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My personal struggle with morality, pride and shame...

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  • flashoflight
    replied
    The most foolproof way to stop the consolidation loan autopay is close out your account with a zero balance and move elsewhere. I would not trust any debt collector to stop the autopay. Moving the billpay isn't that hard because you're not moving the credit card companies over. You'll want to get a PDF copy of all bank statements before you close the account. If you owe your current bank on any unsecured debt, you'll want to move checking accounts anyway as a precaution since they could offset the funds when you file bankruptcy. Usually you tell the work's direct deposit to go to the new account and once the direct deposit and your debit card shows up, you can proceed with account closure.

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  • flashoflight
    replied
    Originally posted by CorkScrewIt View Post

    Really?

    My mind is boggled right now. How would I buy a car with this credit situation anyway? I have to tell you, I am more than confused with such advice. I am sure a lawyer would explain it but "what the what"?

    Don't get me wrong, I get the paid-off "asset" piece but I don't get the rest.

    Furthermore, the paid off vehicle is in my wife's name. She is the technical owner. The other, with five months left, is mine. Does this change the scenario?
    I know someone who knew chapter 13 bankruptcy was inevitable before his first missed payment aged beyond 30 days. He had already canceled all autopays on his credit cards so the plan was already in motion. Next step was dealing with the car problem. He went to a car dealership to get an auto loan. The lender only saw the maxed out cards but the credit card company did not post the late payment yet in the credit report. The interest rate was quite high at 15%, but in a chapter 13 situation it makes sense if there is a new car warranty still on it and you finance the MANUFACTURER'S (not 3rd party) extended warranty into the loan. His other car was paid off so the lawyer figured the trustee won't object to the super high payment. In a chapter 13, the budget amount allowed for a vehicle is much higher on a financed car and the car needs to survive the 5-year chapter 13 so that warranty will help a lot.

    Other than this narrow exception for a 13, I would follow Dave and never, ever buy a financed car again. With your income level, you sound like a candidate for a 7. You probably don't have any disposable income for a 13.
    Last edited by flashoflight; 10-08-2020, 03:04 PM.

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  • Carmella
    replied
    flashoflight explained the Dave Ramsey scenario well. I was thinking that, but just blurted out his method wouldn't work. I do think he has some great strategies, but at this point making the move to BK can be the best solution and I understand wanting to pay the creditors back because you always thought you would be able to do that, at least that is how I felt. But I have no guilt about that since we are in 100% payback (even if not all creditors have claimed their money back, that's their call).

    Bankruptcy is public record, but it's not that easy for the average person to find out. When we filed we got junk mail from lawyers and to buy cars and maybe few others. Bankruptcies are listed on a site called PACER and you can search for cases by name or case number. But the average person is never even going to know that site exists, let alone read it. I am glad it's low key. There's enough stigma to deal with from our own feelings. People don't discuss it, don't talk about it.

    As for Pokemon Go, sounds like a good hobby. My young adult daughter's boyfriend got her started on it. They were showing me and she asked if I wanted to do it, then she said "no you don't want to do this because you won't want to stop."

    The attorney can probably tell you what the best way to handle the consolidation loan and stop the automatic payments. If you go into Chapter 7 I think it's recommended to open a new account and even if you go into Chapter 13 it might be recommended if you have an account in a bank where you also are a debtor, this might depend on your state.

    There's lots of great comments/info here. Please update when you see attorneys and let us know what they recommend.

    And remember, as you may have read, if you negotiate with credit card companies or collection agencies there is no guarantee they are going to make a deal with you.

    Leave a comment:


  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Originally posted by shipo View Post

    Hmmm, cars are definitely an issue in a 5-year Chapter 13; I entered mine with an old, but well maintained and very serviceable car, in spite of my attorney's advice to buy a new car before filing. That decision came back to bite me in the hind-parts; in my fourth year of my bankruptcy I needed to wipe out my meager savings plus gut my food budget for a month to buy a new(er) car. Had I followed her advice, I would have bought something uninspired like a Corolla, then had it financed through the bankruptcy as a secured loan; the net result of which is I wouldn't have had the gut-check in year four, and I would have come out of my bankruptcy with a paid-off asset worth over $10,000.

