Keep a journal of all calls made and include,dates, phone#s department names person’s names, their titles, etc, etc. Also, dont take the first offer you get, ask for their supervisor, and then that person’s supervisor….try to hit at least 2 higher ups. and Finally, if you are able to come up with an agreement that you feel will work for you GET IT IN WRITING!!! WORD FOR WORD WHAT THEY STATE THEY WILL ACCEPT FROM YOU AS PAYMENT IN FULL OF THE DEBT!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe this is all stuff you know….but just in case…..

You have a point there. I wasn’t really thinking about your home also being a business. But there have been changes in laws.

From what I’ve been reading here it sounds like Citi Bank doesn’t work with people. I heard that they won’t do the reduced amount either. Is that true?

When I got behind with Citibank they told me I could get on a hardship plan that lasted maybe 6 to 9 months. I can’t remember. They reduced the interest during that time and didn’t charge the fees they had been charging.

There was never any mention of a settlement for a lower amount, until they sold the debt , which was all interest and fees. I didn’t even realize that for a long time though. Paying Citi was just part of my life and I was in a real fog about my finances at that time. The debt buyer said if I paid the total amount they would reduce it, but just had I had not been able to pay the balance with Citi, I unfortunatly made an agreement with the debt buyer to make monthly payments.

Big mistake since they were charging their own interest and keeping me in the dark about it.

No they don’t want to work with people. However they will take less, They have been offering me less on 2 bills provided I pay up front. Of course its money I don’t have. They told me that they don’t usually sell there accounts. But they are quicker to try and sue you so they get their money. They did try to sue me, but it must not have worked, because its been 4 months and I haven’t heard anything and they are trying to settle with me.

I felt this way too, but in reality, we have the responsibility to look closely at our bills. I see most companies now actually ‘bold’ or capitalize the words ‘Finance Charge’ on the bills we get.

The ones that do not do this are shadier than an oak tree in your yard, and you can actually demand a rundown of their interest charges.

I had a JUNIPER (:-P) account, and they kept to their end of ‘$37.00 a month, but…. had I not looked at the actual bill rundown, I would have failed to notice their FINANCE CHARGE was in fact $39.87 so I was going deeper by $2.87 a month. When I saw that, I doubled their payment!

Same when I kicked up about the interest on a collector’s bill. They tried to say ‘tough noogies’ but I said, ‘cool. Take me to court then because I’m not paying any more without being let in on what you’re doing in this scam’.

They then applied all the payments I made to the principle and lowered the future payments. I kept the payments the same though, it put more on their (Now lowered) interests, and my balance. I got free of them in April this year, 1 year earlier than the agreement.


HELLO it is me again, originator of the post AT THE END… the thing about bankruptcy is, waht i was told by 2 lawyers, is they will SELL/AUCTION our HOME as it is ALSO our business (we had inn/tavern) and the problem is they will only probably get half of what it is worth at an auction and once the auctioneers get paid, the lawyers get paid for liquidating your assets, and the bank gets paid the balance on the mortgage, there wont be much left and if our creditors get that, well, we get ZERO… we put our life savings in this place and we worked for free for 8 years… to leave with only the clothes on our backs would not be an answer for me… the income we make here on renting lodging at least pays for the building, but does not cover the creditors that comes from our personal wages..

our best bet was to sell the place ourselves at good price and pay off everything and still at least recoup or original spendings and start with somethinng… but after several years and 2 failed sales, we give up on that the market is just not there. I figure if we stop paying out 3k or more a month on credit cards we can afford to live halfway decent and save some away… so if in the end we cant settle we can at least have something to work with if they take our place/home etc.

We have paid them more in interest than we ever borrowed so technically they should settle with us… we have paid well over a 100k in interest already and we still owe them… so I wont feel bad about it anymore. I have to start putting our basic needs first. It sucks no matter how you look at it thats for sure. THANKS FOR ALL THE REPLIES… I think I will go play a dollar on lotto now !!! I will go check the website you sent also, thanks!

I did the same thing… paying interest and fees long after I had paid the original amount of the debt . I’m not against interest, but there comes a point where you are simply in debtors prison and need to get out. My lawyer told me he has seen this time after time.

