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My Fiance Attacked Me and Left Me In Debt. I am a Victim of Domestic Violence. – JoAnn

“Dear Steve,

I’m 75 yrs old. Was disabled to Social Security in 1997. When 65yrs, disability was changed to regular SSI. In 1999, my husband died of cancer and my income was then his SSI. He took care of all bills, therefore I was illiterate to bookkeeping.

I receive $2002.00 monthly. Rent and utilities are well over $1300.00. I have many health issues which require many RX’s. Then there is food, gasoline, etc. I have a 2002 Buick Custom Century with a $7000.00 loan on it. No credit cards. I am under constant doctors care which is expensive and medical bills started accumlating. My ONLY recreation is bingo, due to being alone. I recently lost my oldest daughter to cancer and that was an expense, not an expense I begrudge. I was with her through all treatments which lasted over a year. This situation. needless to say broke my heart & shattered my nerves, of which I still cannot get under control even on medication.

For 16 yrs, with the expectations of marriage but in 2004 he assaulted me by 2 strangle holds then throwing me against a wall. The latest assault was February 1, 2010. He manhandled me by shoving me backwards three times. The second shove sent me in the air and landed in a wooden rocking chair sideways, whereby I was in the position of a pretzel. The pain in my left chest was excruciating. I was taken to the hospital ER , Xrays were taken and I had broken and fractured ribs.

My SSI disability was granted on the medical condition of chronic fibromyalgia which is very painful continuously. This assault has set me back tremendously. This man now has a DVO against him, the judge ordered him to Domestic Violence Treatment with astringent orders not to come in contact with me in any way. I have been ordered to counseling sessions due to a nervous breakdown and fear.

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Medications have made me very groggy, sick and terrible pain. I Have written 7 checks that I don’t remember doing and the total is approximately $900.00. Assumably I bought “pull tabs”, thinking I could win money on them to pay some bills. As you see, I am in a terrible state of mind. Yes, I have even considered suicide because of the brutal attack of a fiancee, the pain and now impossible ways to pay these debts. After speaking with Legal Aid, I was told I could be classified “Judgement Proof” due to Social Security Income only & living alone. I pray to my Heavenly Father that you can advise me, maybe enlighten me to an attorney here In Louisville, Ky.

What are my options to my debts? My automobile is collateral on that loan but I am totally ill-advised on the rest. Incidently. my ex-fiancee has insisted on a trial by jury. He says he will not plead “guilty”. My nerves are hanging by a thread !!! Please advise!!! I humbly thank you for any/all assistance.


Dear JoAnn,

I’m so sorry to hear you are a victim of domestic violence and the loss of your daughter is tragic as well.

It seems to me that the issue here is not one of chronic consumer debt but that your current life exceeds your available income. You said that the only consumer debt you really have is the car loan and no credit card debt on top of that.

I have heard of many cases when someone spent money and did not remember it as a side effect of a medication or a byproduct of a mental condition.

I would have to agree with Legal Aid. While you may be classified as “judgment proof” that’s a bit of a misnomer. While a creditor could not enforce a judgment they could certainly sue you and get a judgment for debts you can’t pay.

The primary issue right now seems to be how to deal with the creditors and collectors that are seeking payment from you. Honestly, with your limited resources and little debt the most logical way to deal with them would be to do nothing and let the collection activity subside and lawsuits happen.

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You can minimize the stress of dealing with the collection calls by NOT making a repayment arrangement you can’t afford but just be nice to the collector when they call. They really are not chasing you, just calling the next account in their collection queue. It’s honestly not personal.

With your limited income, I wonder if it might be time to hand the car back to the lender in a voluntary repossession. It would save you the car payment, gas and insurance cost. It seems like right now the more money you can keep in your pocket right now the better you would be prepared to deal with the medical expenses.

I’m not sure what kind of attorney you are looking for.


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.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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