    My bet is your attorney will instruct you to trade your cars in now before you file.
    Really?

    My mind is boggled right now. How would I buy a car with this credit situation anyway? I have to tell you, I am more than confused with such advice. I am sure a lawyer would explain it but "what the what"?

    Don't get me wrong, I get the paid-off "asset" piece but I don't get the rest.

    Furthermore, the paid off vehicle is in my wife's name. She is the technical owner. The other, with five months left, is mine. Does this change the scenario?

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  • shipo
    replied
    Originally posted by CorkScrewIt View Post

    I have never missed a payment on the house or car and will continue to keep that up. As a matter of fact, we have five more payments on the one car we are paying for. The other car is completely paid for and old (but still runs well).
    Hmmm, cars are definitely an issue in a 5-year Chapter 13; I entered mine with an old, but well maintained and very serviceable car, in spite of my attorney's advice to buy a new car before filing. That decision came back to bite me in the hind-parts; in my fourth year of my bankruptcy I needed to wipe out my meager savings plus gut my food budget for a month to buy a new(er) car. Had I followed her advice, I would have bought something uninspired like a Corolla, then had it financed through the bankruptcy as a secured loan; the net result of which is I wouldn't have had the gut-check in year four, and I would have come out of my bankruptcy with a paid-off asset worth over $10,000.

    My bet is your attorney will instruct you to trade your cars in now before you file.

    Leave a comment:


  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Originally posted by justbroke View Post
    At our location, Pokemon Go is actually used as an exercise tool. It gets people out of the building(s) and walking around. So it does have a therapeutic affect by getting people up and active.
    It plays a multi-facet role for me. I sometimes wonder if I would have gambled my way out of debt (like I have done a bunch of times with gambling debt) if I didn't start playing PoGo. However this is a question I will never have an answer to as I have zero interest in placing a bet ever again. If I had to make a guess, though, I have a strong inclination that I would have.

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  • justbroke
    replied
    At our location, Pokemon Go is actually used as an exercise tool. It gets people out of the building(s) and walking around. So it does have a therapeutic affect by getting people up and active.

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  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Originally posted by shipo View Post
    The sooner you stop paying on your unsecured debt, the sooner you'll have the money for your attorney. Said another way, keep current on your car(s) and mortgage(s), and stop paying everything else.
    I have never missed a payment on the house or car and will continue to keep that up. As a matter of fact, we have five more payments on the one car we are paying for. The other car is completely paid for and old (but still runs well).

    I still don't have any idea how I can stop the payment of the auto-pay for that consolidation loan. I assume a lawyer could figure that out in the process. I would prefer to NOT open a new account and leave the one they try to pull from empty and/or closed.

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  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Originally posted by justbroke View Post
    No laughter here. We have some 60+ year olds at work that play during lunch time. Supposedly there's a "gym" at our location. LOL
    I am very familiar with gyms. Unfortunately, more with the Pokemon Go type rather than the more commonly thought of one. That said, I am back into fitness and spending time in the literal gym as well.

    If you are in Central Florida, it is very likely I know of that "gym" too.

    Leave a comment:


  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Originally posted by lukesky View Post
    CorkScrewit, I have also dealt with being in debt becuase of my own stupid mistakes over and over again. Since I was 18 and now I am 60. Guess what, it was not untill my last bankrupcty around 5 years ago that I grew up financially and got things under control. I found out that it was depression and taking on some of one of my parents addictive traits that help lead me to my financially downward journey.
    I have been told that I might have had some bouts with depression. As for the "addictive traits", I 100% relate. In a big way.

