I love your CCPayments spreadsheet!

I downloaded the spreadsheet, used the password (which released the other worksheets to accept the formula), and entered my cc info. According to the sheet, if I make the monthly minimum payments and don’t spend any more $$ on them, they will be paid off in 5 years. ok…but I added one more thing to the spreadsheet. Next to the date (the amount actually) where the balance should be zero, I enter the amount of years.

Well, today I paid an extra $150 to a credit card, entered that into the worksheet, and I checked the bottom of the worksheet and I just save 6 months of payments! my credit card will be paid off 6 months earlier by making that one extra payment. I kept the entry alone, so that every time I make an extra payment, I can see how many months I am saving on having to pay for that one credit card. It feels great! I can see the end! I used to just use the credit card when I needed it because I figured it would never get paid, but thanks to the spreadsheet, I see the end! Thank you!!

It’s helped me see things in a different way. the debt collector is threating that going to court is the next step. I can’t wait to see if that happens.

I have been trying to discuss this with the bank. When it first started they said if the ex would write out a letter they would close the account and less than $10 would have been needed to even things out. the ex used the account to make 1 or 2 monthly payments but wihtout money in the account the payments didn’t go through and the bank tacked on those insufficient funds fees (30 each) plus another fee because the account had gone negative. Oh, and because my name ins’t on the account they don’t want to discuss this with me.

Need encouragement

Hello everyone, I’ve been a part of the group for a long time, but never participated. Now I need encouragement from anywhere I can get it. I am a single mom of a teenager, and bit the bullet and moved in with my mother in order to use the money I would otherwise spend on bills/rent to pay off the credit cards. It was hell for the first 8 months (and I’ve only lived here 9!!!)

My original goal was to pay off my debts in 24 months and then move out. Well, because of the craziness of living back at home, I got sidetracked and didn’t get started on my goal until recently.

I have accomplished paying off one credit card so far, the smallest. I am working on the next smallest now. This seems to help me feel like I am accomplishing something. I should have this one paid off by December if I pay $600/mo. (ugh).

My total is $23,250. I think I can get $10k paid off by next October. I am putting the majority of my money into the credit cards, some into savings so that when things come up I have the cash, and then the rest is pocket/food money.

Well that felt good to get off of my chest. I have a spreadsheet that I created to keep track of my credit cards as well. Please pray for me that this effort will work. I think sometimes we have to get desperate before we shift ourselves into gear and really take this credit addiction seriously.

What I’ve found to be helpful is to promise myself a little something special when I pay something off. So when the first credit card was paid off the next month a bought a couple new shirts for my husband and myself. (T shirts still cheap but nice to have something new).

I’ve promised my husband when we pay off the next one (which I affectionality call the big one) then we would have enough money to get him a different truck. His truck nine years old but this time we’re doing it different. I’m going to have a down payment and we’re going to only pay for three years.

We is working four hours a week overtime and I’ve got a job babysitting. Except on the mortgage weeks all my money is going into savings or being thrown at the credit card. We are having a yard sale the first week in October and that money will go towards the cc too. Tax money… you guessed it cc.

That’s exactly what it is though an addiction. The country/banks let us live in a way that we couldn’t afford. Its so important to live in a way that you can afford. You’re doing great keep to your goal!

Thank you! I’ve been looking into buying a fake Coach Maggie purse to make me feel good (not to spend more than $60 cash at the most!) but I feel guilty because I am scared that it is a “want” purchase instead of a “need” purchase. I do need a new purse because mine is really tattered and the inside lining is ripped up, and the zipper doesn’t zip all the time, but it still does what it needs to do, and I still get compliments on it.

But I really want that Coach purse (mind you I am NOT buying a real one!)

Don’t forget about Goodwill stores and thrift stores. I’ve found fancy name brands in those stores at a fraction of the original cost. I can buy new jeans for around $20 or gently used jeans for 3 to 5 dollars and sometimes only half that cause i get the colored tags that are 50% off that week.

And don’t forget yard sales. I’ve seen purses that still have store tags. Bought myself a really nice purse from a yard sale and only paid $1 and it looked as thought it had never been used.

Using credit cards to pay utility bills and the like

Hello!

I’ve read that using a credit card to automatically pay a utility bill and then turning around and paying that amount back to the credit card company immediately is:

A) a good way to increase a credit score

B) a good way to keep an inactive credit card active

Is this true?

