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How are you coping these days? Share your story.

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posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:27 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


I've never had to use a debt settlement company but I've had friends who have. They are, with only a very few exceptions, scams. Any settling of debt will ruin your credit, as would being put on a repayment plan. These companies can negotiate you paying over time, but so can you - as you said credit card companies will try to get you to pay quickly, but if you push they will let you pay over time.




posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:30 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Yes, but you're using specific contexts after asking a fairly general question. As BlackOps has pointed out, using a debt settlement company would be like paying your right hand for wiping your own a**. My friend is on a payment plan, similar to your average monthly payment plan by the credit card company. I'm sure they all vary, but to what extent, you'll have to find out. We can't sippy cup this information to you, as it is specific to your standing with those creditors. I would just call them and see what you can get worked out.

*Ironic how a "debt counseling" commercial is blaring from downstairs.*



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:32 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 





Going into a debt management or a debt consolidation is a terrible idea, I will explain why.

The issue is that a debt condolidation program is viewed by any bank or lender as a big time negative. Most view it in the same light as a chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are wishing to negotiate a settlement on an old debt, MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that you get an agreement in writing before making any payments.

The written document needs to be signed by the original creditor NOT the collection agency. The letter has to state clearly that this settlement is being accepted by the company as being PAYMENT IN FULL. Otherwise they will back door you, you will spend all of that money paying an old debt off, only to find that it is still reported as a negative debt or non payment on your credit. It will not show paid in full, instead it will show as DEBT SETTLED...which is the same as having a collection and does the same amount of damage to your scores.

If you have too much debt and are in really bad shape, it is far better to file a chapter 7 BK and eliminate all of your debt in one swoop and start over. Doing debt management or filing a chapter 13 (where you make payments over 3-5 years) is the worst thing you can do. You still have to pay all that money back, AND it tears up your credit.

[edit on 7/3/08 by BlackOps719]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:40 AM
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Thankfully, as I said in the OP this is not an issue right now. But if I may, I'd like to share an experience to you.
Back in 1994 I had accumulated about $50000 in debt through all the credit cards I was offered in college. Then I got offered a job in London. So I went and ignored the whole thing for the five years I was there. I come back to the states, meet my now wife and she makes me promise to take care of these issues. By that time, seven years had gone by and all those banks had written my debt as a loss. In the end it cost me about $4000 to take care of a few default judgements and now I have good credit. But I don't know if this would work today so I don't want to suggest that people just wait it out until the cc companies give up.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:44 AM
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reply to post by ALightinDarkness
 


The money is not stolen from you, it's supposed to to creating the infrastructure and civilised society around you. I don't want to mess up the main topic of this thread so I will try to stop posting on this subject now. But the way you talk seriously makes me feel you have been brainwashed, you pay tax but you don't feel it's right to ask for any of it back when you need it. That tax money is put in for you too as you are part of society and have contributed your part just like your parents and grandparents did. You bought health insurance, yet I guess you are not telling the whole story here. You don't think it's ridiculous that you pay tax and you don't get health insurance and your money goes to your so called supply part of the supply/demand equation, you mean the part that lays off factory workers and clerks while paying 100s millions stock options and salaries to CEOS of non performing companies and bankrupt banks.
Private health insurance in America (AFAIK) is a complete joke. Most people just can't afford it, even when you can it doesn't cover cr&p. Also it seems to be tied in with employment there.
I can get full surgeries done for free here with 95% drug cost coverage and I live in TAIWAN and I pay 10% tax to the government and I am not even a citizen of this country. When I was a student here I contributed 20USD/mth to the government health card scheme to get full coverage. Just to give you something to chew on, why settle for less when in America you could do so much more.



[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:47 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Its still true that if you wait long enough, the debt will go away - 7 years after it appeared on your report (if the creditor/collection agency follows the law). However, most major creditors now keep a "blacklist" and will never issue you credit again once you have 1 unpaid account. I know American Express and a few other companies do this.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:53 AM
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reply to post by ALightinDarkness
 




The seven year rule is true in the case of the original debt falling off, but if it goes to collections the collection agency can keep on listing that debt on your credit until you pay it ot settle it. Most are quite persistent.

