thanks for the kind words, it has been a long road

Since the Internet is more or less anonymous I can be totally honest. Two years ago we bought a house for $160,000 and we made about 60k a year combined. At the time we had no debt, but buying a house IS buying debt so we need furniture and on and on. Last July (2003) I found misled too ill to work at all, 6,700 in debt and my husband took a pay cut! It was really bad. His regular job income (take home) was/is $21,900. We refinanced the mortgaeg from 1,00 a month to 958. While this added to our debt (we rolled in the closing costs) we HAD to get our monthly payment lowered. The biggest thing for me was MAKING THE COMMITMENT TO MYSELF TO CHANGE! That is the secret. I returned everything possible that I had bought over the past few months that weren’t essential. I sold my beloved harp (i hadn’t played it in a while and I owed money on it) I got rid of premium cable, I never ate out and on and on.

THE MONEY YOU SAVE IN THESE PLACE YOU MUST APPLY TO YOUR DEBT! Again, the real and only secret is I COMMITTED to doing it. So did my husband. Here is the unpleasant part. He took a second job and I sold stuff on Ebay. If you want to get out of debt faster, you’ve got to make more money. Not a job that is far from home (more gas) or that you need to dress up for, but a tempary job. Office or house cleaning is ideal. Next, to really rid myself of the debt, I followed an Accelerated Margin plan. This is where you pay one bill at a time. I will put the link at the bottom of the page,. The other thing that totally helped us and again, this might not work if you have bad credit, is we took out a loan. the interest was so much better then our credit cards and that really helped us pay everyhting faster. After the loan we only had about $700 left in debt and we would use any money we had, (extra jobs, NO buying coffee in the morning) and applied it to our debt. One of the most useful tips I have
is selling on ebay if possible.

It has made such a difference. When we get money through Paypal, we pay our bills for FREE (savings on stamps) through Paypal. So if I sold a $20.00 shirt I would take that money or even half of it and online, put it towards, say the sears card debt. Just chipping away at it a little extra at a time. Read books, the tightwad gazette, the dollar stretcher (on line) anything. But the real key is doing some serious soul searching and figure out WHY you spend. This is what has stopped me from going BACK into debt. That’s my mom, in debt,out of debt, in deb,t out of debt. I think it’s because she hasn’t faced why she spends. To me I feel I “earned” it. I work hard, I deserve nice things, I’ll pay it tomorrow. Those are my demons with money. I have too many tips for saving money, if you want to know anything specific or have a questions, please ask! Good luck!!!

I don’t mean to be rude

I don’t mean to be rude, but how do you expect to pay off any debt or accumulate wealth if you don’t generate any income? Payday loan websites like whoneed500 won’t help you. You will have to pay the loan back within just a couple of weeks (read here how payday loans work). The lottery is just a tax on those who are really bad at math. Unless you have a rich aunt who loved you the best and is nearing her 100th B-day, you’d better start planning to make some money.

Your credit is already ruined. Start from there. Don’t worry about your creditors until you are generating enough income to put a roof over your head and food on the table. Unless you owe a single credit card a huge sum of money they won’t sue you. They calculate some losses on the books and for now, you are one of them. Truly, you need to concentrate on generating income and not worrying about your debt. Taking care of your grandmother is noble, but you either need some help or some reimbursement.

Love her like the Lord loves her but that doesn’t mean you can’t work a full time and job and still help care for her. Many of us worked WAY more than 8 hour days when we were young and dumb enough to do it šŸ˜‰

Please know that I have way too many things on my plate to write this post only to bash you. I’m only typing these things in the hope that it makes you think. Quit being a victim of the debt you created and start taking back your life!

Yes, I am doubtful on the loan

But thought I would give it a try since it would lower my interest rate. All checks to the credit card companies would include a letter to close the accounts, and the cards are already destroyed.

As far as my credit, I think it is pretty much already ruined. The late payments started in spring of 2003, and I have been struggling to get caught up. Some of the cards already went to collection, and frankly, those are much easier to deal with since they stopped the interest and late fees.

It’s the cards that keep charging the fees and then expecting me to make a minimum payment greater than a week’s paycheck, as if I have that money just sitting here. They won’t work with me to make the payments reasonable, and they won’t give up on me and send it to a collection agency. It’s those two bills that are killing me. The worst one has increased my balance by over $800 in the last 10 months.

I have made several payments, and I haven’t used the card since a couple years ago; yet the only way to stop the penalty fees is to pay a minimum payment of over $1000. Not gonna happen.

I don’t think you can get a loan

I don’t think you can get a loan (I’m 99.9% sure) without collateral or a co-signer. At least not from a private bank.

