Bankruptcy, Deep in debt

Thank you so much for the advice

Hello Everyone:

Thank you so much for the advice. I’m going to try to answer some of the questions being asked:

School costs: we owe $65 dollars per child for school fees. Our oldest son has been pulled out of the regular school system and has been placed into another school to help him with his behavior. This is the school costs I was referring to. We are supposed to be paying $150 a week for this school but they are taking it down to $60 a week. It sounds great but this is still hard to come up with.

How did we get into the situation? We purchased a new home about 11 years ago. Since this was our first home and it was new construction we had to buy everything from the bottom up. We used credit cards and maxed them out very quickly. We haven’t used a credit card in years. We are literally just trying to get them paid off but doing this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Something always comes up.

Yes, 100K is a lot of money and yes, you would think we would be able to live well off of this money but we aren’t. This just proves that people who do make good money can get into trouble as well. I’m not proud of what has become of our financial situation. I know we could be living more comfortably. I also know that I have contributed to our money problems. I tend to spend more money than I need to. This is something I am working on and I am committed to changing.

I have to admit what I have been doing lately. With Christmas we have been struggling more than ever (as I am sure everyone here has experienced). We have credit card payments that are due that I am not able to pay. We are getting phone calls daily and I am avoiding them. I know this is wrong. I know I need to talk to them and try to work something out but I can’t stand the thought of doing it. Some of the people are just so rude. I decided to get a loan from this company because I like guarantees and I am a person who wants to pay all of her bills. We charged everything and it is our responsibility to pay off our debts. I think I just need to bite the bullet and start answering the phone or else I will never get a handle on our situation.

Thank you again for listening to me and for helping me work through this. I’m sorry if I offended anyone for putting down our yearly salary.

Now that someone else has broached this subject my question is on the 30K in unpaid medical bills. I would think there would have been medical insurance at a job paying 100K a year. I never had medical insurance through work but pay $300 a month for myself. My deductible is $1500 so there would be no way for me to accumulate that kind of bill.

No offense taken, Why I mentioned this is that an Oprah show I saw a few months back had high-earners who, like you, are up to their eyes in debt.

These people were earning over 100K a year, and some of them, even more.

Answer the phone. Tell them you know there’s a problem and can they help with advise? Many of them will either close the accounts, and have you pay lower, but steady payments. Others actually referred me to credit counseling and another lowered my payment for six months. Then though the payments went back up, I’d paid a lot to the principle and that helped a lot.

Having worked in the financial world, if you do consider a bankruptcy, you might suggest your husband talk to his HR department first. Some jobs can be adversly affected by a bankruptcy, although if you can prove it’s medically related it might make a difference.

Bankruptcy, Deep in debt

Re: Desperately need assistance!!!

First thing, I would advise credit counseling. The one I went with was called GreenPath (, which a local TV business reporter recommended on his newscase; I hope there’s a GreenPath office near you. They advised me that bankruptcy was not as bad as I thought it was.

Like you, I had several maxed-out cards, and ended up filing a Chapter 7 myself (to be fair, this was in 2005, right before the new laws kicked in). Hopefully your case won’t be worse than a Chapter 13. In the end, all my debts were discharged, I never had to give up or sell my house, and to my surprise, the trustee never really considered liquidating what little I have in the way of assets. Yes, I ended up losing those credit cards, and I won’t be getting any new cards for a LONG time (C7 is the nuclear war of credit), but I learned to budget and spend my money more responsibly. And getting those bills off your back is a huge relief. Like you, I have also had to cut back on a lot of things to better make ends meet.

Above all, you do NOT want to end up like the Waleskowskis, a Waterford, MI family whose father, a cop, resorted to stealing money from a drunken driving suspect in order to help pay a tax bill. Prior to this, they had been rolling their credit bills into their mortgage several times over a number of years and this apparently caught up to them. I will not give more details because it is a tragic, sick, horrible story; for those who want all the details, I suggest you look up “Michael Waleskowski” on your favorite search engine.

