I’m a Former Real Estate Appraiser With a Bunch of Debt. – Marc

“Dear Steve,

I was a real estate appraiser with my own business. When the market went south, so did my business. During that time, my wife was pregnant (we have 2 kids) and lost her job. I was using credit cards to stay afloat, before I got a job, but my wife was out of work for 2 years at that point.

Fast foward 3-4 years later, my debt is out of control. I have approximately $23k in revolving credit, $1,200 in student loan, $17k in outstanding debt (collection) and two liens total to $15k. My monthly take home is $3,800 w/ $1,300 to my house and another $500 going to a vacate rental unit.

My question is, Im receiving $18k in cash, what should I tackle first to get out of this mess? Should I pay off most of my active accounts? Should I tackle the outstanding debt? Or just pay off the liens? Negotiate?


Dear Marc,

You could probably take a stab at a debt settlement approach to eliminate the revolving credit and collection debt. Of course debt settlement has consequences and you’d need to confirm that the entire $18k is free and clear to use and you won’t owe some part of that to taxes.

My concern is that tackling only part of the debt still leaves you in a tough spot moving forward on a monthly basis but I’m assuming the two liens are not requiring payments at the moment.

Of course you might also want to look at bankruptcy to discharge all of your debt (not student loans) and liens before you get the $18k. It’s worth exploring. You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them about it.

Use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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