The article below was contributed by a site reader who wanted to share their path out of debt.
I really want to be a good advocate on helping others around me with the same situation as it goes very deep, but even in my darkest time, I am no quitter and was bond to see this whole process through.
I am a strong farm woman that ended up being a widow at the age of 52 years of age and continued farming on my own for 7 years.
Depression set in to the max, even though I continued farming and dealing with all the issues that goes with farming. Strong as I am and was, I turned to gambling as my out to take away my sorrow. It was a hidden secret for many years and this was how I dealt with loss.
But in the end, my credit cards were suffering. Long story short, I had quit making payments on all my credit cards because I was not able to pay them and I had maxed them all out.
This went on for 6 months and along with this was all the phone calls I never would answer because it was a credit card company calling and wanting money. Then there was all the letters in the mail contacting me for payments.
One day I received a letter in the mail with the letterhead MINNESOTA ASSISTANCE CENTER at the top. Being from MN, this look legit and they stated about what my debt was so I thought maybe this really was someone that could help me out.
I called the number and was assisted with a very nice man telling me he could help me through the whole process. He asked all kinds of personal information, including Social Security Number and personal random questions asked that only I would know the answer and he ran a credit check and found all my credit card listings and the amount due.
Everything sounded legit so I continued on helping him fill out all the information, including banking and routing information. After an hour and a half on the phone, all the paper work was completed.
My debt of $74,000 was now going to be $31,000. This was a huge help I thought.
This company which was consisted of Lawyers, so to speak, was going to debit my bank account each month and put money into a Escrow Account in my name.
This would continue on for 9 months and then they would call my creditors for me and settle. But each month they would be taking off a fee that was very substantial.
The advice was free, but the service cost money, and lots of money. But if this was going to solve my situation, why not go with it.
So continuing on with the process, next was to have another account manager come to my home and go through the whole process again and have me personally sign papers.
After thinking about this for 3 days, I decided to just go on Google and look them up. This MINNESOTA ASSISTANCE CENTER ended up being called U.S. Legal Service Group, which also known as Global Client Solutions, or also Credit Card Debt Solutions.
This is where I found Steve Rhode’s statements of things he has experienced and they were all just like mine. OMGosh….can this be true? Am I really into some sort of a scam so to speak.
Mustarded Up the Courage
So now what…..I mustarded up the courage to start calling each of my 6 creditors. First one I called was very helpful and nice and understanding. I told her what I had planned on doing until I Googled it and she told me how thankful she was for actually calling them.
The process of calling each one took several hours but in the end, they are all going to be paid in full by the end of the month.
I ended up totally paying $41,155.42 total to 6 creditors. This saved me $32,982.34 and I am self assured that I have paid off each creditor personally and they got all the money we agreed upon.
Yes, this is a lot of money to pay off suddenly, but as I said, I am a farmer and I just sold some of my grain and this made it possible to pay each one off.
Next was to contact my Account Manager that was assigned to me with this other program and tell them I wanted out. He was not happy with me, but I had to do what was best for me. If I would have went with them, my credit score would have been much worse than they told me.
One of my creditors told me I would have ended up with a R-9 rating which is the utmost worst, worse than filing bankruptcy even. I would have had a blanket over my name for the rest of my life. Never to get out of the classification put on my name, EVER.
I am also thankful to one of my farm advisors that knew of my situation on credit card debt, told me to stop paying all my credit cards for 3-4 months. Once I did that, they would all be willing to work personally with me in clearing up my debt.
This was true, as it really did give me leverage. They were willing to take a settlement from me rather than get nothing from a Debt Solutions CO. I realize I will be getting a 1099 at the end of the year on the amount I was forgiven, but this amount of tax is small compared to what I would have paid.
It will count as income and I will and can deal with that.
My next step is looking forward to being debt free, and I can now answer the phone any time I want and have no fear. Credit cards are good when used for the right purposes, but also can be the root of all evil. A lesson was learned and I thank Steve Rhode for taking his time to have his article pop up on Google also.
I wrote this article for Steve to add to his site and help someone else. I just so hope this will help someone else, as I have written it totally from the heart.
I can also say, gambling is no longer a problem for me and I thank my family and friends for all their support.
Wishing you all the best
Congratulations Robin. You did a wonderful job. Steve is a "good egg."