I agree with this post about your situation. What else can you do as a family to even cut costs more. Part with cable or satellite TV? Settle for an older used car or just one car. This makes time management or setting up rides with others a challenge, but it may have to be done. Hey, there was a generation of Americans who survived with one vehicle -especially since most women were SAHMs- like you are. My mom stayed at home until I was 13 and she never drove until I was almost 17. Other women she knew, who worked or needed to run errands on certain days, would drive their husbands to work, so they could have the family car for certain days.

Think of as many other “things” you could do without. Remembering that it’s only temporary while you work on a plan to pay off those debts. I had a really hard time at first letting go of “things” I thought were needed for my lifestyle, but after I was clearing out my debt and finally got debt free, I realized that I never needed to spend as money as I did to live a happy and fulfilled life. Filing for bankruptcy could become the absolute last solution, so do very detailed research about it.

What kind of health problems prevent you from working even part-time or flex-time for a local business? Is there anything you can do to also solve this health problem to a point where you can work to help pay off some the bills?

Keep your eye on this site and get plenty of advice and suggestions from people who’ve been there. There is a site called DollarStretcher, that I get tons of money saving ideas from quite often and I’m not even in debt anymore. Check it out and sign up for their newsletter.

Deep in debt

Desperately need assistance!!!


I am new here and am in need of a lot of help. I am a stay-at-home mom to 4 boys. My husband is an engineer who has a fantastic job and is compensated very well. Here’s the problem: despite the amount of money he makes (about 100K) we still struggle from paycheck to paycheck. We have about 6 credit card which are all maxed out. We have 2 kids in braces which we are struggling to pay, we have about 30K in unpaid medical bills, school costs, etc. etc. We literally don’t know how we are going to put food on the table from week to week. We don’t take vacations, we have cut way back on eating out, we watch our electricity use, water use. We just don’t know what to do at this point. My husband borrowed 8K from his 401K in November to help pay bills, which we did, but we still are struggling.

I am not able to get a job due to some health problems I have. I’ve thought about credit counseling but I am not sure that is the way to go. We don’t want to go the bankruptcy route but what other options do we have?

Can anyone help me?

If you saw smoke coming from under your door, you wouldn’t wait to see flames before calling the fire dept. Bankruptcy is not the end of the world. Sometimes a fresh start is needed. You can always repay creditors you have listed on a bankruptcy once you are back on your feet. Once discharged though, you will have no legal obligation to do so.

I remember seeing Oprah a few months back and ppl were in diffs. But like you, they earned well. Forgive me, but what school costs? Do they HAVE to go to private school?

How else are you trying to save? No meals out is one thing, but it sounds like you’re going to have o go totally bare bones for a couple of months.

To be honest, I only live on about $12,000.00 a year. Granted, I do not have kids or braces or school, and medical bills are not in my picture, but to have 100 grand a year would be absolute BLISS to me.

Its amazing how it happens when u use credit, we all know this now. I would try talking to your bank about a consolidation loan, they will take all your bills (credit cards etc) and consolidate to one lump sum each month, will be less then what you are paying now but all the companies will be payed off and you will just have to pay the bank each month, we got ours with a good rate too so thats helps. I would go talk to the bank. Im not sure about medical(Im in canada) but they might be able to add that in maybe and dental that you owe also.

Stop for a moment and breath. Stop saying should have, could have, would have. None of this will help. Cut up your credit cards, or put them in the freezer, you will never get ahead if you continue to add to the debt. Write down everything you owe on one sheet of paper with payments and interest(smallest to largest, by interest rate).

Then write down how much you need to survive, House(electric, heat,water, insurance, taxes), Food, clothing, medical, now continue with the cable, the phone, the cell phone, transportation (car loans, insurance, plates, maintenance) tuition, etc..what ever you spend. What are the totals. The idea is spend less then you make. Sounds simple enough,’s not.

Before you run to the CCS or lawyer you have to figure out what you owe, secured VS unsecured. What you feel you can pay. With your income you’ll find you will be a chapter 13 BK case, you’ll pay back a certain % amount( they figure this out by doing the above) over 5 years (your 401k loan isn’t dis-chargeable or included in this amount, it will remain separate, school loans are also not dis-chargeable). So fresh start for you would probably start in 5 years.

