Best advice for my situation please

I have recently resigned from a position and now I am in a financial bind so to speak. When I took the job, my employer paid for three years of training up front (approximately $8,000) and now they want me to repay them. I was not given a specific timeline or amount to start paying back right away. The employer took my last two checks at applying about 1,000 off the top. Now, what would be the best course of action to pay this off? I do not wish to use my credit card or savings because it would leave me in even more debt. I have other financial responsibilities to think about. I am also in the process of trying to secure another position at this time.

In the past, my family and I have helped my husband. How do I get him to understand that he really needs to start stepping up and helping me through this very stressful portion of my life? I am not down emotionally with the things that have gone on. As a matter of fact, I am taking proactive steps to secure myself as a potential employee with a great talent in my field. I am also trying to secure my financial future the best way I know how.

Regarding my family – we are a self employed couple (22 years) in Maryland with nearly 200K in combined personal and business debt which we incurred when we moved our business to a renovated space on our property. The economy over the last 24 months has severely impacted our income and made servicing the total debt impossible. Despite many cost cutting measures we may be forced to file Chapter 7 for personal and possibly business debt. We have met with one attorney so far and gotten a second opinion from a CPA who reviewed recent tax returns. We plan to meet a second attorney before making any final decisions. We have been advised by the first attorney that “by law” he can not advise us to assume any new debt prior to filing. We are in need of a vehicle and he knows that but has emphasized multiple times he can not advise us to take on new debt. Frankly his tone and his contract language beg us to read between the lines.

I have had a friend (also self employed) nearly file and they advise us to get a car loan before we file. Our credit is good, we are current on all loans and credit cards, but feel certain we are at risk of defaulting soon. If our personal debt alone is discharged our cash flow will allow us to continue our mortgage and other necessities as well as make a modest car payment.

My question is this, since we have applied for a mortgage modification as well, and our case is now in the hands of an agent, will applying for new credit before they determine our case be a big mistake? Does anyone else have thoughts on options? We do not own any assets of value that we could sell or we would have done it already.

We may or may not opt to file business bankruptcy as well. One of the businesses is owned 51/49 (woman owned) the other business is owned jointly. Both are S corps. The house and most of the credit cards are joint debt.

I need a game plan!

I could really use some advice. We have 70K in credit card debt across four cards (3 Chase, 1 Bank of America). Most of that was to complete two international adoptions and to fix major house issues. Some of it was stupidity… well, actually all of it was stupidity. We should not have gone into such debt. I was thinking with my heart and not my head. (But not to do it would mean I wouldn’t have my daughters today. How to put a price on that?)

About 3 years ago, I completely revamped my budget to cash only using the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover. We did have a card balance of 90K, so have managed to pay down 20K of it. However, during that time I also had to finance a (used) car and our septic system required emergency replacement. So in actuality, my credit card debt went down 20K, but I incurred other debt to the tune of 23K. We’re pretty much right where we started.

We also have 5 kids, I work two jobs (one part time, one full time) and my husband is employed full time. He is going to be having surgery in a month and will need to be completely off his feet for 6 weeks. My job had a salary freeze, and his cut out 4 weeks of employment. All of this combined has made us unable to make the payments.

Right now we are current on everything, but I have paid down with our savings. We have $100 in the bank–that’s it–and next month we will be unable to meet the credit card bills. I have no way to buy Christmas gifts for the kids and getting food on the table is tough. I feel like such an idiot for putting my family in this spot!

I don’t know what to even do next. Should I call Chase and BOA and tell them what’s going on ahead of time? I am very worried about them calling my work or my kids. Because they’re older, I’m afraid the newly adopted ones will blame themselves for the situation.

I thought about making an appointment with Consumer Credit Counseling services. Can they do anything for me that I can’t do myself? Will Chase even work with them? Right now my interest rates range from 7.99% to 11.24%. If they’d drop the payment amounts down, I might have a fighting chance. That’s about the only way, I think. Should I use the cards to get a few Christmas gifts? Or should I just go delinquent on the cards next month and pay cash? (We keep it simple-3-4 gifts per child.) Will they be able to even help me or am I talking bankruptcy? And what happens when my son wants to go to college in 2 years–how will I help him get a student loan?

