Amanda: Personal Bankruptcy at 21

Table of Contents

Amanda: Bankruptcy – An Early Lesson

At 18, Amanda (not her real name) began a common-law relationship with Derek (not his real name) which resulted in an estrangement from her family.

By the time she was 20, Amanda was beginning to understand what her parents had been objecting to. Always a hard worker, Amanda held down two jobs to keep her and Derek afloat. At Derek’s urging, Amanda took out unsecured bank loans and credit cards in her name.

Dealing with Job Loss & Unsecured Debt

Then, in one dreadful week, Amanda lost both her jobs. Unable to find new work, she could not even make minimum payments on her outstanding debts. A tsunami of collection calls and notices began pouring in from six different credit card companies and two separate banks. With over $40,000 of unsecured debt in her name, it felt as if her phone never stopped ringing. The calls did not bother Derek, but they bothered Amanda.

Shortly after losing her jobs, Amanda discovered she was pregnant, her relationship with Derek ended, and she was left alone to face the shambles her finances and life had become.

~~~ ~~~

Moving Forward & Reaching Out

At the urging of a friend, Amanda booked a free consultation with David Sklar & Associates, to see what could be done with her finances. She reviewed her current situation and her options with her Estate Administrator, Rhoda Lewis. After careful consideration, it was clear that filing for Bankruptcy would be her best option.

Amanda had managed to find a part-time job that barely covered her living costs. With penalties and interest charges, she now had an unsecured debt load of over $44,000. The burden of her debt, and the unrelenting collection action she had faced during the previous months, was taking its toll on her health.

Rhoda encouraged Amanda to put the well-being of her unborn child first, and to reach out to her parents for help.

With Derek gone, Amanda’s parents were more than willing to welcome her and their soon-to-be grandchild into their lives. They stepped in and paid the monthly Bankruptcy fees to remove the debt from their daughter’s shoulders. They also helped to make sure that Amanda got the pre-natal care she needed.

Because Amanda had no surplus income, she qualified for a 9 month Bankruptcy. Two months into her Bankruptcy, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Four months into her Bankruptcy, Amanda was able to take a part time job, which led into full time employment. Note: Even with her full time job, Amanda did not earn enough to have surplus income, so her Bankruptcy period remained the same.

During her Bankruptcy, Amanda was required to submit completed budget forms every month to DSAI. She was also required to attend two credit counselling sessions. Each time she visited DSAI, it was obvious that she was re-gaining her strength and self-confidence.

At her second credit counselling session, Amanda announced that she was going to college in the fall to become a Dental Hygienist. She reviewed the careful plans and budget she had set up to achieve that goal with Rhoda. She also explained, that her Mother had offered to take care of the baby while she was at college. As hard as the last few years had been, Amanda felt that she was closer to her parents, and more optimistic about her future than she ever thought possible.

After Bankruptcy – A New Career & A Fresh Start

Amanda successfully completed her Bankruptcy and was released from her unsecured debt load. She then went to college and completed her training as a Dental Hygienist. Shortly after graduating, she found a job in her chosen field. Using her ‘fresh start’ to build a brighter future for herself and her daughter was the focus of Amanda’s much-improved life.

To protect our client’s privacy, aspects of this case study have been altered.

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