I suggest you go get a book from the library, Dave Ramsey “Total Money Makeover”, or “Financial Peace”.

There are other authors, but I like how he says things.

It will be okay, there are a lot of people on this site “who have been there done that”, so they can help, they give good support and advice, you get to decide how to use it.

Collection agency, Credit report

What can collection agencies do?

I pulled my credit report, and one collection agency has taken bills (med) that are at least 5 years old and grouped them into one account, making them stay on my credit until 2012. It was my understanding that it would stay on my record from the date of first delinquency with the original creditor, but it appears that now that is not true (according to what I am looking at).

Also, the original balance is on there, but it has escalated to $600.00 more than it originally was. I have disputed it, but would like to see if I am right or wrong on the above paragraph. Thanks.

Check the statute of limitations for your state here:

Every time you make a payment the clock starts all over again…. You’d be surprised how many people try to collect money after they’re past the statute of limitations. From

Credit disputing

How the process of credit disputing works

Does anyone know how the process of credit disputing works? Once the dispute is received by the bureau, do they update the report to show that there is a dispute in process, do they remove the item, or does the item just stay on the report until the dispute is resolved?

Thanks in advance for any responses


They resolve the dispute and then send you a copy of the report.

I once had a paid judgment that I couldn’t seem to get recorded on my report as paid, it was still being listed as open. It was caused by a small dollar amount difference between the number the court had and what the lawyers filed as being satisfied. I had to get a new letter with the amount the court had on file then file another dispute.

I have found this site extremely helpful:

I also own the book but everything in the book is on the site, including the sample letters, statute of limitation tables etc.

Consumer credit counseling

Consumer credit counseling question

Has anyone ever worked with this kind of company? I spoke to someone there and they said that they could have my interest reduced and then I could also keep a card for emergencies. Also they told me that working with them won’t hurt my credit We will be looking to lease a car this spring and need to know if this would have an impact on us getting the lease. Any help is appreciated.

I know someone who worked with CCS and they did just fine. Some companies want you to completely louse up your credit so they have better bargaining power, CCS isn’t like that. Is there a reason you’re leasing instead of buying? From everything I have been told, it is more expensive to lease than to buy. Just wondering…

Can’t afford the new car prices and my daughter has leased her car and it is costing her about $100 less a month than if she loaned a new car.


BK Question

We are severely in debt (lay-off and medical bills) and have had many credit cards charge off. I am doing the best I can to pay them off. Our house is for sale and we will pay them off with the proceeds from that.

We considered filing BK but I don’t think we can because, although we are dead broke, my hubby’s Mom has money invested in various accounts in her name and my hubby’s name. As I understand it, if we were to file BK, because his name is on some of those accounts, the courts would be able to take half of whatever is in there to pay off our debt. Does anyone know if this is correct? If so, then we will be unable to file for BK because of this. What a pain. The one light that we could see to get back on track and I don’t think we’ll be able to do it.

I appreciate any advice or suggestions anyone may have.

Budgeting techniques

I’m looking for “tmmo” examples

hi all,

after reading and following debt steps news group and web pages, dave ramsey, suze orman and a ton of stuff on the web over time (about a year). i have combined ideas from all these sources that i feel will work for us. on paper, i have put together a complete spending/savings budget, simple income summary analysis, debt to income rations, listing of all debts (lowest payoff to highest payoff) and a plan of action (short and long range goals) that has been agreed upon by myself and the girlfriend (we live together).

i looking for examples to compare what i have done with what others think this “plan” should look like. maybe i missed something, maybe what i have is just way to complex.

does anyone have and would like to share web link(s) that shows examples of what a “tmmo” may look like once all the info is gathered together and written out.

thanks in advance.

What is “tmmo” ?

dave ramsey uses this term in his book(s) to describe paying off your your debts and changing you spending habits. tmmo = “total money make over”. sorry, i assumed that most folks here would be familiar with the term. in dave ramsey books, this term is used to describe a thought process to eliminate debt and change your current views of spending money, saving money and paying off debts.

