Catherine Asks If There Is Hope Or Help For Debt

Catherine writes in: “My husband and I are behind on a few of our loans and one is a vehicle payment and the other if a flexline loan( pretty much a credit card) we have talked about bankrupcy but would like to avoid that. Are there any companies out there that offer help for these things.


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What concerns me most about your question is that you are behind on your vehicle payment. Generally mortgage payments and vehicle payments are the first to be paid because people realize that if they don’t make the mortgage payment they can get booted out and if they don’t make the vehicle payment then the car can get snatched in the middle of the night. Hello Mr. Repo man.

A vehicle is often critical to be able to get to work and make money. It’s not optional.

Even if you were to enter a debt management plan to avoid bankruptcy, from my years of experience I think it would be doubtful that you’d be able to make the payments necessary to get out of debt.

In a debt management plan your vehicle payment does not go down. If anything, it goes up. In order to hold onto the collateral, in this case your vehicle, you’d need to get back on track with your regular, full and contractual payment plus add some to pay off the past due balance.

Again, from experience this is often a very difficult hole to crawl out of. After all, if you could afford to make the regular vehicle payment, you’d be doing that now.

The only exception to this advice would be if you were suddenly going to make more income each month or you had a temporary reduction in income that has now passed.

I don’t think you should avoid bankruptcy just because you might not like it. You should get well informed about all of your options and you should meet with a bankruptcy attorney and discuss how bankruptcy might impact you. You might just find that it is a better solution for your situation, but you won’t know until you ask and investigate it.

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If you meet with the bankruptcy attorney and decide that bankruptcy is not for you then you have a couple of options. One is a debt management plan and the other would be to contact your creditors yourself to attempt to negotiate a repayment plan that is reasonable and affordable for your every day life.


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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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