I have the following suggestions

I have the following suggestions:

1. Go to the ftc web site www.ftc.gov and review your rights under the FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT.

2. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Delaware www.bbb.org against Chase. This can be done online. Put down Chase Bank USA and it should lead you to the Delaware web site.

3. Try negotiating directly with Chase. Call 1-800-Chase-99 to get their executive offices.

I’m new here and can’t get out of dept

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I’m almost 46, filed my 1st bankruptcy in December and still having problems. This is what happened. After I filed bankruptcy, I needed a car, so I borrowed money from Quik Check to pay the $1000 down-payment, the next 2 payments were $500 and now I’m down to $300 a month and in June it will be paid off.

I paid off the bad credit loan at www.ElcLoans.com I got after bankruptcy to build my credit so I could buy a house. I used the credit cards to pay off Quik Check. Every month I pay off the credit cards except last month I paid off only 1 and the other I paid $80 on it. I very much want to move back east because I’ve been stuck out here since basically 1990 when I got out of the military and haven’t had the opportunity to go back until now.

My income is $2519 a month

  • $300 Premier Credit card
  • $300 Aspire Credit card
  • $300 car payment
  • $115 Quik Check(keep having to take loans)
  • $504 Mobile Home Mortgage & lot rent
  • $ 8 HSLDA(Homeschool attorney)
  • $ 44 daughter’s lunches at school(she buys)
  • $ 73 Qwest local phone
  • $ 9 Webband internet
  • $154 Avista(electric)
  • $200 Groceries approx
  • $200 Gas
  • $ 73 Car ins(full coverage and $100 deductible
  • $ 30 House ins
  • $ 25 allowances(divided among 3 kids)
  • $ 16 oil change(every other month I have to change my oil every other month because I go to Montana a lot to pick up my son)

And there’s always tons of one time things we need.

Anyone have any idea how to get moved fast.

I appreciate this interest

Thanks for asking… I appreciate this interest… I’m torn over what to do… I have paid all the debts via Enrolled Customer Trust except this last one, which was the Chase account. I have had people call from 2 other places, and today some horrid extremely obnoxious guy called from yet another agency, and I am so sorry I did not insist on getting his name and company name and phone number before letting him speak.

I tried to explain and asked why he was calling since 2 others are calling as well. He called me a liar etc many other things! He was extremely adept at talking over me no matter what I tried to say! He wanted a lump sum settlement and there was no discussing anything else. I explained I had $2,000 paid in and could afford $300 per month, but he wanted none of that. He was threatening to take the ‘next step’ whatever that might be, I don’t know. The original debt with Chase was $4350 as of May 2002, now it is double that amount. I have paid $14,145 into ECT, the original debts totaled $9233.86 when I signed up with this company, three years ago.

I don’t know if that was a good idea, but at the time I became convinced it was the best solution. Now I am not so sure, but it can’t be undone! I was current on all of my accounts when I signed up, although some had high interest, hindsight now tells me perhaps I should have tried to negotiate a hardship case with each company separately. Water over the dam…

At this point I don’t know whether to continue with the debt settlement company or try to negotiate something with one of these callers. Here’s the last deal in a nutshell…

  • Original actual debt $4350
  • Current ‘stated’ debt $8700 (or something close to this..)
  • $1933 is presently saved in the settlement account, payments are $290 which apparently includes $39.95 monthly in ‘service charges’

I can now afford $350 per month, …MAYBE as much as $500 now that I have (just last month) relocated my struggling business and have cut down my overhead (I’m self employed.)

Suggestions? Advice?

“Enrolled Customer Trust”? Chase Bank?

Has anyone ever used this company to settle debts? I signed up with them about 3 years ago, and all the accounts have been paid off except one. The remaining account was with Chase Bank who sold my debt to a company called “The Bureaus”, and they call me frequently insisting that they will absolutely not work with a settlement company such as “Enrolled Customer Trust”. (Previously called “Preferred Financial” when I signed up.)

Now I get calls from both someone at “The Bureaus” and also someone named “John Gregory” from the law offices of “Zwicker and Associates” , who has left about 50 very stern messages on my answering machine. I spoke with him once and he also insisted that the Chase account will never settle through a debt consolidation company.

The original “deal” when I signed up just over 3 years ago was regarding about $14,000 in credit card debt. The agreement was to have been a down payment (forget the amt-have to look it up) and $290. per month for 3 years to get this all settled in full. While I had made my monthly payments & paid extra into this account after a small inheritance, I have not been able to pay anything since May, 2005. Since May, they have been taking the 39.95 maintenance fee out of the $2200 or so that I had already paid in. There is just over $1931 left.

On this past Friday, after the latest rash of somewhat harassing phone calls, I called ECT and asked if I could have the $1900 I had already left sent back to me as my husband felt we could perhaps make our own settlement arrangements. The CSR at ECT agreed so quickly that I am left wondering if I have made a grave error in doing so. I am considering to call them this morning to see if I can stop the return of my $$ and let them finish the settlement. I fear they may have already cut the check, since they agreed to do so so quickly. Could this be a HUGE error on my part?