    I knew when I bought something at the time I bought it that it was wrong but something told me it would make me feel better, yes for a moment, then an hour later it was like what have I done? Anyway, your senireo sounds like the American delima. Buy untill it hurts, ignore it, then deal with it later. Well, it is later for you and you are dealing with it.
    This might be me to a minor degree. Truthfully, I don't have much of anything to show for the debt(s). That said, most of it came from necessary spends. For instance, I had to fix the roof on my house. If not for my job being eliminated I would have had the cash to pay for it. That's right, cash. I would not have used credit. The only reason I did use credit was because I had no other choice. At that time, I literally thought "You'll be back to work making the same (or more) money so just do it." Unfortunately this mentality lead me to do a few more things that I, in hindsight, shouldn't have done due to my incorrect forecast.

    I personally congrats you for being here and telling your story. This time next year, you whole life will be at a place where you can manage it, relax, hold that head up (you did not commit a crime other than being human), and on your way to being debt free again. This time, before you buy something ask your self, is it a Want are a Need first. You are not alone, and I am sure your family will be proud of you. God Bless.
    I have, for the most part, evaluated the "want vs. need" parameters all of my life.

    A lot of my debt has been created over the last two years when I was, truly, mentally breaking down. I got this crazy idea that my family would be better off without me living in the same house. Boy was I wrong! My irrationality lead me to renting an apartment close by. Of course, I didn't swing for a lower-end place. I, instead, found a luxury apartment that seemed to be a great fit for me. (There's a bit more to this story but I don't like talking about it. Maybe you can guess. Either way, my family is great and will only continue to get greater.)

    If not for this foolishness, I wouldn't be here. I am 99.7% confident in this. It was such a messed up time of my life that I never, ever, ever want to return to.

    Thank you for your message! I truly appreciate your help/input.

    Leave a comment:


  • shipo
    replied
    Originally posted by CorkScrewIt View Post
    Man! This is the toughest part for me. I have been struggling whether I try to build up some money to throw at Discover and Chase to take them down to zero first. I also have an auto-payment for a consolidation loan that has my bank account information. I don't think there is a way for me to stop it. Well... Opening up a new bank account and moving money is the only way as far as I can tell. (This was my attempt to make things better before my credit score dropped like a rock. Sadly, failed!).
    The sooner you stop paying on your unsecured debt, the sooner you'll have the money for your attorney. Said another way, keep current on your car(s) and mortgage(s), and stop paying everything else.

    Leave a comment:


  • justbroke
    replied
    Originally posted by CorkScrewIt View Post
    Don't laugh but I am a super, super avid Pokemon Go player. It is free. It is fun. It is always changing. It is always fresh. Best of all, I have slowly been gaining national recognition and there might be an opportunity to monetize it down the road. Time will tell.
    No laughter here. We have some 60+ year olds at work that play during lunch time. Supposedly there's a "gym" at our location. LOL



    Leave a comment:


  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Originally posted by flashoflight View Post
    Can you work two full-time jobs, upgrade back to a $110k job, or can the wife make $55k/year? That's what it will take to Dave Ramsey out of this situation. You can't pay down $80k with a beans and rice budget by itself unless you're single and are willing to share a room in an apartment or house. I already see some fat in your budget (reduce cell phone, replace cable with just two streaming channels) but I don't see enough places in your 4-person family budget to put a meaningful dent in your gambling debt given your current reduced after-tax income. You have a greater moral obligation to spend quality time with your kids vs. working two jobs to avoid screwing over your creditors. At age 40+, it gets real hard to do the 2 full time job or 3 part time job plan. Besides, declaring bankruptcy on big banks is just business anyway. They factor in default with the high interest rates so don't feel the least bit sorry about filing against American Distress. Dave Ramsey has some great ideas about the psychology of debt like never, ever financing a car ever again (with the rare exception of some chapter 13 filers), but his cookie cutter approach to paying it down relies on a ridiculous combination of both huge budget cuts and greatly increased income until the debt is paid off. You can start Dave Ramsey with baby step 3 after you shed all of your car debt and unsecured debt in the CH7 BK (BK is the smart way for you to do baby step 2).
    I will make more money. No doubts. In my current position I have high aspirations and I truly believe those will come to fruition. The main variable is time. I need time to get there. In the current state, time will drown me more and more.