I really want to pay this stuff off, but nothing seems to be working in my favor right now. Thanks for any advice! I’m so scared and ashamed of myself.

You are where I was at ten years ago, and I wish someone had of told me: stop using the credit cards. You can live without Christmas. Please, see some sort of legitimate debt counselor to help you out of this crushing debt. Do not be ashamed. I wish I had of done something like that ten years ago. Now I’m in bankruptcy. Hope this helps and good luck.

Question about filing bankruptcy

I’ve been going back and forth in my mind the past year or more whether I should or should not file bankruptcy.

I finally had a friend give me someone to talk to that would be honest with me. His suggestion is that I find a place to rent, file bankruptcy in which he has someone that will work with my husband and myself every step of the way to get through this. He says in 2 years he can help us raise our credit score and help us finance our own home. Does this sound right? Does it sound like something that I could count on happening? He told me I shouldn’t feel bad about filing and that if I wanted to pay back the debt all I had to do is call up the place and pay them…? His last comment was since it was $15,000 debt that I was wasting my time looking for or going through a credit couseling service.

Is there anyone that can really give me some good-honest advice? It sounds to me like the person that you talked to has something to gain by talking you into filing bk. Don’t know, but thats the way it comes across. You need to talk with several professionals. Talk with 2-3 different credit counselors and 2-3 different bk lawyers and then go from there. personally I don’t think 15,000 sounds like enough to file bk over, but I don’t know your situation.

We filed bankruptcy back in October. The paperwork was not too hard. Download the pdfs from the bankruptcy courts’ site. We filed a waiver of filing fee and the judge approved it. We no longer have all of that interest to pay and we now don’t have to pay that $1800 per month in monthly payments and are holding our own. As for paying back the debt, I would be more concerned about the small businesses we borrowed from such as for medical bills but not the big corporations as they don’t care about us people.

Now my husband and I are in about $11,000 worth of debt. We barely have enough for our bills. I budget weekly and we are doing everything we can….but unexpected expenses keep popping up and it’s just really hard to get this debt cleared off! I’m feeling very frustrated and scared. What can I do? Since our interest rates are already low (3.99%, 7.99%, 10.24%, and 11.24%), they can’t help us.  They cut to 9%,and because of that the payment would actually go up.  I’ve gone through the process with CCCS and Take Charge America.  In both instances, the payment went up about $300 a month.

Sounds like your income is low right now

Low incomeAlso, sorry, duh, just saw your budget. Sounds like your income is low right now because of economy not choice, so yeah, part-time work would help. Even just delivering pizzas.

Agree completely with Jill. Your car payment is WAY too high. If you can, I suggest you sell the car and buy a used one. When my car got totaled last year, I went the used route and bought an 11-yr-old used VW in VERY good condition for $4K and it runs like a top.

Also, some of your other bills are way too high. You’re spending too much on gas, according to what you say your commutes are. My commute is 25 min one way and I spend just $100 a month in gas on average. And I live in L.A. where gas is pricier than in most other places.

Also groceries. Too much, especially since you can cook more in bulk when you have two people… make leftovers. I eat organic fruits/veggies and spend about $130 a month. What are you buying at the store? Can you make more from scratch, reduce meat purchases, etc? Use coupons? Shop sales?

You didn’t post any of your other spending habits. Is there any way to trim back on those? Stop eating out, purchasing coffee at work, going to movies, etc?

You also didn’t mention electric, but you can reduce that by a few bucks too by unplugging everything you can when not in use. Your TV, any side things like printers, sewing machines, hair dryers, etc. It will save you a few bucks minimum a month, maybe more (I cut about $10 off my bill just by doing that one thing). It sounds nuts, I know, but it does work.

