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Stressed and don't know where to start

Established Member

Stressed and don't know where to start

I have been out of work do to medical issues for almost 3 years now.  I have just started working (real estate) do to the flexible schedule and ability to work my own hours.  I have not yet been completely cleared to return to work.  I currently receive income from my Hartford Ins. Policy which I am living on.

My mortgage is 1560 however when I tried to work out some type of arrangement(at the time I had no lates) they had me skip a month and spread it over several so now my payment is 1900.  I couldn't afford the 1560.  Ok this is also an arm which adjusts next year.  In addition, I had done a 6 m payment plan which showed me late each month even though I was paying as agreed and had never been late and was now only the month late due to the plan they had put me on.  I was told once the plan was complete and I did what I promised they would go back and correct the lates as current.  This was never done and now they are saying they can't do that.  Now I am on yet another pymt plan which will mean another 6 m of late.  Help, I can't sell my house.  what are my options?  are there any?


I have 3 credit cards which were maxed when I lost my job and haven't been used for over a year due to the fact I fell behind and now with late charges and overlimit fees (because of the late charges) I can't get it under control.  When I try to work with the companies to work something out they just try to get me to pay the amt due split into two payments to bring me current.  which only adds to the burden as I couldn't manage the original payment to begin with.


My credit score has gone in the crapper and is around 430 now.  Prior to my medical issues I had excellent credit.  I don't know what to do or where to start.  I can't even calm myself enough to take any action.  I appreciate any input to get me moving in the right direction.

Message 1 of 38

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start



I'm very sorry to hear of your troubles. The good news is that by asking for help you're taking the first (and often most difficult) step to getting all of this behind you. You CAN make it through this.


In order to get through this, you need to make a plan of attack - a budget that you can live with. I know it sounds scary, especially because in order to do this you'll need to put down all these really intimidating numbers on paper - but once you get an accurate picture of exactly what needs to be done, things seem a lot less scary, I promise.


Probably the simplest way to do this is to work out your monthly cash flow. Basically:


* Your monthly income - insurance payments, any income from work, etc.




* Your monthly expenses - required monthly payments on all your debt obligations, in addition to monthly payments on anything else you have as a recurring expense (utilities, insurance, etc.), and "weekly" expenses such as groceries, gas, and so forth.


I would recommend you just systematically go through and record all of these numbers up front, for both categories. Chances are the "expenses" column will outweigh the "income" column by quite a lot (it did the first time I sat down and did this, a few years ago) - don't panic about this, and don't give up!


Once you have all these numbers down, you can sort through them and figure out how to make things workable - where you can cut expenses, where you can potentially inject more income, etc.


It seems intimidating at first, but I promise once you get this worked out you'll feel much better. You'll know exactly how much you can spend every month on things like groceries, you'll know what you need to cut out, and most importantly you'll know that you're making real progress on paying down your debts.


If you feel comfortable enough to do so you might consider posting the numbers you come up with here on the forum - I can give you my thoughts on them and I'm sure some of the other forum-dwellers would be happy to help as well.


Good luck. Keep your chin up and hang in there.

Message Edited by CodeMonkey on 12-09-2008 01:27 PM
Message 2 of 38
Established Contributor

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start

Hey Farm Girl. Look at my signature name. I promise you it says it all. I believe with every fiber of my being that the only honorable thing to do is pay your bills and meet your obligation for 25 years I never missed a lick on a payment. I still have ancient credit reports in my files proving so. I got very hungry before I tanked. It was the most unhappy I'd ever been. You may find this funny but I was still never late on anything right up to the very month I went under. I sold my TV and my class ring. I was an honors graduate in Industrial Maintenance but there was no industry. One day I quite the fight. I filed bankruptcy. I had a small motorcycle I was making payments on and a 30 year old car. I kept the bike because it was better transportation than the car.

All the sudden I had no financial burden. I could afford to move to the city. 10 weeks after I filed BK in rural south Georgia I landed a job that paid 3 times anything I'd ever made before in Dallas Texas. Little did I know that living by cash for 4 years but paying off that little motorcycle I was rebuilding credit all along. 6 years later I have to say that I suffer nothing of those ill fated days and never look back. Guilt? Nope. If I try to pay on one of those old accounts, and I did, then the activity on delinquent accounts re-ages to day one and the lates last another 7 years. That's the systems fault not mine. Anyway, in those days I had no idea that if I only asked I could have had 9% interest rates instead of 19% interest rates. Those criminals got every dime I ever owed them.

Point of a windy story, be responsible until your maker says it's OK not to then be at peace.

P.S. I'll own another house 3 years before my BK matures.

1-14-08....... TU=683, EQ=667, EX=666
7-04-08....... TU=688, EQ=678, EX=682.......
.......4 of my 5 cards and a new car later.
2/13/09 and forever EX 693
Message 3 of 38
Established Member

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start

Thanks for the feed back.  I will be posting my income/expenses later today.  I am in the process of gathering all the info.  It is never my intention to purposely not make a payment.  It comes down to buying food for the next day or two for myself and my kids or making the credit card payment which doesn't seem to get me anywhere since the late fees have exceeded my credit limit.  My monthly income is 2300 approx.  and my mortgage has gone from 1500 to 1900 approx.  That leaves about 400 for bills, electric, gas, phone, grocery, etc....

You get the idea.  I did cancel cable, gym membership, horseback riding lessons, art class, voice lessons, special ed tutor, when I was no longer able to work.  I also sold my Chevy blazer and kept an old jeep wrangler which ran better and was cheaper to fix.  I had to drop my health and dental insurance as I could no longer keep that up 360 a month. 

