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I used to have good credit, I've had a steady job for over 20yrs I make a decent living. In the past 2 years I have kicked a drug habbit and divorced. In the process my credit has been destroyed. I'm facing the following.

(2) credit cards. HSBC - approx $4000 ($3200 limit + juice) and MBNA - approx $3200 ($2500 + juice)

(1) Vehicle Lease (at a rediculous rate)

A home in forclosure with an attached home equity loan. These were charged to my ex wife in the divorce. She was given a period of time to refinance, she stopped paying the mortage, my name is on the mortage. She signed a indemnity/hold harmless for debts/taxes/maitanance etc. but that and a Disney dollar gets you a gumball.

Probably another 1K in misc. bad stuff on my CR. Not sure exactly though.

My rationalization: "If my credit is already destroyed by the actions of my ex. (I played a part as well) Why can't I just default on my credit cards and ride it out for 7-10 years. Live on cash and a debit card for Visa needs."

I've done this since April 07. Now I come to find out that in August I'm coming into enough money to pay off my credit cards but not enought to settle the mortage/home equity (not that I would anyway, I'm still discussing that with my divorce attourney)

I've sent letters to one CA to stop calling and have to send to another soon.

My question is, how do I pay off the credit cards with the least amount of dammage and not give away any more money than I absolutely have too.

I may very well be needing to file for cusdody of my kids at some point and will need to rent or even buy a home. (thinking too far ahead here perhaps)


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First off, Welcome! There are many people here that can help and provide valuable information. A good start would be to read, read, and read some more of the posts in these forums. Use the search function, it is your friend.

First off you need to get copies of your credit reports so you know exactly what you are dealing with and where to start.

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If you haven't yet, I would call the credit card companies and ask for their hardship department, or if they don't have one, explain your situation to a manager. They'll usually cut or stop your interest rates and any other fees, and they are generally pretty willing to work with you (after all, they want to get paid).

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