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How are you coping these days? Share your story.

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posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 06:34 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
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.


A couple of things I will say on the subject of debt.

I accumalated a few debts several years ago that all arrived home to roost when I faced a period of a years unemployment (my choice).

First off, no lender wants to take you to court. Second, no lender wants to lose the money they have invested in you. Bear this in mind when making repayment arrangements. You have the ball where this is concerned. What I did was make repayment arrangements with about 6 lenders to repay $30/mth (a total of approx $10k). Bear in mind I was unemployed at the time so they were hardly in a postion to bargain. If need be, go on unemployment before you make your arrangements. Now, where I got a lender who was not prepared to accept $30/mth I said "ok well its that or I go bankrupt". EVERY single one of them AGREED. They didnt even need time to think about it. Since then Ive paid off almost all the debts. Some offered me reduced settlement amounts which I accepted. If they dont offer, suggest it. You will be surprised how many will cut the bill in half just to get some of their precious money back.

With one lender I checked my contract & found they had erred when it came to the total amount payable on a car loan ( a difference of approx $4000). So I took them to court. It cost me $100 to lodge my application. The bank had the best solicitors in South Australia representing them. I was unrepresented. I had one of their bigwig lawyers say to me after one of the hearings "you are wasting your time, you wont win & all it will do is cost you more in the long run". Well, a hearing later, and with the judge telling me to go away & calculate exactly what I did owe (nothing) I got a letter in the mail a few days later from the law company offering me 'bill of sale' on the car if I agreed to wear my costs (nil) and the bank would wear theirs. The moral of this story is dont let them bully you around - and check your contract.

The alternative is bankruptcy. Bear in mind though, this will mean you cant get credit for 3 years, but if your situations bad enough this may be the only alternative. Its better than being unable to sleep at night, and your health is more important than your creditors.




[edit on 3-7-2008 by Nonchalant]




posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 10:54 AM
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I live in the midsouth area of the US. Sure gas hurts but it's not all that bad, the rising cost of food hurts too but again it's not that bad. I'm at about the same place I was 4 years ago finance wise (maybe doing just a bit better). I'm not going to say I didn't get lucky however.

Got a workers comp lawsuit which gives me a decent safety net if needed. I also happened to find a job in a field that is still growing in a company that's been around for 80 years or so and not going anywhere anytime soon. I also happen to have a fairly marketable skill set which helps too. Lost the other job and got this one and came out 10k a year ahead, which helps offset the cost of gas and food.

No credit cards or kids, no mortgage or car payment. Just a student loan, rent and a beat up 20 year old car. Still have money to go out and do stuff, buy the odd thing I want and even buy new clothes or whatever if I want it.

Don't live in the best neighborhood but I also don't have the kind of money it takes to live somewhere "nice", so I lock my doors, and keep a loaded shotgun by my bedside just in case.

Yeah it stings filling up the tank every week but it's not the end of the world. I think most people that are feeling the pinch are those who overextended, got a lot of credit cards, car loans, mortgage and student loans for kids and what not. Can't say I blame them though, life was good, market was good, seemed like the dream would go on for a while. Feel bad for some of those who are in such bad shape they'll lose their house or car, but then again I think of the story of the grasshopper and the ants. Some people thought the weather would be good forever, seems like winter is here already.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 12:49 PM
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To the posters who complain about people whining:


Well I'll tell ya. I do not own credit cards. I could never get one because I am 60,000 in medical debt.

I guess its my fault for going to the hospital when I was parylized instead of staying home and dying. I had to have plasma exchange and I had to have immunoglubulin that cost 30,000 a day for 7 days.

I then was in a wheelchair for a year, and has physical therapy. I now have a serious heart condition as a result. I am allergic to all opiod pain medication and all antibiotics but deal with very chronic pain daily. I walk with a walker on days I can walk.

So I can not work. I still get nothing from the government, they say my husband makes too much and not enough work credits in the rite time period. So we try to get by and hope that our house does not get a lean on it. Can not walk away from house. Rent anywhere in this city is more than we pay on or mortgage. ..

So when I hear people say , be grateful you have running water, you think I am gonna sit back and smile?

My husband has only missed work three times. Once when my daughter was born, and twice when I was in the hospital parylized. Most times I am in the hospital he is not there . He is at work, so he does not loose his job.

He is hard working.we have no debt other than medical.