I will have the detailed info on my expenses later today.  I do appreciate any advise.


Thank You

never a ding never a late until I got sick. Bought my first house and new car when I was 21.

Message 4 of 38

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start

Good for you. Smiley Happy


Like I said, just keep plugging those numbers in - don't let them intimidate you. They're just numbers.


Once you've got an accurate overall picture of your monthly cash flow you can create a workable plan.


Once you've got a workable plan you're 50% of the way to where you want to be.


Keep it up!

Message 5 of 38
Established Contributor

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start

Some random thoughts that might or might not be useful..


Did you get things in writing when they agreed to remove lates, etc?  I would imagine you have a little more to work with if you did.  If not, definitely something to work on next time.  Can you go any higher up the line with letters or phone calls?


 Hope for Homeowners  If you haven't yet, check out Hope for Homeowners.  Maybe an FHA-approved counselor could work with you to explore options.  It looks like they suggest you start with your current lender, but if they can't/won't help you can try other lenders.  Also, figure out what the payment would be when your rate resets.  With the rates being really low now and possibly for awhile, maybe it will be beneficial when it adjusts?


If you can't get caught up on the house and start making payments on the CCs when you start bringing in income from your new work, maybe it's time to seriously consider bankruptcy.  I'm not too familiar with it, except that I think they require you put out a budget for them to approve, so it's great that you're working on that now and that you've cut out so many things that aren't necessary


Good luck!

Message 6 of 38
Established Member

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start

I was able to get my Equifax info and the score is 427 below is my info. I appreciate any help.


Collections  (medical)

767. last activity 5/07 date assigned 9/07  --  167 last activity 9/06 date assigned 1/07

136  last activity 7/03 date assigned 9/03  --  50 last activity 12/02 date assigned 2/03



GEMB/Home  339 pays as agreed  closed by credit grantor 2/08 reported 30days late


Swiss Colony 179 bal 80 pd charged off bad debt


Cap 1   2293 bal 213 pd payment 68

8/07, 11/07, 4/08, - 30 days late

5/08 - 60 days late     6/08, 7/08 - 30 days late 8/08 ok

9/08, 10/08 - 30 days

11/08 - 60 days


HSBC  bal 1511 60 days pd sch. pymt 59  7/08, 8/08 30 days late, 9/08 60 days


HSBC( one of these is a discover card)

1394 balance pays as agreed sch. pymt 39

3/08, 5/08, 10/08 30 days late


WFFinance  balance 731 60 days pd  -- pd 116  sch. pymt 38

8/08, 9/09 30 days late


Providian 0 bal pays as agreed paid acct.

10/03 30 days late

11/03 60 days late

12/03 90 days late


Lendmark 0 bal  pays as agreed

9/03, 10/03  30 days late


The mortgage as I explained had never been late until I just couldn't swing it anymore and I called the mortgage company to explain my circumstances and that I had paid for 2 years while out of work and it had not affected my payment.  I wanted to work something out because I did not want any lates on my mortgage they said I could skip a month and it would be spread over the next 6 and it would still show current as long as I stayed with the agreement.  I did and then they marked the month they had me skip along with all others as late. I was told when the agreement finished after 6 months then it would be corrected on the credit.  which it did not.  2/08,3/08,4/08,5/08,6/08,7/08 all 30 days late

8/08 ok

9/08 & 10/08 30 days ??

new agreement told them need to negotiate something can no longer borrow money from family

they increased my mortgage payment from 1570 (approx) to 1990 (pd on phone ended up 2012)

the new 1990 is now for one year. ???? I needed help with affording 1570 and 1990 was the solution??

october, november, and december were all paid on time/as agreed and sept/oct show 30 days late and november shows 60


Any suggestions are greatly appreciated..I'm at my wits end and the stress is starting to bring back some of my health issues.  The good news with my new real estate job I have 4 new clients.






Message 7 of 38
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start

Farmgirl -- I'm guessing you might get a few more answers over on 'rebuilding your credit'.  I'd be happy to move the post for you if you'd like.  Just PM me or leave a note on here.





From 700 in 2008 to 498 in 2012...
4/23/12 -- BK 13 date of filing EQ = 505
4/18/12 -- EQ 498
12/5/13 -- EQ 669
Here we go.... back on track.
Message 8 of 38
New Contributor

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start



I hope there is a good, reputable credit counseling agency where you live.  If you live in Michigan (as I do), I would strongly recommend GreenPath. In the spring of 2005 (when my debts were already out of control), I had the good fortune of coming across a good, reputable TV business news reporter by the name of Murray Feldman (WJBK-TV, Fox 2, Detroit) who recommended that agency during one of his reports.  The counselor I met there had me account for my income and expenses as well as my debts, after which I realized how bad I let things get (the expenses plus the monthly credit card payments were more than triple the money I was making at that time).  More importantly, she set me straight about all my options, especially where filing for bankruptcy was concerned (for months, I had lived with the stress, anxiety and despair that come from thinking that it would mean everything I owned would be liquidated, and that fear was just flat wrong).


Edited to remove the DMP's link.

Message Edited by llecs on 12-21-2008 12:18 AM
Message Edited by MarkRabo on 01-02-2009 01:22 AM

Starting Score: 677 EQ (1/21/09)/705 TU (1/21/09)/714 EXP (1/21/09)
Current Score: 707 EQ (9/21/10)/720 TU (3/27/10)/Darn you EXP
Goal Score: 720 on all three by end of 2010

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 9 of 38
Established Member

Re: Stressed and don't know where to start


Thanks for the suggestion however the information posted was a request from codemonkey.  After a response I may choose to have it moved.

thank you

Message 10 of 38