Consumer Credit Counseling Agency Said I Don’t Make Enough For Them to Help Me. – Theresa

“Dear Steve,

I am employed and make good money and have always kept my debts paid, but over the last five years, I have had to take on a 2nd mortgage and as the needs arose, I added several credit cards to my debt load.

Unfortunately, my parents are 73 and each year they hit a “medical maximum” on their insurance benefits – making it impossible for them to pay for their prescriptions, food, household expenses, and utilities. This has required me to make them a monetary “gift” of my savings each year to help keep them on their prescriptions, fed, with heat, water, telephone and electric services. Consequently, I have not a penny saved at this point.

Added to that fact is my older sister lives with me – she pays a small contribution to the household expenses and car payment. She has several medical conditions with cause her a lot of medical expenses, medication expenses, etc. She is disabled and this past year had to undergo a transplant surgery which left her out of work for 3 – 4 months; during which time I did not receive any money from her and in fact had to supplement her but paying for her uninsured medicals and co-pays and personal needs while she wasn’t working.

Currently her payments to me have become less in amount and erratic due to her medical expenses — all of which leaves me with lost income. I work as much overtime as possible and until recently worked a part time job as well. However, there is less overtime available to me and I have had to give up the part time job because of time restraints.

In August my Uncle/God Father (a bachelor with no children) suffered kidney failure and began dialysis treatments. He was very sick and we were told he wasn’t expected to live long. I met with his doctor and nutritionist and began making his food for him based on his very restrictive dietary needs. I have paid for food for him for the past 6 months and now find that he is unable to reimburse me any time in the near future (approximately $800) and he can only afford $100 a month for food – which means I have to supplement the rest of his food bill – yet another drain on my finances. Because I have to make everything for him from scratch, I do not have the time to work a second job now. I don’t see my family obligations improving in the future and expect their needs to increase as their health declines.

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I have been able to keep up with the 1st and 2nd mortgage on my condo (which has a Homestead on it), keep up with the car payment and condo fees and household utilities – but for the past year I have been unable to pay on my credit cards. I just received the first notice of lawsuit from one of them and expect more to follow. My total credit card debt is a little over $35,000.

My total credit card debt is a little over $35,000. I tried a Consumer Credit Counseling Agency – but their evaluation left me $700 in the negative each month and they said I would need to figure out how to make an additional $700 a month. I am embarrassed, desperate and very frightened of failing to keep my home and being unable to meet my family obligations if my wages are garnished. I have no way of raising money to negotiate settlements on my debts. At this point, what are my options?


Dear Theresa.

Well obviously you are a very caring and compassion soul that is there to help other people in their time of need.

And now you are facing a situation that can really only be fully resolved with one solution, bankruptcy. I know it sounds scary but it is the only solution that gives you any protection and rights under the law.

If you don’t want to explore bankruptcy for yourself, you need to do it for the family that depends on you. Without any intervention in the debt situation you will soon find yourself in a position to not be able to care for them at all.

Click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them. You don’t have to obligate yourself to anything to talk to them and the appoint is usually free.

With bankruptcy your condo can be protected. The balance of your second mortgage that is higher than the value of the condo may be able to be reduced. You will be protected from lawsuits, your wages can’t be garnished, and collection pressure will stop.

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However, you will need to keep in mind, if you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will have to go into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy where you will repay part of your debt based on what you can afford. You and I don’t have a clue how much extra money that will leave you with without you going to a local bankruptcy attorney and discussing the situation.

Your homework: go talk to a local bankruptcy lawyer and report back what you discover.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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