I’d like to add about five cents in here also

It is my firm belief that in marriage, the husband and wife are connected with everything… you become one when you makes vows to that person. Your husband sounds fairly selfish, if he is not willing to take on your debt problem as his problem too. I can relate where you are coming from though, if you weren’t married …

before my husband I got married, I was in major debt. It was at that point in time, (while we were only living together) that we both put in 50/50 into our rent, utilities and food expenses and anything we did together. After my debt was paid off, we got married and it was smart to wait because, he knew my debts would become his problem if we were to get married. It gave me great incentive to pay them off as fast as I could and not get into debt again.

He is the breadwinner, but now that we are married, he doesn’t consider it his money or my money…. it’s ours and we have a caring and responsibility for each other… even our mistakes we make. Of course we allot ourselves each a little personal spending money for individual freedom, but there is a budget for that which is agreed upon each month. I can only assume that your husband would not be open to go to a family counselor with you or see it this way at all.

Sounds like you need marriage counseling together first before you need financial counseling alone. If his incentive is to teach you financial responsibility, then that is strange because after all, he is your husband… not your father. It comes back down to selfishness on his part more than anything. If you are paying for your own bills, than you are living the life of a single person. What do you at tax time, file as “single” married status?

Another intuitive sense I am getting from this, is he would probably get very angry that you are getting this kind of advice from various people (OMG…strangers!)on a blog.

I agree that your husband sounds a little selfish. I have been with my fiancee’ for a little over a year and he understood that all my debt came with me and I understood his came with him. When we look at all the finances and the debt we have it is our debt, not a debt that he has or a debt that I have. Mine way over sees his, but we are together and that means are money is together. Don’t get stuck in a relationship that mine and yours. My mother has done it for almost 30 years and it will make you bitter. Debt is stress enough, but when you do not have your spouse backing you up on getting out of debt it triples.

Thanks for the encouragement. We have been married for 6 years and it has always been his and mine. We don’t even have car insurance together. I am self-employed,so he does pay my health insurance.You are right about it making you bitter because I resent the way he is. I was married before and everything was OURS jointly. I feel as if I am living on my own most of the time. I am trying to save the money for the BK lawyer now. Looking forward to starting over. I wish he was more supportive.
Thanks again,

Read More I’d like to add about five cents in here also

I hope everything works out for you though

I have two stories that stem from this train of thought.

Story #1 is one of my best friends.

He got married and his wife was somewhat headstrong and followed this mentality. She made good money, so it was somewhat fair for them, but pretty soon my friend started earning more money than her. She has a degree in finance or something or other, but they had separate bank accounts each, plus a ‘shared’ account that the bills were paid out of. They would each chip in 50% of everything, and if someone wanted a car then that payment came from their personal account. Long story short, I’m going to his second wedding in September. For reasons not clear, they finally split up last year and he’s moved on.

Story #2.

A friend of mine from work has a friend who I don’t know, but her husband was of the opinion that the wife raise the kids. This includes any sports or activities they want to play, clothe them, and anything else directly related to them. She works at a small bank and after several years, confessed that she has been stealing money from customers to help pay for their kids stuff. The husband makes good money, but he wouldn’t pay for anything for the kids. I guess he paid for the house and other bills, but the kids were up to her. She confessed to stealing the money from customers because she couldn’t take the thought of it anymore. She didn’t get caught, but confessed because she could no longer sleep at night. The husband now suffers the embarrassment of his wife being charged and the public humility. I feel bad for the wife, and my initial reaction was ‘serves the husband right’.

I hope your situation doesn’t turn out like either one of these ones, and I hope your husband sees the light and joins your team (of one so far) and supports you better in your marriage and bills.

If I could work 12 hour days so that my wife could stay home and raise our children, I certainly would. But our current situation requires her to work as well, and she enjoys working, but I know she would enjoy it more if she went to work for something to do, rather than getting the paycheck.

Read More I hope everything works out for you though

Phone Calls

I spoke to a creditor on Tuesday about my account. However, I keep getting phone calls from them twice a day about the same thing. They all keep saying that they will document my account, but they aren’t. I have sent a stop communication letter via phone letter to them and I know they received it. Is there any way to stop these annoying calls other than what I tried?

