                        http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I'm sorry to hear that you are under financial crisis. No job for more than three years is a bad thing, what could be the reason why you have not found any job? Have you not sold any of your properties like your vehicle and the equipment? You should have a concrete plan on how you can rise above your current financial situation. It's not going to be easy but you can do it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If you actually need advice, my first bit would be to start an actual new thread/topic with details about you instead of restarting old threads from years back. None of the advice on this thread was directed at you except in general what anyone could apply to themselves.
                            Gailete
                            http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

                            Comment

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