Also, you are going to more or less ruin your credit with all the late payments etc. so if you do get a loan CLOSE THOSE ACCOUNTS!!!

I think it would be too tempting to spend again. Good luck!

This is what is so frustrating

This is what is so frustrating. I do remember reading that as well. It is so hard to figure out what is correct and what isn’t since most of the information comes from people trying to get you to sign up. I figure I will just go ahead and close everything I can. I’ll leave the one with my credit union since it has the lowest interest rate. But everything else will be history. Yikes. When I was stocking up for a possible strike, I bought a lot of top ramen. Safeway has it for 8 cents each right now. And a lot of past and rice packages are fairly cheap, yet filling.

Do you have a crock pot? I found one at a thrift store for $8. I learned to make the best split pea soup, just the way I like it. ( I don’t have to pick out the carrots and onions), and I was able to make a huge batch, then freeze it in servings. I was also able to buy roasts for $1.99 a pound, and then freeze it in containers. I can usually get 3 servings out of one small container. A couple rolls or a veggie with it, and I am set.

Do you have a local food bank? My sister recently lost her job and went to the food bank. Not only did they give her food, but they had cat food too. You might be able to get a bag of kibble. The eggs will have some protein and fat, but they need some form of meat source for taurine. Eventually, they can get sick without it.

Yes. I certainly learned this lesson. Now, I find myself planning for the worst rather than going into something overconfident. And I take smaller risks, risks that won’t hurt me badly if it doesn’t work out. I don’t ever want to make that mistake again.

Bills, Bills, Bills and more Bills

Sounds like you are well on your way to financial recovery! CONGRATULATIONS! I just paid off one card, and when the check clears, I will close the account. I was told the opposite…. Open accounts that you have paid off but haven’t yet closed count against you. They see it as “it’s there and I may use it.”

I will try and pay off another one next month. Then I won’t have any credit cards, just the monthly payment to my debt settlement company. Neither me nor my husband work… we live off the monthly Workmens Comp check he gets, which barely pays the bills. This past month we did without groceries, so I gotta buy food this month. I am looking all over the net for frugal recipes that we will both eat. I didn’t even have $$ for cat food this month so I been cooking a couple eggs a day for our cat… (they are about 2 months old, and while I wouldn’t eat them myself, the cat seems to be doing ok with this diet.

I will never get onto this situation again. We also have charged up our cards with the hopes of making the money back before intrest accured on the cards….. BAD IDEA……. NEVER COUNT YOUR LITTLE CHICLETS BEFORE THE EGGS HAVE HATCHED AND THE CHICLETS ARE HEALTHY AND THRIVING ON THEIR OWN. IN 4 more years, I hope to have all my bills paid off and have a nest egg. Lots of sacrifices to make I know… but I want a house one day.

Well I can only hope for the best.

Right now, all I am getting are letters from Collection Agencies. My Debt Settlement Company claims to have lawyers of their own that an make life miserable for the creditors that make our lives miserable.

I will let you know if CB tries to sue me. Altho I don’t know what they’d get, as we have nothing. lol

Sorry for the misunderstanding

BOTH DMP such as CCCS and others AND Debt Elimination, AKA Debt Settlement Companies Charge “Downpayments”. What I found with CCCS was they charge you a downpayment based on how much debt you have, like say for example 25%, and Debt Elimination charges a “fixed” rate… Usually around $1,000 (that is the average).

Some may charge more, but I did a lot of research and most charged around $1,000. Most make payment re-payment plans on a client to client basis. I feel fortunate that mine asked me what I felt comfortable paying each month. I know I don’t want another credit card again… EVER.

Citibank sued me

Citibank sued me as soon as I transitioned from a debt management program to a debt settlement program. If I read your previous email correctly, you stated that DMPs charge a down payment and debt settlement plans do not? My experience is the opposite: the DMPs charge only a 1 time enrollment fee and a recurring monthly fee which ranges from $20-50 depending on the company (mine charges $30). The debt settlement company charged me approx $2500 up front for basically nothing and I got sued. Not blaming them, I made bad decisions, just want everyone to make sure to do your homework and ask a lot of questions BEFORE joining any program.

Now, I have some questions. My DMP contacted the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Citibank re: a monthly payment to Citibank via the DMP. The attorney stated he would not deal with the DMP because they are not a licensed attorney in the state of Alabama, that he could only deal directly with me. Well, I’m not a licensed attorney either but fair enough. I did speak with an attorney via Rocket Lawyer and he advised me on how to proceed with representing myself. I plan to send a written proposal for repayment to the attorney. My questions (Finally!): Has anyone ever done this? How much, if any, legalese do I need to include? I know what I can afford to pay per month; should I go ahead and offer that amount or start with something smaller? I can consult with the attorney again, just wanted to know if anyone has some personal experience with this. Thanks and have a great weekend!

