Re: My money problems really came into full swing

Hi Victoria,

I have a few things to say to you which will hopefully give inspiration. You are a young, smart and motivated woman. You made a mistake with getting into debt and now you have every reason to realize how not to get into that situation again.

You are also very lucky that your parents are supportive as they are.

Many people don’t have that.

Now, think about your discipline to save $10,000 in the first place.

You have what it takes to control your spending, paying off your bills, recovering physically, finding a job you like and saving more money. You’ve got a lot going for you.

You say your parents love you and are helping you, then stay awhile longer (as long as they let you) even after you get back on your feet financially. What’s your hurry with moving out ASAP. I understand you may have a need to live independently but it seems that your first try went a little sour. It does for many people so you are not alone. I don’t get along that well with my parents and I’m 40! But we manage to have a great family relationship. I had a situation occur (not financial) where I had to move back to their house, with my infant son. And I am so grateful for their support!

It’s a good thing you aren’t using the credit cards any more and living by using cash instead. I lived that way for a long time after my credit card debts were paid off. I did however find a healthy way to have a line of credit, use it once in a while (to build and retain a decent credit score) and mostly see it as my extreme emergency fund. The best money management advice I can give you is this: “always spend less than you make, and you will come out ahead” It took me years to learn that.

I was about $14,000.00 in credit card debt, but I was 30. It took me 5 years to pay it off and pay all my other living expenses at the same time. I didn’t buy myself anything new for those 5 years and I got use to not spending money. I actually started enjoying other things about life more.

thank you everyone for your nice words. I think most people go through life thinking that they are their own person, you know the only one to experience the problems that they are facing… no one understands, that mentality. It is so nice to meet people who are in the same boat. I am glad to know I am not the only one who has moderation issues… SO who wants to go shoe shopping?? Just kidding….

for me a big part of the spending problem was enjoying the pleasant anticipation of receiving a package in the future. Maybe it will be there when I get home was the mindset. Didn’t really matter what it was.

I’m the same way, so I signed up for a Freebies mailing list and I go to the links the list sends every day to get free coupons, free samples, etc.. so I get free crap in the mail. I actually use the stuff though and saves money sometimes. Like I got a free sample of some new Tide product yesterday, saves me on detergent, or last week I got 2 free samples from ALways and it had 2 pads and a pantyliner in each, so those went in my purse for emergencies.

My money problems really came into full swing

Hi everyone,

My name is Victoria and I am 23. I just wanted to introduce myself and my situation. I guess my money problems really came into full swing a year after I moved from my parents house. I left the day I turned 18 and lived in a horrible apartment and had to money. I started savings and soon had over $10,000 saved. I was thrilled and I thought I could treat myself just this once. In a matter of weeks the money was gone and I turned to credit cards. I left that apartment and took a job that paid very little but I loved. I HAD to use my credit cards to get by and by the time I was making more money I got injured and lost my job. By that time I was about $15,000 in debt and I couldn’t go home, I had no where to live and I was hurt. I stuck it out for a while (with cards of course) and finally was able to move back in with my parents. We never got along well, but they love me and I am fortunate enough that I was able to tell them my situation and they were able to pay my bills while I am not working due to back surgery. I got rid of all my credit cards and am living cash only. I have a very hard time not spending money. It makes me happy for a second. I see something and I HAVE to have it. I am trying to focus on saving and keep the thought in my head that I REALLY want to move out ASAP. I am glad to meet people who may have insights on debt management. Thanks everyone. Its great to meet you all.

This really struck a chord for me. At the root of my spending problem is that same feeling – I see something and absolutely have to have it (incidentally, have same problem with food).

The key for me, which that led to one tool for battling this issue, are those word “SEE something”. Believe it or not, I have actually found that “out of sight, out of mind” can be helpful in avoiding overspending (and overeating). It’s not a fix-all, and it’s a small tool, but sometimes just distancing yourself by distracting yourself can lessen that urge to act on what you saw that you want.

Sometimes, for example, I will get a catalog (have been stopping those from coming in the mail also), I will go thru it and see a whole lot of stuff I want (especially kitchen stuff!). So I mark all the stuff I want … then put the book away. If I can avoid acting on buying any of it for at least a period of time, I find that urge sometimes completely goes away, and I end up ordering nothing at all.

