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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.