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In DEEP and don't know what to do


DWFan
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Hello all after a long absence. Two years later I findmyself back here, with even bigger problems than before.

I'm a bit shook up and nervous about all this, so please bear with me.

On March 9, I lost my job of 8 years. Naturally I immediately applied for unemployment, and was accepted.....*BUT* I made the mistake of being honest with them. When I applied, I told then that I would be returning to school for job training. That puts me into the class of 'not being ready, willing, and able to accept or look for employment'

However, NYS encourages UI receipients to go for job training classes and they extend your benefit period if you do. I meet all the criteria - my classes are more than 12 hours a week, I will graduate in less than 24 months, and my training will 'make me a productive member of the NYS workforce'

One month later I have yet to see one cent of my benefits - why?....because of my job training I need to speak with my caseworker before monies are released. And of course I can never get her on the phone. But that is just the background - now on to my dilemma.

I have bills coming due, and right now $0 comming in to pay them thanks to NYS.

A simple rundown - the math is off but the figures are ballpark:

Volkswagen Credit - $332

US Bank World Perks Signature($20,000 balance) - $335

HSBC ($3300 balance) - $100

3 Citicards with small balances on each - ( ~$70 between them all)

Citiflex Line of credit ($8,000 and change) $132

Citi Overdraft - $10,000

PenFed visa (~$3000) - unknown - I just drop a $100 to them monthy

All other cards have a $0 balance and are sock drawered.

OK. I know that I show high utilization on US Bank, and on my Citi overdraft. My original plan of action before losing my job was to transfer balances off of other cards - Merrick Bank, Hooters, dept store cards, etc and sock drawer them. I used a 1.99% for life transfer from US Bank, and put the rest (as well as some expensive medical expenses) on my overdraft.

I had planned on taking advantage of a BT offer from Citi which always offered me some sort of good deal (alot of times 0% for life), having a check drawn to me and using that to pay off the overdraft. Then using the same offer on another citi card to lower utilization on US Bank. But low and behold......no balance offers from Citi - the first time in years.

So I turn to PenFed, hoping for some help. Tried to refi my car with them (I had a previous auto loan with them with a stellar repayment record) - denied. Applied for a CLI on my Visa with them - denied. Both denials due to high utilization.

I can understand the Visa - but the car loan?? Last time I checked, a car loan is a secured loan. And with having an excellent payment history with them (never late, etc).....I don't get it. A refi through them would have saved me $100 a month.

Now, as soon as the unemployment benefits arrive, I will have no problems paying my dept. But when the funds will be released is anyones guess. Right now I'm in BIG trouble.

I spoke to US Bank on the phone, and they agreed to drop my APR to a lower rate. But it still keeps my monthly payment the same - cash that I do not have right now. I sent them off a hardship letter explaining my situation, but I don't know what good that will do me.

11 years ago I had to file for Chapter 7 due to failed marriage plans - I am not going that route again unless 1000000% necessary. It took me a long time to recover and I don't want to go through that mess again.

My main question is what should I do?? I have every intention of paying off my debt - just right now there is $0 coming in. At this rate, I may not even be able to start school, because I have to come up with a check for $176 to make a payment towards the balance that my student loan doesn't cover.

Any advice? I'm sorry for my ramblings - I'm just upset about this whole thing, and getting nervous because my car note and my US Bank bill are comming due.

I appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

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Anyone??? Any encouraging words, or bits of advice?

I literally havent slept for days over this - maybe a half hour nap here and there. I'm really wound up about this, and I feel as if I'm reaching the breaking point. I could really use ANY help that could be offered.

Thanks again, and sorry for being a PITA.

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First off, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I'm definatly no credit guru but I will offer you words of encouragement. See for me it all comes down to "family". And with that being said, It will all make sence. I too will be filing for UI when I get out in July. I will have no income as well. The only thing saving me is $90,000 to go to school full time. Your situation is a little different than mine but all the same. Priorites. You and (assumming you have a family) need to ask yourself can you eat cc bills. No, you can't. So as long as you don't have money then obvouisly you can't pay them. And when you do get it, pay what you need to live. You can't go to jail for not paying your debt!! And at the end of the day, you still live in this great country that complete strangers are voluntarily willing to sacrifice their lives and the their "families" to make it better place.

Just my .02

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Have you tried legal aid? they may be able to help you in some way if not just to calm yourself down a little........you seem to be between a rock and a hardplace right now, but you will have income at some point soon, and you need to focus on getting that done, everything else will follow.