Dealing with lying agent from credit card company

So I knew I was going to be 1 business day late on a card payment (due on a Friday). I called Bank of America and explained my situation. I needed to transfer money from one bank to another to pay it–because of my work hours I was unable to get to the bank to do that. I attempted to do it via the internet, but since the account was not yet set up online from my credit union I couldn’t do so. Had to go into the credit union to do that also.

At first the BOA person was rigid and cold with me, and told me to go do things on my lunch hour. I explained that I am a teacher and have no lunch hour (children are in my room with me at that time), and she softened (or so I thought). She got off the line for a minute, then got back on and told me she took care of things and I could pay it as soon as possible. I was able to get to the credit union on the next business day (Monday), transfer the money and pay the credit card bill online. The BOA person clearly said I would not be charged the late fee. The bill was due on the 12th (Fri.) and paid the morning of the 15th (Mon.).

So my new bill came today and lo and behold, there is a $49.00 late fee. If I call and complain, will it do any good? I am already strapped too thin and can’t afford to pay that on top of everything else. I thought if I contacted them ahead of time and worked out a payment that they would cut me a break–or at least stick by their word when they said they would!

I’m assuming that you’ve already taken care of this, since it looks like you posted in January.

Generally speaking, though, I always call and tell them what happened. The same thing happened with me this weekend with DirectTV. I called them last week to tell them that I needed to postpone my payment a few days until I get paid on the 5th. The guy said that I couldn’t change my payment date, but I could un-enroll in Automatic Payment, and then pay when I was able. I confirmed that the payment due at the end of Dec. wouldn’t be taken, and he said it wouldn’t.

I check my balance of my checking account on Saturday, and it’s negative, because the payment came through! I called, complained, and finally, they said that they would talk to my bank and reverse the payment. They’re able to at least see that you called and there should be notes on what you discussed, so if this happens again, I say to definitely call and set them straight to (hopefully) keep them honest. I would call BOA and ask to speak to the executive resolution office. Or even better file an online complaint with the BBB which will automatically go to the executive resolution office.

I hope I didn’t make you feel defensive

I hope I didn’t make you feel defensive. I’m just throwing out ideas willy-nilly.

Sounds like you’re in a really tough spot and doing the best you can. It also sounds like you’re looking for solutions. And honestly, that’s how you’ll get out of this depressing mess. Just stay strong, stay on point, and you’ll start to pull out and start to see results.

Since you have cable, here’s something to think about. Dave Ramsey has a daily TV show. Suze Orman has a show on Saturday nights. They also both have written books. What I did when I started along the road to debt freedom was read everything I could borrow from the library. Mostly for inspiration and moral support if nothing else. Because there are two things you need to seriously cement in your brain.

1) You’re not alone–there are so many of us with you in this boat that it’s not even funny. So lean. Lean hard if you need to. We’ll all be there.

2) You can do this. You can figure out a plan to get yourself out of this situation. Whether that’s calling up your creditors or simply getting on a plan that puts you a little closer to the black every month, you CAN do this. Because plenty of people who aren’t as smart as you have. And with everything you have going in your life, the one thing you definitely have is sheer determination to power ahead.

So that’s it. Not step by step solutions. But hopefully a little bit of moral support. Because, guess what, I’m in debt too. And I can only do so many things to get out of it. And today, I spent $1500 to find out that my sick pet was unsaveable and so after spending $1500, I still have one less pet. So I will not reach my goal. But that’s okay. Every day, the world tries to beat you down. Your job is to rise above it. And frankly, from what you’ve said, you’ve done that. 🙂

You have some good ideas. I don’t have a way to record the shows which are often on late. I have to get up about 4 am so staying up past 9 at night is not an option unless i have the next day off. I work weekends. I’ve also taken the plunge and registered for Ramsey’s financial peace class at a nearby church. It’s also the first time a session has been in a church close enough for me to attend easily.

Because my ex is a jerk I’m stuck paying for the vehicle

Because my ex is a jerk I’m stuck paying for the vehicle we bought together during our marriage. To stop being driven into bankruptcy by garnishment I make monthly payments, which the judge set at the amount he felt that I could pay. My ex is also supposed to pay child support but I haven’t gotten a penny in the last year. To be honest, I’ve not heard from or seen him in about a year which doesn’t bother me any.