We have at least 3 accounts with CITIBANK

We have at least 3 accounts with CITIBANK. One was sold to them. i don’t know who the original creditor was. The other 2 were Citibank to begin with and I don’t know what collection agency they are with now.

I was told that they don’t usually sue, but was told that MBNA sues. I have heard that SEARS sues, but so far they haven’t with us. I have heard that SEARS will come to your house to take back their junk. Has anyone else here heard that about SEARS? Thanks……..

I guess I’ve lucked out then

I guess I’ve lucked out then because the DMP I am with now doesn’t charge any kind of down payment; actually none of the one’s I contacted charge one

Well I’d say you lucked out, cause ALL the ones I contacted charge one, and most want that DP all at once. I got lucky in the fact that the one I chose let me pay it in TWO payments. I am happy for the most part with mine, some settled for more than I had had anticipated, and some for less, so I guess it sorta balances out.

I hope CB don’t try and sue us, cause I wouldn’t be able to go, PLUS I do owe the money, I just don’t have it. I hope to have all the accounts settled in two more years. My debt settlement company says they have ways to make life hard for the creditors, just as they have ways of making things hard on us. All I know to do is to hang in there and stick with the program.

You are soo right Im throwing her over the edge!

LOL you are soo right Im throwing her over the edge! I can tell everytime she talks to me on the phone she can barely keep the venom out of her voice…

I of course must screen my honeys calls…I love caller ID : ) She calls at 1 oclock at night sometimes when she forgets to take her prozac and a visitaion is coming up… And I wont let her talk to him…. She flips out on us and keeps calling over and over… I of course answer everytime so that we can subpeona her phone recordss….It throws her in a rage… one night last year she called a record 50 times from 1 till 2.

She cant stand not being able to pull my husbands chain anymore, and now that im closer to her children she feels even more threatened so im sure its just gettin ugly it will be downright gruesome soon! We have a visitaion coming this coming week ill keep ya posted… She does have a mental problem too, she has had to see many councelors and shrinks and is on prozac..

Simple question

I am just joining this blog and have found a lot of useful information. However, since I am in debt and poor, I am looking for some free budgeting software to use on my computer.

I have not found anything so far that is very helpful. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here is one that may be helpful for someone here

Ok here is one that may be helpful for someone here other than continuance. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY NOT KNOW:

A CREDITOR CAN:

  • CONTACT YOU BY PHONE
  • CONTACT YOU BY MAIL
  • CONTACT YOU IN PERSON

That last one scares me, but I try not to worry about it too much. #1 can be fixed pretty easily… Get caller ID or have your number changed altogether to unlisted. I did.

A CREDITOR MAY NOT:

  • CONTACT YOU AT WORK IF YOU HAVE GIVEN THEM INSTRUCTIONS NOT TO
  • DISCUSS YOUR DEBT WITH YOUR EMPLOYER
  • CONTACT YOUR FAMILY TO DISCUSS YOUR DEBT
  • POST YOUR DEBT PUBLICLY

I used to have a list and will post it here if I can find it. But these are the main ones. And if you happen to answer the phone and it’s a creditor, you have the right to ask them that they only contact you by mail, and if they call again, they are in violation and you can contact the PFDC (Partners for Fair Debt Collections).

In some cases they can be fined, and you MAY be entitled to a judgement against them. Most won’t contact you by phone again, but it is good to know that this law is there for the creditors that harrass us.

I do not know if you have stopped paying on the cards or not

Ok… I do not know if you have stopped paying on the cards or not.

But that may not be a bad idea. A neighbor told me to do that years ago, but I didn’t, for fear of what the creditors would do to us. I stuggled with monthly minimums till I could no longer meet the minimum payments. We haven’t used a card in over 2 years. It’s been hard, YES, but you learn to do without. We had to use the cards just to survive. But if I had of known that there’s nothing the creditors can do to you, I would of stopped paying them and put that money into savings. Now we are hurting for groceries, as we have nothing to fall back on. There are several books out there on debt.

I have bought quite a few online from used bookstores. I would not file bankruptcy unless it was a last resort. In any event, whether it be bankruptcy, or a debt settlement program, they are gonna ask you for a down payment. Expect to pay $1,000 minimum. Even CCCS asks for a downpayment…. NONE of which goes towards the actual debt. To me CCCS is a ripoff. They lower the interest rate, and some companies will NOT accept CCCS. With a debt settlement program, they pay off your cards ONE at a time…. much like the way you got the cards…

ONE at a time. TRUE the interest continues to accumulate, along with late fees and over the limit fees, but in most cases the company…. well at least mine anyway, settles for less than what you owed the credit card company in the first place. Most of these places mine included gets 25% of whatever they saved you. Mine has a deal where at the end ofthe program when all your cards are paid off they will enroll you in their credit repair clinic, so that there is nothing negative in your credit report.

