Life After Bankruptcy

martinis and your money

Life After Bankruptcy

Today I’m talking to Natalie Jean Baptiste, an attorney who found herself with over $200,000 in student loan and consumer debt and decided to declare bankruptcy. It was certainly not the path she envisioned when she was in law school, but sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to rise up again. She shared how she made the decision to declare bankruptcy, why it makes sense for some people and how her career changed because of the whole experience.

What are we drinking?



Podcast Notes

  • Natalie and Shannon both discuss how getting into school was the bigger concern for high school grads that paying for the school
  • Natalie said that 3-4 years after graduating from law school, she started to realize that her student loan debt was a problem
  • Natalie was working as an entertainment lawyer but not making enough money to cover her debt payments
  • Natalie not only had student loan debt, but she also had credit card debt
  • Natalie realized she needed to file for bankruptcy but couldn’t afford the $2,500 lawyer fee, so she decided to represent herself
  • Natalies says that if you don’t have a solid debt repayment plan (excluding longer term debts like student loans and mortgages) that could happen within 3-5 years, then you could be a candidate for a bankruptcy filing
  • Natalie talks about how filing for bankruptcy is like a divorce and sometimes you need it for moving on to a healthier place
  • Shannon talks about how she feels colleges and universities keep students from getting financially educated just to keep raising their tuitions
  • Natalie discusses what debts are dischargeable and what are not in bankruptcy court
  • Natalie then tells about her experience of trying to get her student loan debt discharged in bankruptcy court and the two year long process of getting a resolution
  • Natalie had $156,000 in Federal student loan debt and settled it for $36,000 at 0% interest
  • Natalie is now helping people with bankruptcy or student loan debt through My Student Loan Counselor
Random Three Questions
  1. What was your favorite class in high school?
  2. What is a book you’ve read that changed your life?
  3. If you won a million dollars what would you do with it?

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Have you ever thought about filing for bankruptcy?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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