Getting a second job isn’t as easy as you make it sound. Why? Besides having a job with health insurance I also go to college full time. Between work, classes, homework, studying, my kids, the housework, and sleeping I just don’t have any spare time.

My furniture all came from yard sales and stuff that my dad bought from abandoned storage units. Nothing is worth more than $5. The only valuable thing I own is my laptop, which I use for my classes to do assignments, research, and take notes. I print stuff at the college because it’s free there or I print at the public library for 10 cents a page. I’ve also got a quicken program installed to keep track of my checking account, savings account, and credit card. Without the laptop I’d have to drive to the college nearly every day to use the computers there and that would double if not triple how much I spent on gas.

Speaking of gas, my car is 18 years old and is failing fast. It has transmission fluid, oil, and coolant leaks along with some bad parts outside the engine that bang and knock. In the last year it’s been down for repairs 7 or 8 times. I’m hoping to use my tax refund to replace it. There’s all kinds of cars in this area less than 10 years old and for $1500 to $2500. My mechanic will check them over for either $45 or $75. The higher price is for him having to hook up his computer and the cheaper one is for just checking the vehicle over.

There’s no way I could change my job. I work at stocking in a grocery store and get all the hours they can give. My manager is given so many hours to use and can’t go over that. Corporate rules. She has to spread the hours out so that there’s enough people working during each shift. The job also comes with a 401k, union dues, and health insurance which I pay some toward. Can’t drop the insurance because I’d really be in trouble if I got sick or hurt. I also pay a couple of dollars per week for a short term disability in case I can’t work for a long period of time. Being a single parent I’m scared to not have that.

I am trying to use my cookbooks (also mostly from those storage units) to make more things from scratch here at home.

One or both of you should try to get a part time job

For starters I would suggest that one or both of you should try to get a part time job. Also that car payment is way too high for your level of income, in my opinion. Its almost a quarter of your monthly income. Have you shopped around for car ins? That seems a little high for 2 people. When you say debt, what kind of debt is it? Student loans, private loans, credit cards, medical bills etc and what kind of interest rate?

I know what you mean. I make about $1000 a month. My rent, car insurance, cell phone, and utilities are 600 a month. Groceries, gas, and debts take the rest. Well, i get netflix too but that’s entertainment. My landlord and I share cable with Internet so we each pay half the bill. Niehter of us can afford to have it by ourselves.

Is there anything else included with your oil costs? Electric, trash, etc? Seems a little high for oil…. Car is higher because our credit score is borderline (600 I believe). Car insurance we did shop around. that was actually quite cheaper than the rest. it was supposed to be cheaper though. like we gave them more of a down payment than required to lower the monthly payment but they screwed it up and didn’t do that. they gave us a few months with no payment needed but…yeah. debt is credit card debt. we were dumb when we were younger. sigh! if we knew then what we know now!

We use oil when we are cold and keep it around 20. However, the landlord I’d say is another story. She uses it all the time in the winter and I’d say she puts it on quite high cause our apartment starts feeling like a sauna. And we have to pay half. In the winter it is typically about 250 every approx. 6 weeks. I just dread the winter. In the summer we barely ever get an oil bill. love that!

Can you reduce your cell phone bill? Go to pay-as-you-go and use it less? Do you have a home phone? Can you get rid of that? And if you’re really concerned about getting rid of your debt, Netflix has to go… you have cable. Why do you pay for that if it’s not for entertainment? If you’re serious about getting out of debt, you have to make a sacrifice or two…

Also, you need to find a way to make more money. You’re actually not in that much debt (coming from the girl who’s 50% of the way through $54K in debt), but with your income as low as it is, I can see why it feels like an impossible mountain. Can you take on a part-time job? Or change your main job so you have one that brings in more money? Is there anything you can sell on ebay? craigslist?

