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troutspinner said:   While "medical" pulls at my heart strings (I did not see you list the problem.......I sure hope not enhancement), I view deadbeats the same as any criminals and they need to pay their debt.

It's not societies fault she did not know how to negotiate medical debt nor should society be affected by her negligence. She needs to pay up and live poorly until she is solvent......that's life and the hand she was dealt. Like a criminal, if she pays her debt, she may be reformed. Taking a plea deal, ie, bankruptcy or stop paying, and the crimes will continue.


Your second paragraph contradicts itself.

How is negotiate a medical bill different than not paying the medical bill in full?

As for "she needs to pay up and live poorly". Good opinion. You need to shup up or move to Saudi Arabia. That's my opinion.

Can you post pics of the creepy PM's? Hold them bastards accountable..

tolamapS said:   
How is negotiate a medical bill different than not paying the medical bill in full?


I wondered how negotiating a medical bill for less than agreed was worse for society than having the bankruptcy courts do it for you. In a lot of ways its more fair for the courts to do so as you could lie to the creditor about what you can afford to pay, however if you make more than you need to live on the courts verify your income and assets and decide how much you can really afford to pay.

Horseymen said:   Can you post pics of the creepy PM's? Hold them bastards accountable..

I think it would make more sense to forward them to the mods for banning.

Before BK, would it make sense to have her put tuition payments on the remaining credit line?

tedteddy said:   Before BK, would it make sense to have her put tuition payments on the remaining credit line?It's illegal to transmute secured debt into unsecured debt for the sole purpose of fraudulently discharging it. Perhaps someone here has some data points to share in terms of the trustee or the creditor objecting? I'm sure this is a common issue.

Crazytree said:   tedteddy said:   Before BK, would it make sense to have her put tuition payments on the remaining credit line?It's illegal to transmute secured debt into unsecured debt for the sole purpose of fraudulently discharging it. Perhaps someone here has some data points to share in terms of the trustee or the creditor objecting? I'm sure this is a common issue.

I remember reading a case where some guy tried to stash all of his money in a 529 plan a few months before declaring bankruptcy. He got caught and got charged with fraud.

I hope I never have to declare bankruptcy because it's going to be tough explaining all of those vanilla reload/prepaid gift card charges for churning.

One thing you may need to do with her is take a realistic look at her job prospects. At this point, she should not be assuming she will get a tenure-track position starting at $70-80k.

There are far more people in PhD programs than there are jobs in academia. I went on the academic market, made it to on-campus rounds (top 3-4 candidates), no offers, and several of the positions I applied for wound up not hiring anybody because of budget cuts to the programs at state universities. I thought I was reasonably competitive (several publications, top academic credentials, prestigious program, good recs), especially for crappy schools, and it was a rude awakening; meanwhile it can take 9 months or more to see how successful you are in the academic market.

It really depends on what the PhD is in, program rank, her publications, and individual performance. But I know many unemployed people with doctorate degrees.

I'm in the pay-your-bills-deadbeat camp, but it was cognitive flaws that got her into this mess (oh, things will be better soon and I can pay all this back! this is just temporary and I will be very successful in the future!), and you need to be sure that she has disabused herself of incorrect assumptions before BK (which may include her thoughts on her future job prospects and salary) or you'll wind up back in the same place.

Although I exaggerate a little, her notion of getting a $70k job after the doctorate as a slam dunk is similar to naive-ness to a college student playing NCAA basketball thinking he is good enough to get in the NBA draft when he doesn't even know there are only two rounds in the NBA draft with lots of international players. It's much more likely she will be in debt with a retail job that does not require a BA, just like the college bball player will probably be washing my car after he drops out of college with no bites from the NBA or even overseas basketball teams

jmw11 said:   Although I exaggerate a little, her notion of getting a $70k job after the doctorate as a slam dunk is similar to naive-ness to a college student playing NCAA basketball thinking he is good enough to get in the NBA draft when he doesn't even know there are only two rounds in the NBA draft with lots of international players. It's much more likely she will be in debt with a retail job that does not require a BA, just like the college bball player will probably be washing my car after he drops out of college with no bites from the NBA or even overseas basketball teams

Even becoming a high school teacher is getting ridiculously competitive. Some people I know that have masters degree in teaching have been forced to become "permanent" substitute teachers.

When I first left my ex-husband (circa 1992), I moved and was alone with small 2 kids, no home and no job. I stayed with family for a couple weeks and decided I couldn't put them out any longer. I swallowed my pride and went to get gov. assistance. I qualified for the whole enchilada, cash assist, food stamps (real paper ones back then) and medical. It took me less than a year to pull my life together and get off of assistance...anyhow.

During a re-certification in which you had to appear in person in a group setting I heard a heart breaking story. A man sitting next to me was telling the man next to him about how he had a doctorate and couldn't find work. Nothing available in his field and nothing below that would hire him due to being over qualified. It was killing him to have to beg for food stamps to feed his family. His wife was working at McDonald's to help out.

Life throws ya curves and sometimes no amount of planning can predict the future. She should go through the BK and pull herself out of a pit. A fresh start can mean everything.

My friend did bankruptcy some years ago. His experience was:
1) Get a lawyer
2) Get a couple of credit cards unafilliated with your current credit cards. Do not use these.
3) Stop paying the credit cards you owe on.
4) Declare bankruptcy and send all creditor calls to lawyer.
5) Court stuff.
5) After the court dust has settled start using the new credit cards from step 2 responsibly. He hadn't wronged them and they didn't cancel the cards, and was able to build credit again.

This honestly was my friend and not me, so I can't speak to details, but he's doing ok now, and this seems like a good route for your gf. I'd hold off on the married stuff until you buy a house or other high credit items you might want, as combining with her is going to be an issue.

Just wanted to update this thread. First, thanks for the overwhelmingly positive and productive advice. GF has declared bankruptcy and recently had the creditor meeting - no one showed up and the hearing with the trustee was literally 10 minutes long. Should be discharged without issue in the coming weeks. In my admittedly biased opinion, I think the GF has learned greatly from this experience and it has had a serious impact on how she manages her finances. She will probably never be FWF material, but I don't think she will ever let herself fall into this trap again.

Interesting tidbit: FICOs only dropped 30 points to 670 after the filing showed up on her credit report. Not sure if it will drop further when the case is discharged, but I am..shocked...at the relatively small drop. I was expecting her credit score to crater into the upper 500s or something (I know 670 isn't good, but it isn't as bad as I thought it would be). She still has credit cards with $0 balances at some major banks that were not included in the bankruptcy. I was told (contrary to the post by jmchain above) that when those companies do their routine account reviews they would likely close all her cards, but so far nothing.

GL to you and your gf OP. It doesn't take much to fall behind with medical bills given our system here in the US. Even with decent but not great insurance (from state govt, HMO) a knee injury (ACL) playing rec soccer ended up costing me dearly for about a year, couldn't even fund Roth fully that year.

Get on with your life, and tell your gf that as long as she picked the right major, academic life is really great.



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