    You know, the irony in Dave Ramsey, I learned that he declared bankruptcy a few days ago. That blew my mind!

    Since you can't make the minimum payments, you're insolvent. Just quick math with your numbers makes it obvious you are broke. So now is a good time to talk to some bankruptcy attorneys. You picked a good time to figure this out, because many of us drained our retirement accounts in a futile effort to avoid bankruptcy when the math just doesn't work. It stinks that this is gambling debt, but at least you didn't drain your retirement account like some of us. So it all evens out. So go ahead and call a couple of good CH7 lawyers for a free consultation. Go into this with no guilt and jump on Dave Ramsey with baby step 3.
    So true! I was, literally, discussing cashing out two retirement accounts to take care of three of the bills but that would have left me with a, still, unmanageable scenario given the current state.

    One last thing, when you decide to file BK (that might be today), it's time to halt all payments to the credit cards immediately and use that money for your attorney fees and household needs including deferred maintenance on your home or medical/dental. Don't wait around to do this. Make the decision and cancel all credit card autopays.
    Man! This is the toughest part for me. I have been struggling whether I try to build up some money to throw at Discover and Chase to take them down to zero first. I also have an auto-payment for a consolidation loan that has my bank account information. I don't think there is a way for me to stop it. Well... Opening up a new bank account and moving money is the only way as far as I can tell. (This was my attempt to make things better before my credit score dropped like a rock. Sadly, failed!).

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  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Do not delay Bankruptcy see an attorney soon, find someone experienced in your area. If you are not comfortable with them go to another to find the right fit. From what I have read the attorney can make a big difference if they know your court well and they are responsive to your needs/communicate well.

    I say Do Not Delay because my husband and I put it off for so long because it was so emotional and yes there is pride involved. I think I know how you feel, like you really messed up and worse. Putting off the inevitable just makes it worse and the stress after BK is so much better/manageable than the stress beforehand. You are making $55 K and you debt alone is more than your income. And your home value is in my opinion high for your income (I understand you had a higher income when you purchased it). If you do the math IMHO it will turn out to be so difficult to get out of using a Dave Ramsey method and you might just end up in BK any way. Your credit cards are starting to go into collections, you can still ignore it. I ignored it for quite a LONG time. It takes a long time before they take you to court. Yes, my husband and I had been to court. We stalled the court process for a while (legally just dragging it out) until the attorney, the lady who owns the practice gave me the go to Jesus type talk.
    I am going to send electronic messages and make a few follow-up phone calls to lawyers tomorrow. Thank you for your primary advice. Coming to this forum and reading has been my "come to Jesus" moment. Well... Scratch that. Looking at the red numbers on my spreadsheet(s) was my "come to Jesus" moment.

    If you need counseling for gambling get it. I understand from reading other people's posts on this forum that is very difficult habit/addiction.
    I have found a new therapy and a dumb one to most people. I posted it above in response to justbroke's message, Pokemon Go. It has been my saving grace.

    Go to an attorney and see what they have to say and what your options are.

    It really sucks to be in this position, but as they say, "it is what it is." A good attorney is not going to judge you. If they have been in business a long time they have seen it all. The first attorney we saw reminded me a used car salesman stereotype (no offense to anyone in that profession! We know a great used car salesman!). The next firm we went to was so great, professional, non judgemental "you made some mistakes, but you are fixing them now" that simple sentence felt so good to hear as well as the way we were treated.
    I hope to have the same experience in the search for a lawyer. Well... On the second part. I wouldn't mind skipping the "used car salesman" piece.

