I am new to the group and we are looking for some advice/ help. First let me introduce us. I am Kitty and my husband is Matt. We have 5 kids ages 1, 3, 4, 6, 12. I would tell you the whole story of how we ended up where we are now, but I will sum it up quickly since I figure it really doesn’t matter with regard to how to get out if it! We moved to the US (Matt is from England, I am American) in 2004 and replaced everything we owned since it was too expensive to ship our stuff here. About 8 wks later we lost everything in hurricane Ivan. We live in NW Fl. We moved to GA to get back on our feet and then about 2 yrs after that we came back to FL. In hind sight, we should have stayed in GA, our GREAT opportunity wo come home turned out not to be so great. Anyway, we now find ourselves with more bills than we can pay. None if it is from big TV’s and new cars, etc. It is all from needing to pay for food, gas, and normal bills.
I went back to work after Ivan as we couldn’t afford for me to stay home any longer. But, with the kids and the cost of daycare, we work opposite shifts as much as we can. I can’t afford daycare. In order to do that, I have to work part time. Matt picks up side jobs very often to make up some extra cash, but it is not enough. We have people that owe us over 5000, but I can’t make them pay. If they would, it would help so much! And it is for work we completed already- months ago. If they had paid us, it would be saving me well over 100 a month just in interest, never mind the normal payments on things! I am so angry about this….
With the economy now, our employer, Home Depot for both of us, is cutting hours. I get about 4 a week and a couple of time I have not gotten any hours at all. Plus, my oldest who is from a previous relationship has decided to live with his biological father. We all get along and so for the first year of this he let me keep the child support and not pay him anything. But now, they need it back. I am not paying him, but sending him back the 300 a month he sends me. We have cut out everything we can. We don’t have cable or a home phone, etc.
We are trying to sell our house since we now can have one less bdr with my oldest not living with us. It would save us a lot of money. But, we have an equity loan and if we factor that into the price of the house, we just can’t sell it. I am sure I could sell it for what we owe if we could pay that off and do it FSBO. We also have a vehicle we have been trying to sell for 9 months. We don’t need it anymore, but it is an Explorer Sport and no has even called. Again, I would have to drop the price more that I am able. I don’t know how else to come up with the money to pay the difference. We have tried trading both of our vehicles for another single used one. We can’t get anything that we can afford even by doing that.
I have jobs apps out so that maybe I can find a second job to make up some hours, but it is hard when my available hours would be different every week. See, Matt can’t have a set schedule at Home Depot. We have asked the company to give me a position that works 4 am to 1 pm and then he would step down from Dept manager to do freight at night. Then we could both work full time again. They won’t do it because it is ‘showing favoritism.’ We are trying to get a countertop/ flooring business off the ground, but again, we can’t get jobs because of the economy and because we can’t go ‘put the out’ as we are working so many ours other places to try to keep up.
I have called our creditors. Basically the response I get is that they won’t help because our accounts are current. They are current because we pay our bills, then have to charge food and gas. But now, the cards are about maxed, and we never wanted them to live off of anyway. Plus, my hours have gone down so much that even though it has always been tight for us, now we simply can’t pay even the bills. I have 1600 of bills left to pay this month and we will only get about 1100 or 1200 on payday. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that does not work. The bank did defer our car payment for 2 months last year, but they can’t do it again for 2 years. I have talked with debt consolidation co’s and it doesn’t seem like it would make a big enough difference in our monthly payments to be worth it. I have advertised for a roommate for 400 a month and we will see what comes of that.
I just feel like we have exhausted everything I can think of, but I am sure there still has to be a way! Though we have managed to stay current, that will no longer be possible starting the end of this month. I tried doing the right thing and talking to everyone in advance. I told them the situation and that I want to remain in good standing with them and not have to file bankruptcy, etc. I asked them to work with us for a couple of months, so that it would ‘buy me time’ to get another job to make up the lost hours, etc. No one seems to care. What am I missing? They will help people that are already behind, etc, but they won’t help me not end up in that position?!?
We want our quality of life back. We want to actually see each other again and be able to let my daughter do gymnastics for 75 for 12 weeks. I can’t. I have tried and feel I am missing something. I don’t want to file Ch7; I loose the many benefits of USAA membership and then there is all the regular stuff that goes with it. Plus, I very strongly feel that no matter why or how we ended up in debt, it is our responsibility to pay those debts. That is what I am trying to do…. But, then my husband says, and I see his point, we can rebuild a credit score, save and pay cash, etc. We can never make up this time with our kids as they grow. On that note, anyone else have any ideas? I mean, if we are going to have to file, I might as well do it now and start putting the difference in savings and getting us back on track and not put it off. But if there is a way out, then I want to do that. I want to know that I have done everything in my power before I file anything! I know so many people that have done it and they say that they are fine and are glad they did. But, in the end I am paying off their debt with higher prices, etc. I don’t want to contribute to that. maybe I just have too great a sense of personal responsibility, lol! Ok, now I am rambling. Please, please, tell me I am missing something and that there is a better way out!
Thanks in advance and thanks for taking the time to read and reply to the long msg.