A quick run down: I used personal Credit Cards for the last 3 years or so to prop up a failing farm/business, had some personal problems (death in the family) and stopped paying all but 2 of my Credit Cards about 6-8 months ago. The 21k in unsecured debt is spread over about 9 credit cards, at least half have been sent to collections. I have not made any attempt to talk with the creditors yet.
At this point, unfortunatley, I don't have a reliable job (won't have a steady/significant income for at least 8mo-1year due to full time dealing with a completley unfinished remodel on house). I have some very limited (side job) income to cover basic living expenses. I have a significant hoard of personal property in various states of disrepair (being a little sarcastic, but also honest).
I am unmaried, 30's, no kids. The house is paid off fully, in my name and worth 75k as-is, 140k-16k when finished. I don't want to sell as rents are (relativley) extremley high in this area. I paid 60k for this place as a fixer a few years back, significant down payment, and paid it off in 2 years. I also own another piece of unbuildable real estate worth 1k-15k, (I think 2,2200 in the assessors eyes) that I don't want to give up, as it would be a hard sell at 2k-5k on the MLS anyways. I have in my name about 5-10 vehicles, boats, motorhome, heavy machinery, etc worth a realistic 2k each ON AVERAGE as-is. These I plan to sell to pay off lump credit card settlements, and to fund the remainder of the house remodel. I only have $1k in my checking account, and, as mentioned, no real significant income of any kind.
In my state the homestead exemption is 125k. There is also a vehicle exemption $2700 and another 5k farm exemption would cover a piece of heavy equipment I intend to keep, as I use it to make money for the side job. I don't think any of the collections agencies would try to go after the title to the property, but the second piece of real estate and all the vehicle titles currently in my name are a little concerning. The largest debt amount is ~10k. I plan to start selling vehicles/etc asap (have already sold 2). I don't have family to borrow money from.
I have been reading this (and a few other places online) and have developed a budget to live on monthly and working to make a plan.
My credit score has fallen from ~740 to ~450, and I am no longer going to concern myself with it, so much, as I own my home in full, I am happy here, and hopefully won't be needing any loans in the next 7-8 years or more.
I am wanting to get some credit card settlements on the table sooner rather than later, though, so the date gets recorded on my credit report and I can start rebuilding my credit for the distant future.
My limited income and the proceeds from selling off vehicles is not enough to make a dent towards paying the cards off, and consolidating and making a monthly payment isn't a promising option as I've already let my credit score fall so low/and no job or income on the books.
I am looking for encouragement or advice from folks who have gone through similar types of situations, especially if you settled on one or more credit card debts. I am not really looking for specific advice on "how to negotiate for the lowest percentage I possibly can" or the steps to take/what to do, just more general guidance. Any specific insight that you can provide to my situation would be especially helpful. I am not looking for moral advice or judgements about settlement. I am hard enough on myself about this situation I got myself into as it is.
Thank you, any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated
First and foremost is never reveal to them what you really have they would move to sue. If you dont have reliable income your best bet is staying low until you have some cash to make deals with and I would not be putting it in the bank as you sell off stuff. Welcome to the board and good luck with all this, if you want some assistance on how to do it once you have some funds feel free to come to the forum and ask for help we have quite a few knowledable people here.