Hello Diane,

A practical guide to increase credit scores:

  1. Do not have a balance of more than 30% of the total credit limit of the card. [e.g. if have a $500 credit card limit, leave a balance of $150.00 or less OR pay the balance down to 30% of the credit limit] [ This shows credit responsibility]
  2. Pay bills ontime, do not be late [ This affects credit worthiness]
  3. When making purchases, pay off balance of purchase and then immediately use card to make another charge. [This helps establish a credit history]

I hope this helps.

Makes sense to me. I would pay the bill using the credit card, then send in the payment right away to the credit card company before you get the credit card bill to make sure they don’t slip in a finance charge. I was thinking of doing the same thing. That way, they credit card is open, you will have a good credit to debt ratio (which means good FICO score), and they can’t close your account.

Now to get the cards paid down so that I can start doing that. :) Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wanting to send a cease and desist letter, but not sure where to send it

Some of my accounts look to finally be going to collection agencies. My Citibank I know has, I got a letter from them last week. And another new place called here today, not sure who they are representing, but I haven’t received anything in the mail yet. Do all collection agencies send you something in the mail that they have taken over a debt? I want to send them a cease and desist letter to only contact me by mail and to not contact any family or friends, but I don’t know who to send it to or know which account they are representing. Should I wait for something in the mail, or should I call back the number they left and ask them these questions? So far I’m finding collection agencies don’t say much on a message, they just simply say they are trying to collect a debt and that’s it, oh and the name of their company but not who they are representing.

Yes, the collection agencies will send you notice that the account has been assigned to them. The initial notice, per the FDCPA, advises you or your rights under the FDCPA to dispute or require the collection agency to verify the debt. Their contact info will be in this initial notice. If they contact you by phone, ask them how you can contact them by mail.

I sent a letter to a collection company requesting them to verify the debt and they have not responded. What happens if they never respond?
Is there a time frame they have to respond in?

No there is not a time frame in that case. I did that on a debt and they sold, that company sold it. I went through 4 companies before they stopped hounding me.

HOWEVER, if it shows up on you credit report and you send the credit agency a letter requesting proof of debt, they have 30 days to show proof or remove it from your credit report. The question is what constitutes proof of the debt. I’ve asked a couple of companies for proof and all they send me is a copy of a bill. This does not seem to be adequate proof. I could make up a phony bill and send it to someone that they owe me money. I would think the “proof” would have to be something with my signature.

Have you tried contacting the redemption department?

We have a cc with Chase and I find them to be the least willing to work with us. Have you tried contacting the redemption department? Even if you opened a new account in your name companies won’t let you switch balances. I would agree that putting things in writing would be the best course of action.

Have you called your state rep or senator and told them about your situation? My child is disabilied and sometimes when I run across a problem they are helpful at helping me find agencies within the government to help.

I think that you would be better off trying to get a payment arrangment with a lower interest rate then paying off but I’ve only been able to lower interest rates with my companies.

I wish you the best of luck. Because of your husbands illness I would contact the company in writing. I would ask them to cease and desist their harassing phone calls. There isn’t anything that’s going to change so you should not be subject to that. Someone on this list posted a sample letter I think you could find it within the last couple weeks.

Big hugs and I wish you luck

I have been lurking for quite a while

I have been lurking for quite a while, and hope to get some information to help us. (Sorry for the length of this post.) We have accumulated over $50,000 credit card debt. And, no, I have nothing to show for it all.

  1. A. $18k belongs to an LLC my husband started 5 years ago with a credit card – stupid yes, we know. The business is only seasonal, and we were unable to make a dent in the balance. We tried to settle earlier this year for half, but they (Chase) wouldn’t accept our offer. This year my husband, who has MS, has suffered severe symptoms and was mostly unable to do this physically demanding work. We stopped paying Chase in May when our money ran out, and although we have made some $ this summer, not nearly enough to either pay the then monthly $350 – now $1700 payment, or make a sizable settlement offer. Chase calls everyday, multiple times a day. He’s only spoken with them a couple of times and explained he has health issues and no money. He doesn’t agree, but I think we should send a letter explaining this, and make an offer – we only have about $4000 right now, but may be able to get a couple more in a month or so- which I’m sure they won’t accept, but may come back with another one. We are now 120 days late. It’s now affecting our other credit accounts (even though we are current on them) – well mostly his as the card is in his name, not mine. I’m only affected on the accounts that bear both of our names.
  2. B. Much of the remaining debt is due to his other business. However, we are current on everything. Not sure exactly how, but somewhere I find the money every month to pay at least the minimum.
  3. C. Additionally, I have a $13k student loan that I took out three years ago in hopes of learning a new skill that would bring in a good paycheck. It didn’t work out for several reasons and now I’m stuck paying that – without any additional income. I’m current on it, but am contemplating asking for a deferment or forbearance – even though it’s only for 6 months.