Of course, as a therapist once taught me, it is possible to teach yourself moderation. You can find ways to treat yourself so you don’t feel completely deprived. For example, I love chocolate. That’s a problem for both my waistline, and my wallet – especially because I’m attracted to high end chocolate at $65 a pound!!. So I found a middle ground – dark chocolate has health benefits. And these days you can buy excellent quality chocolate in grocery stores for good prices. So I get myself a $4 block of Ghirardelli Bittersweet, and make myself a lowfat mousse or flourless torte. Now I’ve gone from spending $65 to spending $4 (and cutting calories) — AND I still have my favorite treat.

It took me a long time to get to this point – I bought a lot of $65 a pound chocolates for about a year. Then I got to a point where there’s no way I can afford $65 a pound for chocolate, because I’m having trouble finding the $65 a month for my car insurance … watch this helpful video:

So I would advise, just as one small tool to use, try the out-of-sight-out-of-mind / distraction / delay tactic. And also try finding a cheaper version of what you want to give yourself some treats sometimes.

These things have both worked well for me, even though they are rather small tools. I hope they provide some help for you.

What are you negotiating?

What are you negotiating? Interest Rates? Payoff? Are you current on your debt? Sometimes if your in default and haven’t paid, you have more leverage believe it or not. Especially with an unsecured debt. If theres difficulty collecting they are more willing to work with you. There are ways of determining leverage, say Im trying to avoid bankruptcy, I have another offer from another card with a lower interest rate, can you possibly save some cash and offer cash settlement? There are many ways to do it. Analyze where you are at, what you can pay, and work with them, dont come across as being my way or the highway or chances are slim.

Just call the 1-800# and if you don’t like what you hear, ask to talk to a supervisor etc…The worst they can say is no, but at least your trying…. IM just going of a book that I read, so hope this helps some. There’s alot of information, so if there’s anything specific, let me know and I can try to help you.

I’m trying to get them paid off. I have been giving the settlement company money every month so I don’t have much of my own to use as leverage. I’ve read that if I ‘settle’ with one of the creditors I can’t make monthly payments on that settlement. I have to give them the amount I settled right then. (ex…if I agree to ‘settle’ for $2500 on a $5000 debt then I have to give them the $2500 right then. I cannot negotiate to pay them the #2500 on a monthly basis).

If you settle with them for a certain amount, then you have to negotiate one lump sum, over 4 months, etc…. But I didn’t know you were already with a debt settlement company. They should of already settled for much less for you right? How much longer do you make payments with the settlement company? Thats why your paying the settlement company, to do the leg work for you…

My advice would be to negotiate with the judgment creditor on a possible settlement of your account. Any agreement must be in writing. I would also advise them that if they refuse to negotiate you will file for bankruptcy and they may get nothing! depending on your situation. You also demand in the stipulation that they ask the court to vacate the default judgment and any liens,garnishments etc. that they have on you as long as you keep to the settlement agreement. I would also check the bankruptcy exemptions in your state using the nolo-author website

They’ve settle 2 of 6. Two of the four I have still to be settled have balances (with all the fees and such) of over $5,000. One has a balance of over $10,000. The last is being negotiated now. It’s about $1500. I don’t have money to negotiate the $5k or $10K debts. It seems like, even with the money I give the settlement company every month, that it will take forever to negotiate. I could be sued in the meantime.

Thanks for the answers to my questions – I am calling the stettlement company today. They did tell me just to forward all correspondence to them, which I did do, so I didn’t realize that a summons was part of the correspondence. Also, an arbritration judge in Minnesota is the one that determined the debt was valid, again with no input from me.

Was the judgment given only by an arbitrator from a private organization(such as American Arbitration Association or National Arbitration Forum) or was it entered in a court of record? If it is in a court of record you need to ask the court how to file a motion to vacate a default judgment and if a private organization did it you should contact them and ask how you can have the case reopened. I believe in most if not all states a judgment must be entered in a court of record in order to be enforced by such means as execution of property or wage garnishment.

If you received a notice of default judgment

If you received a notice of default judgment you should contact the court that issued the judgment and ask them how you can file a motion to vacate the judgment. If you don’t want to hire a lawyer ask them how this is done pro se. Again look on nolo’s website for legal advice on a lot of situations. They also have a book on representing yourself in court which you could try to get at the local library.