You are going to have to send them the drop dead letter – certified mail. That is the only legal proof that they recieved it. Then when the call, immediately ask for a manager. Tell them they are in violation of Federal law and if they call again, you will legal action against them.

If they call back after that, document the date, time and telephone number they called you at and if you have caller-id, the number they called from. Then call a lawyer and see about suing them.

I may be wrong, but I think it is only the collection agencies that need to stop calling once a person has notified them to stop. I think it is legal for the CC co’s to call and no amount of asking them to stop will help as long as a person is not current on payments.

I sent IC Systems a certified letter and I have not had a call since last Friday!! It worked! Thanks to everyone’s suggestions, I have peaceful days and nights.

Read More Phone Calls

Effect On Spouse When Filing BK

Hi, I’m new here and have been reading some of your post and have learned some valuable info. My question is my husband is the co-signer on my auto and also we have a joint checking with an over-draft account. I hope to keep my car and that loan stay as is. Also our mortgage is joint. I don’t want to hurt his credit,due to the fact that I got in over my head. Any advice about what will happen or what I need to do? Thanks!

I’m confused. Are you getting a divorce? When you are married your no longer his and hers but ours. You should be working this out together. If you are over stretched then you both are.

Every state is different but if you live in a community property state and most others any debt acquired during a marriage is Joint and effects both credit ratings if the creditor choices to report it under both names. Anything that is jointly held cannot be separated unless refinanced.

If you don’t pay then they can go after your husband for debt if they can prove you aquired it during your marriage. He does not have to be a co signer or anything.

I suggest you get the Nolo press book most libraries carry them. Make sure you get the newer one as laws have changed.

It used to be you could file for Bankruptcy which put creditors on an automatic stay then you could Negotiation with them and get a better deal and then close the case but with the new laws requiring counseling that is harder. You should try to Negotiation now there are some good books that help with that. This will be harder if they know your husband is also on the hook for this debt.

I have already had credit counseling and an individual can file BK on debt that is only in one name. My husband has never helped me with my bills and I pay half of the mortgage and household bills. We have been married 7 years and there is never enough money.

Sounds to me like you should tell your husband that if you are filing the BK papers, that you are also filing divorce papers. There is no mine and yours when you share a house. You should have 1 bank account, and all the earned money goes in there, and all the bills are paid from there. If you want to have ‘allowances’ then budget that in, but trying to split everything down the middle on your bills will NOT work.

I put in about $1000 a week take home and my wife makes about $400 a week take home. Now if I suggester to her that we are going to be splitting all the bills down the middle and she has to pay half, that would be ludicrous.

Just my $.02.

You may be able to file a solo bankruptcy but I would be surprised if those creditors could not go after your spouse for payment. It is probably state law dependent but I know when I got a divorce one reason I filed the papers so early was to prevent my continue liability for my ex-husbands debt that he ran up. Until the papers were filed he could take out credit without my knowledge and I would still be liable. legally any assets or debts acquired during a marriage in most state are owned jointly. So there is not real his and hers even if your husband refuses accept that. This is especially true if your filing joint tax returns.

Read More Effect On Spouse When Filing BK

Being laid off the best thing for debt reduction?

The biggest motivators for most of us are FEAR and ANGER. I guess the cold water in the face from me being laid off last week has made my hubby and I both scared and angry at our current situation. We are taking drastic steps now to getting debt free (we were just kind of dragging our feet before). Many of the things we are doing just make me flat out sick but its a game of survival now.

We are in process of selling my car. We should make 1500 or so off the sell as well as getting rid of that 250 payment. We’ll put the excess into savings until we feel secure about our new situation. Using all of my severance package to pay off our only credit card that is left. Use whatever is left over to pay down on my hubby’s truck. Gosh we should be debt free by the beginning of next year! And with none of those payments I won’t even have to go back to work full time if I chose not to.

Why couldn’t they have laid me off a year ago? I guess I had no idea what we were truly capable of. Kind of cool.

Just wanted to share some hope that even what seems like an awful situation can turn out to be one of the best things to happen.

