I just don’t see a way out

The attorney that we are going to talk to is really nice and will be upfront with us. I have come to terms with our situation. I hate knowing that this is an option for us, but I think it will be a blessing in the long run. I have worked in collections and know what the creditors can do to me.

I do not want harassing phone calls at work as I work in a small office. I dont need to be taken to court and have that pressure put on me as well. Not only do I have the credit card debt, I also have a modular home that I bought for my parents. Well.. not they are in a situation where they can’t pay and it is a struggle for them. We are trying to sell the trailer and have been for over a year.

People want contract for deed, but I just need to get out from under it.

GreenTree is really nasty with you if you get behind, and I don’t need them attaching a lien to my home that my family lives in. My situation didn’t happen over night. I guess I was in really bad denil, but it has happened. Now i have to pay the price. There is more to me than just my credit score.

When you were sued by citibank did you go to court?

Are you in debt settlement or just doing it alone? i have a few questions if you dont mind. i am in debt settlement and it may eventually come to being sued. i do live in pennsylvania which is a commonwealth state so i know they cannot garnish my wages. i do have some questions about the court proceedings though. let me know if you would like to answer some.

I found the following on a search if it helps anyone. As with anything though, I would double check to make sure it’s accurate.

The following is a list of states that generally permit you to tape record telephone conversations with creditors:

  • Alabama
  • Nebraska
  • Alaska
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Jersey
  • Arkansas
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia
  • North Dakota
  • Hawaii
  • Ohio
  • Idaho
  • Oklahoma
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Iowa
  • South Carolina
  • Kansas
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • Utah
  • Maine
  • Virginia
  • Minnesota
  • West Virginia
  • Mississippi
  • Wisconsin
  • Missouri
  • Wyoming

Source: 2002 Cumulative Supplement to the”Fair Debt Collection” manual, National Consumer Law Center

Nobody has made any threats since last year

Nobody has made any threats since last year, and frankly, they don’t scare me. The garnishment threat worried me a little, so I looked it up, and frankly, the amount they can take is less than the amount they keep demanding from me. If they would actually accept a payment plan for the garnishment amount, I would agree. So, that doesn’t scare me, and they never did try it anyway. I’m probably not worth their time.

Overall, I owe about $19,000 total between 7 bills. My largest bill is $4500, and I am up to date on that one. That is also my lowest interest rate, so I am making the minimums and focusing on my other bills. One of the bills with a payment plan of $172 a month will be done this July, so that money will be redirected at other bills. And I will have another one done $124 a month) in October or November.

Another bill collector tried to show me how powerful he is by calling up the post office to find my check since it was supposed to be done as a western union. He made a big deal about it, and did some 3 way call, but I am sure that the postal clerk was really a co-worker, and the whole call was to make it sound impressive. They said it was too late since that day’s mail had already gone out. But honestly, the post office is not going to sort through all the mail for a plain envelope with no tracking number, just to make a creditor happy. So, I knew the guy was lying.

After that and the lie about the payment plan I thought I had; I gave up on phone deals. I tell them when they call (if the deal sounds good) that they may send it in writing, and I will agree. But I will not just start it over the phone without proof to protect myself.

If it gets worse, I may try the layer route

Thanks for the great advice. If it gets worse, I may try the layer route. Right now, I am getting ready to send letters to the bills that I don’t have a good payment plan on. Basically they want $300 or more, so every time I send a check for $50 or a $100, they just start calling me again and insisting that they need more. If they want a real payment plan, they can agree to something reasonable. Otherwise, I will focus on the bills with plans, and they can have the leftovers ($50-$100 when I have it available). If they want to be a priority, they need to be realistic.

I have a job with lower hours right now. My paycheck went down (lower sunday pay, new weekly health deduction). And there aren’t many things I can cut. I already walk to work – no car, or insurance – just occasional payments to cover gas for rides I get. I already live pretty cheap by renting the basement of my parent’s house. I have cut my food costs. Entertainment is reading newsgroups online. I do have a small business I am working on, and my investments are a bare minumum. I do keep my website which includes my internet. And I am doing a one day vendor booth this saturday.

