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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:44 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
brigittefires wrote:
Maybe the answer is, there isn't anything new, and bankruptcy is the only option that doesn't have insurmountable repercussions. And if that's the answer, I hope someone can answer the question I posed before, where do I even start with a bankruptcy process?

Figures that you'd totally ignore the fact that I answered your question directly. Also, I know you don't care what I think, but if everyone else here is getting the same vibe from you, you may want to reconsider how your words come across. I do wish you the best, and that's why I tried to help by providing the bankruptcy resources you requested.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 961
Do you have medicare? Also there are grants out there that help people with their hospital bills/medical bills. go to: govbenefits.gov

I would do research along those lines....it may help.

Look for programs that help low income people.

Right now you are going to have to use those avenues until your partner gets a better job.

He should definitely pick up another job while he is looking for a full time.

Your local electric company may receive grants to assist low income people/families. They may provide low income discounts and or rates if they don't give you a partial credit.

LIHEAP – Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (federally funded)
EHEAEP – Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (federally funded)
FEMA/EFSP – Federal Emergency Management Agency - Emergency Food and Shelter Program (individual assistance).

http://www.pseg.com/home/customer_service/bill/help/payment_assist.jsp

I understand you are going through a really rough chapter in your life, hope it gets better soon.

I will go back and re-read to see if I cant help with the original question.

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:45 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: Ottawa, Canada
brigittefires wrote:
[T]here is no such thing as "beyond what someone should have to."


Of course there is. If someone is capable of contributing, but is instead content to sit around and let their partner do all of the work, that's them doing "beyond what they should have to do." If someone's not contributing their fair share, then by definition, the other person is contributing MORE than their fair share, which is just another way of saying they're going "beyond what they should have to do."

I'm by no means saying this applies to your situation, I'm merely pointing out that your statement is silly, and clearly false. In mildly disparate circumstances, it's someone mooching off someone else. In extreme circumstances, it can constitute "enabling."

brigittefires wrote:
It'll net us another $20 a month or so once he starts riding home from work.

[...]

He has failed to fulfill his obligations for supplemental income through unemployment, which should gain him about $400 per month [...], if only he could be bothered to make a phone call once a week.


I'm a little confused - I thought he was currently working? Albeit, only a couple of weeks per month, but he's working, isn't he?

How do you collect unemployment benefits when you're employed? Is that possible?

brigittefires wrote:
So there you have it. He's no saint, and I'm not the only one not picking up my end of the slack here (and in fact my partner doesn't feel I am leaving any "slack" to begin with)--I'm just the only one doing what I can to FIX it.


I sincerely sympathize with you. You've outlined a very complicated situation, living with your boyfriend and his parents, with some sort of circular financial arrangement. I must admit, I'm still a little unclear on the reasoning behind why you pay rent to his parents if they just turn around and give it back to him to buy groceries. Does this "rent" just cover you? Or are his parents charging him rent to live in their house? Or is the rent you give them supposed to be for both of you? And when they give the money back to him for groceries, is he allowed to share those groceries with you? If so, then what's the point of running the money through their hands? Why don't they just let you stay there for free and let you manage your money yourselves? Of course, you don't have to answer any of that, I'm just curious as it's a rather unconventional arrangement.

Good luck, I hope you and your boyfriend's family find a way to get things back on track. Key to that, in my opinion, is getting you healthy and able to work again. Secondary is improving your boyfriend's career prospects, but of course, there's not much you can do about that - that has to come from within HIM.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:04 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: Ottawa, Canada
brigittefires wrote:
My credit is already dropping quickly into "poor" ratings and bankruptcy would allow me to start rebuilding faster than trying to slog through until I get disability payments. The repercussions of fraud or working would be a lot more devastating than $9k in credit card debt. I hope someone can answer the question I posed before, where do I even start with a bankruptcy process?


LeRainDrop posted a link that will hopefully help you get started finding the answers to your bankruptcy question. However, I just wanted to note that I'm almost certain that we're not just talking about bankrupting "$9k in credit card debt." Your car would be included, too.

