I’ve been in custody battles for my stepchildren for the last 6 years. We finally got full custody of the kids last April, after 3 attorneys and about $30,000.00. We still owe about $20,000 to them. When we first started the court process we had no money and I made a withdrawal from my 401k (TSP – I’m a fed employee), I didn’t know the tax implications and ended up making a personal loan for $10,000 to pay my taxes.
In 2009-2010 the court case got really intense and I made a loan from my 401k to pay more attorneys. I have a $15,000 line of credit of which I owe $14,000. I am in collections for one credit card for $3,500.00 and I owe about the same in another one. My mortgage payment is $1,800 and my car payment is $480. I make about $100,000 a year and my wife stays home. Her illnesses keep her from working and now having 4 kids, they need her at the house.
The adjustment from a family of 3 to one of 6 has been brutal and I am horrible at budgeting.
In addition to all this, my youngest son is Autistic and my wife suffers Celiac’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis and she’s been getting treatment for Myasthenia Gravis / Multiple Sclerosis for the last 4 years (The doctors can’t make up their mind). When my 3 stepchildren came to live with us fulltime, we found out that our 2nd youngest has Aspergers. The dietary needs for my family are expensive.
The stress from my work (I investigated crimes against children for 5 years) is becoming unbearable, needless to say I am in Mental Counseling and about to start on anti-depresants and anti-anxiety meds.
What options do we have to get out of debt? Debt relief programs? Bankruptcy? How can I fix our financial disaster?
I invite you to fully investigate your debt relief options using the links below. But let’s start with your apparent reality, you are drowning in issues that require your attention and the combination of everything is dragging you down, both financially and emotionally. Debt and depression go hand-in-hand.
Getting on the meds and the counseling will be a big help. But what will also help is for you to take some action to get the debt under control.
I’m concerned that even with bankruptcy, your new responsibilities exceed your ability to live within your current income. Only you can answer that.
I think you should also explore current programs you may be eligible for to assist you with the medical and financial needs. Use the free online guide at Benefits.gov.
To tackle the debt 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.
Here is the bottom line, unless you deal with the unmanageable debt and get yourself back to being both financially and emotionally healthy, who is going to be the leader of this wonderful family you love?
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.