I’ve been reading a few weeks, and wanted to intro myself a bit.
About 4 years ago, I bought a mobile home with a partner from what turned out to be a real rip-off company. We had planned to basically “rent” from each other for several years, and then sell when we both reached a time for moving out of state. The plan was to use her income and mine to keep up the home and pay expenses.
It took a few years, but when I was finally able to refinance with a regular bank, my home-partner was back in school for a master’s and not working, so I refinanced in my name only. You can no doubt guess what happened then – after she was done with school she bailed on me (and also moved out) and I have only verbals that she ever agreed to be part of this.
On top of that, the local housing market for mobile homes has crashed, and though I owe about $32,000 still on the home, I’m told by realtors that unless I can sell for $12,000 or so, it’s not even worth putting on the market. An additional problem is that since it’s only MY income maintaining the place, frankly it’s falling apart. Last I estimated, it would take at least $5,000 – and perhaps as much as $10,000 – to make even basic repairs such as reroofing and so on.
I’m also paying 2 credit cards (one $4,000, the other $3,000), the balances of which grow as I have to make small emergency repairs (for instance, the hot water heater went out last month).
I spoke briefly with a few bankruptcy attorneys, and they told me under the new bankruptcy laws, I “make too much” to file anything but Chapter 13. I’m not sure if Chapter 13 would do me any good anyway, but I guess it would at least prevent the bank from sueing me for the balance of the mobile home (since I’m told mobile homes aren’t treated like stick-homes legally, and if for some reason I can’t or won’t keep up my payments on the home, they will foreclose on it, sell it for a few thousand dollars just to get it off their books, and then come after me for the difference – including wage garnishment).
I’m really feeling stuck! If I try to stick it out and pay down the $20,000 to sell it, by then it will be such garbage from lack of major repairs that it may be unlivable and unsellable. I’m making my payments now, but if I borrow $5000-10000 to make repairs, I won’t be able to make payments anymore. If I file Chapter 13, I’m not sure what will happen, actually. The job I have now is a union job paying WAY WAY over the wage-market for the work I do – meaning that if at any time I get laid off, assuming I CAN find another job, my income will drop by half – at which point I also won’t be able to make any payments.
Any ideas? I’m feeling really stuck, like there’s nothing I can do except wait for one of several axes to drop. And that’s how I’ve been living for about 2 years now.