In 2009 the wife of Mark Fortier experienced a life changing event – she lost her husband to brain cancer and was faced with raising two children alone, paying medical bills, a large house note and other debts on a salary of only $40,000/year.
“I went nuts,” Reene Fortier said.
“I’m trying to get myself and my daughters through a sudden death and grief. That would have been enough to keep me awake at night,” Fortier said. “My stress level and blood pressure were up. I wanted to do the right thing. I wanted to pay (on the home mortgage).”
Soon after her husband’s death, it became difficult to make monthly payments on her Centennial Hills-area house, which had three bedrooms, a three-car garage and a “huge backyard.”
“Our average payment is $3,300, which is more than I make in a month by far,” she said. “I was not as much mad as I was scared. I wanted to keep my house. What was I going to do? There was no way I can get out of this.”
At the time Fortier allowed the stigma of bankruptcy keep her from exploring her bankruptcy options. She tried everything including looking into payday loans to make ends meet. Fortunately for her, her sister warned her against taking out payday loans and Fortier avoided that trap. But she did try to get a mortgage modification from her mortgage lender who eventually granted a permanent modification; but that didn’t take care of her other bills nor did it deal with the long-term issue of being in a home that she could no longer afford. When Fortier lost her husband to cancer, she also lost 60 percent of her household’s income and she was living in a home that had lost 50 percent of its value. Bankruptcy was her best option; but she just didn’t realize it.
Are You a Widow Considering Bankruptcy?
Widows and widowers are perfect candidates for bankruptcy because they are experiencing permanent and often drastic changes to their financial situation. Losing 60 percent of your household’s income is a crisis that can’t be fixed simply by modifying your mortgage. The reality is that you will most likely need to discharge as much of your debt as possible in order to survive financially after losing a spouse. If you are considering bankruptcy feel free to give us a call or fill out our contact form .