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Valued Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎03-14-2017
0 Kudos

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

The fact that you are here to work through the financial problem and actively seeking out advice shows that you will get the things all figured out. As I am sure you understand, 

 

As others have posted, I would first GET ORGANIZED!  I would check what accounts are current and what arent. I would then make sure none of the debts are at risk of going to collections or already in collections and resulting at risk for a judgement. After that I would try to negotiate smaller monthly payments for as many accounts as possible on any revolving accounts. I would do my best to make sure no further acounts get reported late. From there you can just figure out your plan for how you will pay each thing off. 

 

I dont know what decisions you will make but I think its also best that throughout the process you both do it together. You can make the calls/write the letters together. This could help deter it from happening again.

 

Best of Luck!

New Contributor
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎08-31-2007

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

[ Edited ]

I am so very sorry your family is in this jam...since you do not want to file bankruptcy - then I would IMMEDIATELY CONTACT CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSELORS - Money Management International (MMI).

 

https://www.moneymanagement.org/

 

They can help you create a budget and a Debt Management Plan.  You may have to sell some things to help pay down your debt (i.e. jewelry, electronics, collectibles, etc).  But I would not spend my retirement on this - there will always be debts and bills to pay in life - I'd keep the retirement safety net for when you are old and really need it. Again I wish you and your family well.

 

Get Rid of Cable Bill - "Cut the Cord"

As Seen on TV "Clear Channel TV antenna provides clear Basic HDTV (FREE of monthly service charges). You can find these in some Walgreens, Walmarts, or Bed Bath and Beyonds.  http://www.cleartvkey.com

 

And T-Mobile has a low cost mobile "hot spot" which you can use to stream internet through your TV for a very low monthly cost of $30.

 

SAVE ON WEEKLY FOOD BILL:

Call 2-1-1 and request information for local food pantries.  Your wife can stand in line and get free food - use your cash to get the items not provided by the food pantry.

 

"I commit to being grateful for all that I now have in my life."

Pulling up the weeds and gardening until Dec 2017.
New Contributor
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎08-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

[ Edited ]

You can also save $$$ on weekly groceries by going to your local Food Bank.  They will provide some things - then you spend cash to purchase what they do not provide.  There are also some local churches that give food packages. Call 2-1-1 and ask for the list of local food pantries near you.

 

"Cut the Cord" on cable and save by purchasing a Clear TV antenna (as seen on TV) may be sold in Walgreens; Bed Bath and Beyond; or Walmart.

 

http://www.cleartvkey.com/

 

 T-Mobile has a low cost mobile "Hot Spot" which you can use to stream the internet to your TV for a low monthly cost of $30.

"I commit to being grateful for all that I now have in my life."

Pulling up the weeds and gardening until Dec 2017.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,498
Registered: ‎08-12-2012

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

I've seen multiple posts here advising that bankruptcy is so horrible that it should only be done as a last resort. I will tell you straight up, the biggest mistake people make in my opinion, is actually waiting too long to declare bankruptcy, when bankruptcy will be the inevitable result anyway. The high interest rates often make any real progress on paying off the debts nearly impossible, because all they can afford to pay is the interest, so many pay every dime of disposible income on the cards, and still owe just as much the following month. I do not know all about your income, and possible ways to increase income to know what is possible, but you can usually get an initial consultation with a BK attorney for free, and then you would know your options. Despite what many people, and almost all creditors would have you believe, Ch.7 is not the end of the world...not even close. I've known many people who waited too long to file, and later wished they had done so sooner. I declared Ch.7 in 1995, and never regreted filing. I did however regret the mistakes both me and my wife at the time made to put ourselves in that position. I could not undo the past, but when I took a hard look at the math of how it was nearly impossible to dig ourselves out of the hole, Ch.7 was the only really viable option, and destroying your entire future by depleting a 401k is nearly always a mistake. Please note that I have had 800+ Fico 08 scores on at least 1 of the CRA's since at least 2010, and always PIF, avoiding any interest whatsoever. When in too deep, Ch.7 sometimes becomes a needed step to acheive a healthy credit future.




