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I’m in a Bind and Need a Recommendation for Legitimate and Reputable Debt Help. – Mike

“Dear Steve,

I am in a bind. I have about 65,000 in credit card debt and house is worth 200,000. I owe $200,000 on the house and about $250,000 in student loans. I make about $150,000 per year. I have about $10,000 in medical bills alone. I cosigned on the student loans for my daughter.

She has been out of school for 8 months and can not get a job. I am now way overextended. I spoke with 2 bankruptcy attorney’s and both suggest I will pay back 100% over the next 5 years because of income. I dont want to file the chp 13, I could loose my job. Well, they would find a reason to terminate me. I AM NOW GOING 60 DAY LATE ON MY CREDIT CARDS.

IS THERE ANY LEGIT DEBT RELIEF, DEBT SETTLEMENT COMPANIES AROUND SINCE THE NEW FTC LAW WENT INTO AFFECT? WOULD CREDIT COUNSELING HELP? OR IS CHP 13 THE ONLY WAY TO GO? I am living check to check. I am not a drinker or gambler. I have was trying to put 2 kids thru college as a single father. I know the student loans will not be discharged at all


Dear Mike,

Yep, that’s an official mess. Well first thing we need to do is prioritize the debt. The student loans come first. I need for you to answer this question for me. Post your answer in the comments section.

Are these government or private student loans? It makes a huge difference.

So in a situation like this we need to maximize income and minimize expenses in a crisis fashion. If your unemployed daughter isn’t living in your house to save money, move her in. Then kick her out to go work temp jobs, minimum wage jobs, anything. She needs to contribute something towards this situation. I know it sounds harsh but this is all hands on deck time.

Next, until we can see if any intervention is available for the student loans, keep those current and stop paying the credit cards. There are penalties for stopping payment, including the fact they might sue you in the future. But at this point the ship is sinking, we can worry about pumping it out later. If you are sued you can get protection from that under bankruptcy so don’t freak out about a potential suit right now.

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Both a credit counseling program or a debt settlement program are not appropriate choices for you right now based on what you’ve shared. It sounds like with just meeting minimum expenses, before the credit cards, you are tapped out and have no extra to pay.

Now, I don’t want to freak you out but I need for you to see this clearly. If you work at a job where they would frown on a bankruptcy, then it is also a job that would frown upon delinquent credit cards payments and other negative information reported on your credit report, unless…

The big “unless” is that once we get a game plan going here you then approach HR and confidentially explain to them what is going on. I can’t think of a single case since I first started helping people in 1994 when someone I have advised to do that has been fired because of their financial problems. The key here is to bring them in the loop to see you are doing everything you can. We want them to know this is not a security problem, this is just an unforeseen life mess.

I’m here with you. Let’s go. Tell me about the student loans.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


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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