Never negotiate an old account with a collection agent, I cannot stress that enough. One new change or inquiry into the account, and namely ONE new payment made to that old account, and your debt resets and the new seven years are applied.

Hence, if you make one small payment on an old collection account, the debt comes back to life and gets a new seven years to kick your butt.

Pretty sneaky no?



Edit to add: liens and judgments never disappear, there is no statute of limitations ( I have seen people with liens dating back to the 80's on their credit)

[edit on 7/3/08 by BlackOps719]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:55 AM
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It breaks my heart to read your stories. I really had tears in my eyes reading some of them.

Where I live, the Netherlands, we always had a good social system to care for those that couldn't work. Or those who had special needs (homeless, elderly etc).

Unfortunatly our government has found it necesarry to change all of this. All major energy, water, railroad companies amongst others have been "privatised". For the sake of competition... they said it would bring down the prices... like hell it didn't. The euro came and made things more expensive, the gas prices keep rising making virtually everything more expensive. Health insurance got a new system and became over twice as expensive and to make matters worse if you are not insured you risk a big fine. So in other words if you can't pay insurance you have to pay more money!

For me personally this means I am 30 years and my partner is 44, we are living in a student dorm. Our kids are living with relatives, because we want to give them a better live. When the bills get to high we eat only bread for a month.

And yet I count myself lucky, there are too many people who don't have a roof over their head.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:59 AM
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I find it very hilarious that I am in a Public Administration PhD program, have a masters degree in it and several years of working experience in government, and you are telling me that I don't know how government works. Gee, after all these years and all that education in government management I must have no idea what I'm talking about.


Originally posted by ManInAsia
The money is not stolen from you, it's supposed to to creating the infrastructure and civilised society around you.


Wrong. I am/was talking about federal government taxes - as these are the taxes which go to fund entitlements (which is then sometimes transferred to local government to implement) - and almost none of this money goes to infrastructure. I am more than happy to pay state taxes and property taxes, which actually DO go for infrastructure.


Originally posted by ManInAsia
But the way you talk seriously makes me feel you have been brainwashed, you pay tax but you don't feel it's right to ask for any of it back when you need it. That tax money is put in for you too as you are part of society and have contributed your part just like your parents and grandparents did.


Yes, the way you type it certainly does suggested you've been brainwashed into believing in the welfare/nanny state. Reactions like yours are common when people are brainwashed like that and then run into someone who does not buy into the propaganda.

Actually, I contribute very little to society - as I do not make much money, I am taxed little. The people who contributed the most to society via taxes are the wealthy and corporations. But shhhhh - that doesn't fit well with the populist propaganda. We'll keep it between you and me - it'll be our secret.


Originally posted by ManInAsia
You bought health insurance, yet I guess you are not telling the whole story here. Private health insurance in America (AFAIK) is a complete joke. Most people just can't afford it, even when you can it doesn't cover cr&p. Also it seems to be tied in with employment there.


Health insurance is expensive but most people can afford it BUT CHOOSE not to because they believe they won't need it. And it would mean they couldn't buy Starbucks lattes everyday. Everyone else gets it through their employer or through the government.


Originally posted by ManInAsia
I can get full surgeries done for free here with 95% drug cost coverage and I live in TAIWAN and I pay 10% tax to the government and I am not even a citizen of this country. When I was a student here I contributed 20USD/mth to the government health card scheme to get full coverage. Just to give you something to chew on, why settle for less when in America you could do so much more.


Congratulations, you've bought into socialist health care. I'll be paying for mine, and I prefer to keep it that way or work for someone who gives it as a benefit. Health care does not come for free - either you will be taxed immensely as soon as you make any notable amount of money - or the government will tax companies so heavily that they reduce pay and benefits in other areas. You cannot have free health care and not take a hit in your salary or benefits, your living an illusion if you think that you can.