Thanks..I’ve never heard of Dave Ramsey. I read a few Suze Orman books and Robert Kiyosaki’s column. Yahoo finance has new articles every Tuesday.

Extra cash

Ideas to earn some extra cash


I work from home and do notary work on occasion which brings in a little extra income. I also write articles on several sites that pay for your articles, these are free to join, and you can submit as many articles as you want. They don’t pay a lot around $3 to $10 seems to be the average prices.

I also do some mystery shopping. I would highly discourage any programs that charge you money up front. Most of the shops I do pay about $15-$25 each. Some shops do require you to make a small purchase, maybe a pack of gum, but many do not.

My daughter who is 15 and I did compliance shops at 3 stores to see if they would sell her a mature rated video game. They sold her the game each time. Part of the deal on that one was that I immediately return the game which was no problem. Each of these paid $30 because they were really behind locating someone. My daughter really enjoyed it, and I gave her a portion of the funds.

If you are looking for side jobs or mystery shopping try this website . It has a forum for shoppers, auditors and merchandisers. Merchandising also has short 1-5 day jobs that you can pick up if your schedule allows for extra funds. There are all sorts of merchandising jobs from light work to very heavy.

Another job I turned down, was a demo job, like those folks that hand out snacks on the weekends at your grocery store. Anyway, I was offered one for $15 hr to hang out every weekend for 4 hours at an electronics store to demonstrate Lexmark printers. I wasn’t able to commit for a full year so I passed. The funny thing is, I ended up doing a mystery shop on the person who did get the job about a month later.

how did you find out about the one doing demos? Hubby is going to school and are limited finances are being stretched this sounds like something i could do besides my weekday job.

Those are great ideas! I do some mystery shopping too. There are great companies out there, but plenty of sites that prey on you. I’d look at the Mystery Shopping Association if you want to know about legitimate companies and jobs available. It’s

I would caution that it takes some money to do mystery shopping. A lot of the time, you need to make some purchases that get partially or totally reimbursed later. Also, I’ve had to buy a printer/scanner and a digital camera. But it is an excellent way to make some extra money!

If you are able to board dogs or care for other animals there are always people looking for someone responsible. I cared for a cat over the holidays. The owner gave me the key to her house and I went in twice a day and fed the cat and cleaned the litter box. It was easy money. Last week I dog sat for a 3 month old Maltese puppy. She was a bit more work as she stayed with me and is not totally housetrained yet, but it wasn’t bad. She was such a cutie she made me laugh with her antics. If you are an animal lover, get the word out through your vet and neighbors and you may get a small business started with a regular clientele.

You’re right, I’ve run across some of those shops and tend to avoid them. My favorites are auto test drives and apartment shops. Both pay well and are fun.

I also use shops to take the kids to McDonalds on occasion. It is out of pocket up front, but I get reimbursed for my cost. It’s like having a great coupon!

Collection agency, Judgment process

Any info on judgments?

Back in the summer of 2013 my husband, brother and myself joined Bally’s Gym. But in September 2013, my husband was critically injured in an auto accident (broken neck). We had to break the lease to our rental to move in with family, had one vehicle repossessed, my husband eventually lost his job as a barber (had no benefits) and I was working full-time had to find a part-time job while trying to keep two toddlers in childcare until my husband was well enough to care for them. In January 2014 my brother was laid-off and opted to return to school full-time. So the only income was myself.

I sent letters with police reports, medical reports, and doctors letters attempting to cancel my policy, but they said since I was still healthy I still had to pay…who had time to work-out in that situation. So we ignored it…I know, not smart.

I received a letter from Wolpoff & Abrahmson (sp?) attempting to collect and repeated the whole situation…they didn’t care. Well mid last year (2015) I received paperwork that I was “served” stuck to the outside of my parents door (I nor anyone one signed for it).

By about October I received a letter from the collection agency that a judgment against me had been made. I never received another “court” type paperwork regarding a court date. Now on Jan 6, 2015, I received another letter from the collection agency wanting my “asset” information (checking/savings accounts, stock investments, life insurance, etc). I was told by a debt correction counselor that since I always paid with a money order, they are wanting information to “freeze” my accounts until they are paid (I live in Texas and it is a non-garnishing state).