You don't get to choose the debts you're bankrupting. I know you've mentioned that you want to keep the car, but if you file bankruptcy, I'm almost positive that the car has to be part of the deal. You would be forced to sell it, and you'd be liable for the difference between what it sold for, and what you still owed on it. Of course, that deficit would be lumped in with your other debts, and subsequently cleared in bankruptcy. But you'd be without a car, and your credit would be trashed.

You'd also still owe the student loan debt, the $1,500 to your mother, and your boyfriend's $6.5k in credit card debt. Would reducing your debts from $25,000 to $9,500, but losing your car and ability to borrow, solve your problems?

Finally, I just want to comment on one more thing.

brigittefires wrote:
The repercussions of fraud or working would be a lot more devastating than $9k in credit card debt.


Am I the only one seriously bothered by policies that create circumstances like this? Brigitte, I'm not blaming you, but it seems to me that an environment that punishes people for working is completely backwards. Any rational person in Brigitte's situation would respond the same way. Why work for $500/month if it means losing $1,500 in free money? So of course, any possible production potential Brigitte may possess instead sits idle, because there's no net benefit to her for utilizing it.

The solution, in my opinion, is to permit her to work, but instead of eliminating the benefit entirely, adjust it by an amount proportional to the income she generates. Of course, an at-par benefit reduction doesn't solve anything either (eg., she earns $500/month, so her $1,500 benefit is reduced by $500 to $1,000 - she still gets the same $1,500 net benefit per month but had to work for it). Why work at all if she can get the same benefit by doing nothing? Therefore, I think the correct approach is to reduce it by an amount less than 100% of the income she earned that month. Say, 50%. So if she earned $500, then her benefit is reduced by $500 * 50% = $250. So she gets $1,250 in benefits. Combined with her $500 income, her net income for the month becomes $1,750. She's $250 further ahead than by not working at all, but she still gets to receive enough of the medical benefit to avoid discouraging her from working at all. Plus, society benefits from whatever she contributes to the GDP.

Of course, this is all a pipe dream, and I can't imagine any politician ever taking on such an emotional and controversial issue.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:24 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1627
Location: Seattle, WA
kombat wrote:
Your car would be included, too. You don't get to choose the debts you're bankrupting. I know you've mentioned that you want to keep the car, but if you file bankruptcy, I'm almost positive that the car has to be part of the deal. You would be forced to sell it, and you'd be liable for the difference between what it sold for, and what you still owed on it. Of course, that deficit would be lumped in with your other debts, and subsequently cleared in bankruptcy. But you'd be without a car, and your credit would be trashed.


According to this http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/how-do-you-keep-your-car-in-bankruptcy.aspx, you might be able to keep your car. It is still technically included in the bankruptcy. But you might be able to reaffirm the debt and keep the car and the payment. However, if your car is underwater, and/or if you fall behind on the payments later, then you won't be able to discharge that debt later, since you can only declare bankruptcy once every 7 years or so.

Anyways I don't see how bankruptcy will help you here, since I am sure it takes longer than 10 days, and I wouldn't be surprised if it takes longer than three months.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:03 am 
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stannius wrote:
Anyways I don't see how bankruptcy will help you here, since I am sure it takes longer than 10 days, and I wouldn't be surprised if it takes longer than three months.


I don't think bankruptcy is a good option in this situation.

But when a person files bankruptcy there is an immediate freeze on debt and payments. Even though the "process" takes some time, once you start it there is immediate relief. And actually, payments and debts can, and often are, cancelled retroactively. In principle payments made up to 6 months ago can be clawed back and reapplied to other debts if ordered by the court. It's definitely best to talk to a legal aid attorney if you are considering that.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:23 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:51 am
Posts: 2
New guy here.
If I was in this trouble I would use some of Dave Ramseys advice.
That is the debt snowball. This is get rid of the smallest debt,and celebrate the success.
Now you have a very limited amount of income so being a solid team is of the utmost importance. Being one mind will help you get through this predicament. Getting rid of even one bill will start to get the monkey off your back.
I would call the creditor who owns your car and ask to delay the payment for 3-4 months. Most will do this for a small payment.I know this works as I did this myself once. Here is your chance to pay off the smallest credit card balance. This is the start.
It is the hardest to do.
The rest will fall in afterward. I would not pay any extra on any bill that is not adding intrest (doctor).If I came into a little extra cash offer to pay 1/3-1/2 to erase the debt.
I dont know if you are looking to pay your debts or get them wiped out but my own feelings are pay them myself.
If some of the purchases from the CCs are still around could they be sold? Even at a loss a few bucks really helps.
Im a firm believer in keeping the car as reliable transportation is so important.
A budget is even more important when in financle trouble. It is very depressing doing it until things look better. But VERY important so you know where every penny goes.
Is this the direction you want to head in