    Remember Pride comes before the Fall and once debt spirals out of control partly through our fault (admit you made mistakes) and partly through circumstance (it's not all your fault). In my experience I will say that BK is our saving grace. It is not fun, it is not easy. Most of us have ups and downs, most of us have said the stress is so much less after filing. BK is not for the weak, we have to preserve through the good, the bad and the ugly for 3-5 yrs in Chapter 13. In Chapter 13 you pay back a percentage of your debt. Our income is higher even though our credit card debit is more than our combined income. We are paying back 100% over 5 years. If you pay back a lower percentage there is a chance your percentage (payment) can increase if your income increases that would be something to ask the attorney about or consider if your wife had a plan to go back to work at some point (if your kids are young) or if you may end up in a higher paying job as you had in the past.
    The pride factor is the toughest piece for me but what else can I do other than "eat it"? I don't see any other way. I hate the idea of screwing some of the creditors but I am beginning to think that letting them all go is my only route.

    As for making more money, I have zero doubt that I will in the future. Unfortunately, with all of the uncertainty we are living in, this might take longer than I was anticipating but I am not down for the count. I can guarantee that!

    Your credit score will drop: SO WHAT! Do you have the basic things you need? I know we value the credit score, but if we have our cars and our home is there anything else we really need the credit score for at the moment? NO! That's the conclusion I came to realize. We can go 5 yrs with a bad credit score and build it back up.
    Hear, hear!

    Bankruptcy is your second chance to make things better. It can be your Restart.
    I need the "restart".

    I will say it again to see a few attorneys. The first one also told us that we would not qualify for Chapter 13. After the fact and after coming here I think that he was really just going to try to get deals from the creditors to pay off at a lower rate while charging us by the hour as he called all the creditors and we had more than 10!

    I didn't find this forum until after we had filed. I wish I would have found it sooner. It is a wealth of information.

    You will be surprised how many people have gone through bankruptcy. There's a stigma and people do not talk about it. I have found out several people I know have gone through it. You are not as alone as you feel.

    I wish you and your wife (and kids) the best.
    I spent a few hours reading posts here. It allowed me to gain the courage to break the proverbial ice. It is, indeed, a wealth of information.

    I also have a feeling that you are very right on the fact that there are people I know have gone through it as well. On that note, isn't this stuff reported to the public? I think it is, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • CorkScrewIt
    replied
    Originally posted by shipo View Post
    CorkScrewIt, job #1, rid your life of gambling, period, full-stop, the end.

    As for your current financial situation compared to many of us, you're worse off than some, better off than others. In my case, my income was a little over double yours, my debt was well over double yours, and my monthly expenses were more or less on par with yours. I had a very long credit history, upwards of 35 years when I filed for Chapter 13 in 2015, and yes, you are correct, bankruptcy is truly the nuclear option, and yes, my credit score dropped from the 800s to the 500s, and yes, it sucks to not be credit worthy for the first time in your adult life.

    My Chapter 13 was discharged in March of this year, and I've managed to work my credit rating back up to the low 700s for two of the three major rating agencies (Experian, as is fairly typical, lags showing me in the low 600s). The good news is, there is life after bankruptcy, but in the meantime, it can be rough sledding. The best advice I can give is interview a number of lawyers, and pick the best.
    Good morning to you shipo!

    Thank you for your message.

    Like you, I have had a fairly long, pristine credit history (but not quite as long). I am not looking forward to being labeled as "NOT Credit-Worthy" but I am at a point where this is a "given". I also am not one that has subscribed to "my credit score is king" mentality. Who knows? Maybe, soon, I will wish I had. Ultimately, my goal, is to revert to my old, old ways of being a cash-first, cash-always mentality. I am confident I can get there again.

    Thank you for the advice. The biggest step for me is going to be making the first phone call to a lawyer. I am doing my best to get into the proper mindset.

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