You can negotiate a payment plan back or less of a balance because your money situation is tough, but if you have no money there isn’t much leverage for you. If they know your willing to work with them, and they get paid something most of the time they will accept a reasonable offer.

I went to one of those rip-off places in California. I wanted to check them out so I emailed the attorney general. I was advised to avoid this type of solution. The challenge I have is that I gave a few of my account nos. to the agency. Within a few months I had 2 accounts instead of one. Now I have judgements for bogus accounts.

I did not have the $150. per account for the fees to fight them. Still trying to get out of the mess. I tried to negotiate with the card companies and the current “collectors” not one will talk to me. Any ideas?

It depends on the state that you live in, and what assets you have.

In some states they can garnishee your wages. In almost all states they can placed a lien on your real property(house, car or truck). In some states they can “attach” your bank accounts. They may able to obtain the title for any vehicles for which there isn’t already a (registered) lien holder.

It takes time (often months) to put the paperwork through the system, and you won’t get any further warnings or notifications.

If they garnish wages, it will show up as a deduction on your paycheck. As in “Why did I only get $160 this week, instead of the $500 I normally get?”.

An attached bank account normally shows up as a string of bounced checks and/or an empty savings account. Or a arrest warrant for check fraud.

You need to speak to someone locally, and find out exactly what is going on, or may happen. It’s time to speak to a lawyer, and to whoever got the judgment against you. Now. Before the shit hits the fan. Look for the local Debtors Anonymous, they often have local referrals, and free information.

Fire the debt settlement company before their incompetence lands YOU in jail.

Thanks for the advice on default judgement. Very clear and concise advice, and I appreciate it and the quick response to my question.

I still have a question, which you may not be able to answer, so I can go to Nolo for that or to Legal Aid, but I was wondering, how do you have grounds to vacate a judgement? I didn’t respond to letters, and do owe the money, and was hoping that since I am with a Debt Settlement company (which has power of attorney) that perhaps it could be settled before it went to a lawsuit- but the debt isn’t in dispute.

Here is a flaw in Debt Settlement, I think – the company told me to send the court papers to them, which I did, but then I heard nothing – I should have been more proactive (and, of course, I still can be)- may be a character flaw in me, pretending the debt is going to go away! Or wanting the Debt Settlement company to take careof everything for me! I also don’t have enough money to pay for their services and I’m considering applying for no credit check payday loan from – my friend recommended me this company. Have you heard of them?

I also heard heard that some people are judgement proof, and that they often don’t bother to go forward after the judgement – I have no assets at all.

Thanks again, everyone, for the timely and helpful responses.

I have only gotten a judgment served


I have only gotten a judgement served, not a summons. (From what I understand, though, the judgement is the first step and that allows the company to then sue you)

Summons would scare me also, and I would probably find a way to consult a lawyer if I got one. I wouldn’t want to go into court without representation, but that is my fear, and may not be the best option.

I am one of those people who don’t have the money to settle. I live from paycheck to paycheck and have no savings. I just pay $200 a month to the settlement company, which is all I can afford –

I think that I would do bankruptcy if things get dicey, although I don’t want to.

I got the judgement in October, and nothing has happened since…. but the possibility is definitely out there….I just tell myself I am doing the best I can.

judgmentYes but of course they tried pretty hard to talk me out of it. But I told them that I was not happy with their services and wanted all the money (of ours) that had collected over the months to pay the creditors. I also told them that if they didn’t, I’d report them to the BBB.

We paid a fee upfront (about $3400) that we didn’t get back, but lesson learned.

They charge you that upfront fee, plus they were taking a $20 monthly fee from the payment we sent each month, plus they took 15% of the money they would save us when a creditor was paid off. Whew! I was getting dizzy watching them take our money.

There was only one creditor paid off in the year+ we were with them and I did all the negotiating myself. So what did I need them for??? Just to take money from us we could put towards other creditors.

Hope this helps!

Also, how do you negotiate with them yourself? Who do you need to contact? Do you take the same approach as the debt settlement companies and not pay your card for months and then attemp negociation? Or will they talk before everything goes bad?

I paid a small fee up front and then a portion of the monthly payment, for the first 14 months, is their fee. If I “fired” them I’m sure I would have to pay the remainder of the fee first.

How do you negotiate with creditors if you don’t have any money?

I appreciate your advice.

