My Hydroponic Farm Burned Down. – Jay

“Dear Steve,

I had a hydroponic farm business that burned down four years ago.

I rebuilt it using credit cards and then I could not make everything cash flow and I have since sold the buildings and equipment piece by piece.

Two years I had 40 creditiors.
Total credit cards 200K
school loans for 3 people 200K
morgages and notes on farm property along with lines of credit attached to them another 200K
600 K total debt.
Income is just under 100K.

My wife lost her income last Christmas and there is not much farm income anymnore.

I have worked and worked with many creditors doing settlements from 100% over 60 months with no interest and fees to 15% on the dollar over 3 -6 months.

I am down to 3 creditors.

One had not contacted me in over 2 years.

One just filed suit for 9K and the law firm will not return my calls ( this was for a Target credit card).

The last is a huge Chase card balance of 38K and I am close to settleing with them. Actually 10 days ago I had a deal from there law firm ” agent ” to pay 500 dollars a month for 12 months and I ask for them to email the contract and when they did not I called and they said Chase took the debt back and I have to start over. I am close and have talked to them a couple of times but, the price went from 500 a month to 1119 a month, a great deal but I countered with 800 because that will be very hard for me to make.

I have sold 401K , ( I know not the best idea).

I have borrowed the max against the balance of what was left.

Sold all my stock and my savings as well as taking things to auctions and craiglist.

I just am at my end and want to finish this without a judgement that makes me sell property at the worse time in the history of real estate sales.

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Very worried about the law suit which is against my wife but, we file a joint return and the farm income was always just a schedule F and not incorporated in any way.

FYI, the insurance company only paid 15% on the dollar for the 77K loss.

I am employed and my wife just started a new job but, I do not have lump sums anymore. Already maxed out parents and siblings and even my church.

I know this is a broad and tough thing but, I just do not want to overlook something I should be doing. I have talked to a Bankrupcy atty and they said it usally runs 15% to file. Well if I am settling for 15 to 25% then I do not want to file until I am forced to.

Any answers to my prayers?


Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

Dear Jay,

It sounds like you’d do a consumer bankruptcy and those are not by percentage. Maybe the lawyer was quoting you a business bankruptcy price. If not, see another lawyer.

It’s a good thing you walked away from the Chase settlement. Unless you could get something in writing from the creditor a reduced payment offer can still be collected on latter. See Debt Settlements May Be Voided And the Money Due Anyway.

If you feel you’ve done all you and the last few creditors are being unreasonable then bankruptcy is a legal and logical approach.

Please update me on your progress by

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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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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