How Do I Get The Phone to Stop Ringing With Debt Collectors? – Renee



“Dear Steve,

My husband and I have both been unemployed since the first of November. We have two small children, two mortgages (total exceeds current market value), and several unsecured debts (nearly $20000). We are currently unable to even pay minimums.

The mortgage company will begin foreclosure if we don’t pay them $1500 within the week. We are on an intense hunt for work, but we haven’t found anything yet. I believe that we can see our way through this, but the phone rings incessantly and my husband’s negativity makes it hard to remain positive. He is certain that we’ll never get out of this and we should pack up and return to his home country.

I can’t change my husband’s attitude, but if I could get the phone to stop ringing, it would help to restore some of my sanity and help me to retain my positive focus. How do I get the phone to stop? And what should I be looking into? Credit counseling? Debt reduction? Bankruptcy? I get so many mixed messages online about what is the best avenue to pursue to see our way through this mess. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Dear Renee,

Let’s break down this situation into what it is. Your husbands reaction is understandable but not necessarily logical. Right now his fight or flight autonomic nervous system is working overtime. This part of our nervous system is supposed to protect us from real danger but it can also lead to panic, anxiety, depression, and mental fatigue. Does that sound like your husband right now?

Previously I wrote “How to Hide From Debt Collection, the Debt Collector, and Creditors“. If you follow the suggestions in that article it will help to make the calls stop almost instantly.

Stopping the calls will be good respite but it is not a solution to the overall problem. The critical core issue here is income. Without any income you have few options and could in fact wind up homeless and hungry. Income, any income, is going to be the key to a resolution.

I would suggest contacting all the temporary companies in your area. I just helped a very nice young man find a job in two days, it is not his dream job, but it is income at a time when he had none. While it is a difficult financial time right now, there are still jobs available.

Until you solve the income issue there is no need or reason to pursue any solution. Even bankruptcy will require you to pay some money so all solutions are unavailable to you till you can get money coming in.

Once you do begin to earn money again I suspect that your current situation is so far gone that any hope of catching up would be an unrealistic expectation. In that case, it makes not sense to enter any credit counseling or debt management program. You’d probably just throw good money after bad if you followed that route.

I think you will probably need a fresh start and bankruptcy would be the route to go. In bankruptcy you will give the house and your other debt would be eliminated. You will have an opportunity to start again.

I am not convinced that fleeing back home to your country is going to create a better situation. The current economic problems are being experienced by people all over the world. I believe that economic recovery will come first to the United States so if you are here now, keep fighting for work and to stay.

Since you are not making any money right now, be sure that you take advantage of all the benefits that you are eligible for. Read this article for specific details, “Holy, Divorced, Disabled and Desperately in Debt“. I think you’ll need to look at rent assistance, food assistance and the job directories linked. If you aren’t getting unemployment benefits at the moment, you should be. Look into applying for unemployment assistance also.


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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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