Ask Terry Questions File bankruptcy or not?

File bankruptcy or not?

By Terry Savage on September 29, 2013 | Credit/Debt

I’d like to know your opinion on whether my daughter should file for bankruptcy or not. She is 42 years old, single and still lives with me. She has so much debt that we can’t see her ever getting out from under. She has a B.A. in psychology and a B.S. in nursing and is currently out of work. She graduated from nursing school in 2009 and has not been able to get a clinical job. She has worked for several insurance firms doing referral coordination work. She has approximately $30,000 in student loans ($251/month); pays $502/month on a bank loan (approx. 4.5 years left); and has approximately $15,000 in credit card debt. Add all that to regular living expenses (car insurance, gas, phone, etc.) and it’s a pretty grim picture. If you think she should pursue the bankruptcy route, which type of bankruptcy would you suggest. Also, how would we go about finding a reputable attorney to handle it? Would appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you.

SAVAGE SAYS:This is a tough situation — and not uncommon these days with the burden of student loans.  But I’m surprised that with a nursing degree she hasn’t been able to get a better paying job.  l will give you some financial direction, but first let me step out of bounds and give you some personal advice.  Very few 42 year old women are still living with a parent!  At least, not without paying rent.  I think  you both may need some counseling, as you may have been making life too easy for her, removing some of her initiative to get a better job!  But that’s just my instinct kicking in, although I know there must be some other circumstances.

As for financial advise, if she files for bankruptcy not only will it NOT get her out of her student loans, but it could impact her future job prospects.  Employers, especially for sensitive jobs like nursing, often pull a credit report.  And a bankruptcy says a lot about her character.  Instead have HER immediately call the National Foundation for Consumer Credit — 800-388-2227, which will put  her in touch with the nearest local office.  She should go in and explain her financial picture to them — and get going on a plan to pay down her debt.

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