That is so true. As the late Norman Vincent Peale once said, Sometimes life’s darkest moments can be blessings in disguise.

Thanks for sharing that. That’s inspirational! Boy,when you got going, you really went to town! I sure can relate to the fear and anger as motivation—-thanks for sharing and reminding! Oh—-and congratulations! This is exactly the kind of “help” that does me no good. If I got laid off tomorrow, there would be no severance package or partner to help me out and I’d probably be on the streets in a month. Congratulations to Daisy but this kind of info is not general enough to the whole group IMHO.

Not general enough for the whole group? Speak for yourself. The post was encouraging and uplifting and “HELPED” me tremendously, personally. Everytime somebody contributes a story of success, they can rest assured you’ll quickly respond with a bitter, post about how it doens’t do you any good. Support is both good and bad. Yes, you are probably right. If you got laid off, there probably would be no severance and you might be on the streets in a month. If I got laid off tomorrow, I would be on the streets, too—and probably no severence package. But you are not the only one on the board, and the majority of us are here for support of all kinds, and are mature enough to be happy if someone else has a good thing happen.

Please, realize that he does not speak for all of us. Your news is wonderful, and keep the good ATTITUDE. It makes all the difference in the world.

And to you – I wish I had tons of money, and was high-powered in the corporate world. Because I truly do feel bad for you and your situation, and I’d do everything in my power to help you get into a better situation so that you could utilize your talents and skills in a company that would compensate you for it. I really mean that sincerely.

Read More Being laid off the best thing for debt reduction?

As long as they don’t send you a bill, you’ll be fine!

Seriously, I am not surprised they asked for a donation. That seems to be what everyone does who has a cause.

I have written to many Congress people and Senators and get email, regular mail and phone calls asking for donations. And then there are all those other places asking me for money or donations like Purple Heart, Cancer and Heart Associations, and Police and Firefighter associations!

I always tell them I will sell them some of my art at a good price, then they can have a raffle or auction and sell it. So far, my idea has gone over like a lead balloon! LOL
But a few people have said they like my idea, and will pass it on. Who knows if they really did though.

I really think these places asking for money need to come up with some creative ways to do it. There are alot of artist/craftspeople in this country who would donate their creations or sell them at a reduced price for the exposure at a political event.

And it’s a horrible shame that our government is allowing the credit card companies to go so far. But they are extremely wealthy and powerful and have a lot more sway than we do. How sad.

On the other hand – I hate to give in to it, though. Because the right we as citizens have to be able to have credit should not be jeapordized. Grant it, we could raise a huge voice by not using it and boycotting the companies. In fact, an article posted on another group stated that the companies were hurting because so many customers were paying the accounts off and closing them (I love that!).

While that is effective – I still hate being forced into forfeiting my freedom to have credit if I want it by this sort of power. Reform IS necessary, just simply for the fact that it’s not fair for us to have to deny ourselves credit because of their practices.

I honestly wonder if there are any representatives who would stand against them and fight for reform, though. Money talks and gets votes. And that DOES leave us with only that option—-to just not have credit.

No, I don’t think you’re wrong. To a certain point, too, a person has to not be surprised at such interest when they default on payments, etc. Credit card companies have always relied on that to recoup for slow payments, etc. But the “universal default” the credit card companies practice, allows the interest to be raised without warning if the creditor sees something on your credit report they don’t like, with another creditor. Which has no bearing whatsoever on their account with you. They should just not have that ability.

That’s true. I did have one error last december, but when I made up for it and always paid more… I was surprised they would be so spiteful.

I agree… If I didn’t default to them directly, they shouldn’t be able to come at me for something else.

I would need to sell some more shirts and such, as I’ve tried the eBay route, and no one thinks as much of my things as they are really worth so I’m working most that I can and plodding along paying things down. Never defaulting (Other than that foible in December) on any of them.

I will be so happy to be rid of this stuff.

Read More As long as they don’t send you a bill, you’ll be fine!

CC reform?? Unlikely!

With a report like this, it doesn’t seem likely that credit card reform will even be discussed in Washington.

