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Archive for May, 2008

I have close to 100k in debt, no interest above 7.99, work for myself, have unstable income, no savings and often borrow more money to pay monthly bills. My credit is good (680+) Any ideas how to get out of debt? I am 62.

This is a tough. You obviously have a good situation as far as your interest rates are concerned and

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Does Every Debt settlement program tend to charge 15% of debt for their fees?

No, but 15% of the debt amount you enter into their program is

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can student loans be included in debt negotiation program?

No, student loans can be consolidated by a

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I have about $20,000 in credit card debt, and business loan debt. One bank, Advanta has said that they will file for a lawsuit against me, if I don’t pay, and that they could put a lein against my bank account. I don’t really know what to do, I don’t want to file bankruptcy, I have been down that road once before and I don’t want to go down it again.

Your fear of a lawsuit from the credit card companies is legitimate and it can (and does) happen however, you need to remember

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What would you recommend for an 87-year old widow with an outstanding credit card debt of slightly more than $11,000 and no assets. She has been paying off this bill (and adding nothing to her credit card) since the death of her husband almost five years ago. For some time she paid the minimum, but more recently as the minimum has dropped, she has been able to pay slightly more. Now she is in a nursing home. Her income is modest (social security and a very small pension); assets are now down to less than $5,000 and will be depleted in short order by her need for either a nursing home or assisted living. In fact, she is applying for financial assistance. Two lawyers have recommended that she simply stop paying the bill since there is nothing they can go after. There is a concern, however, with harassment of this fragile elderly woman from bill collectors. As the relative handling her financial affairs, I feel horribly uncomfortable at simply not paying a bill. Do you have any suggestions?

This is a difficult one because you really have to decide for yourself what’s best. Do you follow the lawyers

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Hello, I have $60,000 of credit card and unsecured debt. I have talked with a company that is run by lawyers. They told me to set up my own bank account just for debt settlement. The monthly amount that I would put in the bank would be about half of what I am paying now. They charge 14% which is all witdrawn by ACH from my account over the first 13 months. When there is a settlement, they will have me make the payment from the account. Have you heard of this method?

Hello, thank you for the question. Yes, the process you describe is standard for debt settlement. Some companies will actually

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is the amount that is forgiven taxable?

Yes, in debt settlement the amount you do not have to pay as a result of the debt negotiation process is taxable. It is something

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