I am gonna try to help you here

Ok I am gonna try to help you here. I am with a debt settlement company now…. but IF I had known back then what I know now, I would do things a bit differently. Laws vary from state to state. Some states the SOL (Statute of Limitations) is as long as FIFTEEN YEARS! I think that was RI or something.

Some states have as few as 2 or 3 years I think. I have a few CITI BANK cards and so far they haven’t sued me. I would need to ask you a few questions first. How far behind are you in your payments? My debt settlement company won’t begin negotiations till the debt is 6 months in arrears. This is usually the time that the debt is “CHARGED OFF”. By this time it has gone to collections and has most likely been sold to a collections agency. I did get a letter once from a creditor once saying that they were gonna start looking at public records to see if I owned any property. I called my debt settlement company and they told me not to worry that it was a “scare tactic”.

There’s nothing they can do to me, and that lawsuits are “usually the exception and not the RULE”. Since your car is paid for, I don’t think they can touch it. NOW if you owed on it, they could take it, cause cars and houses are considered “secured” loans. Most credit cards are “UNSECURED”, so I guess you could take out a cash advance, buy a car, pay cash and own it outright. I will go into the “things I would do differently” had I known…….in my next post. If I can help just ONE person, all this typing and getting knocked offline will have been worth it.

I have been through this with Citibank twice

I have been through this with Citibank twice, and in the process I have heard from several attorneys and debt settlement program staff people that Citibank almost always takes the tough approach and goes for a judgement regardless of what program you may be in, no matter how good the program or your payment record with the program may be. This doesn’t mean they will or will not settle, but as I understand it this is Citibank’s standard policy that has been decided at some higher, bureaucratic corporate level, and not by the law firm representing them in a given case. I don’t know for sure if this is true everywhere, but this helped me be less stressed about it — i.e. they weren’t picking on me personally!

The suggestion of a legal clinic is a good one, I have also made use of the Legal Advice Line. Basically for $35-$50 you get to have a phone consultation (as long as needed) with an attorney in your state and this includes drafting court documents for you. Basically they help you “do it yourself” which is much better than doing it yourself alone. Pricing and services may vary depending on where you are located. In my experience you can often speak with an attorney the same day you call.

As I understand (and what was told to me) is that it is extremely important that an Answer be submitted to the Court by the deadline given in the lawsuit. (be sure to use certified / signature mail to send it to the Court and send a copy to the plaintiff.) This is a document responding to the lawsuit and as I understand it is much more important than you’re showing up in person for the hearing. This is where the Legal Advice Line or a similar service or a legal clinic can help you – what you say in the Answer can help keep the controversy upon which slows down the court process and gives you more time to come up with money to settle.

(Where I live the courts are very backed up so this bought me a year’s time). One point of controversy I can think of for you is to claim the proper venue is in your home county not the other state. Even if the original contract stipulates otherwise this forces Citibank to prove that, which means delays that help you be in a better negotiating position to settle.

I don’t know anything about the various debt settlement programs you are in and certainly if you are dissatisfied then it may be wise to change. However, I would encourage you to consider not changing programs too often, as this can make it hard for even the best people to help you with a process that does take time.

Please take my suggestions as ideas and not legal advice, and be sure to get some legal advice from someone in your area.

I wish you all the best.

You can ask for the continuance yourself

You can ask for the continuance yourself, but you need a good reason for a continuance. Missing work, unfortunately isn’t one in the legal arena. I would suggest you contact an attorney in your area and see what, if anything, they can do. You may not be able to afford NOT to have an attorney, at least for an initial conference.

Check your local Yellow Pages for a legal aid clinic, they may charge fees, they may not, depending on your income, but whatever they charge, they are usually considerably less than private law firms.

You don’t say what state you are in, but why didn’t Citibank start the action in your state, your county? A local attorney may be able to help there.

Question from a New Member

I just joined this blog about 1 month ago and so far have learned a lot but I need an opinion/advice from you. I have about $30,000 in CC debt. I joined a debt management program about 18 months ago and was doing ok until they “lost” my payment and were very unhelpful during the situation.

