Hello to the kind members of this very helpful blog!
Please forgive me for making this so long, but my situation is complicated and I would appreciate any advice. It’s gotten terribly confusing and I don’t have a clue what I should do next, and am really in a state of terrible despair.
I’m a 46-year-old single man. In 2003, I became disabled and stopped working and had no income. I used my savings to pay credit card bills and my mortgage until my savings ran out. Although I was approved for Social Security Disability in 2003, I didn’t receive the first payment until 2005, and therefore paid minimal amounts toward my debt during those two years, and all my credit accounts went to collections and my house into foreclosure.
I contacted my creditors who weren’t willing to do anything to help me save my credit. I simply stopped paying all bills as I had zero income. I had about $50k in credit card debt before becoming disabled, aside from considerable personal loans I’d taken years earlier from my sister and two friends who had been waiting patiently for me to pay them back. As my credit score is poor I want to apply for $1000 dollar loan no credit check just to get some money for my regular expenses. Do you think it’s a good idea?
Upon becoming disabled, I stopped using credit and have lived on a cash-only basis, and I have not debted since 2003. I’d never expected my ability to generate income would come to a halt like that, and never imagined I would not be able to pay off all of this debt.
In 2005, I received a large Disability check for a retroactive amount back to 2003, which enabled me to get my mortgage paid up-to-date and get my house out of foreclosure, and I have remained current on that account since.
I tried to make payment arrangements with my other creditors (about 7 credit card companies), and succeeded in only two of the cases and made payments for about 2 years, though the balances continued to grow rather than show a reduction. I would have qualified for bankruptcy but felt it was not a route I wanted to go.
Also in 2005, my father died and I inherited stocks worth about $100k. Since my Disability payments were not enough to live on, I lived partly off the dividends of the stocks, and began paying down the debts to my sister and two friends. I had a consult with an attorney who was familiar with Debtors Anonymous who told me that because that inheritance was essentially my retirement account since I was disabled and might not work again, I should not use it to pay off any credit card debt, which had nearly doubled due to attorney’s fees and penalties etc.
In 2007, realizing that the situation seemed hopeless and my stress level was extremely high, I retained an attorney to try to settle with my creditors. He said that it was only a matter of time before my creditors found and seized the stock account, and recommended I sell the stocks immediately and that since I owed so much on personal loans from family and friends, I satisfy those loans first, which I did. With what little money remained, I did settle one debt, and fixed various long-standing problems with my home, and sadly no longer have a single penny of that stock money. Although I do have an offer from another family member to pay some of the debt if I were able to settle, the attorney did not succeed in obtaining settlements with any of the creditors besides that one.