Now, please, ATS is very amenable to socialism and populist propaganda and the members will be more than happy to agree with you and talk and bash the United States in other threads - back on topic in this thread...

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ALightinDarkness]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by ALightinDarkness
 


It's funny because in Ireland I would be right of center
There's no point trying to label me into something that I am not (socialist, america basher), I'm just pointing out some general facts for you from outside your little view, give you an idea of the world at large, and at the same time I hope you never become a govt. administrator because you don't really seem to care about people who fall through the cracks, therefore you don't really care about a large % of people you are expected to work for.
You totally ignored by post about the health system in Taiwan, how I pay 10% tax and 20USD/mth (now I work so my employer puts in equal amount) yet I get access to world class healthcare. Last time I checked Taiwan was one of the most capitalist countries in the world, yet even here they can look after the health needs of 99% of their citizens in a way that BLOWS away your system in the US. It's not socialism/capitalism, it's about looking after your own health rights, the health rights of your family and of your fellow citizens. People here pay tax (10% REMEMBER) and they expect the government they vote in understand that they want good and accessible healthcare for them, otherwise why would they pay tax?
[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:18 AM
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Well haha im not sure if i count, but im 20, live with dad. Earn $609 a week, have a $12,000 loan to pay off, pay $50 a fortnight to dad, helps with food and bills, $100 a week goes back to the bank for the loan repayment. Not to brag, but i drive a high performace car, so it costs me about $110 a week for petrol.

So i think i have it easy compared to you guys/girls.. Anyway keep it up and stay strong



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:22 AM
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reply to post by ALightinDarkness
 


I'm with you on this one, as usual.


I've been a Therapeutic Wilderness Guide for a good length of time. I finally found like I've found my niche. That niche being helping, teaching, and enlightening troubled youth to get "more" out of life. I took a heinous pay cut. I went from $1000-1400 a week, working 70 hour weeks on average as a contractor. It was very stressful, thankless, and damn near miserable job. With guiding, I was making $800 a week, which isn't bad, though considering you're only allotted to work every other week, unless someone is sick or needs some time off. That's $1600 a month, roughly $19,000 dollars a year. Taking a $40,000 dollar pay cut is rough, but entirely worth it.

Though, love doesn't pay the bills. I have recently given up my passion and am back contracting for the time given. I'm back my first week and looking to pull $1200 this week, minus gas, parts, and materials. I have about $8,000 in credit card debt at $240/month, $8,000 dollars left on my car at $370/month, I help my mother out with her mortgage at $450 dollars a month, my own rent is $330/month including utilities, gas is the worst at $80-120/week, and I my mother and I have a medium sized garden at her house and I'm into bulk cooking. I wouldn't say anymore than $200/month on food.

At one point, I had entirely given up on bills. I decided that it was "right" to forget my debtors and watch them squirm to try and get their money back. I made it pretty difficult for them to get a hold of me, and was at the point where I'd just get the bills and throw them away without looking at them. I was fed up with the way my life was more and more focused on just bills. Money. Fico scores. Debt.

After awhile of level headed thinking, I decided it was against my ethics to leave debts unpaid. I had known all along what the deal with borrowed money was, and was on top of it until I became "disgruntled." I stopped looking at this huge corporation as some evil entity and started looking at my own actions as a person who had taken their money (Invisible, fiat, made up) and made a conscious decision not to pay them back. I called my two creditors and set up a payment plan. They worked with me and now I am current and in good standing with every the two credit card companies and also the credit union who I used to buy my car.

Which brings up my current train of thought.


Responsibility.

As a people we have a responsibility to tend and maintain our own lives. It's not anyones fault that we have kids, get crumby jobs, lose our crumby jobs, can't find another job, eat poorly, have car and house payments.

