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Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

demi
Established Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

Take Charge America has you pull your reports on the free annual site (staggered) and asks you to check (they would be having a fit if they knew I was paying for score watch !).  You open all your statements and check for payments.  I wouldn't work with anyone who didn't require this.  They also educate, and you get basically a little lecture when you talk to them.  You also have to set up a budget.  The money has always gone into my accounts within 5 business days of them getting it.
 
There are obviously a lot of scams out there, like in any business.  But there are also people out there too truly help.  You have to be very careful, be it a dmp, bankruptcy or whatever you use.  Check, Check and triple check credentials.  And just because someone has pretty website doesn't mean diddly squat.
 
 

Starting Score: EQ 679, TU 697
Current Score: EQ 680, TU 672
Goal Score: EQ 720, TU 720


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Message 51 of 60
kater
New Visitor

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

I decided to file bk a little over 3 years ago (I am 49 years old).  When I filed, I was not behind on any of my payments (credit cards or mortgage) but owing 90k in credit cards (my child was in the hospital for months and I used the credit cards to pay our bills), I was not able to make a dent in the balances.  Shortly after everything was discharged, I sold my house.  Now, three years later, I just bought a new house.  My credit is so-so (688) but I got a good loan (30 year fixed, 6% interest), and I have credit cards (I pay the balances every month).  I am glad that I filed bk and it hasn't prevented me from getting credit and buying a house.
 
Good luck!
Message 52 of 60
LTrain823
New Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

That is very inspiring kater, thank you very much. I am in a similar situation and I am getting ready to file ch. 13.
 
Just curious to know how your lifestyle changed after your filed. What were some key sacrifices you made.
 
My biggest issue is I know I wouldnt be able to sell my house for what its worth so I am going to have to maintain with it. I'm affording it just fine, but I always ask myself what if I lose my job one day, get injured, etc.
 
Thanks again!
Message 53 of 60
ejn
New Visitor
New Visitor

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

Hello,

Did you spend the money? Did you purchase products and or services? Did you use the credit card? You have an agreement with them so pay it back!!!

Yes I have gotten myself into a bind before. The honest and honorable thing is to pay it back. The time and energy that you are spending should go to an extra job if needed.

You used the CC and knew that it would incur interest. PAY IT!!! Short and sweet. It will also help you to keep yourself from getting in the same mess again.

Several years ago I was given the same advice. Cut back on spending and increase payments. Consider an extra job. It cuts back on spending automatically because more hours are spent at work.

Good Luck to all !!
Message 54 of 60
LTrain823
New Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

EJN,
 
I would advise you to be careful with your words. You have to to understand certain hardhips may cause things like this to occcur to many people. Have you read what some of these people had to go through? I believe one writer said that he/she had to pay for medical bills for a sick child. Do you think that is something someone WANTS to go through? These are difficult times for a lot of people and I dont appreciate have you sound off without understanding what certain people have to go through to take care of themselves. Yes, we all make our mistakes and we have to learn from them. You make BK sound like it's a crime, if it were a crime than it wouldnt be available for people to start over.
 
You talk like getting a second job is so easy for people to do. Did it ever occur to you that getting a second job could also jeopardize our primary job because you lose focus from it. I have a good paying job and it relies on me to focus on it 100%, getting a second job will only increase the chance of losing my main job and then it would create even more chaos.
 
I'm sorry to everyone who is reading this that I may be a little rude here, but I dont appreciate someone trying to sound off the way ejn did. EJN, I'm very proud of you for getting out of your situaton on your own, please dont bring down the less fortunate ones.
 
Good luck...
Message 55 of 60
hiitthedeckboys
New Member

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

Smiley Very Happy EJ must be a bill collector who calls at dinner  Smiley Very Happy We can understand EJ what your saying in a very very harsh way. Train hun Some of us dont understand how a credit card  gets 70 thou dollars use if you knew you were in trouble at 20 thou or 10 thou. This is what throws me off. You had to have some sign that you were in trouble long before & didnt stop spending it. And for the job part time hun you took 4 hours in a mall to spend it that could be 4 hours on a pt time job. No MATTTER  how she got here to this point is also happening to a million women daily.Shes not alone. TRAIN hun sounds like this debt america would be a awesome plan for you.I dont believe in these settlement programs , Most of them steal your money & do nothing to your credit but enough testiment has been posted that this progrma works to help you. I wish YOU only the best TRAIN & think you stepping UP is you taking control & full steam ahead for you hun. EJ hun shes here for help PLEASE encourage & praise her for changing her life. DONT DISCOURAGE Shes taking a very importain step & a very nice nice lady. officer Gunny Hunny
Message 56 of 60
demi
Established Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

I think some valid points are being made. We all hear about someone who declares bankruptcy, or has someone bail them out, and then goes and does it all over again. Personally, I think Bankruptcy is something that is for use for unforeseen issues, loss of job, illness, etc. That wasn't my situation, I rang this debt up for little things here and there (wasn't even big things LOL, I was driving a 16 year old car). I learned a lot. And, although I can attribute some of the problems to illness, major surgeries, the truth of the matter, is that is what it took for me to realize I couldn't handle the debt anymore. I think I have learned my lessen, I still have more to learn, but the dmp process has been a very good one for me, obviously I am advocating it. I also understand its not for everyone.