The CC Co’s are all for changing the terms of the agreement. Sometimes we need to change the agreement and simply put a stop to this robbery! Do you realize debt buyer agencies will be calling you? The credit card co’s will sell all that interest and fees on your account for pennies on the dollar and the debt agency will add their own interest.

I only had one account sold to an agency and foolishly agreed to make monthly payments. I didn’t find out until several months later the $1700.00 I had sent them over a period of months was not reducing the amount they said I owed, but they were increasing my debt. The kept me in the dark about the interest they were charging. Imagine, selling intertest and then getting more interest piled on. Compound interest gone wild!!!


Stop throwing good money after bad. Take that money you have been sending to creditors and hire a good bankruptcy attorney. There is no sense ruining your health over this and not saving any money for retirement. You need to put yourself and your family first!

There are laws to protect you! Take advantage of them. Tomorrow morning, call and interview several bankruptcy attorney’s, another option would be to ask for a referral for an attorney from someone you trust, perhaps your accountant, or talk to family and friends. DONT be embarassed, so many people are going through this!!! You are not alone!! Go with your gut. Most offer free consultations and some offer free phone consultations.

You SO deserve peace. It’s your turn. Allow yourself to receive it! DONT stress yourself out by calling those darn creditors!!!! Talk with a bankruptcy attorney first!!! I am in a similar situation, though on a much smaller scale. I’m like you…..very in control of my money, very diligent about paying bills on time. But after 2 years with a business that could not keep up with it’s bills…..I decided ENOUGH. I am still learning all about this, and am in the process of filing chapter 13. Things seem rough at first when you make the decision, but once you accept it, it honestly get’s easier. Honestly. Hang in there……

Also, just a tip…there is a wonderful web site to check out with ton’s of info,

Please, reconsider bankruptcy. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation. You could also see if there’s a law college nearby. There’s one near where I live and the professors supervise students in a clinic as they provide free or low-cost legal help. Don’t know if all law colleges have this kind of clinic but it can’t hurt to ask.

If you’re still unsure about filing for bankruptcy get a piece of paper and make two columns on it. In one, list the bad side of doing it like the effect on credit scores and in the other, list the good things such as being able to afford decent food and sleeping well at night.

About four or five years ago my brother and his fiance broke up. She’d managed to get a couple of credit cards in both of their names, which he didn’t know about until after they split. He was able to file bankruptcy, get rid of those card debts, but GOT TO KEEP HIS HOUSE. So you just might get to keep your current home.

It sounds like you are a candidate for bankruptcy. I would look into it. I know not every situation calls for BK, but 140K debt and very little income to cover even your basic utilities, you need more than settlement offers.

Also, You need to see a financial Counselor. You should be able to find one in the Yellow Pages or online search. You might find one on Dave Ramsey’s site as an ELP. (endorsed local provider)


Will try to make this short. My partner filed bankruptcy Jul ’06. I did not. We have a 2nd mortgage in both our names with HomEq. The original mortgage is in my name. In Aug ’06 I quit receiving statments from HomEq. I called them and said we wanted to continue paying this obligation. I was sent paperwork to sign, I sent it back and I have verification it was received. I received on more bill, then no more.

Since August, I have e-mailed, sent payments, of which I never received notification of payment, other than my cancelled check. I have no idea if it went on my account. They refuse to send me anything. I have called, I have sent registered letters. They say they are looking into it, but never respond back to me. It seems like an elaborate way to charge me late fees, etc., I don’t know, I don’t get statements.

I’ve kept track of all calls, e-mails and everything I’ve sent has been by registered mail. All we want to do is get statments and pay the bill. It shouldn’t be this hard to get them to agree to this. Most people get OUT of trying to pay bills. This is the only organization I’m having difficulties with. Has anyone experienced something similar? It seems just bizarre that I’m having this much trouble trying to pay an obligation. Any advice offered would be greatly appreciated.

Have you contacted the BK lawyer your partner used? Was the 2nd included in the discharge or excluded? It should list the individual debts. You would not want this debt to be included in their filing. Has the BK moved to the liquidation stage? Have you pulled your credit report to see how this debt is being reported? Most mortgages are excluded in BK. Again, the lawyer may shed some light on this.