So you see circumstances do happen to good people.
We do have it tough. I did not post on here to whine, but answered a question that was asked. So yes, I do get offended when I hear that we could do better if we cut back. Cut back on what? Food? Already done that. Medications? Already done that too. I cant afford an eighty dollar bottle of pills so I go without.

Still with all I have gone though, I am thankful . I am thankful that God is the final say and not man, so as messed up as this world is, I know it is not forever. I am thankful I have a husband who has a strong work ethic, and does his best for his family and never once complains. I am thankful my 7 year old daughter does not realize how little we have because she is very loved, and was not raised materialistic. Her gramma gave her 10 dollars and she shared it with the neighbor kid who is worse off than we are so he could get some lunch.

Of course I am thankful for a roof over my head, and electricity, but as things keep going, thats whats gonna be leaving soon. Not gloom and doom, just the truth of how things are. I do not whine to people. I have utilized the food bank. We tried going a garden this year, but the bugs got it. I am very rural desert, LOTS of bugs. My neighbor and I help each other. We both have failing health and on our good days, will cook dinner for the other who can not that day.

The economy is tough. Some may not feel it. Some really may feel if you are sick and can not afford it , tough. Well that is up to you. But really, why knock someone down that is already down , what is the point? If you are doing fine , thats all you had to say. That is all that was asked.

Ama


[edit on 3-7-2008 by amatrine]

[edit on 3-7-2008 by amatrine]



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by amatrine
 


Very Very Well Said Amatrine.
This thread was starting to descend into the usual argument and counter argument.
All the original op asked was answered by folks going through difficult times or not being affected much.
Some people are getting by ok in the current time whilst people less fortunate than themselves are really finding it hard,so i do not understand why people are being blamed for whinging as all they are doing is describing what the op asked in the first place.
There is no excuse for attacking someone who has fallen on hard times.
One minute you can be riding along doing ok,the next you fall ill cant really support yourself or your family,and what are you supposed to do about it,well in the eyes of some here then just dont take any gov handouts.just go away and die because you should be too proud to take them(even though you are entitled to them)
Just about every thread i have read here since becoming a member allways ends up a slagging match.
Again well said Amatrine



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by Stu2112
 


Thank you for your post. alightinthedarkness and I went back and forth a bit. He is a strong willed man, but I have to give him also his props. When I asked him man to man, he was big and respectful enough to relent. That actually rarely happens on ATS, so I thank him once more.


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



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 02:29 PM
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For those of you going through hard times, here is a link to Food Stamp Nutrition Connection. It has some great low cost recipes. They even tell you how much it will cost per recipe and per serving. A lot of the recipes have been tried and rated. I found some really tasty looking recipes to make for little money.

recipefinder.nal.usda.gov...

I'm sorry to read about all of you who are going through hard times. It could happen to anyone.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by virraszto
 


I wonder how many of us would not take advantage of such programs just out of mere pride.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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Sometimes you've got to swallow your pride. I know I've been there before.

I know we are talking about current times, but some of us grew up with nothing but hard times. My mother was a single mom and she was very ill the whole time I remember. We were on food stamps. Even back then it was not enough.
I can remember going to bed hungry. I can remember eating rotten food from garbage cans just to fill my tummy, and then getting sick from it. Usually little kids get excited to get a new toy. I can remember the butterflies in my tummy and the excitement I felt in the hopes that a friend would ask me over to dinner--because I was that hungry. My mother worked up until she was too sick to work, and she laid in bed unable to do much of anything until she eventually died when I was 9.
And the hard times didn't end there.

I know what it's like and I really feel for people who are going through hard times. I try to help out as much as I can, and I do. It makes me feel better helping someone. I know people don't choose to live like this. Something has got to change. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 02:56 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


I think that if I had done everything I could possibly do to feed myself and there was nothing else I could do, then you had better believe pride would be right out the _ I think people that have entirely to much pride to accept help from others are to hard headed.

I'm not saying get on food stamps just because you're experiencing a little hardship at home. I'm talking about if it comes between getting on food stamps and starving to death, then by all means just take the handout and be thankful.

None of us are alone here, we live with at least 6 billion (give or take) more people on this planet. Some of the best things on this planet happened because we worked together to accomplish them. Don't be to proud to take someones hand who is willing to help.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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Good thread. I am a retired guy in rochester ny living off a pension. So far I am doing ok. No debt to worry about. I made a conscious decision years ago to start living life in simple terms- buy what is needed- learn to temper your wants- don't go hogwild on things- and just try to stay balanced across the board in everything. And it's not easy- but I try to keep my focus. For every individual and family- the situation is different-. I mean some have it real bad and some are living the "dream". that's the way it is. But lately, it seems those that are living the "dream" are having nightmares. Economic collapse seems to be on the horizon. That is as certain as the nose on your face. How bad? who knows. Be ready for anything- it could be interesting or more like totally disgusting- depending on your point of view.

