John: John has been in the United States Army for 10 years and is stationed at Ft. Bragg. He has earned the rank of E-5. He is married to a dedicated stay-at-home mom, and has one child with another on the way. His income from the Army is not very much, and is definitely not enough to cover all of the expenses of a growing family. Because of this increasing debt, John had to file for bankruptcy. Although money is still tight in John's house, bankruptcy has helped him and his family to "start over", which was all he was asking for.
Frances: Frances is on active duty and is a Staff Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force. She is stationed at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, N.C. She has served her country 11 years. She has been deployed to Kuwait in the past and will be deployed again in less than a month to a place she could not disclose. Frances fell into debt following a divorce and getting stuck with many of the bills run up by her ex-husband. As a single parent, she could not cover all of those bills, along with her normal living expenses on her income from the Air Force. She filed for Bankruptcy about two years ago and describes bankruptcy as "good in a lot of ways for a single parent . . . it helped us free up money to have the things that we need."
Bill and Sheila: Bill is a Sergeant in the United States Army. He is stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C. He has been serving his country for 17 years. Bill is currently on assignment in Korea, leaving his wife Sheila behind to care for their 3 girls and their household in Fayetteville. Bill and Sheila filed for bankruptcy in 2002 after a combination of credit card bills that added up trying to meet the basic needs of providing for their 3 girls and the $400.00 extra deduction from the military paycheck because of having to pay for an apartment and food in Korea. Bill and Sheila feel they are wouldn't have been able to make it without the option of filing for bankruptcy.
Jamal and Renee: Jamal is a member of the U.S. Army National Reserve for. In 2003, he was called to active duty and is currently on assignment with the in Iraq. Jamal and his wife Renee filed for bankruptcy in 2003 after his father died and they were forced to spend a few weeks out of town and out of work. Once they returned home, they were "buried in debt". They not only had bills to pay because of the recent funeral, but they were behind on the regular bills as well. According to Renee, filing for bankruptcy enabled them to keep their house and cars and has made a big difference in their lives. Renee would be unable to care for her children alone if she and Jamal had not filed bankruptcy.
Donnie and Connie: Donnie is a member of the United States Air Force. He has been in the Air Force for 11 years and is stationed at Pope Air Force base in Fayetteville, N.C. Donnie and his wife Connie moved to Fayetteville from Texas because of the military. They were renting out the house they owned in Texas but did not receive payment from the renters for 3 consecutive months. The mortgage payment and the Fayetteville apartment rent was too much to handle along with regular bills and credit cards. They were over their heads. Donnie spent March through May of 2003 in Iraq, while Kim stayed home in Fayetteville to care for their 2 children. Kim often worried about whether or not she would be able to buy groceries. According to Kim, they are 100% better off now, she knows she'll be able to afford groceries and she knows she will have a little extra to spend on her children. She is thankful she was able to file bankruptcy, it changed her life.
Dave and Michelle: Dave is in Iraq. Dave is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 15 years. He was deployed on September 2, 2003 and his wife Michelle doesn't know when he'll be back. Michelle is left with 2 children, 2 dogs, and a house to care for. In 2001, Michelle's father was ill with cancer and she had to take care of him full time. She was unable to work. After her father finally passed, she tried very hard to find work but couldn't because of all the hiring freezes due to 9/11. Michelle couldn't even get food stamps. Filing for bankruptcy was their last hope at making ends meet. Dave and Michelle are thankful filing bankruptcy was an option. They really needed a fresh start and a chance to start over. She feels a big relief from the stress of high bills and low income. Even after filing bankruptcy, finances are still real tight, but at least she there now will be food on the table.
Robert: Robert is a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 19 years. Robert is deployed overseas every 6 months and has been for the past 15 years. In 2003, he was on deployment to Afghanistan. According to his wife, Robert is a military man and a rock. His family needed him, so he has taken his daughter and grand-daughter back into his household and supports them. He also gives money to his mom and his sister on a regular basis. His bills were high so he called all the creditors and asked for lower rates and advice on what he should do. No one would listen. He was getting to the point where he didn't have enough money to pay for everything plus support his family members that needed his help. He filed bankruptcy. This made life livable. Robert is happy because he's paying all the creditor's back, feeding his kids and grand-kids and now he's made rules for himself on using credit wisely. He and his wife feel the mental and physical relief of having a way out; a plan.
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