Sickening!!

http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/10/pf/creditcards/index.htm

Just today I got 5 offers for credit in my mailbox. I would be a very high risk and they know it! In fact,,, they love it! This is all so disgusting.

I read that report and I truly believe it is a falsity. Creditors don’t make sure an individual can repay… why would they offer lines of credit to students who barely earn anything while in school full time? It’s crazy. But the only ones who can be to blame are ourselves, knowing upfront what we can afford in the first place. Credit card reform would be better off to be replaced by better education to kids and very young adults before they have an inopportunity to make detrimental financial mistakes in their early adulthood. When I charged up my first $3000, I knew full well I could not afford it. If I had better budgeting skills I could have saved that money faster than paying it back! Oh well, no use getting into that. People make mistakes, they live and they learn. The creditors use that to their advantage, I think.

I agree that education is essential. But credit card reform is also necessary. Many of the victims of the credit card companies’ power are not people who spent unwisely and got into a mess. I agree so very much that everyone needs to be educated about credit and to be alert and aware. But the burden of responsibility should not be completely on the consumer’s shoulders – grant it, we all need to be more informed and protect ourselves more than ever before.

For instance, it is not fair that the credit card companies can practice universal default—are allowed to raise an interest rate on one of your accounts simply because they checked your credit report and found that you were late on some other creditor’s account. That should not be allowed, and needs to be the first and most important issue in credit card reform. It’s things like that that scream for reform.

But you’re right, since it is accepted and allowed, then we must take on the task of educating ourselves and guarding ourselves from the risks.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Educating people about finanaces is needed, but so is credit card reform.

Also, I thought a certain level of interest was legal up to a point, when it becomes ‘USERY’ and illegal in some states. Am I wrong here that 26.5 and up % is cutting it close to the edge?

Read More CC reform?? Unlikely!

When do you finally stop paying your bills?

You’ve probably heard this, but here goes: stop using the credit cards. Get rid all of them. It’s that simple and the vicious cycle will be put to an end. That’s the easy part. The trick is to figure out a set budget based on your income of how you will pay off the exsisting debts while trying to maintain needed cost of living expenses. You don’t want to stop payment on any of them if you can help it. You are right, that you do not want higher interests, late fees, or worse yet debt collections. You can get control over it before any of that happens. It can be done. I tell this to people over and over again.

I don’t know any of your other circumstances to be able to tell you detailed ways of saving money on nearly everything, but there are literally millions of ways to stretch your dollars on a tight budget. Look into some frugal tips all over the internet. You may even have to do without some items or services for temporary amount of time. But I always say it’s better to give up on some luxuries temporarily, get out of debt, and finally know the peace and the freedom of living within your means. That is a happiness that NO material items, or costlier food, or updated gadgets can replace.

Now that I’m out of debt, I enjoy my life so much more than most people who have tons of STUFF, are living paycheck to paycheck and brag about what they have. It’s all smoke screen.

Have a goal that one day you will splurge with CASH you saved up! It’s a worthwhile goal! When you finally pay off all the debts you will feel like a pure champion. Then only keep one credit line open for extreme emergencies. I know it’s very difficult to imagine that ending now, but the best way to get to the end is have that plan to get there and have a vision of it.

Keep reading the posts on this group! It will help you, to start your own budget and stick to a plan to pay it all off. It can become an adventure, at least it’s easier with that kind of attitude. I’ve been there.

I feel for you in your situation. I think you are lucky in a lot of other ways where you get to raise your kids yourself with your values, discipline and the fun you can have together as a family.

Money doesn’t replace that. I assume that some of your kids have to be of school age, if so, once they are back in school for the entire day, maybe you can baby sit other toddlers/babies in your neighborhood to make money. If you got a couple regular customers, that may help. Post up some hand made flyers in grocery stores, libraries… etc…

There may even be some opportunities for you to work from home – couple hours a day… a lot of stay at home moms do it. It may be worth checking into and it’s easier to do with a computer and internet access in your home. You may have to get creative with something that could easily be done from home for a small local business that needs help…ask around, you’d be suprised at some ideas people might come up with.