TU fico08=820 8/25/17
EX fico08=812 9/05/17
EQ fico08=817 8/25/17
Garden since 4/5/2017
Established Contributor
Posts: 1,033
Registered: ‎04-14-2016

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

I have 3 pieces of info to share:

 

1. credit after BK is in some cases a lot easier to get than before - I never had a 5-figure credit line in my life before BK - less than a year later I have three

 

2. If you keep your money in your 401k, and end up having to file, you keep your 401k - it's a protected asset  Smiley Happy

 

3. if you take out a loan from your 401k, and end up having to file, you keep the loan - it's protected from discharge  Smiley Sad

 

I STRONGLY recommend against turning a protected asset into an unprotected one by tapping your 401k - talk to an attorney!!

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,064
Registered: ‎02-11-2016

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

Oh OP. I'm so sorry

1) don't go to credit counseling. You don't need someone to take your cards from you you need to find a way to pay this debt.

2) BK is not all good or all bad. Yes you can quickly rebuild after BK, but yes, you will be frozen out from some creditors for the long haul.

3) try to combine those Cap1 cards as mentioned.

4) speak to a tax professional about the 401k distribution or loan. But if you can pay off a bunch of those store cards and then CLOSE them, that'll be a good start.

5) no doubt freeze the reports so no new credit can be added.

6) ask other bank cards for reduced APR

7) The biggest actually, and not marriage advice, she HAS to go and get a job to help dig you guys out. Has to. Even $1,000/mo from a PT gig would go far. If she doesn't have specific career experience then retail it is. If you're in a city with an Amazon warehouse it's a great option. Flexible hours and good pay.

8) you have to reorganize the finances. You should sit down weekly or biweekly or whatever and know what's being paid with that paycheck. All extras have to be cut - cable, gym memberships, subscription services, etc. it adds up so fast.

Good luck and you can do this!


August'17: EX 695 | TU 707 | EQ 654 -- Starting (2/2016): 630 | 620 | 580 -- INQs: 16 | 24 | 27 (last 6 months:
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Contributor
Posts: 105
Registered: ‎04-10-2011

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

I haven't read every post but most of them, so if this has been mentioned my apologies for duplicating. I would absolutely 100% LIQUIDATE as much of the unnecessary items in your household as possible, sell on classified sites, yard sale, whatever and put that money toward the debt. Of course if you decide upon BK (which I would strongly consider, at least on her part) this suggestion may not matter. Just trying to think of a creative way back out of it.
Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎03-18-2007

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

You're a good person to come here & seek out good advice as well as supporting your wife throughout the next hard year or so coming to grips with a new temporary lifestyle while you two dig out of this.

 

My mom did this very same thing with my dad back in the early '90s. She did also have to go back to work, he also had no idea until he started answering the phone while she was not home to answer it (back in the days of land lines and 1 phone number for a household). They stayed married, ate a lot of cheap food, learned how to ask for help together & remained married for more than 40 years until his passing last year. He learned to open envelopes as soon as the mail showed up, take messges on the phone, ask questions when anything 'new' showed up in the house. 

 

While it is nearly unbearably stressful, it's yet another way (albeit inconvenient) to strengthen financial savvy & relationship communication trust, too. We all make mistakes some big some sooner some later in life.

 

Since my own family member on her own now --- and she never learned how to NOT get in to too much debt, I've been listening to the warning signs she's inadvertantly saying, wanting, thinking about getting in to debt (champagne dreams on a Social Security income) and foresee one day I'll be helping bail her out of financial distress since my dad has passed & isn't there to handle the budget anymore.

 

So not only for your sake as partners but also for her own sake in the long run: get your wife into credit /finance counseling, classes, seminars, anything ASAP. Go with her if needed, do all you can to help her learn all she can to prevent this way of thinking & acting that got her in to this mess. It's not as simple as "just say no".

 

Best wishes to you!

 

Maybe even use a parental control feature on your home wifi to block out any domain name that includes the word "apply". Not to treat her as a child but to help prevent her from acting on urges in moments of weakness after midnight, etc. Create extra stumbling blocks to clear when she is tempted perhaps?