I’ve been trying to come up with a budget, but finding it very difficult as my husband does not draw a paycheck; we just take what we need to pay certain bills as needed. I work part time, mostly for the health insurance (the co I work for pays 70%) and only take home about $800 month, which of course goes to gas, food and whatever bills I can pay out of it. I’ve been looking for another additional job as well. I do work with my husband, but, again, do not draw a paycheck.

We should probably file bankruptcy, but would like to dig our way out. The big thing, of course, is the 18k we owe Chase.

So, my questions…do we have a chance at settling with Chase? Any suggestions on how to handle it ourselves? How do you prepare a budget when you have no clue when or how much money is coming in?

The really sad part in all this??? We are in our mid-50s, our kids are in college (thanks much to federal & state grants/scholarships and loans – in their names). I’m so depressed about this it brings tears to my eyes everyday. I know all the things we did wrong – now…but that doesn’t help pay the bills.

And here’s the killer in it all…Chase keeps send ME offers of 0% interest on the two cards I have with them!!! And, while we have gotten letters from Amex, Citi, and BoA either closing or adjusting the limits on our cards, Chase only closed the card with the 18k on it – and did not close or limit the avail. balance on the other card in my husband’s name. Oh, and one more thing, our mortgage is with Chase!

Thanks for any advice you can give.

The program I use for tracking my debt

I tried but I guess we don’t have excel on our computer. The program I use for tracking my debt worked great up until now. I made a mistake bounced a check (virtually) then my credit card with my bank “saved” me depending how you look at it by taking a 100 cash advance. So my little credit card with about 2000 on it at 6.99 which was acceptable to put off paying anything but the minimum has now changed. Now there is a hundred dollars with a 20% daily interest tacked onto the end of it. Darn! So now I guess I need to pay this off before my “big” cc with the huge balance and the 9.24 % interest rate. Does anyone know where there is any type of calculator where you can use it to see what the best way to use your payment money is for these type of issues?

Hi,

As you live in Ontario you can opt for online payday loans in Canada offered by CashForCanadians company. This is a very good way to obtain quick cash. And if you open a google account, you can use their docs to run excel programs for ‘free’. My favorite! Just save the excel program to your desktop, then upload it to google docs and run it from there. As for calculators, there is probably one that will work for you at www.bankrate.com They have a calculator for just about everything under the sun!

Did your son have this account by himself?

Did your son have this account by himself? Are you sure that HE was the one that took out the money? If his father did the overdraft that would change things. I would contact your local mental health office and see if there is anything they can help you with.

It depends on what state you’re in. When I was a senior in high school (17 years old) my dad didn’t pay some medical bills from when I sprained my ankle. 3 years later, during college, I had debt collectors calling me, a judgment was placed against me and my bank account was seized. In Pennsylvania, when it came to debt there was no recognition of a minor. So even though I was a minor at the time of the medical bills, and even though I had clearly stated in the paperwork at the doctor’s office that my dad was the responsible party, I ended up with a judgement against me.

I think that if the father took out the money that it considered fraud. I would write a letter to this effect. Sign the document yourself as your name in care of ______ sons name ______ a minor disabilied child. Then see how they handle it. Overdraft fees are the worst! I’m going to have to switch around which cc I pay because I did an overdraft protection and now my cc of 6.99 has a hundred dollars at 20 percent tacked onto the end of it because I made a math error. Sigh.

No, my son never used this account. His dad was the only person to use it. I don’t get why I should contact mental health.

I would only contact mental health if your son used the account. If your son never used the account but your ex husband did in his name… then overdrafted… sorry but that’s fraud. It’s illegal to use someone else’s name. If this is the case I would contact the banks fraud department. It’s not your son’s bill.

It’s not fraud. It was a joint account in both names. He didn’t use my son’s name, he just used the account as his own.