I have a question, I received a judgement, but I never remember receiving a summons, and I have never had to go to court. Could the summons have been a letter? A letter that I forwarded to the debt settlement company?

So what does the judgment mean? Because nothing has happened since I got it …….

Can anyone explain what I can expect from this?

On another note, I say “Maxed Out” last night, the documentary about credit card companies. I recommend that everyone in this forum see it, it is really eye opeining, and Dave Ramsay has a role in it – it helps me see how manipulative the collection companies are and how to deal with them.

Thanks, and please, if anyone can explain the judgement situation I am in I would appreciate it.

We had to pay the entire fee up front and I knew we were probably going to lose that. I would still fire them and get back anything that did not go towards their fee.

If you think about it, you probably don’t have enough in your account with them to negotiate with any credit cards right now anyway. So if you fire them, and get all the $$$ back that was going into the account to negotiate, you’ll get a lot more in there faster by doing it yourself.

When you do have enough to start negotiating, that’s when you will start. Same as with the debt settlement company except you’ll also have all the money you were giving them too.

Don’t take NO for an answer. It’s nonnegotiable or you’ll report them.

Re: Debt Settlement – need advice

We did the same thing with exactly the same problems you are having. We finally “fired” them, had them refund all the money they had in our account and started negotiating with the CA’s ourselves. Why pay them to do what we could do ourselves?

How do you do that? You can ‘fire’ them?

Receiving a summons is very scary. My mind starts spinning as to what can happen….especially garnishing of wages.

I don’t own a home. We rent. The car I have is leased. It has been leased since 2005, before I went into Debt Settlement.

I am trying to put as much in savings as I can so I can pay them off quickly.

Are you negotiating with the creditors or leaving it up to the Debt Settlement Company? The summons was sent to me was from the debt collection agency. I don’t know if I should try negotiating myself.

Would it be alright if I email you privately? I have so many questions and need someone who’s going through this.

You hit the nail on the head. You don’t need to hire anyone to call the CC companies for you. Especially companies that are unethical like the one mentioned. Debt settlement is for people who want to pay their debts but can’t afford to pay the whole thing. And you should try to keep in contact contact with creditors so they don’t sue you.

The very things y’all describe are good reasons why one shouldn’t pay someone to do this. You can do it yourself and do it just as well.

Depends on the state you are residing in, usually you may file a simple answer to the court within 30 days of being served your summons. That way you may buy some time, about 3 months for a case management conference. Sometimes it takes 3 conferences, 3 months apart, (the duration is about 9 to 12 months) to come to the actual trial. at least you have 3 months to negotigate with the credit card company.
If you had been served summons and not answered the lawsuit in a definite time (in CA, 30 days), you will lose your lawsuit by default.

My cousins had similar experiences. He found a debt management company, POA and paid some fee. Eventually he got sued by Capital One and lost the lawsuit because the debt counseling company messed up. He paid the debt counselor every month or so, but sounds like the debt counseling company kept most of money, and paid a liitle or none to the creditors. This company eventually been sued by the consumers in a class action and went bankrupt.

The best way is handle by yourself. If times goes by, most creditors will let you have 50% or 70% settlement. The tricks are ignoring them for a couple of months, then they will mail you settlement notice. and you know sometimes you know the debt you owed by one company, will be sold to some 4th to 5th tier credit card company and issue you a new card with 30 to 40% balances and ask you to pay monthly and regain that credit line.

Debt Settlement – need advice

I signed up with a Debt Settlement company back in May 2015. I had a little over $21,000 in credit card debit. I pay a certain amount each month that goes into an ‘account’ to build up money to ‘settle’ with my creditors. For the first 14 months part of that money is a fee to the Debt Settlement Co.

I have settled with 2 creditors so far. I had 6.

It stated in the paperwork I received when I signed up that the creditors would be calling me for, probably, the first 90 days and then they should stop because the Debt Settlement would be working with them. It is now 10 months and I’m still getting harassing phone calls and even received a summons from one of the debt collectors now handling one of the accounts.

I need to know if anyone has experienced this and what I should do. When I contact my Debt Settlement Company I am told not to contact the creditors/debt collectors … less contact the better. I only contact them by mail to tell them they are not allowed to call me at work and that they can only contact me by mail as well. This seems to get them more irrate.

When I contacted my DSC (about the summons) I was told I would receive a packet from them on how to handle it, what letters I need to write, how to word them, etc. Is it me or shouldn’t they be doing this? When I signed up for this program I gave them Power of Attorney.