Sincerely to everyone- good luck. just do the best you can. and defend what is rightfully yours with dignity and honor, if it ever comes down to that.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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Some really horrible, sad stories people have these days.. I am one of the lucky ones who stays home...

Sounds like there are a lot of stay at home moms who are looking for some kind of work. The work at home area is saturated with people looking for work. But I can offer to point anyone in the direction of a couple places that hire often and are reliable pay, even if not too much..

PM's are welcome.. Just want to help.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 03:07 PM
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I agree with you guys about pride. But you guys also know that the combination of pride and financial insecurity makes people do crazy things.
Allow me to bring back a post from many pages ago:

"One of the interesting dynamics I have observed with a lot of people is a complete denial of what seemingly awaits us and them economically in the US.
I have many friends and acquaintances who continue to spend as if nothing is changing. Some don't want to tell their wives that they are running out of money out of pride, so the wives naturally go on spending as usual. In a way they are trying to shield their wives hoping against hope that something will happen "deus ex machina" to change their fortune. Others keep on going out and buying bottle service in night clubs because they don't want their friends to know that they are in trouble.
Mind you, I'm not judging them, I've probably done the same thing at some point in my life. It's hard to tell the person who loves you that she is going to have to sacrifice. But in my case, I was lucky, she just called me stupid and made me promise to never lie again. Then, she thankfully took full control of our finances and since has had me on an allowance. Best emasculation ever!"



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by ALightinDarkness
reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Uh, I've seen several posts where people are claiming they are literally running for the hills.

Secondly, if this is not a "tell me your sob story" thread, I don't know what is. People are free, of course, to tell their sob stories, and I'm free to talk about how I'm doing just fine even though by ATS standards I should probably be crying on someones shoulder right now.


Hmm.. not all "doom and gloom" posts are "run for the hills" .. if you read my "sob story" you would know that at age 22 I have enough money to dick around for quite some time.. my options are endless ..

But like you .. I view things rationally.. and perhaps we view things differently, because we both look at the same data and both come out with different answers.

If in business school there was one thing I learned.. it was to drop out of business school. Business and economics are theories.. unproven ways of operation based upon another mans assumption. The theories that guide the economy and all business transactions are not set in stone, there is no right and wrong, there are no predictions, there are only presumptions. ideas and concepts within the economic scene change so drastically over the years that every decade ushers in a new era of how we expect the economy to run. I cannot and will not allow my view of the economic situation to be dictated by fraudulent economic numbers.. and I will not continue on believing something simply because the Government said so..

Such thinking is ignorant and asinine to an extreme..

Anyone who has spent time working within the financial world knows that things have changed, and are changing. Everything is speculative, fear driven, hedging for that one big break.. Volatility is the greatest sign of an economies weakness.

Will it be a "depression" .. I doubt it.. I personally am expecting an "official" recession this year.. but we cannot base this on the cycles that business runs, because the Cycle is only a theory, a theory based on information accumulated from various economic eras..

The only argument you seem to put forth, cutting back all the excess words, is that because the Federal Government's numbers say this, it must be true. I stopped listening to this government a long time ago..



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:59 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


I'm not doing too bad in Indiana (NE suburb of Indy). We have really afordable housing here in the midwest, and as I understand, we've held our own on the housing depression. We built a new home a year and a half ago...it is a 2,700 sq ft two story on a choice corner lot with quite a few upgrades. It sits adjacent to a 15 acre stocked lake and our community has 850 houses, a club house, big swimming and wading pool, two play grounds, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts and a 3 acre all-purpose play field. Our turn key price was just under $150,000 about 1/3rd the cost in some high value areas.

Food is going up like everywhere because of transport expense, but you still can get milk for $2.50 a gallon. We are thankful for our lot, when we hear of the hardship of others. Just hope our 401k's recover so we can retire.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by romanmel
 


This is gonna be an off topic post, but I just need to say that I love and miss Indiana.
We used to do an annual euro-trash road trip pilgrimage for the formula 1 race. I really miss that. The strange thing is that at the time I used to live in NYC, and as you know there's quite a cultural gap between mclarren fans and the indy locals. But it was exactly the opposite. Every one just accepted each other and had a blast. In many ways, it felt more natural than NY. There's something so cool when you mix rolex riders and real down to earth people just loving the sound of thunder. It's a travesty they took that race away.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 06:20 PM
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My story?
How am I doing?