If we lose our jobs, we need to grind as hard as we can to find a new job, if not better, we will look for a better job while we are working the temporary. If we get sick, we need to try as hard as we can to get well and find a solution to medical bills, work, pay, etc. If we have kids, we need to make sure we are absolutely stable and can handle the weight of them through times thick and thin. A financially and more importantly, mental stability is a must in a family. If you're looking at hard times because you have kids, you were irresponsible in your decisions to have them.



Accountability.

We need to pay what we knew what was going to be eventually owed. If we need help, there is ways and we should be thankful for companies that will help in bailing us out. Debt isn't where life stops, and isn't even that serious. They're numbers. And if not numbers, it turns into paper somewhere along the line. People blow trivial things in life out of proportion and place blame on everything except the irrational thinking and spending that led them there. It's been a generational landslide of living outside our means. We can't turn to the creditors and say "it's all your fault!" because it's not. It's our fault. Don't get me wrong, they're backwards in many ways. Real bastards, but that's the nature of the beast and we can't blame it for biting when we know it's absolutely capable.


We are our own keepers and must accept responsibility and take accountability for every single action. As a people, we need to stop pointing fingers and conjure up the balls to take on this war that is modern life.

We can sit around and dwell or become totally independent, self sufficient, and solution focused people. If we're going to sit here and wallow in our self pity, that big bad world will eat us up. And I don't want to see that for anyone, especially not myself.


Move!




Booyah.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:30 AM
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reply to post by ManInAsia
 


If you want to spout socialist and populist propaganda, please create another thread or at least stop addressing it towards me. Its off topic here, and yet, your so wrong I feel compelled to respond.

You try to avoid labels all you want, but you are what you are. People usually try avoid labels because they are ashamed of their ideology. I am a libertarian, happy to be labeled as such. If you do not wish to be called a socialist or a populist, do not spout the ideology. You have yet to point out anything other than standard socialist talking points - which it turns out, are not true (hardly facts).

I really don't care what you think about me. Your too ignorant to understand that people can be caring without giving all their money to government. If we compared how much time you and I spent working for free with charities or giving money to charities, I am quite sure you'd keep your mouth shut before making such assumptions. The difference is I believe in freedom. I believe people have the right to give money to whom they want, to whatever charity they want. You believe in stealing the money and spending it on welfare entitlements.

Again, I'm happy you bought into socialist health care but I could care less. There is a cost to it - that you are far to delusional to see it is not my problem. You are taking a cut in pay or benefits because - and this will come as a shocking fact to you I think - someone has to pay. And your not paying nearly enough to cover the cost, the companies are. THAT MEANS YOU GET PAID LESS OR GET LESS BENEFITS BECAUSE COMPANIES WILL NOT SIMPLY GIVE AWAY MASSIVE SUMS OF MONEY TO THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THEY FEEL CHARITABLE. This is really basic stuff, it shouldn't be so hard for you to understand.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:35 AM
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reply to post by DeadFlagBlues
 


Excellent points. You have said it far better than I could. I think if everyone upheld those values we would not see so much hysteria over economic downturns. It is true that sometimes things happen beyond our control that impact our life - however, a vast majority of things are within our control - and we need to control them and make changes instead of blaming our finances and life circumstances on everyone else.

I think your story is an excellent example of making sacrifices and self-responsibility. In today's culture of victimization and the media always telling us everything is someone else's fault, it says a lot about your high moral character that you paid off your debts fairly and took a job that you needed in order to live, even if you didn't enjoy it as much as your job as a guide. Hopefully they'll still let you do it every now and then - after all - its fun doing what you love AND getting paid for it, even if we can't ALWAYS do both!