I panicked…was I wrong? Originally I owed Chase about $4800. Now they are both saying I owe over $8k due to the interest and penalties. They (The Bureaus) tell me that if I can send in the $2000 now and make payments of $299 to pay off $5850. I don’t know for certain what amount the attornies office will settle at.

A “Tara”, from The Bureaus, called last week and went into detail about this account with my husband (this is solely in my name and he was uninvolved in any negotiations until this woman shared the details-he was aware but not involved). Then she called me on Thursday am. Then on Friday am, a woman named “Gina” called me from the attornies office. When I asked why they were calling since I was also getting calls from The Bureaus, Gina stated that the account had been turned over to them and that Tara should not be calling me.

I wonder if this could mean I am in a position to see which of the two companies offers the best settlement and go with the ‘winner’ or try to get “Enrolled Customer Trust” to complete the original deal?

What to do???????????

Why not a settlement company

Why not a settlement company,and who did you use that you wouldn’t recommend, and who is the debt management company you use that is such a good help?

Can you share that info?

Most of us here are learning as we go, and have made a lot of little and not so little mistakes with our finances. I find that there are very few people who will even talk about budgets and money, let alone try to help you. That is why this group it great.

Anonymity helps…you have the occasional jerk Now I can think of two. If nothing else you know you are not in the boat alone, others are on the same boat. I wish I could offer more help.

I have found that since I have started to write down everything we spend I don’t spend as much, and if I go into the store I write down a list before I go and get only what is on the list for the week, has helped, so much I find extra money a lot, and I couldn’t of told you that 6 months ago. I reuse to let the debt win….take care.

Today I cut my cell phone bill in half

Today I cut my cell phone bill in half and cancelled my newspaper subscription. Saved some $$ by doing that.

My food budget is already low, I am a coupon fanatic.

There are a couple of areas that I still could possibly reduce my expenses on so I will call about those tomorrow.

It’s not a matter of IF I will get my money but when. The lawyer that I am using for this is a specialist and doesn’t handle things like credit issues. I do have another attorney but like everything else, it costs $$ to talk to them. 🙁

Thanks also for the post about the tone of the group. I was surprised but figured that it wasn’t like that every day and I just let it go.

Thanks again for the advice. I look forward to posting positive things about how my finances are going!

You could promise a good payment to each creditor

I am glad to see your reply 🙂 and glad I could help you in some small way.

I would definitely go the deferment route if you can for now; with a bonus coming, you could promise a good payment to each creditor to help get things back on track and they may be more willing to defer things for now (make sure you ask for a reduction in interest during the deferment period since you have a lump sum payment ability coming).

I agree with your assessment on the lawsuit; how likely is it to settle soon and in your favor however is another question and one best addressed to your attorney; and since you have an attorney for this lawsuit they may be the one to discuss the financial options with as well 😉 Each state’s laws a just enough different to make it interesting and confusing, it’s always wise to check what’s possible in your state 😉

As far as the allotment goes; I agree it should be based on percentage vs. flat to each creditor; but I think asking for a deferment might do you more good under these circumstances.

You may not have any option but bankruptcy. However, if you are SURE you will receive a large settlement from a lawsuit in December, you should be able to “stall” your creditors long enough to receive the settlement and pay everything off in full. Yes, they may turn you over to a collection agency but if you are able to pay off the accounts in full it won’t be too much of a black mark on your credit history.

Another possible option regarding the settlement: check with your lawyer but can your creditors file a claim on the settlement? Not sure about the legal terms but does that make sense? Good luck with your situation. I started out over 30K in debt and did almost all the things Debs suggested: sold my house, took a better job, sold a bunch of stuff (aka CRAP!) that I didn’t need, etc. I did make the mistake of hooking up with a Debt Settlement company but ended up working with a very good Debt Management Program, they have been a big help.

I appreciated your honesty

I appreciated your honesty. The tone of your post was positive even though what you had to say doesn’t leave many options which of course is NOT your fault. It’s mine for getting so far in debt.

If the 3rd legal issue is resolved that would completely wipe out my debt and allow us to get back on track. This action has been pending since 2013 so I am hoping that it will be resolved by December.

Combine that with the bonus I should receive in February and I will be just fine. We had filed for bankruptcy and then changed our mind thinking (hoping) that the money from the lawsuit would come in before we had to do that.

We completely revamped the budget and just yesterday I cut down some of our expenses even more. It’s funny how you have some things that you thought were necessary to survive and they really aren’t.

Which brings me back to the question about the allotment sheet. If that would hold off some creditors until my legal issue is resolved then that would be great. I know that I would have to work hard to repair the damage but I would feel better doing that then filing bankruptcy. If we filed for bankruptcy and then when I received the proceeds from the lawsuit and my bonus they would be completely be taken from me to pay my creditors. Understandable but my credit would still have BANKRUPTCY written all over it and I just think that looks worse. May be my misperception though.

So again thanks for the post. Your approach was what I was looking for in the blog. The previous post left me feeling stupid for joining.

Thanks and have a great day.

