I am a Debt Collector and Now I’m in Big Trouble With Debt Myself. – Brent

“Dear Steve,

I 42 years old, my wife and I have been married 11 years and have two boys ages 9 an 5.

I have had a good career in the collections business over the years, so finding myself in this situation is extremely difficult. Not only are we in debt, but it seems the bottom has fallen out and we continue to spiral out of control.

Heres my story,….I recently was pulled over by police for a traffic violation and discovered that i had never finished my requirements on a DWI i recieved in 2003,..so needless to say , I was arrested and was sentenced to 3 months in a county jail.

We had just puchased our new home 3 years ago before the ecomony really went sour, $169,000 3 bedroom, 3 bath home on a FHA loan. Since I lost my job due to the jail time and my wifes income was no where near what was needed to pay the monthly bills we have lost my car to re-possession, the house is 4 payments behind and they are calling constantly threating to foreclose.

We have tried talking to them to see if we qualify for a loan modifacation or one of these Obama programs that are to help people, but all they tell us is to fill out some forms and they we be in contact in several months???? say we have to be behind that much before they will do anything and in the mean time collection calls will continue?

I believe even though I have not found employment yet, but am looking,.(dont know how I will get there since I have no car now and no credit to get one or money for that matter) that I can find one quickly in my line of business, but to try and conserve money we have pulled our kids from daycare and after school care and I am staying home with our 5 year old and when our 9 year old gets off the bus at 3:30.

My wife is working 12 hour days to try to help get us out of this, but now that is putting added strain on everything:(……..do we let our dream home go? or try and start making payments even though there is no way we will be able to get caught up on the past due amounts?

By cutting out the $1000.00 per month we paid in daycare we may be able to scrap by enough each month to make a payment. We are living by the seat of our pants and bankruptcy doesnt even seem feasable because that also cost money we dont have, I also had a ruptured appendix in november last year and even though at the time had heath insurance, it still left me with $15,000 in un paid medical bills. We are up a creek without a pattle and the boats got a big hole in it!! PLEASE HELP!!!

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Dear Brent,

First, let me say I don’t judge you in anyway. You were and probably will be a debt collector again. Your job is not you. You don’t have to feel guilty or bad because you are now in this position.

It’s interesting, as an outsider, reading your situation, I’m struck that the very same issue that landed you in trouble now is the root cause of your current problems. What’s that you ask, dealing with it and seeing it through.

We can’t turn back the clock to 2003 but whatever it was that got in the way of completing your DWI stuff it never went away because it had not be dealt with. The same is true for this debt situation, it’s not going to go away till you deal with it.

Dealing with it does not mean sacrificing the safety of yourself and your family to dig yourself out of this hole. It means you need to put a reasonable solution in place that will remedy the situation in the most holistic and balanced fashion possible.

The goal, from my point of view, is for you to address the debt problem and restore your family and relationships back to health at the same time.

You might not be ready to hear this message, but here is what you need to hear. The more you hold on tightly to what is not going to be, the less likely you can care for your family and yourself and prepare for a safer future for both.

It seems that in your current situation there is no reasonable expectation you can land new employment to make enough money to get caught up and make everything right. That’s just reality.

The failure of your loan modification to date is not an “Obama” problem. It’s just that a small fraction of loans are actually modified because the lenders don’t want to. The government keeps pushing them to, they don’t want to. That’s a reality.

You are unemployed right now. That’s a reality.

You are stressed over your debt and it is impacting your health. That’s a reality.

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Your wife is working really, really hard to try to make ends meet. That’s a reality.

The kids are probably wise to what’s going on and it is impacting them as well. That’s a reality.

You don’t have a savings account or emergency fund to fall back on. That’s a reality.

Landing a job when out of desperation rather than inspiration is harder. That’s a reality.

Rather than continuing to slow your decent you need to turn around and start taking action to create a safer future for you and your family. You need to properly deal with this situation, probably by seeking protection under bankruptcy. That’s a reality.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

And if you can’t afford bankruptcy, how in the world are you going to dig yourself out of this past mess that you are towing along?

Do me a favor, click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them. Many bankruptcy attorneys have payment plans.

Imagine if you decided to go bankrupt and knew that all you needed was $1,500 and this would all be behind you in a few months. Wouldn’t that goal be better to work towards than this never ending slide into the abyss?

I think you’d find some really critical items that will help you in my book “The Path to Happiness and Wealth” which you can download for free. You need to focus on the acceptance and gratitude section. There are thing you can begin to do right now to make tomorrow better for you, your wife and your kids. It’s time to stop being afraid and take action.

I know you are afraid, but I’m here for you.

Please update me on your progress by

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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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