My mother and I share a cell phone plan that runs thru Feb 2012. Neither of us can afford the cancellation fees. There is no home phone, just the cell phone. I’m having a family meeting tomorrow night to discuss options and Netflix is on the list of things we need to change.

Which kind so of companies usually let debt go high amount?

I have all kinds of debt at this point. I just saw an old very small dental bill on a credit card meant for dental only charged off. I’m wondering which company types or amounts are not worth continuing to persue so I can expect other charge offs by them. I had a care repoed, and the debt is 1700.00 I don’t have money for payments, wondering if they will give up and charge that off or if maybe Mastercard for 500 will as well given the debt is so small too? Or how long they typically hang on before they set account to charged off???

Unfortunatly, the bill will never go away. They will probably charge it off after a while, and RESELL the debt to a third party debt collector. These slimy agencies buy your debt for PENNIES on the dollar and try to get the whole amount plus interest and fees. Usually the debt is past the statute of limitations(time varies from state to state) and they can’t take you to court ever on it. They can hound you for ever on it. Please investigate your consumer rights before paying ANYTHING. DON’T leave yourself broke, it is not worth it. Google “consumer rights”. Good luck! Your debt seems very low, so take care of your family FIRST!

I am wondering what I might do in the following circumstance.  On my recent credit report, an account was charged off.  Then I began receiving bills from this same company again.  It is a credit card company – not a collection agency. My understanding is if they can convince you to make any kind of payment, they will resent the credit time for the debt to remain on your credit score. So if it’s been 3 years, and the typical score holds it for 7, and they may tempt you to make even the smallest payment. The time resets to day one of 7 years, so if you ignore the bill, the debt will roll off in 4 years, if you goof, and make a payment, it will be 7 more years!

I’m in OR, have tons of debt from an auto injury that hasn’t settled. I’m not sure what to do, settlement may be right away, or in up to 5 months. One co. has me going to court next week for a judgement examination of debtor. Can anyone even say they’ve been there? I don’t know what to expect, I offered a last ditch offer in writting to the collections agency for a payment plan that was a reasonable offer but they refused and are forcing the court thing.

My husband and I are way in debt, barely able to manage our bills and have no idea what to do! Debt is approx. 9730! Right now in the winter my hubby and I are making approx. 1960 a month. Ouch. Bills are as follows (for the month!):

  • Rent 500
  • Groceries 260 (barely enough!)
  • Oil Bill (every 6 weeks, try not to use unless we have to but landlord uses lots and high! we pay half, she pays half!) 250
  • Car Pymt 395
  • Car Ins 95
  • Gas 240 (my job is 15 min away, hubby’s is 10 min, car is non negotiable as no bus route runs near either of our works and we can’t rely on anyone for drives)
  • Debt 255 (MINIMUM mthly payments)
  • Laptop 85 (almost paid off, paid off in Sept of next year I believe)

That’s what I can think of right now. Almost all of it at least if not all of them.

My doctor says a little stress is good for me

StressI am now please to be part of a blog that can help me to solve my problem of stress. It is hard to keep low, my doctor says a little stress is good for me. If anyone can help with advice I am willing to listen. I will be happy to help as much as i can! The first thing is to try to keep things in perspective. Whatever is happening is probably not as bad as it seems. What is causing you the most stress?

I would exercise if you can to relieve a little stress. My stress is work related being in public sector could lose my job. Have faith in yourself, mind off of anything that might cause the stress.
Try to distract yourself in something you enjoy, in the meantime you do ur work. Try to count 1 to 10 or 20 when u find urself getting stressed. If you are religious, you need to practise some prayers to relieve your soul.

Good luck, try to calm yourself, try to do something you enjoy for a change, go for a walk, try to unwind and do anything that you might find your interest in it! Try real hard to remember what is important to you in your life. I used to be very driven and very job focused. I have lost many things in my very long journey, and have learned a lot about what truly is important and it was not my job. I had to focus on happiness (that took a long time to truly understand what that was). What used to be important is no longer important, and what should have been important, finally has become important to me. Do you have good friends and family for support?