I just need to get some advice from someone who’s been through this.

I’m just starting out with a debt settlement company so I don’t have the experience yet to help you. However most dsc’s claim they do not give “legal” advice and ultimately you are responsible for responding to any lawsuits so they don’t get a default judgement against you. I am mulling over how much to deal with the dsc and may also try to settle the debts myself. However I like the idea of having a dsc to “lean on” if I get caught in a hard situation.

I have also been with debt settlement since May 2015, and everything is exactly as you have experienced. (The fees to the company, the power of attorney, and so on.

I also got a judgement served to me from the courts, although that was several months ago and there has been nothing further about that – it was Chase that got that judgement.

One thing I did differently is I changed my home phone number. That took care of the calls. Have you considered that? It takes a lot of pressure off not to have the calls. I just let friends and family know the new number –

And I alway send a certified letter with the phrase “Under the Fair Debt Collections Act, I have the right to request that I not be contacted at my place of work”…… they stop calling me at work that way.

The judgement scares me, and the company hasn’t done much about it – debt settlement doesn’t protect you from those legal procedures – I just tell myself that if it comes to court actions, I will then declare bankruptcy. I am fairly judgement proof, as I don’t own any property or a car or have money in the bank so there is a limit as to how they can “hurt” me……..

I have only settled one of my cards – I also have six to settle.

Anyway – what you are experienceing sounds exactly like what I am going through, and so far…….life goes on.

Hopoe this helps a little, don’t worry……

Getting a paycheck

need adviceI hope even this may be a little off topic someone might help.

I’ve been working for a company for about 9 months and to say the way I’m paid is inconsistent would be an understatement.

I THINK I’m supposed to be paid every two weeks (which was how I was paid the last four weeks) but now we’re more than two weeks away from my last check and I haven’t received it yet, and it won’t get here now until Tuesday if they even sent it. On other occasions I was paid for one week rather than two and it took them a month to catch up on that! I enjoy the work as I can do it from home and the lady who is my boss is one of the nicest bosses I’ve had (she has nothing to do with payroll) but I’m really getting annoyed at the corporate offices (in London with the US office in Chicago).

Is there anything I can do to rattle their cages to be sure I get paid on a timely and correct basis? As those of you who live paycheck to paycheck, this can become very inconvenient.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Do you have a contract with them? If so, what does it say? If not, I’d call whoever is doing the payroll and find out what the problem is. And I’d make it clear that timely and accurate pay is necessary for you to continue to do the work for them. That’s ridiculous.

Contact the labor department or similar agency in your state and ask them what you can do.

Re: Need help dealing with my debt

HI Jason, I feel for your situation…I think most CC companies will settle for less, because at least they get paid something. They can put liens on houses all they want, but it’s still not a guarantee. CC’s are unsecured loans, which means they will work with you on a settlement amount. I would suggest calling them and seeing what they will do. The worst they could say is no right? Debt Consolidation is ok too, but why pay them fees when this is something you can do. Unfortunately when people hit rock bottom, there are always people willing to take even more money. They are in it for the business too. Most of the time creditors will take .50 of every dollar and offer alot less. IF you do so, get it in writing and make it official. Don’t take a verbal contract. Give it a try!!

You mentioned permanent disability… Can you do anything for extra money? Let me know what you have found out and if any creditors are willing to work with you… Hang in there!!

You will probably something useful in this video:

Dan do not go to a debt consolidator, they all will rip you off. They are predators.

Instead follow these steps:

Step 1: get a copy of all three of your credit reports.

Step 2: Make a list of every negative account reporting on all of your credit reports. Check to see which are original creditors and which are collection agents. That information should be listed on the credit report. Pair the collection agency accounts with the Original creditor accounts, so that you aren’t double paying on any debts.

For instance; I have Sun Health reporting on my credit report as well as Healthcare Collections. I found out Healthcare Collections is collecting for Sun Health, so I pair them under one heading.