Personal loans

I am a disabled single parent looking for a legit way to get a personal loan of 7500. I am about to buy a house but they will not also give me this extra bit I need.

I want to pay off my cards and get a car because the house is not in an area with public transportation near the house.

I am about to call the loan officer to withdraw the application for the house loan because it won’t make any sense to have a house and not be able to get anywhere for shopping and schools and medical.

I tried prosper and they were so nasty I left.

My income is 950 and my score is 620 but the bank won’t help me either. Does anyone have any suggestions?

You need to be careful about more debt. Here are a few concepts from the Dave Ramsey’s books Total Money Make Over and Financial Peace University:

Fist step-establish an emergency fund of $500-$1,000.

Second step-create a monthly budget that shows where every $ goes. You also need to stop using credit. The objective here is to reduce your spending and get on a plan to reduce outstanding debt.

I hope this helps.

Credit card debt

What I’m currently doing is I have our credit cards arranged from highest interest rate to lowest and am paying about 5 dollars about the minimums on all but the highest card (figured that would slightly help our credit more than paying the minimums because it will show that we paid more than the minimum due) and then I’ve been putting everything else that we have towards the card with the highest interest rate.

tunnelI’m sure most of us can agree that credit card debt is EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However, just recognizing that doesn’t make it go away. My husband and I have way too much credit card debt and are making progress on paying it off. What I’m currently doing is I have our credit cards arranged from highest interest rate to lowest and am paying about 5 dollars about the minimums on all but the highest card (figured that would slightly help our credit more than paying the minimums because it will show that we paid more than the minimum due) and then I’ve been putting everything else that we have towards the card with the highest interest rate.

I also routinely call the credit card companies to see if I am eligible for a decrease in APR and often I am and we have done the balance transfer juggle a few times as well.

Is there anything else anyone could share that could work? It just seems like it’s going to take forever to get it paid off. I am very driven though, so that will help. The fact that we are living with family right now and not having to pay rent is helping as well. It just seems like it’s a long dark tunnel.

What I have done in the past and I know I read it in one of the numerous debt books; is if you start with the smallest balance to highest it makes things a little ’emotionally’ easier. If you pay the extra toward that small balance then it is paid off sooner than a large balance; which means all that money goes towards the next one, BUT you also get to see satisfaction sooner that you are actually making a difference. Does that make sense?? I am not sure my thoughts typed out real well, but hopefully you understand that.

It is a long dark tunnel and some people stay in that dark tunnel for a long, long time. Paying loan shark interest , penalty fees etc. The credit card co’s love it! These people are their best customers who they make their most profit from. I’ll get hammered on this group for saying this, but I agree with Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren that if you can’t pay your debt in a timley manner, then consider filing bankruptcy.

You really can repay your creditors once you are back on your feet! With the price of everything going up, it makes no sense to be held hostage with loan shark interest etc by the CC co’s. You and your family come first! All the extra fees you are paying to the CC Co’s could be put in savings , earning interest for your future.

Prices are not going down. They are getting higher all the time. A CEO of a big corporation who is in trouble doesn’t blink an eye if he or she needs to get the co back on it’s feet and neither should an individual or family.


Wife lost her job……owes her company 20K in back wages. They want paid off on or before Dec. 31, 2007. She has existing medical problems. Has a surgery scheduled for October 18th. I have a house and a house payment, 5 cars, 3 of which are paid off, 1 Harley, which I still owe a small amount on……if I go into bankruptcy Chapter 7. What do I lose? I do not mind parting with 2 cars but want to save my bike. Do I have a chance in hell to do this?!?!?! I am screwed and all I have been doing s working and staying straight in line!!! I believe I am finished!

If you got a good friend. Have him “buy” the bike and put it in his name. As long as you both believe it’s yours, no problemo.

I’ve never heard of having to pay back wages. If she had to quit because of medical conditions you may want to contact a lawyer, there may be stipulations or something that can be done.

My opinion is to sell everything you can. Hey, it’s just stuff. Being able to care for your family is much more important than a dumb bike. I can say dumb bike because I’ve owned 2 harleys, and a bike is just a bike. Remember, you can always fight back and someday buy another one. Do whatever it takes to take care of you wife and family.

