I’m 77, Spent My Savings Down Paying My Debt, and Out of Work. – Manuel

“Dear Steve,

I am a 77 years young individual.

I lost my job on January 2011 and have not been able to find a job anywhere, although I have been trying very hard.

I have a credit card debt ( unsecured ) of around $43,000 and I have ran out of money trying to keep my credit in good standing but so far I have missed one month payment on each of the three cards

My monthly and only income is around $1,600, from Soc.Sec. retirement and my monthly expenses are around $1,600.

The only property I have is a 2007 Honda Fit car (paid for)

Your advice ?

Thank you


Dear Manuel,

Unfortunately this is a classic case of spending down assets before dealing with the problem. I understand why it happens but it just leaves you in an impossible situation.

Now that you’re here we need to deal with the debt.

If I read your question correctly, what we have is a situation where you have a tremendous amount of debt for your income. You are unemployed and living on a fixed income. While you’ve tried to find a job, nothing is on the horizon at the moment.

If the income situation can’t be repaired, then we need to look at intervening in the debt. The most logical approach here is some sort of non-payment intervention. Any effort to deal with the debt with a monthly payment approach like credit counseling or monthly payment debt settlement is doomed to fail since you appear to simply not have the money to make or continue payments.

So if my read of your situation is correct, the most logical approach here is probably going to be for a legal fresh start and second chance through bankruptcy. You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney.

The issue is going to be allowing you to hang on to your car. It’s not an impossible task but it will require consultation with your local bankruptcy attorney.

See also  I'm Using Stock Sales and Cash Value from Life Insurance to Pay my Credit Cards. - Thomas

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 what you should look for and expect from a good debt relief company.

Once we’ve taken care of the debt then you can focus on making it from month to month on your income, without the credit card debt. If you do land a job in the future you can then try to save that income and build up a little nest egg.

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


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.

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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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