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One month later I have yet to see one cent of my benefits - why?....because of my job training I need to speak with my caseworker before monies are released. And of course I can never get her on the phone.

Put her on your cell phone speed dial, go to her office and sit in the waiting area, calling her number every 30 seconds. Go to the window and ask for her every 5 minutes, while dialing.

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Sorry to hear about your current situation. I do hope all things start to get better for you.

If I were you (which you have started to do), let your creditors know about your situation. I would honestly start seeing what I could lower as for bills, and try to find some things around the house to sell (very quickly) on Ebay or Craigslist.

You could borrow some money from family members, but I'm not that type of person either - it's not your debt, but sometimes we have to ask.

See if you can get a quick job on the side - like your hobby, computer work, something for a neighbor, etc.

Let us know how things turn out and try to keep your head up!

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Sorry to hear about your current situation. I do hope all things start to get better for you.

If I were you (which you have started to do), let your creditors know about your situation. I would honestly start seeing what I could lower as for bills, and try to find some things around the house to sell (very quickly) on Ebay or Craigslist.

You could borrow some money from family members, but I'm not that type of person either - it's not your debt, but sometimes we have to ask.

See if you can get a quick job on the side - like your hobby, computer work, something for a neighbor, etc.

Let us know how things turn out and try to keep your head up!

Thanks.

Problem is that I really don't have much to sell. I do have 7 10oz bars of silver, along with 15 1oz bars, but I'm holding till the metal markets go up a bit. Same with the close to 1oz of gold ingots I have.

I do have a 99.9% complete collection of Graded US Eagle Silver coins from 1986-present. I could pull $1,000 if I'm lucky. But with all the undercutters on Ebay, someone will be sure to be selling the same set for hundreds less.

Just about all jobs here are gone - even driving a cab (which I do have a license for). For the first time in history there are more licensed cab drivers in NYC than there are cabs. And the few jobs that are hiring.....the salary wouldn't even put a dent in my rent. Side jobs are here and there, but the pay isn't too great.

I have two laptops - my personal one and a mini Acer that work let me take when I left. So I plan on selling mine, but it was an inexpensive one to begin with - I think I paid $360 for it. The mini one I am keeping for some side work that I do do (but not too much of) I help people fight the extortion (parking tickets) handed out by NYC, as well as review traffic violations for them and see if I can dig up case law for them (I am a member of the National Motorists Association, and have access to all that info)

As much as I hate to, I've been borrowing money from my mother to pay my rent. And my friend floated me a $1,000 so I can make a few car payments. Food - I'm depending on the charity of friends/family. Believe it or not - even in my situation - I do not meet the criteria for food stamps. So I guess the government feels that I should be allowed to starve to death.

Expenses have been cut drastically. My car has been driven maybe four times in the last month, sitting there trying to ration out the 1/2 tank of gas I have. The only things purchased are the bare necessities, and the two items that are absolutely necessary for school - steel toe boots and safety glasses.

Cable has been cut down to basic. My home internet is gone - I am using the unlimited Air Card that I have, as it made more sense....I can get online at home and if I am assisting a client I have internet access to look up laws, enter pleadings, etc. Home phone is gone - kept the cell where I have 100%unlimited calling for $49.99 - I chose that route because I make alot of long distance calls.

So I'm basically living as a prisoner, trying to conserve the little bit of money that I have.

Hopefully NYS releases this money to me soon, and I'll be ok. But till they decide to do that....

Now I'm just wondering if I would be able to get VW Credit to budge on their interest rate. In todays climate, you would think that they would do whatever they could to keep people in their cars so they don't have to send the tow trucks out in the middle of the night...... Especially since so many of the domestic manufactures are offering such deep discounts, cash back, and 0%. Guess I'll call them later today - what's the worst they can say? No?

BK7 is my absolute last choice.....been there, done that, and really don't feel like going back down that route again.

I'll figure something out, and I'll keep everyone posted.

Thanks again everyone.

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Have you tried legal aid? they may be able to help you in some way if not just to calm yourself down a little........you seem to be between a rock and a hardplace right now, but you will have income at some point soon, and you need to focus on getting that done, everything else will follow.

No, I haven't tried legal aid (yet at least). What I am concerned about is that they may not be too familiar with the laws as it pertains to credit issues, and might make my head more clouded by giving wrong or not totally accurate advice - or if they do in fact write any letters on my behalf they may be doing me more harm than good due to their lack of understanding of the laws.