Ron


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Brigitte,
I hope you come back and post. My only concern, because I think you've heard enough suggestions, is with the dream of moving to Australia with a parent with a disability/terminal illness. As the kids say, really??

I wish you the best in your situation. It's a tough one.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 405
You cant pay your bills.

Declare bankruptcy, discharge those CCs, the car loan, any ETF for your cell phones, the medical debts, etc..

Cancel the cell phones, and get a landline/magic jack/whatever. Cancel either netflix OR blockbust, no need for both. Buy a cheap used car, if you own it outright you can lower your insurance to just liability only.

That would cut hundreds of dollars from your budget. That would give you breathing room.

This is the obvious solution. You cannot pay your bills. You have no other options.

Also, get rid of the storage locker. That is a total waste.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:36 am
Posts: 25
Quote:
LeRainDrop: Figures that you'd totally ignore the fact that I answered your question directly.

According to the thread I'm reading, you posted the direct answer to my question directly after I asked it. As in, I asked where do I start, and you responded. Sorry I didn't thank you, I thought I had at the beginning of my next response.

Quote:
fantasma: Do you have medicare? Also there are grants out there that help people with their hospital bills/medical bills.

I have medicaid. And thank you for the link, I'll check that out.

Quote:
fantasma: He should definitely pick up another job while he is looking for a full time.

He's been looking for ANYTHING, and currently he has two jobs though the first one refuses to give him hours while he has a second one, and the second one has a clause in their employment that you cannot secure another job after being hired without permission from the management, who have said he cannot have another job while he's working for them because they need everyone to have open availability right now (they're not and just learning when they need more people so the schedule changes every week). So the only way to get another job is to get one that pays more/more hours than he's making now, and he hasn't even been offered any positions at all. He was told by someone recently that he's too clean-cut for Portland restaurants, but it's not going to stop him from shaving and putting on a tie for an interview! I'd think those people we just nuts if that hadn't been the fourth time he's been told something similar in the last 8 months.

Quote:
Your local electric company may receive grants to assist low income people/families. They may provide low income discounts and or rates if they don't give you a partial credit.

I don't pay an electric bill, so I don't qualify for credits on one.

Quote:
kombat: I'm a little confused - I thought he was currently working? Albeit, only a couple of weeks per month, but he's working, isn't he?

How do you collect unemployment benefits when you're employed? Is that possible?

Yep, it's called "undermployment." You file for unemployment benefits, and they determine how much you are supposed to be making based on your previous 4 quarters of employment. They they approve benefits up to 70% of that number, and any earnings you make are taken out of that (not dollar for dollar, though) and they pay you the rest. So if he was making $700 a week and they approve him for $450 a week and then he only earns $250 that week, then the unemployment office may pay him $100. Since those are pretty close to accurate numbers, he was told that based on his last three paychecks he would be getting checks of about $100 per week, which would increase our income by about $400 a month. Of course, there comes a point that you make too much to get benefits but not enough to replace them, but that's better than being completely short all the time.

It's very useful when going from a salary job to a part-time hourly, and allows you to work and continue searching for work without completely cancelling benefits.

Quote:
I must admit, I'm still a little unclear on the reasoning behind why you pay rent to his parents if they just turn around and give it back to him to buy groceries.

Unconventional, yes, and I can understand the confusion. Technically he is living rent free because it is his job to take care of them. It's not my job to take care of them, so I pay rent to cover part of the mortgage + the increase in utilities with me living here. I pay them my share, but they are cognitive of the fact that his income has dropped to less than half of what it was by moving here to take care of them, so they are contributing to his budget, which he can use any way he pleases. But if he starts making more money or their income drops or their bills increase, there's no guarantee they will continue to help him out.