Sometimes you will have 2-3 Collection Agency’s trying to collect for one debt, that gets confusing. What I did recently was send a small electronic bill payment ($20) to the original creditor and tracked where it ended up. This electronic payment did not give the original creditor access to my account or my routing number or any other info, I double checked and verified with my bank. I made phone calls and got copies from my bank and etc.. The original creditor recieved the payment, this was confirmed thru fax from my bank so I have a paper trail. I called the original creditor to see if the payment was applied to my CHARGED OFF account. They said they recieved the payment but it was not applied to the account and that they forwarded it to First Financial , a collection agency, and they gave me the phone number for F.F.. I googled First Financial and found so I would have their info. I called F.F. they said they didn’t have a record of the payment and if they recieved it they would have sent it to Receivables Performance, who they outsource to. So I googled R.P. then called R.P. who was very rude, hung up on me twice, said they didnt have any money from me, etc.. The third time I called I opened the conversation with “Hi, before I begin I want to let you know this call is being recorded”. They didn’t hang up on me that time. The lady answered all my questions, claims they didn’t have a check.

Cool, everyone denied receiving payment, I have proof that it was recieved by atleast The Original Creditor including phone calls made directly to all three companies by MY BANK who recorded the conversations.

My next step was sending a Certified Mail Return Reciept letter to the Original Creditor, F.F., and R.P. It opened with this statement “This letter is being sent to Original Creditor, F.F., R.P., Arizona State Attorney general Terry Goddard, The Better Business Bureaus, Bureau of Financial Institutions, and any other people they could get in trouble with on the Federal level.

In the letter I stated all of the above info including that R.P. was rude, I ended the letters stating that I would be foolish to send any of the companies any further payments as they are “losing” my money along the way.

I sent those letters so that I would have written proof that I made every possible effort to pay on my debt but that there seems to be some fraudulent activities going on. This will help in case they EVER try to seek a judgment against me. I will show in court that I wanted to pay and have proof of an attempt, but that my payments were “lost”.

I sent those letters last Friday, so I’m awaiting a response.

Step 3: If you have the money to make a settlement, figure out how much you want to pay each creditor and then first try to get a Pay For Deletion (PFD). This will vastly increase your credit score as the debt will be completely removed from your credit reports. Some companies will refuse this but it’s always worth a try first.

If they refuse the PFD, try to get them to agree to some sort of action that might help your credit, like stating “pays as agrees” on your account, or something of that nature.

BTW getting them to put Paid Account or showing a ) balance, DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE.

Step 4: Get EVERYTHING in writing BEFORE you send your settlement payment.

If contact info is not on your credit report, GOOGLE the companies for their info.

Need help dealing with my debt

I’m Jason. I was hoping some of you might have some suggestions on how I can best deal with my debt. I am very confused, and am scared.

I had $50k in credit card debt before becoming disabled a few years ago, drastically effecting my income. Long story short: My creditors, 9 of them, were not interested in helping make it easier for me to pay down the debt on terms I could afford, and today, that $50k is now over $91k with penalties, vicious interest rates, and attorney fees.

A year ago, to avoid a nervous breakdown, I hired an attorney to handle this for me as I was really on the verge of losing my mind. He very quickly settled one $9k debt for $3500 (about 38% of the escalated debt, and closer to what I originally owed). Since then, we’ve had some contact, but I’ve come to realize that he has done nothing more than settling that one debt, and judgments and missed deadlines have been rolling in.

In a panic, I had a consult with a bankruptcy attorney today, ready to file for bankruptcy just to have this misery over, but he advised I would not qualify due to a little more equity in my home than I am allowed. He agreed to take my case but advised that I could likely settle my debts directly with my creditors and achieve the same results that he or another attorney would. And so I guess this is what I’m going to try to do.

Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with these creditors or their collection people. I am on permanent Social Security Disability; my income is and has been less than my expenses, and I do not intend to sell my home any time in the near future as I will likely not qualify for another mortgage given the circumstances and my now-poor credit. My only cash asset is a retirement account with around $10k in it. However, I do have a sister who is willing to lend me some cash if I can settle with these creditors, and 30-35% of the $91k is about what this loan will cover. Is it reasonable to expect any of them to settle for that?

I also am considering using a debt consolidation service, despite that I have not heard positive things in general about them. The reason I am considering this is because I would rather take the loan from my sister and put it toward getting my ailing house into good repair, and use whatever is left over to invest and pay down the debt with the income it would produce.

Thank for listening, and much Gratitude in advance for your help, Jason

PS: One more question: My original attorney had told me that the creditors who have liens on my home will not be willing to make settlements, but the attorney today told me this is not true. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks again.. Jason