Yep -- I sure am between a rock and a hard place. I had to humble myself to ask my mom to cover my rent payment (one month only - if this keeps up, I'll probably have to wind up moving back in with her - not too bad as she is up their in age and has some health problems, so it would benefit both of us), my friend (who is like a brother to me) was nice enough to float me $1,000 so I can at least make my next three car payments (and he was also nice enough to not push the issue as to when I need to repay him "whatever and whenever you can - don't worry about it" I swear I love that guy as if he were my own flesh and blood.

Food....well I am depending on the charity of friends/family. NYS says that I do not qualify for food stamps. I guess they'd rather see me starve to death in the street.....

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First off, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I'm definatly no credit guru but I will offer you words of encouragement. See for me it all comes down to "family". And with that being said, It will all make sence. I too will be filing for UI when I get out in July. I will have no income as well. The only thing saving me is $90,000 to go to school full time. Your situation is a little different than mine but all the same. Priorites. You and (assumming you have a family) need to ask yourself can you eat cc bills. No, you can't. So as long as you don't have money then obvouisly you can't pay them. And when you do get it, pay what you need to live. You can't go to jail for not paying your debt!! And at the end of the day, you still live in this great country that complete strangers are voluntarily willing to sacrifice their lives and the their "families" to make it better place.

Just my .02

First off, THANK YOU for your service in defending this country.

And thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm a fighter, so I'll get by. Unfortunately most of my family is either deceased or doesn't speak to one another.

So my friends are the only real family I have. Close friends I should say. All of my close friends are like brothers to me, and I would lay down my life for any of them. Some aren't in a position to help as they are having problems of their own, others are (such as the one who floated me $1,000 so I can at least make my next three car payments)

And I'm sure the money will come - it's just a matter of when......

Also even at my 'old' age (35) I am seriously considering enlisting in the Army - I had been for a while...at least a year. But this just pushes me a bit more towards it. Not just because of my situation, mind you. But because of my love for this country and the freedoms that most Americans take for granted, and the personal feeling that it is my duty to repay the country for those freedoms. Why I didn't join at 18 is an entirely different story....long story (nothing to do with my feelings for the country because I have always felt this way), but a difference in opinion with my dad (who LOVED the Army), and I did not want to disrespect his feelings.

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Well I just went to the NYC Legal Aid Societies site.......seems that they handle everything EXCEPT consumer/credit law. The only assistance given in that matter is in their self help section, where they have a downloadable document telling you what to do if you get sued......the same information that can be found here.

Back to square one....was worth a shot, and I appreciate the tip. But it doesn't look as if they can assist me. Now if I murdered someone on the other hand.......

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Well US Bank sure didn't waste any time.....

I had sent off letters (email and US Mail) explaining my situation, and how it was temporary till my unemployment started coming in. All I requested was some temporary action/relief till my benefits start to arrive and I can start making full payments again.

What did I just receive in my inbox??

Account Ending in: 1528

Dear DWFan:

I have contacted our Collections Department on your behalf. At this time there is nothing that they can do regarding a special repayment plan, as you indicate that you have no means in which to repay. They do however, suggest that you cease from using your account or possibly considering closing the account to prevent your balance from increasing due to purchases.

Once you have received your unemployment benefits you can contact our Collections Department at 1-877-xxx-xxxx to discuss a hardship program.

Please contact us again if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Linda Luthi

Team Manager

Well.....I expected the account to go to collections, but not this quickly. Now the question of the day - make a full payment when the bill comes, make a partial paymet, or make no payment at all???

I have no intentions of closing the account (not at this moment anyway), as I want to see if I can salvage my relationship with them. O course I will cease using it, and cancel the two $1.95 recurring subscriptions being charged to it monthly.

The ball is definitely in their court right now. Question is, how do I handle it? Full payment, partial good-faith payment, or just stop paying?

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"Also even at my 'old' age (35) I am seriously considering enlisting in the Army - I had been for a while...at least a year. But this just pushes me a bit more towards it. Not just because of my situation, mind you. But because of my love for this country and the freedoms that most Americans take for granted, and the personal feeling that it is my duty to repay the country for those freedoms. Why I didn't join at 18 is an entirely different story....long story (nothing to do with my feelings for the country because I have always felt this way), but a difference in opinion with my dad (who LOVED the Army), and I did not want to disrespect his feelings."

If you have no other means of employment that would be a very viable solution. I am former Navy, and I had a blast after BC, seen the world that I could not have otherwise, and if I had not gotten injured I would have stayed in.

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I am sorry to hear about your situation. Thank goodness you have some good friends and family to help.

