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I Lost My Job, My Husband Died, and I’m Drowning in Debt

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I am 60 years old, lost my job 1 1/2 yrs ago and subsequently started my own business. I was receiving 1/2 of my ex-husbands military pension, and paying down my debt and remodeling my home. Then the bottom fell out.

My house was flooded by a faulty hot water heater and very extensive repairs needed to be done, some covered by insurance.

My ex-husband passed away and unbeknown to me he hadn’t taken out SBP, so my pension stopped immediately.

I was able to live on my savings and investments while the business was starting to grow but I was living fist to mouth. Large expenses had to be put on my credit cards (property taxes and homeowners insurance, as well as house repairs, electrical and hvac).

I now have amassed a credit card debit of $32K. I now receive his SS in the amount of $1490 per month.

I was doing ok until I tore the meniscus in my knee and for the time being am unable to work. I am able to pay my mortgage and household expenses, but there is nothing left to pay on the credit card debt. I don’t know the best option for me. This is the first month that I am falling behind.

I don’t know the best option for me. Bankruptcy has been suggested. I have talked to a couple of the creditors but the option they have given is still beyond my means.

Teri

Answer:

Dear Teri,

It is what it is. The right way to determine what is best for you at this point would be to evaluate the options based on your situation. The worst way would be to decide what to do based on emotion or assumptions.

I’d suggest you first read this, this, and this. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.

READ  Her Husband Died and the Lawyer Threatened to Take the House

Then read my guide 8 Easy Steps to Eliminate Your Debt Checklist and use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

Once you’ve identified a company you want to work with, then follow my step-by-step guide on what you should look for and expect from a good debt relief company.

Ironically bankruptcy is most often the fastest way out of debt for the least amount of money. It allows you to get back to living within your income, it’s the only legally binding option you have over creditors, and it’s easy to rebuild credit.

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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.

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