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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.

READ  Chase Bank Settles for Millions in Jacked Up Minimum Payment Case

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?


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 posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.


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‘.

About the author

Steve Rhode

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.


  • youre a pot dealer and youre broke?  Remember the 10 crack commandments. Never get high off your own supply

  • We have been working the plan and have taken 600k down to just over 300k in debt.

    my question today is about the one out of 28 creditors that did take us to court while we were structuring our payments. They have been garnishing for over two years and every time I called to settle they said it was not enough. They said it had to be at least principle or 80 percent. Now I borrowed some 401 funds to do that and they will not deal. The firm is WWR in Columbus Ohio and I am asking what I can do next if anything.

    God Bless Your Org,


  • Dear Steve,
    An update on my three progress to dig out and not file bankrupcy.
    The 38K owed to Chase to settled for 7878 and done in writing as were all the settlements with forgiveness.
    The last two remaining creditors that are not current are out of the 40 that I started with 3 years ago.
    Target has brought legal action in and we were scheduled for meditation when a judge signed an order letting them have access to two bank accounts. Then we had to go to court last Thursday. In court the judge or magistrate ask if they took any money or froze my accounts and they did not. He said it was a one time offer and they would need to file additional legal action to get into my accounts now.
    This was not wage garnishment , it was bank account garnishment. I assume they went for this because that account is in my spouse’s name and she only works part time so they would not be able to get the money fast enough. Just waiting on handling the last two creditors but the court room was no fun and I am dissatisfied with the legal system because everybody trys to scare you into an attorney. I know it is risky not to have a lawyer doing this but, I feel they have raised the legal cost out of balance.
    Still trying not file bankrupcy and I am down from 40 creditors to two unhappy creditors.
    Thanks for your help and prayers,

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