Just a thought - have you ever tried Angel Food Ministries? This is not charity or anything like that - but you can get healthy lowcost food for $30. You do not have to 'qualify' for the program. But it is a great help, especially in times like these. Check it out:

http://www.angelfoodministries.com/Default.asp?

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I am sorry to hear about your situation. Thank goodness you have some good friends and family to help.

Just a thought - have you ever tried Angel Food Ministries? This is not charity or anything like that - but you can get healthy lowcost food for $30. You do not have to 'qualify' for the program. But it is a great help, especially in times like these. Check it out:

http://www.angelfoodministries.com/Default.asp?

Thank you very much - that seems like a vert viable option, especially being able to order online. Something about my pride that would keep me from walking into a food pantry. Just looking up the qualifications for food stamps online was a humbling and humiliating thing for me.........I have alot of pride. Thanks again - I am definitley gonna look into it further.

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If you have no other means of employment that would be a very viable solution. I am former Navy, and I had a blast after BC, seen the world that I could not have otherwise, and if I had not gotten injured I would have stayed in.

That's another reason why I'm considering it too. Three hots and a cot, medical care, etc. And now that they raised the enlistment age to 41, I still have time.

Only thing is at my age, I don't know how in hell I would make it through BCT - especially when up against a bunch of 17-19 year olds for the most part......but then again I have life experience on my side.

Real killer is my chosen MOS - I would prefer 11B, but will settle for 11x. And if I do enlist, I pray that I get assigned to my dads old division - The Big Red 1. That way I could have the honor of serving where he did and the honor of having the Big Red 1 patch on my shoulder just like he did. Would be my own way of honoring his memory.

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That's another reason why I'm considering it too. Three hots and a cot, medical care, etc. And now that they raised the enlistment age to 41, I still have time.

Only thing is at my age, I don't know how in hell I would make it through BCT - especially when up against a bunch of 17-19 year olds for the most part......but then again I have life experience on my side.

Real killer is my chosen MOS - I would prefer 11B, but will settle for 11x. And if I do enlist, I pray that I get assigned to my dads old division - The Big Red 1. That way I could have the honor of serving where he did and the honor of having the Big Red 1 patch on my shoulder just like he did. Would be my own way of honoring his memory.

It is possible that you may not need to go back through BC as former Army, it was my understanding that you will do the physical, the run, bla bla....then you will go back through a 4-6 week basic and upgrade skills in current Army...then on to your chosen MOS training.

You would also start out as a E3 moving to 4 after training with fast tract to 5.

I could be wrong but this was my understanding from some locals who were backdoored in when the first war started because of their prior MOS, and they were still considered onj the inactive list.

What ever your choice, I wish you the best..........I was flat busted when I got out.....food stamps got me 10 bucks a month, I humbly returned them, lived with my parents for 5 miserable weeks, and took the first crappy job and the first crappy shack I could rent, I was on top of the world.

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It is possible that you may not need to go back through BC as former Army, it was my understanding that you will do the physical, the run, bla bla....then you will go back through a 4-6 week basic and upgrade skills in current Army...then on to your chosen MOS training.

You would also start out as a E3 moving to 4 after training with fast tract to 5.

I could be wrong but this was my understanding from some locals who were backdoored in when the first war started because of their prior MOS, and they were still considered onj the inactive list.

What ever your choice, I wish you the best..........I was flat busted when I got out.....food stamps got me 10 bucks a month, I humbly returned them, lived with my parents for 5 miserable weeks, and took the first crappy job and the first crappy shack I could rent, I was on top of the world.

Unfortunately I'm not former military.........so I have to go through the whole shebang

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OK......

I just opened up my US Bank World Perks Visa statement.

They did keep to their word and lowered interest rates. The BT rates remained the same. Purchases dropped to 13%.....a whopping .75% drop!!! so much for a significant drop...... :angry: Cash advance rate - still at 20.99 (still less than most other cards though....)

However what I find funny is that they credited my annual membership fee back to me......whats up with that??? That's also along with the raised credit limit.

My minimum payment due is $372.00. The interest applied is $149.36

How should I handle this one?

Make one last payment in full?

Make a lesser payment as a gesture of good will, and include a letter reminding hem of my situation and enclose documentation that supports it?

Or just not pay it at all?

Would making a partial payment make less of a ding than not making a payment at all?

Should I send them yet another letter with supporting documentation, and try to get them to accept the lower payment and lower the interest rate more??

I'm confused on this one - especially with such a large balance. Even if I was able to settle with them at 50%, there is no way I can come up with a lump sum of $11,000. Nor the money to make 3-4 payments towards it.

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