Medical Bills Led to Unemployment and Now Fighting About Money. – Cathie

In 2007, I had a good job, as did my husband, and we were making about $80,000+ a year. Everything was good and we had credit cards that we paid off regularly, bought a car because mine blew up, basically we made all our mortgage, credit, car and other payments on time.

Then, in 2008, I ended up with a cervical spine problem that required a 3-level fusion surgery on my cervical spine. The minute my FMLA ran out (in February 2009) I got laid off. Of course I filed for unemployment and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find a job. We got Cobra because I couldn’t be without health insurance, which was expensive. Then I began having lower spine problems and ended up having to have a 1-level fusion surgery in my lower back in January 2010.

I finally got a job in February 2011, but through the two years that I was unemployed, we had to severely dip into our 401k (which we lost half of during the recession) and consequently ended up with a huge tax debt, over $6,000. We also maxed out our credit cards (3 of them) paying for our mortgage, food, car, etc. – basic household items.

We’ve cut down as much as we can because my income from my new job is significantly lower than what I was making and we’re living paycheck to paycheck, actually worse. We’re unable to refinance our mortgage because our lender says our credit isn’t good enough, they’re not working with us at all, and we’re financially sinking.

I’ve negotiated as much as I can with things such as our cable/internet provider, credit card companies, homeowners association dues, etc., but we’re still sinking.

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I don’t know what to do to get out of this situation. We’re brainstorming every night on what we should cut down on, like getting rid of our life insurance that we’ve had since 1986, my husband getting another job. I’m unable to get another job due to my medical spine problems, but am investigating taking online surveys as a small supplement to our income.

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Do you think we should consider a debt consolidation program or bankruptcy of some kind? How do we get back on track? We don’t spend any money on luxuries, although because my husband works so hard, he does go golfing a couple of times a month and I think he deserves that.

I’m just at the end of my rope, as is my husband, and for the first time in our lives, we’re fighting over money and the problems we’re having. We’ve been married 24 years in October and this is the worst situation we’ve ever been in financially.

Can you help us find the best way to get out of this hole? We’d do anything we need to.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope to hear from you soon.


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