Single, Female, Unemployed Architect With Vasectomy Liar, “at the End of My Rope.” – Marie

“Dear Steve,

Single, female unemployed architect for several years picking up small jobs here and there. Recently experienced a traumatic and devastating engagement breakup causing me to replace all of my belongings, while unemployed. Have gone through life savings and 401K while unemployed and temporarily disabled.

$78,257 DEBT of which $23,337 is student loans (on hold), $15,853 is 2009 Federal Taxes owed currently in “Non-Collectable Status”, appx. $5,000 State Taxes owed and currently in repayment, and the rest is unsecured credit card debt.

My current salary is $65K.

Long story short…Due to a layoff, I have been an unemployed architect (single) for several years, picking up small jobs here and there. I have gone through my life savings and 401K trying to keep a roof over my head. During this time, I also experienced a very traumatic and devastating engagement breakup where my ex-fiancee not only asked me to stop looking for work in order to start a family, but unbeknownst to me, had a vasectomy three months after I moved in! Lots of medical visits on my part to try to explain my perceived “infertility” and money spent from my life savings. In addition, I’ve recently had to replace all of my belongings because the written agreement we had was not enforceable and I could not afford an attorney. Sounds like a Jerry Springer show or the movie “Sleeping with the Enemy”, I know. I’m just happy that I got out of that situation.

I’ve somehow painted myself into a corner. I’ve maxed out all of my credit cards in order to stay afloat, believing that I’d find a job sooner than it actually happened. I’m currently working (finally) and there’s just not enough coming in to take care of paying the minimum’s every month and I’m declaring the maximum number of dependents in order to take home as much cash as possible…which will only put me into more hot water come tax time! To make matters worse, I’m barely making it from one month to the next. I’ve cut everything out of my budget that I could and have everything on an Excel spreadsheet that I stare at from one week to the next, hoping it will disappear.

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On the upside, I have not been late with even one payment to date and have always had excellent credit. But, I must renew my car lease or buy it out before my credit is severely affected, and I’m very concerned about the tax lien. Honestly, I’m hesitant to consider bankruptcy because it will effect my credit for the next 7-10 years. However, I can’t continue to go on this way because I’m not living, I’m stressed out every day.

I’d like to know what your recommendations are as well as whether or not you can help direct me in dealing with the tax lien. I realize there are many attorney’s who will ask for an upfront fee with no guarantee for an “Offer In Compromise”, but I cannot even afford their fees. I recently learned that if I were able to make payments they’d remove the lien from my credit if I were on their monthly autopay program. The IRS says I can do the “OIC” paperwork myself, but it appears that it may be best to hire a professional due to the complexities of the IRS.

Please help. I’m at the end of my rope!

Thank you in advance.


Dear Marie,

I’d love to tell you this is the first, second, or even tenth time I’ve heard similar stories, but not even close. I know you feel like you may have been victimized by this loser but we need to put that behind us now and move on. Yes, I know, easier said than done. But let’s focus on moving forward.

The vasectomy trick is particularly nasty on his part. What a waste of your time, concern, and money that turned in to.

But now you are feeling at the end of your rope. You’ve spent through all your assets and yet here we are with you now broke, but still in trouble.

Depending on how old your tax liabilities are, some of them may be able to be discharged in bankruptcy. The student loans you’ll be stuck with but if they are government backed loans there are solutions. Let me know if these are private or government subsidized loans.

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The IRS has become a lot easier to work with on back tax issues. They even changed their offer in compromise criteria this year to make it easier for people. It’s really just a mathematical formula. Read Offer In Compromise Rules Relaxed by IRS. Big News!

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

I’d suggest you take a stab at the OIC yourself first with the IRS. If you don’t feel you are getting anywhere then we can look at other options.

While I’m waiting to hear back on the student loans, here is a bit of homework for you.

I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

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

Once you’ve identified a company you want to work with, then follow my step-by-step guide on how to check out a debt relief company.

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

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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