You aren’t going to like what I have to say

You aren’t going to like what I have to say; but please bear with me. For $64,000 of credit card debt, paying $111 per month; you can’t get there from here. The minimum payment you offer of $111, and assuming an interest rate of 15% (which is low as the low/late payments will cause the interest rates to increase) means it would take over 50 years to payoff those credit cards.

No creditor will work with you under those circumstances; unless you only owe them a couple hundred dollars.

With a net income of only $2,000, it is hard to live, save for emergencies and try to payoff the debt you have. I don’t know what state you are in, but the minimum credit card payment required will be doubling soon (from the standard 2% up to 4%), this will occur in a gradual sweep from West to East; starting in California.

If you, or your husband, can’t increase your income soon (2nd jobs, different jobs with better pay, etc.) you have few options:

  1. sell everything you can to help pay down the debt and/or
  2. sell the house, rent or buy with lower monthly payments (not always possible, I know) OR
  3. file bankruptcy and start over

To get the credit card debt paid off in a little over 5 years, would take a minimum monthly payment of about $1,300-$1,500; over 50 years is unreasonable and I don’t see you doing it in less than 10 or 15 to be honest; and that’s too long also. I don’t even think 1 and 2 will help you much at this point; as you would also have to substantially increase your income to make any headway to making payments Creditors will accept.

If you still want to try however here is what I would suggest:

Do 1 & 2 above, plus

Look for other/supplemental jobs to increase income,

Sell your cars too if they have loans against them, get cheaper cars with no loans against them

Cut expenses to the absolute bone, if it isn’t needed for the two of you to SURVIVE, it doesn’t stay in the budget at all. No gifts, no eating out, no extras… this also means cutting your grocery bill, eating cheaper meals prepared at home, taking your lunch to work, this also means cutting down and getting less expensive toiletries, household cleaners, etc.

Negotiate with your mortgage holder to see if you can lengthen the term of the mortgage to lower the payments (do NOT take out an equity loan, or other secondary mortgage to try to pay these credit cards)

Contact your creditors and ask for a deferment; set a reasonable time for the deferment (several months to a year). I don’t hold out much hope for them granting this; but some may and that can provide a little breathing room.

You could try to work through a Credit Counseling Service but to be honest with you, I don’t think they can do anything for you either; you just don’t have enough income for the amount of debt you have.

Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and file bankruptcy; there is no reasonable expectation that you can pay off these debts within a reasonable time unless you can dramatically increase your income.

Now, for the next thing you need to think about… Lisa, how are you and your husband getting along? How are you two feeling about yourselves? Are you stressed, depressed, not feeling right? If you are it is to be expected under the circumstances and you really, really have to think hard about this … do you want to feel this way for the next 10, 20, 50 years? Is this how you want to live your life? If not, and I hope you understand I am not chewing you out; I am seriously concerned for your health and your marriage… please talk with a financial counselor or bankruptcy attorney now… it’s great to be able to pay off your debt but there needs to be reasonable expectations (and income) in order to do it.

I joined this blog in hopes of getting some help

My husband and I have approximately $65,000 in unsecured debt. Yes that’s not a mistype and that is not including our mortgage.

Our combined income is approximately $2,000 a month. There are times when my husband would bring in more (overtime possibility but not consistently available) and there’s a chance I would get a bonus early next year which could be a shot in the arm for getting us back on track.

I’ve pared down the budget to the very bare minimum and would only have $111 a month to spread between 8 creditors. This would translate to $13 to each creditor and a whopping $7 extra to one.

I’ve read Dave Ramsey and some of Suzy Orman’s materials.

We’ve previously considered filing bankruptcy but do not have the $$ to pay an attorney at this time. We’ve thought of asking our creditors to be patient as we would like to snowball our debt similar to Dave Ramsey’s suggestions.

Does anyone have any knowledge as to what creditors can do if we can only pay a pitifully small amount? And has anyone had any success in getting creditors to work with you?

We’ve started looking into possibly a debt management company but have not fully explored Dave Ramsey’s suggestions and would welcome input from this blog.

Thanks for listening!

I just discovered Dave Ramsey’s radio program

I just discovered Dave Ramsey’s radio program a few months ago, and I now listen to him and his callers almost every night.

His show is entertaining and useful even for those not in financial crisis, and for those who ARE in financial crisis, he gives them hope even when it looks like there is no hope.

He does that largely by helping them sort things out. For one example, a desperate caller talked about being much in debt to “check cashing” companies who were actually making loans at outrageous fees.

He talks very strongly and sternly… like a “Dutch uncle”… and he does bawl people out for doing foolish things, but then he turns kind and tells them what to do about it.

In the case of the “loan sharks”, he ranted and raved about “near criminals” who take advantage of people in trouble, then, “OK, we have to pay them, but they get paid last, OK!!”

He says some of the same things that have been argued back and forth here… He says pay off the little bills first, because that gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and it’s important to get your self esteem back… and he takes it from there to talk about getting your life in order, so that you fix the problem, not just get a temporary solution.

Here is his website; Right there on the front page is a box with a link to his radio program information. Click there and it leads to a page where you enter your home town and they respond with the station if they have one in your area.