My investment is $40. I already have the products, that is all I am investing, and I hope to do $200-$300 in sales. The first $60 will pay the vendor booth for a two-day show next month. The rest will go toward bills. And my tax refund will totally go to bills.

You can also go to FreeAdvice.com

they can put you in touch with a lawyer in your state who specializes in these issues. You can choose either email or telephone communication; I think I paid less than $40 for a very extensive email reply to a long list of questions; I then chose to pay another fee for a follow up phone call with the same attorney.

The attorney who worked with me was extremely nice and thorough, very patient about answering all my questions particularly those re: threats of wage garnishment and property seizure. They will also help you with writing letters and representing yourself in court proceedings (I was sued by Citibank). Best piece of common sense advice: restrict communications to writing only (as much as you can) and mail all correspondence Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested.

I also have a letter you can use to send to the creditors who are harassing you by phone, just let me know and I’ll be happy to forward it to you. Hope that helps a little.

Contact your state’s FCC for the local rules there

Contact your state’s FCC for the local rules there. Where I live, I can record their conversation on the phone as long as I either tell them I’m recording it, or make a beeping sound through the conversation somehow. I bought one of those tape players that hook up to your phone and tape any bill conversations.

I’ve been lied to also about payments, then there’s no proof, so I got tired of it. Radio Shack is a place where you can get one. I bet it would be hard to get it in writing, but as long as it’s taped and legal, I would think they would be held accountable for what they agreed to.

I was $80,000 in credit card debt and I am in debt settlement. do your research but I really think that is the way to go. you do want to avoid bankruptcy. there is no easy way to get out of debt but there are ways out. good luck.

This isn’t from buying jewelry

Ok.. $20,000.. what about $90,000.. and this isn’t from buying jewelry, tv’s, electronics.. it has been one thing after another.

Like I said.. both me and my husband had our own bills when we entered into this relationship, but with medical bills, helping my parents (part of this is actually their bills that I tried to pay.

They were making payments to me, but now have lost a large source of their income). When I got deeper and deeper in debt, we were buying groceries on them. I sit and ask myself everyday… “How the hell did this happen.. “.

I have tried to do that with some of them

The thing is.. I have tried to do that with some of them and they all told me that they would send me to the collections department. Discover card advised me AGAINST making arrangements since my payment history was perfect. My husband and I have been robbing peter to pay paul for some time now and I am tired of losing sleep about which credit card I am going to use to pay for groceries and wondering how close to the credit limit I am.

I bought a modular home for my parents to live in and classified it as a rental property. Now they are in hardship and barely able to make the bills and they are dragging me down with it. We haven’t decided for sure, but we do have an appointment on Tuesday just to see what benefit it will have for us. All of our debt is on bank cards so it is all unsecured. My husband and I make more than enough money, it has just been one thing after another and my parents never taught me to save money. IF you have it.. spend it was there theory and look where they are at. Old habits are hard to break but this is sure an eye opener.

Thanks for the website info, but I have already checked it out. Nothing there to pull me out of my situation. We don’t have expensive cards, no campers or boats, just a normal home with 2 cars, a dog and a cat and 2 kids. No big expensive jewelry. Our debt is from home repairs, car repairs, medical bills, and helping my parents out. It just dragged us down. I have been helping my parents sooo much that now it is time for someone to help me. Wether it be settling or bankruptcy.. something needs to be done.

How do you convince them to be reasonable?

How do you convince them to be reasonable? I have had a few that were okay, and they made a reasonable payment plan. But most of them insist on payments that are larger than the original payments (duh, I got behind on those, I certainly can’t afford more). And most of them want automatic transfer payments (except the ones who want western union (duh, I’m late on payments, I can’t afford $15 every month to pay for western union).