Well, my wife and I got some killer rate when we refinanced the house this spring. The credit union had no issues with our credit rating as we both have spent our life (independantly) making sure we didnt live beyond our means as well as not taking on excess debt. Plus we rolled over our equity which had no attached debt to it into the new loan, and as a result we hope we never end up upsidedown in our mortgage, economy permitting of course.

Both of our cars are paid for, and we purchase used cars. Kinda sucks as I would love to have a new car, but I cant get myself to throw down the money they cost now a days. So, I do the repairs and maintenance myself, and try to keep them tuned up well and in good operating order.

Our retirement accounts, both of us max-out the deductions from our paychecks. As we have been doing this we force ourselves to be accustomed to the missing cash from our paychecks. If you dont think about it,...you dont think about it.

Which brings up employment. Both of us work full-time. We are fortunate (knock on wood) that we are in positions and employed in fairly secure jobs. Both of us spent much of our years building our careers and abilities, and that helps alot in job security for the most part. Myself I work sometimes 60 hours a week.

Which brings up vacations. I will work the next two weeks to be able to go on vacation with the wife and the kids. Hopefully every bity of it will be paid for by the time we leave. Our Sunday drives have been significantly reduced big time though. No more jots around just because. Gas is just too much. We probably spend 200-300 just in gas doing regular obligations around town, like work and errands, now.

As far as debt. Been there done that. Now every last charge on our credit card, is charged with the knowledge it WILL be paid off before the statement is due. Otherwise, that purchase isnt made. We have no other debts other than the mortgage.




By and far I would say (and I am not bragging believe me), my family hopefully is better prepared than most for any future difficulties that may arise. It hasnt been easy though. Neither of us have a driveway full of toys, a resume of wonderful vacations in the past, time off to go gallabanting around whenever we want, nor are we anything better than barely middle class.

The only thing we do have is a past life of lessons taught that have helped us from being out of touch with our budget. Hopefully this gets us through this storm of inflation and uncertain times with little damage other than having to readjust to what the staples cost... Alot of stocking up on things from Sams Club. Alot of shopping at Walmart. Alot of doing without anything beyond the necessary. And alot of working and saving what we can.




Yes, all this could change with one major life altering event. I pray not.
Our kids need us for the next few years until they are adults and on their own. They roll their eyes at us now whenever we talk about how much things cost since last month, or the month before, as they do not have to worry about the day-to-day part of being a responsible parent. They cant fathom when I come home and say "gas just went up another dime", that what I am saying is significant and scary. They think, "big deal,..a lousy dime".

If I could just get them to see the big picture about their future.

But they are kids, so I let it be. I need them to sleep at night peacefully, at their age. I need them to feel there is hope for their futures when they become adults and maybe someday as parents too.

There will be worry enough for themselves then, I think.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 07:15 PM
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If I may, I would like to bring the topic back to the OP.
Many of you have been more honest than anyone could have ever hoped or expected.
Allow me to push the envelope a tad more.
For those of you who are barely making ends meet paycheck to paycheck and without health insurance. Knock on wood, but one day your ten year old son breaks his leg playing soccer or riding his bike. So there you are at the hospital, the leg is broken, the checking account is empty, what actually happens?
This is really the crux of this thread. You don't have the money to pay, you can't leave a child with a broken leg. This is a real life stalemate without a solution. So what happens?



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 07:59 PM
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If you have no insurance here, in this state, they give you paperwork to fill out for access health. If you are turned down, and you do not pay , it goes into collections.

I feel for the poster who had their wages garnished for health care.
I have never had that happen and 60k in medical debt. I do worry about a house lean.

We want to file bankruptcy , but being ill, it will just go back up again so no point.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:02 PM
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I've got two college degrees but I work in a restaurant. I had a job in my field and lost it when the company went out of business, and now similar jobs are telling me I need another degree to work there, despite my years of experience. I can't go back to school because I have delinquent credit card accounts that I can't afford to pay off.

Boo.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 08:03 PM
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reply to post by amatrine
 


Am, I'm sorry I ask so many questions.
Are hospitals required by law to treat you even if you can't afford it that very moment?






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