In face of these events, I found work. Once I overcame my husband’s reluctance to enter the workforce, he seemed to accept the situation. He drove me to pick up applications. He still held to his Patriarchal beliefs, but in light of our situation, he got over issue of my returning to the workplace.
Things went smoothly for a couple of months and then came the phone call. My sister in law who lived at our previous residence called. She had received a notice for my husband to appear in civil court. It was an old medical bill from years back. This wasn’t exactly a novel experience. In the last year that my husband was working, we had almost been sued over a smaller bill. Thankfully, our pastor gave my husband the money to pay it off.
This bill was another matter. It was a $10,000 bill, the remnant of a larger bill which had resulted from a week long stay in the hospital. My husband had paid on it for a while and then quit. Now it had come back to haunt us.
I remember thinking that I’d just survived my husband losing his job and now this?
It is I who decided to file bankruptcy. I had a sneaking suspicion that the creditor could put a lien on our land since there was plenty of it. My husband tried to dismiss my concerns, but a visit to a lawyer proved my suspicions to be correct.
Thankfully, we were able to file bankruptcy. Due to owning assets such as land we had to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This meant that the debt still had to be paid off, but it would protect us from being sued as well as freeze the interest rates.
We filed, rolling up not only the hospital bill, but the truck driving school loan in as well as several other smaller debts. At the same time, my husband was able to get on disability which meant that he could pay off the bankruptcy while I put my income towards living expenses.
It was tight, but we made it. In this respect, my husband showed great character. He dutifully paid the monthly bankruptcy payment without ever missing a payment or being late.
It seemed like we were on an upswing. Sure, we had taken a bad blow financially, but we were surviving.
Then came another blow…..
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NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce