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Regular Contributor
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎05-16-2015
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Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

In my opinion I would file Chapter 13. With your income and no children you would most likely qualify. With over $50,000 of debt. In 5 years if you can't pay it off it is going to almost double to $100,000 with interest and fees. I filed Chapter 13 many years ago and did a 5 year plan. I paid the full 5 years and 6 months after my discharge it was completely off my credit. 

 

I sometimes don't understand the reluctance to file bankruptcy from people in this posisition, this is what it is for. I would rather take the hit for 5 years with a set monthly payment learn to live within my means and not have the stress of juggling all these payments, interest and risk of late fees and possibly court procedings if I couldn't keep up with the payments. Filing bankruptcy sucks but it is there for a reason. Like I said I had to do it but I sure learned I never want to be in that position again ever and it taught me a lot about living within a budget and the relief of not having the creditors constantly calling and not having to worry every month how I was going to come up with all of those payments a month and then seeing the payments increase as the interest started piling up was well worth the lump I took to my pride when I filed.

 

No one wants to have to file bankruptcy but sometimes it really is the best choice. My credit is better than it was before I got into credit trouble. I have a new house and good scores and plenty of available credit.

 

It would not hurt to atleast talk to a bankruptcy attorney and look at your options, especially if you're considering credit counseling anyways.

New Member
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-14-2017
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Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

A bill came in mail yesterday from Lendmark Financial she completely forgot about it's 4,890! It's a secured loan she took out. I don't know what they could have secured it with?! The payment is 188.00 it is nowhere on her credit report which is why she said she forgot when we were going over everything. 1, I hope more is not out there and 2, this company looks pretty scummy. She said she orginally went to Springleaf but it was purchased by Lendmark. She is not 30 days late, but she pays it on the 28th day usually so always gets a fee on top of the 18% interest. Ugh. 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,491
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

I'm so sorry!  I hope you've been able to find out what it is secured by.  Was the included in the $590 she stated you are in the negative every month or was that based on just the cc debt?  

 

If there is one thing everyone on this board understands, it's the overwhelming feeling of dealing with the debt and creditors.  Know that you are always welcome to come on here and vent away, if for no other reason, to give yourself someplace to do it!  I can also tell you that you will get thru this.  Whatever choices you make on how to deal with the debt, you will get past this.  It may take some time but know there is light at the end.  

Established Contributor
Posts: 572
Registered: ‎11-19-2016

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

OP, I commend you on how you're handling this and how you've been receptive to all of the suggestions.  Bankrupcy is never an easy decision, nor is it always the right one.  I also don't think the Ramsey method is right in all cases, but in your case it looks like a good start.  There are so many here who would be willing to help you get through this.  Absolutely the first thing to do would be to create a spreadsheet listing all debts in your name (or joint) and another with all debts in her name.  You'll want card name, opening date, any fees, limit, balance and monthly minimum for each. This isn't for selfish reasons, but you should concentrate the most on cleaning up and paying down debt in your name first - this is so that your scores are able to support getting low or 0% APR balance transfers to get what I assume must be mostly 20+% debt down to a managable APR.

 

You listed a Discover card in your original post... $124 and $5000 I assume is minimum payment and balance?  Discover usually ALWAYS has a 0% with fee 12 months or 1.99% with no fee 18 months balance transfer offer (you can check in your online account).  With that loan that you just took out, I would pay off the Discover card in full then do the longest low APR offer Discover has available and absolutely max that card out (individual card utilization is one of the least of your concerns right now) having it deposited straight to your bank account, then look at those spreadsheets and decide whether you want to prioritize paying down the cards with the smallest balances first or the ones with the highest APRs.  Then pay the absolute minimums on everything else to keep them current but throw everything you can on the other cards in the order you chose.  You of course want to get anything late current immediately, and I would close the Credit One cards as soon as they paid to $0 (perhaps prioritize those regardless of where they are with balances or APRs) as they likely have high monthly or annual fees.  Do any of the other cards have annual fees?  That would be the only reason to consider closing cards at this point, otherwise I would strongly suggest keeping things open for the time being until your overall utilization gets to the 30% mark.

 

If you want to post those spreadsheets, many of us would be happy to offer our advice.  Best of luck to you!

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Gardening with a bronze spade. FICO 08: EQ 745 EX 745 TU 735
Established Contributor
Posts: 994
Registered: ‎02-11-2016
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Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.

I'm back OP. I think that you have to have her pull ANYTHING that is in the house and can be returned.

