I saw a CCCS counselor this week

Although they cannot give recommendations about things like filing for bankruptcy, she did refer me to an organization that will recommend a reputable attorney to do it. Following the end of a 24-year marriage, I found myself in quite a pickle. As it is right now, I owe $45,000 on unsecured loans. I do have a full-time job that, including the time for commuting, means I am gone for 12 hours of the day. Even if I were to find a part time job in my rural area, would literally have no time left over to sleep if I had another job. When the counselor ran the numbers, it turns out I have approximately $100 a month “left over” after budgeting for basic expenses (i.e., not including the cc debts). If my exhusband cuts spousal maintenance as he is planning to do, I will have $600 less each month to juggle.

I’ve gone to a seminar similar to Dave Ramsey’s method of paying off debts. I’ve sold/turned off most of the things that are extraneous and not bolted down. I live pretty much on cereal and oatmeal. (I’d eat the Ramen noodles if I didn’t have food allergies).

I know that it’s not an honorable thing to do – to file for bankruptcy. I didn’t plan on having to consider it, and I know the CC companies, other taxpayers, etc., want to see me pay it back. I’ve gotten to the point, though, where it’s either file for bankruptcy or give serious thought to the fact that I’m worth more dead than alive.

A year ago, I had contacted my CC companies and explained the situation. Only two of them agreed to lower the interest rates. Chase lowered theirs to 2% permanently (after I voluntarily closed the account) and Target temporarily lowered theirs to 10% for six months. I’m current on all those payments, but am now to the point where I have a $350 medical bill and a $570 heating oil bill sitting to be paid, and there is absolutely nothing to pay them with unless I skip some CC payments this month.

Any other ideas, suggestions, or constructive comments from those who have been in a similar situation would be appreciated.

I have been in that same boat. The medical bill, maybe you could call them and explain everything and ask if you could pay $10.00 a month until it is paid off. With the heating bill, have you called them and explained the situation? Even if you have try again, see if they will help you in any way. Alot of the utilities are willing to work with you. A couple more suggestions about heating. I don’t know your health situation, but when you are talking to the heating company check and see what medical requirements they have to reduce you bill. Also see if you would qualify because of your income or circumstances for a reduction in your bill? I have learned the more honest you are with them and the nicer you are, the more helpful they become.

I am in the same position you are, my marriage lasted 15 yrs. Alot of my debt is from the husband spending and me trying to fix it. You are lucky that a couple of your creditors were willing to work with you, mine would not.

In our area, even with medical documentation, the electric company will only let you go ONE MONTH without paying and keep the heat on. Here, we get (usually), several days in below freezing temperatures.

I’m sorry, I did not explain well enough. I have called and spoke with our electric company here in california, they will send you a form for your doctor to fill out and with this form you are eligible for 500 kilowatt hours free of electricy each month. It is an avenue to try.

I might add a little to this although my story is 20 years old. I live in Northern California and have PG&E. I lived with my grandmother who was ill. My uncle thought she needed a new oven (so we lost the gorgeous Wedgewood). It was installed poorly and the pilot kept going out. I called PG&E to check it out. They said it would be two weeks or something ridiculous. As soon as I told them my grandmother was ill and we needed the oven for her meals, they came right out.

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