And how do you get them to agree in writing? I had one last year that told me they would cut the total due to half ($3,000 down to $1,500) if I would make larger payments. It was tax refund time, I so I paid $650 in one shot, $350 a month later, and had agreed to two more payments of $250 to pay it completely off. After the first two payments, I got a phone call from them, and they wanted to arrange my next set of $350 payments. When I told them what I had left, they denied any such deal, and my balance due was $2,000. So, I made those larger payments (when I could have spread it out to my other bills), because of a deal that they promised and then denied. I had no proof of the deal. I really thought the deal was worth it to get rid of a complete bill quickly and lose $1500 of amount owed. But instead, I didn’t get rid of anything, and only delayed paying other bills down.

Also, another creditor insisted that a $500 payment would get me caught up, and then I would back to normal payments. After much harassment, I finally borrowed the money from my dad and paid the $500. Two weeks later, the guy called back and insisted on another $500. I think he figured I was holding out on the money, and since I had paid before, I could pay again. I told him I still hadn’t paid my dad back, and I couldn’t do it. He threatened wage garnishment, so I told him he lied to me in the past. I couldn’t give him something I didn’t have, and do what you gotta do. And I hung up on him. I went back to mailing in checks of $50 a month, and eventually, somebody else started the calls. We still haven’t worked out an agreeable plan. I just send my smal payments, and they just keep calling and telling me that is not enough. It’s a stalemate, but at least the lady is nice about it.

So, how do you get a payment plan that is reasonable? I have tried sending letters and asking for a payment plan in writing, but they ignored those.

I just finished reading 3 great books

I just finished reading 3 great books, and suggest them for everyone regardless of their level of debt pain; mild to severe.

Go to the library and check them out, or Books-A-Million on-line gave me a great price with free shipping. Also visit their websites for the free info.

There is also Crown Financial website, Larry Burkett and Ron Blue. They each have their fine points that differ, but the overall picture is the same. Although they look at money matters from a Biblical perspective, the basic financial guidance is applicable to everyone who wants to get out from under debt and get control of their finances.

Bottom line is they are worth the price, but you can also get the basic info for free from the library or on-line.

Good luck

Just a thought in case you haven’t considered this

there’s a company that’s called, Debt.org and they are a debt settlement company…they do not try to reduce your rates or consolidate or anything like that, but rather they settle with the credit card companies, or whomever, on a certain amount and then you repay that amount over a period of time, and you go through this company.

My husband and I just entered this. We had almost $20,000 in credit card debt due to two separate IRS tax audits. We went from almost no debt, to being $20,000 in debt within a couple months! What a nightmare to try to work with the IRS! 🙁 Anyway…we put these bills on our credit cards and it’s just gotten to be too much.

So, after researching this company, we decided to pursue this option. In the end, we will pay just close to $11,000, rather than $20,000! They are taking care of the ‘harassing’ phone calls of the credit card companies, too! If you’re interested, e-mail me and I’ll send you the website and e-mail of the man we worked with who was fantastic!

I am not sure what your situation is

Go to www.daveramsey.com. I am not sure what your situation is, I am glad you decided against the credit consolidation/ counseling, but you want to try everything you can to not file bankruptcy.

It is not always the answer. Most credit companies will work with you if you are willing to work with them. Also, there is a company which can offer you a loan of $5000 to cover your urgent bills or expenses.

All they want is their money, and if you contact them, set up payment plans and are paying SOMETHING, they will most of the time be satisfied with that.

Last night I had the talk with my husband

Ok.. Last night I had the talk with my husband and he was actually really receptive to the idea. I laid everything out in a spreadsheet. Credit counseling will not work for us as most of our cards have really low interest rates already and the payments for the amount.. I don’t think we could get any lower. Then stuff would start to go late and I have would have to deal with credit phone calls.

One of the things that got us in trouble was my parents. I purchased a modular home for my parents and declared it as rental property. Now they are in a bind and may not be able to make payments, plus one of my credit cards is stuff they have charged when they were short of money. I know I know. Stupid.. but it is my mom and dad and I couldn’t see them struggle like they were.