Gardening until 2019

Ficos low 600s
New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-24-2016

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

[ Edited ]

You sound like a supportive husband. Kudos to you Smiley Happy But at this point there are a few things I would suggest to protect yourself.  Addiction is a serious thing and sometimes a  person may sincerely want to quit a bad habit.  But its not that simple.  Even though hers is just shopping and not something chemical like alcohol or drugs the brain has the same "mental rewards system" response.  Its wonderful that she wants help and is going to commit to counseling.  Theres ways to cope with addiction and not engage but.. it never goes away.  I read a study that people with addictions have a stronger dopamine reaction than ppl who can engage in the same activities and never get addicted.  As another poster mentioned.. lock your credit asap.  Watch your credit like a haulk through credit monitoring.  I wouldnt take away her right to paying the bills, but perhaps just do it together.  You need to know whats going on.  Not from a standpoint of not trusting but because since she is working through this problem it may be a lot of pressure to have the sole responsibility of managing the money.  I'm glad you came here for advice and support instead of lashing out.  I know it must be stressful.. I had an ex buy a boat (with some of *my* life savings) as the downpayment that cost more than a house without consulting me and I did not handle it as maturely and with support like you are Smiley Happy I dont know if this still exist.. but when i was a teen i had authorized use of one of my dad's credit cards and somehow he knew once I spent X amount right away.  I dont know if he was just watching closely or if there was some kind of alert.  Perhaps some1 can confirm? And because of this I was always very careful to only use what I was supposed to because I knew I would instantly get in trouble lol.  Once the balances are a lil down maybe you can get increases so that ur utilization will be lower?  I'm not an expert like some of the above posters but I would say consult with a couple of finance/credit professionals get more than one opinion then make a choice that suits you.  Best of luck to you both <3

 

Edit:  I just looked at the balances and since most are pretty small I totally think you two can conquer those debts.  Are any of the things she purchased of value?  This may sound silly but as a start maybe a huge garage sale of some sorts. Since she doesnt commute to work maybe sell her car?  If you guys have any valuable jewelry...ect.  It might help her feel empowered against this addiction if she can contribute to helping.  Can always replace those later once u get rid of some of the balance.  This totally reminds me of a movie I saw yesterday called "confessions of a shopaholic"   U should watch it.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,498
Registered: ‎08-12-2012
0 Kudos

Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.


vickyvm1 wrote:

You sound like a supportive husband. Kudos to you Smiley Happy But at this point there are a few things I would suggest to protect yourself.  Addiction is a serious thing and sometimes a  person may sincerely want to quit a bad habit.  But its not that simple.  Even though hers is just shopping and not something chemical like alcohol or drugs the brain has the same "mental rewards system" response.  Its wonderful that she wants help and is going to commit to counseling.  Theres ways to cope with addiction and not engage but.. it never goes away.  I read a study that people with addictions have a stronger dopamine reaction than ppl who can engage in the same activities and never get addicted.  As another poster mentioned.. lock your credit asap.  Watch your credit like a haulk through credit monitoring.  I wouldnt take away her right to paying the bills, but perhaps just do it together.  You need to know whats going on.  Not from a standpoint of not trusting but because since she is working through this problem it may be a lot of pressure to have the sole responsibility of managing the money.  I'm glad you came here for advice and support instead of lashing out.  I know it must be stressful.. I had an ex buy a boat (with some of *my* life savings) as the downpayment that cost more than a house without consulting me and I did not handle it as maturely and with support like you are Smiley Happy I dont know if this still exist.. but when i was a teen i had authorized use of one of my dad's credit cards and somehow he knew once I spent X amount right away.  I dont know if he was just watching closely or if there was some kind of alert.  Perhaps some1 can confirm? And because of this I was always very careful to only use what I was supposed to because I knew I would instantly get in trouble lol.  Once the balances are a lil down maybe you can get increases so that ur utilization will be lower?  I'm not an expert like some of the above posters but I would say consult with a couple of finance/credit professionals get more than one opinion then make a choice that suits you.  Best of luck to you both <3

 

Edit:  I just looked at the balances and since most are pretty small I totally think you two can conquer those debts.  Are any of the things she purchased of value?  This may sound silly but as a start maybe a huge garage sale of some sorts. Since she doesnt commute to work maybe sell her car?  If you guys have any valuable jewelry...ect.  It might help her feel empowered against this addiction if she can contribute to helping.  Can always replace those later once u get rid of some of the balance.  This totally reminds me of a movie I saw yesterday called "confessions of a shopaholic"   U should watch it.


Just want to warn you about using finance/credit professionals...A very large percentage of credit repair companies are nothing more than modern day snake oil salesmen. Take great care if you choose to enlist their help...check them out carefully.




TU fico08=820 8/25/17
EX fico08=812 9/05/17
EQ fico08=817 8/25/17
Garden since 4/5/2017

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