Quote:
kombat: You don't get to choose the debts you're bankrupting. I know you've mentioned that you want to keep the car, but if you file bankruptcy, I'm almost positive that the car has to be part of the deal. You would be forced to sell it, and you'd be liable for the difference between what it sold for, and what you still owed on it. Of course, that deficit would be lumped in with your other debts, and subsequently cleared in bankruptcy. But you'd be without a car, and your credit would be trashed.


I've been assured by 3 people who have gone through bankruptcy that they lost neither their house (not applicable here) nor their cars by filing bankruptcy. Technically those things are included, but if you keep paying on them they don't get taken away and neither do they get discharged. I've read in a few different places that you can selectively not include certain debts like the only car in a family if it would otherwise be a hardship. Still, I would certainly be checking into the details of my particular situation before assuming that filing for bankruptcy wouldn't automatically lose me my car.

Quote:
You'd also still owe the student loan debt, the $1,500 to your mother, and your boyfriend's $6.5k in credit card debt. Would reducing your debts from $25,000 to $9,500, but losing your car and ability to borrow, solve your problems?

Considering a number of folks going through bankruptcy still get offers and approved for credit cards while going through and immediately after the process, I'm not concerned. Moreover since I have no intention of borrowing money any time like what I would consider soon, I wasn't worried. Since I was under the impression that bankruptcy was no longer on your credit report after 10 years, I also hadn't really been concerned with the effects on borrowing for a business 10 years from now--though 5 would be an issue. And at our current income, removing just my credit card payments would solve our budget issues, since I can pay my mom back after I pay off my car and student loan (3 more years down the road).

Quote:
Am I the only one seriously bothered by policies that create circumstances like this?

Nope, not the only one. I keep asking for ways that I can contribute or earn some money, and while I can do so once I get onto social security disability, state disability says that I cannot. I'm not even supposed to do online market surveys, but according to my social worker as long as the checks aren't disbursed I can't be punished for that. Selling crafts online means that the money goes into an actual bank account (even if it's just paypal) so that's out. Once on social security, there are programs in place for helping disabled people start their own businesses doing crafts, online sales, etc. in which I will be eagerly participating.

Of course it's worth noting that the $1,500 figure on medical benefits is an estimate based on my calculations of benefits used--for example this month I had a $10k surgery, so I definitely went over the $1500 figure, but last month I only had one doctor appointment while I was sitting on waiting lists.

Quote:
peachy: My only concern ... is with the dream of moving to Australia with a parent with a disability/terminal illness

She is a citizen there, and once she lives there for two years her sons can get citizenship. There will also be inheritance money to fund that because it will be happening once my partner's father dies, and he is 8 months into a 12 month prognosis. Miracles happen, but in this case it will be a miracle of time rather than recovery. Whether or not my partner and I will be accompanying her will depend entirely on what our lives look like at that point, including governments, economies, and family health issues (mine and my family's as well as whether she will be able to get the help she needs over there or will require my partner to care for her--again, all being determined at some date in the future once those variables can even be measured).

Quote:
Also, get rid of the storage locker. That is a total waste.

In your world, perhaps. Until we get some of the parents' junk cleared out so that we have more space than the bed and the half closet, all my and my partner's belongings are in off-site storage. We've already cut our off-site storage to 1/3 of what it was when we moved down here by selling things to cover bills and more creative organization of space, ad well as getting rid of some of the built-up junk from the packrat parents that was taking up space.

Quote:
Cancel the cell phones, and get a landline/magic jack/whatever.

This is not an option. Cell phones cost less than the house's landline (that we don't use because we have cell phones), due to long-distance calling. Also, the medical situations require my partner and I to have cell phones on us at all times for emergencies.

Quote:
Buy a cheap used car, if you own it outright you can lower your insurance to just liability only.