My husband and I decided to make an appointment with an attorney and to get a counseling session to see if it would be a good option for us and what to expect. I don’t want to do this until after we get our tax refund so that we can use that to pay off the car and one of our creditors that I don’t want to file on. I told my mom what we were going to do and she cried. She said she was sorry for the situation I was in, but thanked me at the same time. That home will go back to the bank and they will be relieved of the burden of the payment. They do have a place to live. My mom’s sister has a big house by herself so they are going to move in with here. No rent and all they have to do is split utilities and groceries. This will be an ideal situation for them.

Question.. Do you thing this video applies to my situation? has anyone filed bankruptcy but not their spouse? Can you do that?

That is what I am working on

I am past being bothered. I can only do what I can do. No sense in getting worked up about it. I will add to my letter that I do not want them calling me anymore, only written correspondence. So, according to the law, they shouldn’t call. They actually aren’t calling too much right now, only one of them. But they seem to go in cycles.

i heard you can go to the better business bureau to check them out. i didn’t do that before i chose mine but i am happy with them and they seem to be doing a good job, perhaps you can get suggestions from here if anyone has a good settlement company.

I used to work in collections

I used to work in collections (go figure..) and I know exactly what can be done. You bet your hiney that some of them would take me to court and put a lien on my house and slap a judgment against me.

And sure.. you can pay what you want.. but they will keep adding late fees and finance charges. What good is that going to do? The only thing I know they CANT do is sue someone for back finance charges and late fees. They have to itemize the account w/o late fees and finance charges to show how much of your actual purchases you didn’t pay. They LOVE to do that… NOT!

Anyway.. I have stressed enough in my life over paying the bills and how to get them taken care of. I have lost 2 years of my oldest son’s life working a part-time job just to get further behind than what I am. My husband works tons of over time and we are still sliding in the hole.

When I first joined this group I did have hope of getting paid off w/out bankruptcy, but the last couple of weeks have gone down hill. No my parents can’t make the payments on the home I am paying on for them, so that adds additional $$ that I can’t pay.

I have looked at debt settlement companies that people have talked about. How do you know if they are reputable or not? Is there some place you can check?

How do you convince them to be reasonable?

I have had a few that were okay, and they made a reasonable payment plan. But most of them insist on payments that are larger than the original payments (duh, I got behind on those, I certainly can’t afford more). And most of them want automatic transfer payments (except the ones who want western union (duh, I’m late on payments, I can’t afford $15 every month to pay for western union).

And how do you get them to agree in writing? I had one last year that told me they would cut the total due to half ($3,000 down to $1,500) if I would make larger payments. It was tax refund time, I so I paid $650 in one shot, $350 a month later, and had agreed to two more payments of $250 to pay it completely off. After the first two payments, I got a phone call from them, and they wanted to arrange my next set of $350 payments. When I told them what I had left, they denied any such deal, and my balance due was $2,000. So, I made those larger payments (when I could have spread it out to my other bills), because of a deal that they promised and then denied.

I had no proof of the deal. I really thought the deal was worth it to get rid of a complete bill quickly and lose $1500 of amount owed. But instead, I didn’t get rid of anything, and only delayed paying other bills down. Also, another creditor insisted that a $500 payment would get me caught up, and then I would back to normal payments.

After much harrassment, I finally borrowed the money from my dad and paid the $500. Two weeks later, the guy called back and insisted on another $500. I think he figured I was holding out on the money, and since I had paid before, I could pay again. I told him I still hadn’t paid my dad back, and I couldn’t do it. He threatened wage garnishment, so I told him he lied to me in the past. I couldn’t give him something I didn’t have, and do what you gotta do. And I hung up on him.

I went back to mailing in checks of $50 a month, and eventually, somebody else started the calls. We still haven’t worked out an agreeable plan. I just send my smal payments, and they just keep calling and telling me that is not enough. It’s a stalemate, but at least the lady is nice about it. So, how do you get a payment plan that is reasonable? I have tried sending letters and asking for a payment plan in writing, but they ignored those.

Credit counseling

Going thru credit counseling is worse than a bankruptcy. It affects you longer and I have helped clients when the program has let them down.

