His Lost Job at GM is to Blame for Our Debt. We Might Lose Our House. – Jamie

“Dear Steve,

I am 33 years old and the mother of 2 daughters. We were doing really great, until GM pulled their job out from under my husband. We are now strugging to get by.

I do the best I can to pay our bills, and have dropped the unimportant things, like cable and internet (I’m in a public library sending this). But two Capital One accounts have fallen behind, (I do have one Capital One account still in good standing.) who actually only got behind thanks to their slapping us with fees that didn’t make any sense.

They said I had made my payment late, although I had the copy of the online billing that stated I made it on time. Then the late fee was followed by an overdraft fee, etc and so forth. I tried to talk to them. I tried to fix it, but they didn’t want to work with me. Now they have sued me. I couldn’t afford the mediation fees, so I talked to the law office that had sued me and they were very kind and said when I had a lump sum of money, to call them and they would see if Capital One would take it. So, I started trying to save, which isn’t easy when after you pay your bills you have only a few dollars left over.

I just received a tax garnishment in the mail. I am devastated as our taxes are behind and if we don’t use our tax refund to pay our back taxes, we are going to lose our house. Plus, Christmas is coming up. I just don’t know what to do. It makes me ill to think of this mess we’re in. I stumbled across your site this afternoon when searching for any answers. Do you have any advice?

Is there anything I can do to stop the garnishment on our taxes? I have found information on filing an order for installment payments. But I’m not sure what this would involve payment wise? I can’t agree to a high amount. There simply isn’t enough money coming in at the time. And if they take our taxes, we’re going to lose our house because I was depending on that to pay the back taxes. Do you have any advice?

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Dear Jamie,

First, thank you for reaching out to me for help and advice. I’ll do my best to get you steered in the right direction.

I can sense your drowning in stress and debt right now. If it’s the same for you as it was for me when I was in that situation it all feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to turn. I even felt like I couldn’t breathe at times.

Here is something that you should read to help you get through the days right now, “The Second Attribute to Getting Out of Debt – Gratitude.”

Let’s step back for a moment and look at the situation. While it sucks that GM dumped the job and left you in this mess it really could have been any company doing that. All employees work at the pleasure of the employer and no job, anywhere, is guaranteed these days.

The Capital One issue is painfully ironic but one I’ve seen before. In another case the annual fee put the account into overdraft and the overdraft fee was missed by the person so their account went into default. Well…you know the story.

Based on your current situation and the looming tax issue it probably makes sense to discuss bankruptcy with a local bankruptcy attorney you like. If bankruptcy is right for you depends on how much total debt you have and if eliminating that debt would allow you to make your tax installment payments.

A more drastic option for you to consider is starting over and maybe in a new part of the country. This might actually be your chance to get a totally fresh start with bankruptcy and a move if jobs are not available in your area. Moving can suck but if there is an economic drought in your area you might just have to make a move to greener pastures.

Let’s talk Christmas for a moment. Being broke at Christmas can really suck and make you feel guilty. But you know what, when I think back on the best times I ever had at Christmas it’s never about what someone bought me. It’s about the special times and memories I shared with others.

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You can share love and gratitude with the people you care about for very little money. You just need to find a way to make an emotional investment in showing them how you feel about them.

One of the most memorable Christmas times my family talks about was the year Pam and I were so broke we could not afford to buy presents. Instead we bought mason jars and dried beans. We measured out the different beans according to a recipe we really enjoyed and attached the recipe to the jar with a big bow. It was must money wise but it allowed us to feel as if we were giving what we could.

And if I was your long lost friend, what I’d love from you most this year is not a stinking pair of gloves, but a hug or a lunch with just you to catch up. So much can be given for so little money.

Please update me on your progress by

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.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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