I know how you feel, i used to work in the private sector in Accounting and every time the cash flow was slow I would panic. I now work in the public sector but still have the fear of being without work. How I cope is by trying to save my pennies…I eat breakfast at home, bring my lunch, bought a coffee pot at work trying not to spend. This way my “emergency fund” is getting larger and this makes me feel better. I also looked for ways to make extra money on the side so now I make and decorate cakes, cookies and cupcakes. I don’t make a lot of money but it forces me to relax, do something that I enjoy and make a little extra money…all at the same time. Do you have any hobbies that you can turn into a cash flow? I know this is all about money but having some extra in my pocket relieves my stress and fears of being laid off.

I did just lose my job, but i saw it coming. It was no fault of mine, our part of the contract ended after a 9.5 year run. My company kept me on for 3 more months, but we do not want to leave where we live. Since I saw it coming, I dropped all debt payments to the bare minimum and stashed cash. We can survive a few months, but God has never failed us yet.

You may want to go ahead and cut expenses to bare minimum and start saving as much as you can. It might also be good to start looking without alerting you current company and staff. It is better to reduce spending to a minimum. I have been doing that for about a year now. I also buy the cheapest items in the supermarket own brand product, they are ok to use. Making sure you maximise the benefits entitled to helps. There are allowances and bits of money we can all claim available with research.

Creditors will settle for less than what you owe

Creditors will settle for less than what you owe, but only if you have the money to pay them when you settle. It doesn’t sound like you do–at least not until you get your settlement.

Also, something to think about, is it wise to spend your settlement on paying off the cc companies? If you guys don’t have any reserve, are you going to be able to afford the nurse, etc? What if something happened to you?

Here’s what I would consider if I were in your situation.
1) Stop answering collection phone calls. You have enough stress going on right now. Let your answering machine take their calls until you can get a plan together that is stable and the best you know you can do.

2) Do you have a written budget? Pay the house, utilities, minimum food bills first. Then if there’s anything left, divide it by percentage among these guys. If there’s not, tell these guys there’s not. The worst they can do is trash your credit, but to be honest, it’s too late for that so who cares. Now, you can only do what you can. And that’s your decision, not theirs.

3) Send your creditors a certified letter explaining your situation.
I once heard Dave Ramsey say that when he got into major debt, he was paying some creditors a couple dollars. But he had made a chart of all his debts and what percent each debt was toward the total. He also had his budget on paper. With each payment, he sent them his budget and the debt chart to show them that he was sending as much as he could.

4) No credit counseling. Basically, you’re paying someone else to do something you can do on your own, using google for advice and tips. Here are a couple good URLs re: creditors/collections

This is going to be a tough road, so honestly, take care of you and your husband first. That’s what’s most important.

Has anyone read his Transforming Debt to Wealth book?  I have read a lot of pros and cons on Internet about his program.  Primarily, I am just trying to learn techniques for bringing down debt faster.  Here’s what I’ve learned, for example, from Dave Ramsey, etc.:

1.  Debt Snowball (either starting with smallest balance, or starting with highest interest).

2.  Using compound interest to your benefit by paying either every two weeks, or every week, which saves a lot of interest.

3.  I downloaded an Excel file from this group that lets you plug in balance, interest rate, and number of payments to see how long it will take to pay something off.

Does anyone know if John Cummuta, or other gurus out there, have other “techniques” that can help get debt down a little faster?

This is the type of thing that needs to be addressed

FloridaI live in Miami, Fl, and I think this is the type of thing that needs to be addressed with our lawmakers. When do you think was the last time that any of them carried a balance on a cc. I don’t pay the minimum but a little more than that plus if I needed to charge I add that up as well. I have a strick budget now. My husband kept using the card and I was like I can’t pay them off if you keep using them. Of course he was using the one with the highest interest rate as well.

AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaa. So I took his cards and told him for a week to write down everything he “needed” he did and we added in forty extra a week for the higher price of gas and cigarettes. Added bonus I think he was really embarassed that he was spending so much on things that didn’t help the family at all. So he told me to give him $5 a week less and we’re using that to cut him down slow.