They took the money but did not pay on time, therefore more fees for being late and interest compounding. If you are disciplined enough, pay all on time with a little extra.

I have a program that I work with that I have seen success in the past.

You need to sit down with your husband and figure out a plan of action

Then you have to get tough.

You decide what you can pay on each debt, you call each company and say, “This is what I owe you, this is what I will be sending you each month and tell them that if they don’t send you something in writing agreeing on the situation, that you will gladly take the money you were going to send them and send it to another company that you owe debt to. They are not going to come after you and they are NOT going to garnish your wages. And whatever you do, do NOT allow them direct access to any of your accounts (i.e. automatic bill pay) because once they have access to your accounts, they can basically do anything they want (take as much out) and it will be between you and them to make them stop. (I work at a bank and the bank has no control once you give access to someone else….the agreement was between you and the other company, not the bank)

They will probably STILL call, you just have to learn how to deal with it and not let them put you on a guilt trip. I owed money to my dentist (the part that insurance didn’t cover) and I couldn’t pay it all. I called them and told them what I would be sending them each month and that it would be all I could do, but that I would be sending them money every month. They still put ugly yellow and red stickers all over the bill each month saying how far I was past due and that payment was due immediately. However, I didn’t let it bother me, cause I knew as long as I was consistently trying to pay it off, they didn’t have a leg to stand on.

OH and no one but the IRS can garnish your wages. And I don’t think they can either. You REALLY need to listen to the Dave Ramsey show, call in, or at least check out his website. He really does help you understand a lot about what is possible for you to do and what the creditors do to try and get their money. His messages are clear and “old school” (common sense), but he puts it in a way that makes it easy to understand and put into action.

These companies thrive on “scare tactics”. Unless they send a cop to your door (which they won’t) or a subpoena (which they won’t), they are not going to do anything but try to scare you. They can write off the money you owe them if they don’t get it. It is set up in their company to adjust for money uncollected. However, this is not a license to not pay them, you have to pay them to protect your credit score. You just have to get tough and stay tough.

I tried Consumer Debt Counseling Service

I basically let them set it up and then and I decided to talk with the companies myself and it worked for me. I did not like the idea of them making it seem they were making me pay them to pay my bills.

You do understand most of the debt places get funding from companies and they work basically for them when you go to them. I am just about debt free and know it was not easy trying to do it alone but I know the companies know I did it on my own and my score looks good, now.

I would suggest trying to do it yourself but make sure you make payments regularly, it does not have to be the right amount but show you are trying until you can make the payments.

Call and express what is going on and at this point I can pay you this amount, be reasonable and try it. It worked for me.

Any Reputable Debt Settlement Companies Out There?

Hi, I’m new here. I just read the entire list and learned alot. Thanks to those who have shared their horror and success stories.

I’m just about ready to either:

1) hire a Debt Settlement Co.,
2) Begin negotiations myself.

My question is: Has anyone had good experience with a DSC? Would you recommend them? Who should I steer clear of? Any help choosing one would be appreciated. FYI: I am looking into Curadebt presently. (www.curadebt.com…I hope posting a url is allowed here. If not, sorry. I didn’t see a FAQ so I don’t know the forum rules.)

There are just so many of them out there, and I have read many horror stories, so it is difficult knowing where to go.

Going it solo is scary in a way, being inexperienced with negotiating, but it also is not as risky, IMO. Any one have any experience negotiating on their own with creditors to settle the debt?

Thanks in advance.

With all that is going on here

No wonder escorts, affairs, and other such things that undermine all of society (not just children). I now can understand why some people do get frustrated and events like colombine happen.

For me I have lost all faith in mankind, I refuse ever to get married and to insure that I never have children, I am taking care of that myself. I have had men and women ask me about affairs and divorce. I can say with absolute no hesitation go for the affair. it will at least keep the family together until it is found out about.

the court system and ‘justice’ are oxymoron’s. I am not stating that you shouldn’t work on the marriage first but if both of you are unhappy admit it.