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ALightinDarkness]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:43 AM
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reply to post by ALightinDarkness
 


Light,
Can I ask you for a favor from the bottom of my heart.
You don't know me and you owe me nothing.
Will you please please start a thread about whether or not people complain too much.
You have loads to say, many valid points, and others who agree with you.
But I'm trying to get people to open up and be honest.
I beg you, as a human being, now that you've made your point to help me get back on topic.
I have nothing against you, I'm just asking for your help and kindness.
SD



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:47 AM
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A libetertarian getting a PHD in govt. administration, that takes the biscuit
If everybody gave to charity of free will and helped the people out that needed help , great. But that's not the way the world works or would you rather go back to Dickensian England. To the poster who talked about responsibility and accountability, you totally contradicted yourself, you didn't pay off the debts that you owed.
But yes we have written too much here (myself and alightindarkness fault). Back to hear people's stories, they don't to hear us debating this stuff here.

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ManInAsia]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:55 AM
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reply to post by ManInAsia
 


Please don't try to get away with insulting me. Has it ever occurred to you that as a Libertarian I can be a government administrator by ensuring it is lean, efficient and effective? And that I am getting a PhD to learn how to make it more so and examine where we've went wrong in the past? Shocking! Libertarianism isn't about no government, its about small government.

Everyone shouldn't be forced to give to charity. That is why freedom is lovely. But you know, maybe if we didn't tax the people with money at exorbitant rates maybe they would be more generous. We don't really know, since we've never tried it. You really don't know your history. In Dicken's England, the rich were taxed at exorbitant rates - how exactly do you think the crown was funded?

Now..once again, lets stop as its off topic.

schrodinger:

It looks like your asking me not to voice my opinion of the question "how are you doing"? Sorry..but I have and will - however, as I know not being a doom and gloomer provokes the ATS doom and gloom mob (TM) against me, I won't respond anymore...assuming no one else responds to me.

The ATS hive mind is ingrained to preach, teach, and have everyone constantly believe they have it bad. It would result in a riot if I were to start such a thread, as the ATS doom and gloom mob (TM) would attempt a lynching and, as they already do, report every one of my posts to try to get me banned even though I'm just expressing a different opinion.

So...no one responds to me or addresses points at me, and I won't respond. However...if the ATS doom and gloom mob (TM) attacks again, you understand I do have to respond to them. You should know your encouraging them, as I know you are the one going around giving stars to everyone member of the doom squad that attacks me.

[edit on 3-7-2008 by ALightinDarkness]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 05:18 AM
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reply to post by JDN24
 


Not to burst your bubble but an 89 cortina with 13 inch tires does not a mad max make!

How's tourism and life in old Perth?
By the way "the castle" one of the best movies ever, and very relevant to the topic of this thread.

[edit on 7/3/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 06:07 AM
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Is it just me, or are even those with money all calling in 'bad loans' all of a sudden?

I had 3 small debts (2 were overdrafts) that I had outstanding for 2 years or so that were suddenly 'called in' all within the last month. Ive paid off 1, paid part of another and made arrangements to pay the 3rd over the next month, but the impression I get is people/companies/govt etc are all looking for 'dead' money atm.

Hell, even the tax office here has given taxpayers a jolt recently with high flying football players & off-shore investors making the news lately for not lodging tax returns these last few years or for tax evasion, and as I keep an eye on govt public service jobs Ive noticed a 'lot' of ads the last 6 mths or so for tax office staff/investigators?

In my opinion their scrounging up every last cent they can find for this crummy war.

Oh, and to those who say the money allocated to the Iraq war is simply 'a drop in the bucket', I seriously doubt that. But what you also fail to consider is war has repurcussions. It is ALWAYS followed by famine, disease, & other hardships, no matter how well off your country may be. God keeps a record and no country has ever benefited financially by involving itself in war. Particularly a war of 'aggression'.

Your country (the US) is founded on biblical principles. Its the main thing that makes it so great. Its time your administration turned back to its foundation principles...something it has clearly lost sight of.



[edit on 3-7-2008 by Nonchalant]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 06:11 AM
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reply to post by Nonchalant
 


Banks all over the world are in a state of panic. Even your bank in Australia is invested in the real estate and credit market in the US. They now need all the cash liquidity they can muster just to keep checking accounts current.



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