Cheap used cars + the repairs to bring them up to "reliable" status cost more than I owe on mine. That math has already been done, hence the not wanting to lose my car. It's worth noting that when I bought the car and started the payments on it, I was gainfully employed and ready to pay it off in a year. Life happens, though.

Quote:
If I was in this trouble I would use some of Dave Ramseys advice.
That is the debt snowball.

The debt snowball doesn't work if you can't even make your minimum payments. Though I do see your advice to call and get other payments pushed back, but those requests were denied. We were on a debt snowball (and if you notice the rest of the discussion I DO have a budget in place), before the income dropped. And until the last three months, were even still making emergency fund savings contributions and extra debt payments. Everything is arranged in a spreadsheet in order or priority, with the lowest balance at the front and the lowest interests at the end, and scheduled out to know which debts get additional payments as others get knocked off. That's how I know that with the extra $300 a month we could meet our budget, contribute to an emergency fund, and be out of debt in 3 years. $500 a month extra needed if we include giving ourselves any kind of spending money and investing in some health insurance and dental work for my partner that would result in better job prospects and therefore better lifetime and even immediate income.


Sorry I didn't get all the names into all the quotes.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:00 pm 
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Since you yourself said your partner can fix all this with a few hours of paperwork, why are you not pursuing that route?

Why are they letting he and his girl be on public assistance when there is an inheritance in play?


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:36 am
Posts: 25
Quote:
Since you yourself said your partner can fix all this with a few hours of paperwork, why are you not pursuing that route?

Because I was hoping for some sort of solution that is not the end of my relationship. I can only set him up for success and ask and suggest and remind for so long before it becomes caustic nagging and bitching and fighting. On the other hand, I can get information for him, set it in front of him, give him the phone number, and then do everything in my power to take care of the parts over which I have control, the parts that have my name on them. I can lead by example. But I won't be the woman that screams and cries and cajoles and manipulates and whines her way into getting her man to do what she wants him to do. I'll take care of my responsibilities to the best of my ability, and help him take care of his, just like he helps me take care of mine. He can only go so far with helping me, and I can only go so far with helping him. After that it's up to each of us to determine our own actions. That's part of being a "partner."

Quote:
Why are they letting he and his girl be on public assistance when there is an inheritance in play?

I'm assuming you're referring to my partner's parents. I can't possibly get into his dad's head or explain anything about what that man thinks, because I disagree with him on every "fact" he's given for anything, on every opinion he's made from his inaccurate facts, and on every assumption he's made about how the world works. I mean, this is a man who says "I'd like to buy you dinner" and then expects you to pay half the bill when it gets there. So I really can't explain why it's better for us to live in poverty when he could help, especially when we were on the road to NOT being in debt before we had to move to take care of him.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:41 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: Ottawa, Canada
brigittefires wrote:
Considering a number of folks going through bankruptcy still get offers and approved for credit cards while going through and immediately after the process, I'm not concerned.


Be very careful! The reason people are bombarded with credit offers after bankruptcy is because those lenders know that the borrower cannot declare bankruptcy again for at least 7 years. So they know that if they lend you money, they will have 7 years to harass you, sue you, garnish your wages, and wear you down before you can pull that "Bankruptcy" escape cord again.

Yes, they'll lend you money, but at exorbitant interest rates, and without the safety net of the "bankruptcy" option.


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:47 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: Ottawa, Canada
DoingHomework wrote:
Why are they letting he and his girl be on public assistance when there is an inheritance in play?


Maybe because they have a sense of personal responsibility? They want their son to learn to sink or swim on his own? Maybe because he's finally too old to continue to have his parents bail you out financially?

They're already letting him live there rent-free (boomerang kid) and giving him money for groceries. To how much more is he entitled?


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 Post subject: Re: $25k in debt and no idea how to proceed
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:31 am 
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kombat wrote:
Maybe because they have a sense of personal responsibility? They want their son to learn to sink or swim on his own? Maybe because he's finally too old to continue to have his parents bail you out financially?

They're already letting him live there rent-free (boomerang kid) and giving him money for groceries. To how much more is he entitled?


Yeah, I get the sink or swim business. It's great in theory but most parents would still lend a hand when their child actually begins to sink.


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