If he could quit smoking I told him that would be a car payment and he could look forward to a new car! I keep seeing comments about not canceling cards, if you have too many many cards with too high available credit, you may not be able to get a mortgage or refinance and it COULD hurt your score. If you must keep cards, keep the oldest and one or two of the newest and dump the rest, or contact them and ask for the max available credit to be greatly reduced. Just remember what Dave R keeps saying, FICO means I LOVE DEBT. Signed – Can’t wait to have no debt.

I’m going to look into this too – I think. I have just been reading everyone’s comments and so I finally went to the website at and looked over it. My goal is to pay down all my credit cards – which I am slowly, but surely doing. I even applied for payday loans in Florida a few times in the past with certain success. For the time being I’m trying to get my credit and credit score up enough to purchase my mothers home but I want a good ‘deal’. I don’t use them hardly at all, but sometimes still have to as I still ‘need’ to purchase items with them. Thanks for all the input and email responses.

I have been  silently sitting on the sidelines reading all of the great stuff i get in my inbox. My situation is a little different than everyone elses,(not the debt part,I have plenty of that!) My husband is sick and I have had to hire a nurse to take care of him during the day while i am at work. This has unfortunately made it impossible to pay ANY of the mounting credit card bills. Each credit card was used while my husband was sick. We thought he was going to get better and we could pay them off. At one point he was well enough to work and he was taken advantage of by a construction company he went to work for and they owe him around $11000.00 (7500 in wages, 3500 was the amount they agreed to pay to us for damages).

(During the last part of his employment he had a stroke and is now pretty much paralyzed on one side of his body and cannot work.) Because of them we had to move to a cheaper house , sell alot of stuff, and we have ridiculous late fees and overlimit fees on our credit cards that we cannot pay. If they had paid my husband when they were supposed to I could have paid off all of the cards, which was our intention. Now I am in collections and have creditors calling me daily. what a mess. I hope to hear from the labor board soon as we have filed a claim against these jerk’s. So my question is this: how much luck have any of you had trying to negotiate with the credit card companies? if you have had any luck at all negotiating, how did you do it? and my last question is: have any of you tried using a credit card counciling company?

What if I’ve lost my income?

Lost incomeWhat if I’ve lost my income? Is a loan modification possible then? We’re not underwater, so I feel the bank is less likely to by sympathetic since we won’t walk away. I’d like to keep our home and feel that eventually we’ll be working again, but we need help through this difficult time.

I can’t collect unemployment because I still own a business. The business hasn’t been able to pay me for nearly two years and in fact I’ve been putting money into it to the point where I’m nearly broke. The trend is currently up however, and I think we could be making money again by the end of the year if we can hold it together that long. What we need is a pause in our payments. I’ve been paying mortgages steadily since 1975 and I’ve never been late with a payment, but somehow I don’t think that will get me anywhere.

If you use a Fed. Credit Union, see if they have a card. I did just get the go ahead to tranny about 3100.00 of high interest cc debt to one of my FCU’s cards for 13% APR.

I got my plastic, took down the acc # and sec code, and cut it up.

Sometimes you need the number and sec code to change your password and such, but I might never need that… but no actual card in my hand.

But this’ll give me a leg up in beating those two higher interest debts down.

Justin K.:You need to talk with your bank. I know the bank that I work for will use unemployment benefits as income, others will help you in different ways. Many lenders are willing to do a moratorium on mortgages if you can meet a given set of conditions. I do not work in that depart in my bank so I could not comment on the criteria, but I do know that we offer 6 month moratoriums. The big downside to this is that at the end of the term all 6 payments are due.

Regarding Self Employment, we will look at 12 months of bank statements (business only, at 50% of total deposits) to determine income for SE borrowers who have not drawn a personal paycheck in awhile.

Again, I would highly recommend that give your bank a call. If they have received money from the FDIC programs they work off of very similar guidelines, aka FDIC mods.

Hope this helps.