I’m expecting a baby soon. My husband and I made a decision, even before I got pregnant, that I was going to be a stay at home mom and do my vocation from home, whenever I could. It makes things tight, but we manage.

What are your kids ages? Is there an oldest one who can possibly start working part-time soon (legal age 14-15 in most states)to help the family?

Are there any food banks through local churches in your area, where you could receive some help with some basic food staples? That may be worth looking into.

Don’t let that CC bill scare you. It’s really a low priority, compared to being able to make ends meet physically right now. In Linda’s post (I think) she said something like find a way to pay yourself first! There are a lot of things she wrote that are really great!

Read More When do you finally stop paying your bills?

New to the blog

My situation is this:

  • I have several credit cards and about $40,000 in debt
  • I’m self-employed and should pay quarterly taxes
  • I owe the IRS for back taxes in 2004, haven’t done the 2005 taxes yet or paid on them, haven’t paid yet for 2006.

I’m in my late 40s and live with a housemate because I can’t afford a one-bedroom apt (I live in an expensive city).

I talked to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (nonprofit agency). They reviewed my situation and said that I’m more than $600 short every month. Which is the amount of my payments to creditors. CCCS said I couldn’t use their service because I don’t have enough income to pay my bills. Usually, they would take on the creditors and get lower interest rates, etc. I’d make one monthly check to CCCS. They said to talk to a BK lawyer. It costs $1000-3000 to file BK.

Here’s my question: Should I file BK? Should I try to pay off the cards myself? Should I borrow $1000-2000 to throw at one or two credit cards to put me in a better place with them and keep paying them off? Should I borrow that $1000-2000 and put it toward my car loan so that payment will be less per month, or paid off sooner?

If I borrow $2000, what is the best use of it? I want it to make enough of a difference. To give me a jump start. I don’t want to just use it to keep barely making ends meet and not get ahead. I want to stop the downward spiral and turn this around.

Eventually, I’d like to buy a small condo. So I’d rather not file BK. Or, won’t that matter?

Right now, I’ve paid creditors just enough so that my accounts are not being charged off as bad debt. I’m barely holding that together. It takes all my money each month just to do it. I can’t continue this. I need to make some kind of move.

Thanks so much for your support and advice.

Welcome. Keep reading and posting to this blog – there are so many nice, helpful people here, who’ve been there.

Your situation sounds almost to a tee to a friend of mine (except he is a guy) One thing everyone is telling this friend is – find another full-time job and do the self employment thing part-time.

Obviously, if it’s not paying enough to cover your bills, then you need to do something else. The friend I am talking about won’t do this because of the supposed freedom he has with being self employed … but he is just fooling himself. He can’t see the light, maybe you can.

Borrowing more money is kind of futile, it holds you in the same never-ending cycle and trap. It’s got to stop.

It’s like telling an alcoholic that they can drink -once a week- just to get use to quitting eventually. It doesn’t work.

Rather than using more borrowed money – are there “things” you have you can sell? Do without to cut costs every month?

Thinking about buying a condo (way down the line) is a low priority, but filing bankruptcy (if that is your last option) WILL make that more difficult. If filing bankruptcy is your only choice, maybe you can do it all yourself and save a lot money. You’ll just have a lot of research to do on your own and find out what you can for free.

When I was in debt (it was like half the amount of yours) I had to do all kinds of downsizing, work more, and budget to the extremes. But it was worth it for the final goal of becoming debt free. You may not have to file bankruptcy and go through the long term consequences of that, it’s a lot tougher now. It’s a matter of your determination.

My 1st thought is deal with the IRS FIRST – personal debts can wait and be dealt with, but even BK will NOT satisfy the IRS, and they have heavier consequences for non-payment. Talk to them – they are not complete monsters (I speak as someone paying off tax debt and a employee of a tax accountant) and that shoudl be addresses FIRST – then assess the rest and deal with it, one debt at a time.

You do not want to get more credit to pay of credit. It is a visous cycle. Filling BK will not discharge your taxes. Is your business not making it? Are you able to pay yourself first? Why where you not paying quarterly taxes? These are questions that I need answered to help out in thinking of a solution for you.

Read More New to the blog