I Lost My $31,000 Cash Advance to a Ponzi Scheme. – Jimmy


“Dear Steve,

Hi, my name is Jimmy and I am from Orange County, California. I recently took a $31,000 credit cash advance for which i thought was a great business opportunity but turned out to be a ponzi scheme. I am in the process of suing the person and as of now i have now 4 credit cards totaling about $56,000 in credit card debt. I have never missed a payment but i cannot afford to pay the monthly credit card bills. I am unemployed at the moment, i don’t own a home as i am renting a room at my mother’s home, the only thing i own is my car which is not much in value.

I am contemplating Ch.7 Bankruptcy if i cannot collect on the lawsuit, but i am afraid i will never be able to rent an apartment or get a home or car loan in the future if i do that. Also my fears are the creditors will later sue me, garnish my wages, put liens on the things i own in the future, so on. I have contacted debt settlement companies but they push you in a hurry for you to come up with money for their programs and say if you file BK, it will show on your credit report for 10 years and you won’t be able to get the loans you want in the future. And if you go with the debt settlement companies, it will still ruin your credit but the creditors will contact the credit bureaus at the end of the program and say “Settlement paid in full” and your credit score will be back to normal again from what they say. I don’t know what to do, all this is stressing me out. What should i do??


Dear Jimmy,

If that is what you’ve been told by the settlement companies they are telling you half-truths and feeding you a meal of bullshit to try to get you to sign up with them.

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That line about “settlement paid in full” does not seem to inform you that the part of your debt that will be written off will be reported as a negative item. Nor do they seem to have told you that the debt forgiven will taxable income to you and you will owe the IRS.

I think you should read my article on the success rates of different debt options and read a response I wrote yesterday, I’m Not Willing to Go Bankrupt Because of the Disadvantages. – Lisa.

You need to go bankrupt not buy in to some debt reduction scheme that sounds magical. I think you’ve been screwed over by a similar scheme already.

Do me a favor, before you enter any get out of debt solution, call a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them. You are under no obligation to file bankruptcy when you go, just educate yourself about what bankruptcy really means for you.


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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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