The answer to that would be no. Asking for a Loan Mod, or even receiving one from the bank that I work for will not impact your credit score at all. What will impact your score, and I see this all the time, is when someone applies for a Mod, and decides not to continue paying their current mortgage. I would recommend that if you have a financial hardship talk to your bank, they do not want your house, they have too many REOs as it is. If you do not actually need a Mod, but you are attempting to get one because “everyone else is getting one” please do not apply, I turn down about 40-50 applications a day because there is not an actual hardship.

Loan Mods are for people who are suffering a financial hardship. If you are, please call your bank as soon as possible, right now we are taking 60+ days to book a loan mod from the time we receive the WOP (work out package).

Call your mortgage company and tell them

Mortgage companyCall your mortgage company and tell them you are having a hardship and want to know if a loan modification is possible. I did it with my HELOC and got the 3 parts of my HELOC reduced as follows for 1 year:7.29% down to 3% 8.29% down to 3% 3.4% down to 3%. In addition one of my loans is having payments postponed until the end of May 2009. I’ m waiting for my first mortgage company to process a similar request.

Thanks for the information about the loan modification. I did call my bank, and I am in the process of getting all my documents together to present to them. They have a committee that meets once a week (it is a small bank) to consider the loan modifications.

Well, if a client of ours is interested in a loan mod, I would recommend that they contact customer service (call the number on the mortgage statement) and let the rep know you need to speak with someone in Loss Mitigation, or that you are suffering a financial hardship and need help with the monthly payments.  The CSR will be more than happy to transfer you to the right department.  If you are currently deliquent the same conversation can be had with one of the mortgage collectors.

I do not think I should disclose which bank I work for, but it is one that received bailout money, and FYI, the FDIC is actually defining what and how loan mods are done.

Hope this helps.

Has anyone else noticed that it’s impossible to get new cards with a large enough limit to transfer balances?

We currently have a chase cards with 16.99 percent that I don’t think we’re making any progress on.

Does anyone have any advice for me?

There is website that you can check out about

U.S. Department of the TreasuryThere is website that you can check out about the new stimulus plan that will kick in on March 4th.

It is If you have a loan that is Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you might be able to refer to a fixed rate 15 or 30 yr loan at the current interest rate. There are qualifications that must be met.

Check out the website. I am in Customer Service with a Mortgage Company so I also get a little inside info. If you want to apply for that on March 4th, you can start gathering documents that you will need:

  • info about the gross monthly income of everyone listed on the loan,
    including your most recent pay stubs and other income you receive.
  • your most recent income tax return.
  • info about any second mortgage on the home.
  • payments on each of your credit cards if you are carrying balances
    from month to month.
  • payments on other loans such as student loans and car loans.

Have a great weekend!

It Really Does Make A Difference

I do something similar, and it really does make a difference.

I pay all my bills twice a month, as soon as I get paid. I divide all my payments in half (plus add $10 extra to each CC minimum) and pay that amount. The card I’m working to pay off first gets every other spare cent. By paying twice a month, my debt has really started to decrease much faster than before.

I highly recommend this practice–it does reduce the daily balance, so it helps drop your balances faster. It may take a little juggling to get it set up at first, but it’s worth it in the long run.

If you, like many people, are just having a hard time paying your bills at all, start with the minimums. It’s all about doing what you can to get rid of this albatross we’re all carrying.

Loan Modification Question

Loan modificationAfter doing some research on our finances regarding our ARM mortgage, I have come to the conclusion that we need to do a loan modification. When I had talked to the refinance guy a couple of months ago he said my FICO score was not high enough to qualify for a refinance.

After looking on the web, I find there are a zillion companies for loan modification, like people are jumping on the bandwagon to make a quick buck and take advantage of people in dire circumstances. Has anyone on the list used a reliable company? I would appreciate your feedback.

What I have gotten into the habit of doing is if I see a company listed, I check them out at If someone has reported a bad experience with that company (and I have had my experiences, too) then I  don’t even contact them.
Thanks. Vicki.