Message Edited by demi on 03-02-2008 07:46 PM

Starting Score: EQ 679, TU 697
Current Score: EQ 680, TU 672
Goal Score: EQ 720, TU 720


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Message 57 of 60
Fotolady
New Member

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

I too, believe that you don't learn a thing when you just wipe the slate clean. A friend of mine filed BK supposedly because the ex-boyfriend charged up her cards without her knowledge. 8 years later, she has been able to dig herself right back into the miserable whole that BK got her out of. She didn't learn a thing!!! Guess it wasn't all the ex-boyfriend after all...
Message 58 of 60
TexMontana
Established Contributor

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

I HIGHLY recommend CCCS - they are a United Way agency. Totally honest and reliable. They will negotiate lower interest rates and the CCs will drop the late fees. My DH has been using them for four months, and after the third consecutive month of on-time payments, all the CCs updated their reporting as "current".
Yes - most CCs will close the account - but you may keep one card open for emergencies. I have been told by several people who have used CCCS that when they finished the program, several CCs reopened the accounts.
His scores have been steadily improving since he started using CCCS. 
CCCS will not charge you anything to sit down and look at your situation.
" I like to live as a poor man, with a lot of money." - Pablo Picasso (who was a jerk.)
Message 59 of 60
LhoreBaby
New Member

Re: Bankruptcy or Debt Settlement Program??? Please Help

Hi all, hoping I can chime in some good advice on the bankruptcy/debt settlement debate. A little about myself... I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1998... a recent college grad with a weakness for shopping... racked up a large debt that I couldn't pay for(especially since I couldn't find a job for months after graduation). During the years after I filed Ch7, I still managed to get credit cards and a car note (my interest rate is 5.74%.. can't beat that on a new car especially with a bankruptcy item on my credit report). Unfortunately, I managed to rack up another bit of credit card debt when I moved into my first place in 2006 (furnishings, paint, decorations, the works). I did not want to file a second bankruptcy (this would truly show that I am undeserving of any form of credit), so bankruptcy was not an option for me again. My current salary is about $85000, but I found myself drowning and truly unable to manage my debts... actually it's 3 credit cards (balances totalling $15000) that I charged beyond belief. At first I looked into the debt SETTLEMENT option... but, when they told me that I had to NOT pay my credit cards for a few months, ignore the phone calls and then THEY (the settlement company) would intervene after 6 months didn't sit too well with me. And the thing with these SETTLEMENT companys is that I had to keep making a payment to them as opposed to the actual credit card company; pretty much sounded more like a scam than a benefit. Next, I looked into a debt MANAGEMENT program (DMP). This option is MUCH better. The agency I am currently with works with the creditors to lower the minimum payments, lower the interest rates, eliminate late payment fees, etc. I just checked my credit report today and I don't see the DMP on my reports. The cards are listed as current, which is a positive!!! I find this option much more manageable than me trying to beg the actual credit card company to work with me. I've been in my DMP since 10/2008, and I pay about $400/month. I truly see the credit card balances going down, the interest rate is 9.9% compared to the astronomical 29.99% that I was originally dealing with. I plan on doubling up on the payments once I clear off my other issues. Additionally, I don't have that NEGATIVE item on my credit reports. Lastly, I got a second job, and I use that extra money to further tackle my smaller credit card debts. My ultimate plan is to be in much less debt by the summer of 2008. My overall goal is to get my house by summer 2009 so I have to do my best to eliminate the debts and build my assets!!! LTRAIN, here's my advice, BANKRUPTCY is an easy way out. Even though I did it, I truly regret it. I should have been more responsible with my credit cards when I was younger. My bankruptcy should finally clear off my credit reports by the end of '08/beginning of '09 (THANK GOD!!!). In all honesty, bankruptcy HURTS you... for 10 years your FICO score will SUFFER!!! Yes, you'll still get credit card offers, etc. But let's say you wanna move from that condo to a house, or you wanna refinance... the interest rate you may receive may cause you to pay MUCH MUCH more money in the end. In the long run, would it have been beneficial? Don't think "well, I'm young and I can wait the 10 years." That's ignorant!!! The 10 years ARE LONG and saddening!!! Especially when you want to do so much and you can't!!! Take it from someone who was young when she did her bankruptcy!!! The DMP is an option that has been quite more beneficial, for me anyways. This option shows that you ACKNOWLEDGE your debts, but that you're WILLING to PAY!!!... which in turn looks 10x better than copping out of making a single payment at all. The only down side is that you won't be able to use those cards again, but then again who needs them? Now-a-days, I try to purchase items with cash/debit card. Finally, a second job doesn't hurt either; it's extra cash that can be used to help out and to put towards savings. LTRAIN... please read this book by Suze Orman: Young, Fabulous and Broke! Truly changed my financial thinking!!! Hope my input helps.

Message Edited by LhoreBaby on 03-08-2008 12:39 PM
Message 60 of 60
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