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Thank you for your response. I will be giving you a "happy face" grade for that response, but it really didn't help. Many people, including my husband and I, have discussed bankruptcy as an option to help us get out from under this wreckage. But we do not actually owe that much in credit card debt or unpaid medical bills. I don't have the exact figure in front of me, but it's less than $3,000. Not bad compared to some people we know. Our problem is the $15,000 we owe the IRS. They have a lien on our home but we have a monthly payment plan with them. While it is only $300 a month, right now, that amount is keeping our heads underwater but they refuse to go any lower. Don't think we haven't tried. The other real bugaboo is being 3 years past due on our property taxes. It is my understanding that a bankruptcy will not with these two issues in any way. So, we can see no point in going with that option. My plan is to contact my creditors and explain the situation and tell them what I CAN afford to pay them right now, let them know that I will increase the amount paid when I can and hope they can and will accept that. If they feel they must send me to collection, then that is what they will have to do. You can't get blood from a turnip and I'll just have to try and work out something with the collection agency. It is my understanding with these agencies is that if you say "I can only afford to pay you ten dollars a month" and they say they can't accept that, if you send them a check for the ten dollars and they cash it, that is a sort of "acceptance," on their part, of the amount. Do you know if this has any truth to it?
I WANT to pay my debts. I do NOT want judgements against our home. I really WOULD like to work on restoring what once was a perfect credit rating. But as I believe as you said, if you don't have any money, when you can not find a job...........what are we suppose to do? Just stand here and watch everything we have worked for all our lives to be taken away from us for no real fault of our own? It is beyond frustrating. It is painful, embarrassing, heartbreaking and somehow so incredibly unfair............especially when we see people from different, ah....."cultures," being handed free medical coverage, food stamps, vastly reduced rents or no rent at all, help with utilities and on and on. We are in our 60's and while we never thought we'd be on "easy street" when we hit retirement age, we DID think we would be able to retire and enjoy doing the things we love, which in our case is not jetsetting around the world, but working in the yard, taking care of our home, having the vegetable garden of our dreams, taking drives around our state and perhaps even splurging on a dinner out and a movie once a month which we haven't been able to afford for YEARS now.
We realize we are much better off than so many other people, so I'll end this by once again thanking you for your suggestion and I understand the only thing you can give us is your sympathy
While I'm sure you and your loved ones have been affected to one degree or another by this economic down-turn, I can only pray that none of you EVER has to experience these feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
I feel like I am taking advantage of you as you seem to be "stuck" with me until I hit the smiley face and go away. When you say "don't pay" the general creditors until I have a reasonable payment plan, I do have those two letters saying my debt was being discharged, which actually was my original question as to what that meant. Your wrote " Since you have a lot of equity in your home you need to be careful not to get judgments against your house where the creditors could foreclose." This, as you can imagine, scares me and I wonder if you could elaborate just a little on this. You wrote that not knowing about the IRS lien or the past property taxes owed. And perhaps the amount we actually owe these creditors (approx $3000) has somehow changed your advice?
I asked my husband why we can't use the equity to pay off the IRS and get current on the property taxes and he said that we did a refi under some sort of Federal plan (we are paying 2% interest and the house will be paid off in less than 15 years) He said if we got into the equity, we would lose that interest rate and our house payment would increase. I argued that having those two major monkies off our backs would be well worth the increase of interest we pay to the current market low of 4%. I'm not a stupid person, but apparently my idea is not a good one for reason(s) I seem unable to comprehend.
I give you my word this will be my last question.
Thanking you sincerely XXXXX XXXXX for all your words of wisdom.......
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