Debt collectors & kids

I need advice badly. My ex had a savings account with our son. Ex went to jail and the account got overdrawn by over $400. Now debt collectors are coming after my son who is a minor child and has no income. I have informed the debt collector of this fact. Today’s mail had a fill in the blanks form threatening my son that if he doesn’t pay this debt it will be reported to credit agencies, affect cost of insurance, make it hard to find employment, etc.

My son has no job. He also has ADHD and is autistic impaired high functioning. He’s getting help so maybe in another year or two he might be ready for a part-time job but that doesn’t help now. And I can’t afford to pay the debt. I’m already trapped paying another debt of the ex’s because it comes from before our divorce. We have no spare money right now. Also my hours at work have been cut plus I now have to use the laundromat. Please don’t suggest a second job because that isn’t an option at this time. Not with being a single mom of three wonderful kids.

Is the bank in your area? Can you go have a sit-down with the bank manager (bring the child in question) and show them exactly what is going on? I think it is illegal to collect from minors, but don’t know the law that proves it… Either way – you don’t owe the debt. Your name was not on it.

Don’t worry about just letters …. remember these are the same brilliant people who send credit cards to dogs and dead people. There is no brain behind the collection letters. Make sure you have a budget and are feeding those kids first and foremost, ahead of any collection bills. And keep your head up – it will get better!!! Can you go to the bank and talk to someone there? If that doesn’t get you anywhere, I’d suggest a consultation with an attorney. Most do the first appointment free and they can tell you what you need to do to take care of it.

That can’t be legal. First off, children are never responsible for their parents’ debts. I honestly think they’re just trying to scare you into paying something you’re not responsible for… they sometimes use some pretty dirty tactics. I’d search around Dave Ramsey’s site to see if this issue has come up. I’m guessing it has–it can’t be that uncommon. Also, there might be something in the Fair Debt Collection Act so you could tell them they’re violating it.

They have no legal grounds to come after you and I can’t imagine an actual bank doing this, have they sent it to a collection agency? I would first recommend contacting a nearby branch of the bank and speak to the branch manager. Explain the situation and see if that does not clear it up.

If it does not and you have to deal with the collection agency, send them a certified label telling them that they cannot legally collect this debt from a minor and that you do not mind sharing their tactics with the State’s Attorney General, State’s Trade Commissions, and State’s Banking Regulators. Be sure to tell them “In Accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” to stop contacting you. You must send it so that you have proof they signed for it. Then send all these agencies copies also.

Credit card company went under

Sorry in advance, I know I will probably tell everything and confuse some, like myself. :) I was wondering if anyone knows how your credit score is affected when your credit card company goes under. I have bad credit, sub prime mortgage, my own stupidity with credit in the past and on and on, but I am working on cleaning it up. I only had one active card because I didn’t want to repeat past mistakes. I received a letter telling me that my card was terminated effective immediately due to no problems of my own.

When I called the rep for the company told me that the company had folded and wasn’t bought out or declared bankrupt just closed their doors. I am working so hard to clear past debt as well as make some kind of leeway on my mortgage situation because right now I am basically paying rent to stay there, it is interest only. I want to refi but don’t know what this closure of my only active card will do to my credit score. Anyone know anything about it? Thanks in advance.

I don’t think it would negatively affect your credit score, but what you need to know is that someone could still buy the debt. It’s very unusual they’d just close their doors one day and not be required to sell parts of the business to pay THEIR debts. I worked in the mortgage industry (eek) for years, and even when companies just folded, there was still a process to sell their assets (usually meaning customer data) afterwards so their debtors wouldn’t come away empty handed.

It might not happen for months or even up to a year, but I wouldn’t count on this debt being erased.

Reasking a couple of questions

Maybe no one can provide me the answer to questions I’ve asked in the last couple of months, but I will try one more time:

  1. In July I mentioned that my mortgage company called before 8 am to find out where my payment (only a couple of days late) was.  I complained to the FTC but is there any other recourse?
  2. What constitutes Proof of Debt when you request it?  I asked for proof of debt and all they sent me was some phony bill that anyone could make up on their computer.

In response to your first question, it’s the FTC and the Better Business Bureau. That’s about it. Maybe your state’s attorney in case they’re abusing other customers as well.

As for the second, here’s a really good response I found online:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070410171808AASuSaU

Thanks for that.  Well then I did all I could for the mortgage company calling early (now I think they’re getting back at me by calling even if I’m a day late). The link for the other question is great.  Now I know how to proceed.