 

And like K in Boston said, see if you have any 0% offers and move some stuff around. 

 

Close all those store cards that she's opened. Yes your utilization will hit the roof but right now, who cares? Because you're right, you don't need physical cards to do damage...it's all saved online and then with other retailers they just need a photo ID. 

 

Man this is tough.



April'17: EX 706 | TU 696 | EQ 676 -- Starting (2/2016): 630 | 620 | 580 -- INQs: 15 | 24 | 27
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,468
Registered: ‎08-12-2012

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

OP....I think it is very admirable to forgive as you do...but part of the statement to forgive and forget, is the forget part. That might be very difficult to do when you are still dealing with all these debts years into the future. It might prove difficult to not have resentment. I know marriage is hard enough without the stress that this much debt generates, and you need to put this behind you. Nobody in their right mind wants to file bankruptcy, but the amount of debt you have here, and the stress that will cause, might be something your marriage can not survive. I would suggest that you at least talk to a good bankruptcy attorney. It might be best for you, your wife, and your marriage. Well wishes with however you decide to proceed.


TU fico08=814 4/23/17
EX fico08=803 4/23/17
EQ fico08=804 4/23/17
Garden since 4/5/2017

New Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-19-2017

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

I agree completely. Some of that stuff has got to be returnable, either mailed in or at a local store. I think that would be a great start and then from there ebay the rest. Especially the store cards. I know mines give me 60 to 90 days to return so it may only be the more recent stuff but anything would help.
Established Member
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-01-2017

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

This is more of a fianncial planing and managment issue than a "credit"  issue, so you may want to consult a finanical planner, "wealth managemnt" company etc for the best answers.   

 

Looking at your income of $5K/month and no children, personally if I were in your situation I'd get a cheap 1 bedroom or efficiency apartment, eat Ramen, sell any assets, and just pay the whole debt off in a year (or a year and couple months to be more exact).  It's the interest that will bury you if you don't pay these down soon, and likewise, when you take $10 or $15K from your retirement, you're not just losing that amount, you're losing that amount plus all the interest (probably compounded) it would have accrued from now until you retire (plus any tax penalites you may end up owing for taking it out early).  So the real value of removing $15 from your retirement at age 38 is probably more like 30, 60 or 80K by the time you retire (depending on what your average returns would have been and any penalites).

 

If it's too late to put that retirement money back make sure you apply to the cards with the highest intests rates first.

 

The other thing I'd recommend doing is to call up each and every company one at a time and explaine the sitaution and go from there.  Some may work with you and be more lenient that others.  It's in your best interst to identify any companies who will give you a break.  If she opened accounts without your knowledge or used your cards without your premission that's technically idenity theft - when it's done by a spouse it's a little more complicated and not as cut and dry, but it would be worth telling them what happened (unless you want to preserve your relationship).

 

 

Good Luck.

Established Member
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-01-2017

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

Though I can understand thinking this might be necessary during an intial panic, food banks should not be ncessuary for a childless, able-bodied couple making $60K a year.   Most food banks do not have enough resources or donations to feed everyone who asks for help - mostly families with young children who make between $12K and 19K a year.  He could easily pay off the entire debt by living as those families do for just over 1 year and putting the rest of his income to the debts, if he wanted to. 

 

Food banks (and public assitance, while we're at it) are for people who are truly struggling to put food on the table, not those dealing with an inconvenient pile of debt because someone has a shopping addiction. Plenty of childless adults have well over $50,000 in student loan debt.  Imagine if they all decided to rely on food banks in order to pay it down faster.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 186
Registered: ‎01-16-2017
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Re: My wife just told me about 50,000 in hidden debt.


Alphabetical wrote:

Though I can understand thinking this might be necessary during an intial panic, food banks should not be ncessuary for a childless, able-bodied couple making $60K a year.   Most food banks do not have enough resources or donations to feed everyone who asks for help - mostly families with young children who make between $12K and 19K a year.  He could easily pay off the entire debt by living as those families do for just over 1 year and putting the rest of his income to the debts, if he wanted to. 

 

Food banks (and public assitance, while we're at it) are for people who are truly struggling to put food on the table, not those dealing with an inconvenient pile of debt because someone has a shopping addiction. Plenty of childless adults have well over $50,000 in student loan debt.  Imagine if they all decided to rely on food banks in order to pay it down faster.


Families with small children making under 20k a year can qualify for food stamps.  They don't need to go to a food bank.  

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