On the website, there is a lot of information about how this collection agency pays judges $250/hr as long as they keep up to a 20 judgment count/hour rate. There are also alot of sleazy things about Bally’s Gym actions.

I was hoping the judgment was just the collection agencies way of scaring me into payment, but I just received my annual Transunion report and it was right there in black and white.

I do want to make payments but can only afford $100 a month (yeah for about 33 months). But the collection agency would only accept a $300 initial payment to bring it down to $180. I would have to give up my children’s afterschool program and beg my employer to let me off early (which has already been denied – I would have to give up my job). My husband just started working again full time in March 2014, but he misjudged the amount of taxes taken out of his paycheck, we owe IRS $1400.

We still have medical bills from 2013 we are making payments on, and unfortunately I had to have emergency surgery done in December 2015 and are also facing another $2500 worth of bills there.

I’m tapped out. Was this judgment process even legal? As I said I am willing to pay, but they will not accept such a small amount. Does anyone have a name to a good lawyer in San Antonio Texas that has experience in this? HELP

Paying off debts

I alone need to pay off my family’s debts

I am a new member to the blog. I am married with 3 girls. I have decided that I alone need to pay off my family’s debts. Why not with my husband’s help? Because like a lot of people he is all bark and no bit. I love him dearly but I am tired of being in debt. I am encouraged because I managed to pay off two major bills by myself. We both work and make about the same but I am the financially responsible member of the household. I am currently in graduate school with my employer paying my full tuition. I also plan to talk real estate course to help pay off more debt faster.

Any tips from women in my situation would be very helpful. I love my husband but after 14 years of marriage I have learned that it is up to me to get this family where it needs to be financially.

Welcome to the group!!! We are kinda in the same boat… since my husband is home from Iraq (a 1 year deployment) he likes to spend spend spend… before i knew it some of our cards were up and he had opened a few more!!!! I put an end to it and told him how we were sitting financially…. put him into a reality check. Took cards out of his wallet and i said NO MORE SPENDING.

I control the bills and he’s good about checking with me on the checking account. I am about to start setting up a cash envelope and he gets paid twice a month and that’d be his spending $$. But i have to take control and pay off our debt… his theory is if there’s available on a CC< it's like cash! LOL Good luck! Please keep us posted and wtg on you paying off those debts!!! You Can Do It! I thought I heard on NPR in the last 6 months that the Navy had a program where they were doing financial counseling with returning members in Iraq. Is that true and did it only pertain to the Navy? If the government isn't doing something like this for the troops in Iraq, I'd like to see my tax money go to that.


Bankruptcy almost destroyed me!

Hi there Guys.

I’ve been reading a lot of your postings just now about financial problems and bankruptcy, and a number of them really remind me of my experiences. Been there, got the t-shirt! I know that a lot of you at present must be feeling very low and depressed, but take it from me, things will get better!

I was born in the US, but moved to the UK when I was 15 with my parents, as my father was forced to move with work. 3 years later we moved back to the US full time, and that’s were my money problems really began. 7 years later, I was in a horrible mess financially, and it’s only been in the last 3 months that things have improved for me!

To be honest I was very low. And I felt really frustrated as I had no clue what most of the ‘bankruptcy terms’ meant! The more I tried to get advice on the matter, the more I was drowning in a sea of procedures I had no clue about (chapter 13 or 7, how many years does it really take, etc!!)! I helped me a lot by reading those official bankruptcy leaflets you can get. It may or may not help you.

There area a few websites also which are really good. I can’t remember the address of the one I visited all the time at the moment though, but i’ll have a look in my folders later and get back to you with the address.

But, as I said before, you can come through this experience in your life a better and stronger person. Please feel free to contact me if you want. I know what your going through!

thanks for the encouragement, i am very depressed now sue to my credit card debts and burdensome interest charges, our APR is 42% my net earnings is not enough even for our very basic needs , how can i reduce my almost US$15,000 debt.