Can you explain how someone ends up owing their employer back wages? I’d like to know so this never ends up happening to me?

Here is an article that sums up what is in the Consumer Reports article about credit cards.

USAA scoring highest didn’t surprise me, even though I have never had a credit card with them. I have checking and a savings account with them and customer service is superior. I have never had to wait over three minutes to speak with a rep. Most of the time it’s less than a minute wait. When I banked at BOA I wa sometimes kept on hold for 20 minutes or more!

She was advancing her paychecks and had been for sometime……this I knew nothing about! I guess this is just a bump in the road of life! I still dont wnat to lose my bike!

Another reason to hate Citi… SNEAKY!

They took over Exxon Mobil CC operations too and sent me a notice about it.

I called them and told them I no longer had the Mobil account and I wanted my name and personal info out of their database.

I doubt it was removed though. Once they have you, I don’t think they ever want to let you go.

I hope they don’t go checking into my credit report and plan on sending me one of their credit cards. Every inquiry can result in a lower score. Maybe I am borrowing trouble, but I don’t trust Citi one bit!


what do you think of increasing your mortgage to pay off debts (assuming you have sufficient equity) then starting fresh? In other words borrowing from your equity then start over debt free.

I am not a big fan of borrowing equity from your home, i.e., home equity loans, because if you don’t make the payments on a home equity loan, you can lose your home. If you don’t make your credit card payments, you will not lose your home.

Actually, I just wanted to refinance the total mortgages and start fresh. That way we can file a chapter 7, cure the arreage and not lose our home.

Still, personally, I think it is a very bad idea because…:

1. A mortgage is still a debt… you are still in debt just with a different name.
2. There are costs usually involved with (re) financing, costing you more money.
3. This is a debt that is secured by your HOME, which you could LOSE if you couldn’t pay it back in a timely manner. The one thing you should be most secure with.

You obviously want to deal with debt especially mentally, a way that makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something, so find a way that won’t be so risky. One typical way that makes us feel good and does good is by paying off the smallest debt first, then when paid, adding that entire amount to the next one, paying it off a little faster that way. Still of course, making your regular payments on all debts. If you have extra to put toward debts,, either pay off a small debt or pay it toward your highest interest producing debt.

Really it’s better to pay off the highest interest first but… sometimes the mental encouragement off seeing the small ones paid of is really more beneficial if it makes a difference in motivation. If you go the highest interest route, make sure you keep a record so that you can SEE what you are accomplishing. You could just using percent of debt paid off or pie charts or whatever will work for you.

Just my opinions, but gleaned from ‘experts’. I am a classic example of why this generally does not work. If you do not truly change your lifestyle, destroy all credit cards, lines of credit etc., have a healthy emergency fund, you will wind up right back where you are, only owing more on your house.

Very good points.

I had all my credit card paid off last August. But here I am with $12,000 in credit card debt. I’m sick to my stomach over it.

I’ve been playing with the household budget worksheet and I’m amazed to find out just how much “extra” money I have or should have each month.

I wish I had found this all out a long time ago.
I actually thought I was “budgeting” by tallying all the bills and seeing what was leftover. I always knew approximately what I had left to spend on gas, groceries, etc. But it was all lumped together and gone before I knew what I had spent on. I felt like I never had money to save and never had extra money.

Anyone read the book Debt is Slavery ? It has 5 reviews on Amazon and all are five star. I ordered a used copy for my grown son, but I plan to read it first! :) It’s supposed to be an easy read with less than 100 pages, but filled with a lot of good info. I like a review that mentions the GMM, Great Marketing Machine . That’s everywhere you go… right along side Visa, or is that MC. Oh well, whatever…

Thanks for all your comments. I have been seriously saving and budgeting for about 7 months now so I think I am ready to do this. I do believe though that if you don’t change any old habits you’ll just end up in debt again. My debt happened because after the death of my son I changed my work situation and truthfully didn’t care about my money, bills or much else for a while. I feel like I am finally back on track but unfortunately have to make up for that lost time. I plan to maintain my strict plan of financial recuperation.