So I switched to a Debt Settlement Program which was a HUGE mistake because as soon as I switched, Citibank sued me for the amount owed. I am now trying to get into another DMP. My court date with Citibank is 11/9/16 and is out of state. If they don’t accept the proposal from the DMP, I need to get the trial delayed because I can’t afford to miss 2 days of work.

I am a contract employee so no work = no pay. I am waiting for a reply from the DMP Citibank’s response to the proposal. My questions: Should I contact the court or Citibank’s lawyer to ask for a continuance?

I am unable to afford an attorney so I guess I would do this myself. Should I contact another DMP and see if they have better luck dealing with Citibank? Are there any programs out there that have experience in dealing with consumers who are involved in litigation? Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

I just feel like a slave to my husbands child-support!

Hi. The slave part was a joke. I just feel like a slave to my husbands childsupport! Me and my husband have recently moved back to Ca to be closer to his kids. His ex is the typical stereotyped alienator and it has been very hard for him to keep contact with his girls living in another state. Also since the court base childsupport on visitaion we thought we could see the girls more and pay less childsupport.

I of course had to give up my job to move here so actually im just a unemployed somebody right now! I was working in the semiconductor field.. O did I mention my hubby pays 2000 a month in childsupport so his kids can get pedicures every month! And the tormentin his ex part is simple I torment her by just being alive and happy. She cant stand that he got remarried. Even though she also got remarried. I also have an ex hubby who pays me 200 a month in childsupport. And I fly the girls back to see him every two months. At my own expense because I feel guilty about taking them away from him so that my new hubby can hopefully bring his family back together.

I truly do not understand woman like my hubbys ex who can not be happy with there life unless there torturing someone else! BTW my hubby is a part of this club too his name is alan00038. Ok ive babbled enough about myself. Im sure you will be hearing from me everynow and then probably soon since my hubby is supposed to go back to court for contempt end of this month.

Bankruptcy Alternative: AKA Debt Settlement

Hi to all… I am somewhat a newbie here, but by no means a newbie to DEBT. My husband and myself had over $42,000 spread over 27 cards. We have been with a debt settlement company now for two years. So far so good. I have been hearing a lot about debt settlement companies going under lately and consumers losing out big time. To anyone considering this please check out the company by visiting the BBB site and seeing if they have any complaints pending against them. The rules vary from company to company. Some will only take cards that you owe $1,000 or more on while mine will accept balances as low as $500.

Most tho require you to be $10,000 in debt or greater before they will consider you and with no hope of ever catching up on the cards. I don’t know about others, but mine required me to write a letter stating why I was in so much debt, and what my monthly bills were…. and what I wanted my monthly payments set at, where as CCCS set the payments themselves.

What most people don’t know is that CCCS will show up on your credit record as a bankruptcy…. They aren’t gonna tell you this… naturally…. CCCS works FOR your creditors… the creditors pay them so much for handling your debt. I did read an article earlier this year where Cambridge went under. It was in Family Circle or Womans Day…. Back in Feburary I think. This is getting long so I will start another post…………..

Lottery

Well here’s a true story for you:

A husband’s wife was having an affair on him (which he knew about) and they were getting ready to get a divorce.

After moving out of the house, he won the Lotto but didn’t say anything about it so the court set child support and all that good stuff on his present salary.

About 2 years later, this guy’s in a bar having another drink with some friends, and he starts to tell them how at least his ex-wife, the b**** who had an affair on him, wasn’t able to get his lotto money because he didn’t cash it in until later. Everyone asked questions and somehow, her name was divulged.

Well, a woman was sitting at another table near them and overheard the whole story, so she tracked down this guy’s ex-wife and told her everything. (I’m sure she got a commission on that little gossip!) The ex-wife went to court and guess what? his lotto winnings were taken into consideration and his child support was increased, etc.

Moral of the Story: If you are blessed enough to win the lotto after your spouse leaves you for another man: do NOT, repeat, do NOT, go near a bar!!!! LOL

What a wonderful club…

Hi, I’m a secondmom (stepmom) in Atlanta and my husband has been through hell and back with his manipulative and controlling ex-wife. Our relationship with his oldest son was completely severed because of her instigation, but I’m sure you guys all know what that’s about. I just became a member of this club and think it’s an excellent idea.

My husband doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer, but I’m going to encourage him to take a look at this. Anyway, I hope it’s not considered inappropriate, but I wanted to invite you guys to a chat we’re having at my club “The Stepmoms’ Club” tonight at 9:00 p.m.

The subject is “Husbands Intimidated By Their Ex-Wives.” I think that you guys will have a lot to contribute to that chat to other husbands who find it difficult to stand up to their ex-wives, as well as hear the new wife’s point of view on how frustrating it is to deal with.

Thanks! I look forward to chatting with you here!