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I wouldn't exactly call this a "winning from debt" story as I don't feel remotely like a winner. More like an idiot for getting into this much debt in the first place. I just settled $55,000 worth of credit card debt today for a little over $17,000. I didn't use a settlement company as I figured I needed whatever their fee would be to add to my pitiful cash on hand to pay the creditors. It took months of harassing phone calls, avoiding phone calls (haven't answered our land line without screening for months), phone calls to our cell phones and our places of employment and finally, phone calls to our family members living in different residences (my mother-in-law was freaked out to say the least :) We've also received many, many letters of doom and gloom and were served papers from Chase. To say it's been stressful is putting it mildly. Companies were Bank of America (two accounts), Chase (three accounts), and AT& T Citibank. I still have a Discover Card but I ran out of available cash having exhausted every source and am unable to make a settlement. The hardship payment at a low interest rate is manageable, so not too bad. Have always payed everything on time until my husband took a loss in income a year ago. On the advice of financial professionals, just payed our survival bills (house, electricity, insurance etc.) and let the credit cards go by the wayside Went to Consumer Credit Counseling, nice people by the way, who told us to declare bankruptcy since we were cash poor but decided to hold off and try to settle ourselves. The credit card companies tried every trick in the book to get us to pay in full or to pay really high settlements but the thing was, as I told them over and over (calmly, most of the time :), the amount of cash I have available is finite. There isn't any other avenue to get any more cash. Yes, our credit is shot but it will recover someday maybe and at this point, I couldn't care less about the credit. With the current state of the economy and so many people out of work, I figure I'm just one of many with poor credit. The most important thing is my family has some peace. We can live within our means and still be okay. We have no credit cards (Discover is closed) and don't need them. My debit card is also a Visa which is accepted everywhere. My land line hasn't rang since I got off the phone with Chase at 10:30 this morning and I just feel so much better that I can wake up tomorrow without this financial black cloud hanging over my head. The best of luck to those of you struggling with debt and I wish all a financially healthy New Year!




Congratulations!!

I'm really happy for you. Hope you clear off the remaining log too very soon and start a financial worry free life. :)

Sub: #1 posted on Mon, 12/28/2009 - 20:50

SC SC
Moderators
(Posts: 3937 | Credits: )

I contacted the creditor (collection attorneys) myself and offered them a 30% settlement on a $16K account-which they accepted and for which I have a letter stating that I've met my financial obligation to them. After the 1st of the year, I'll check my credit report and make sure they've changed the "charged off" status to a $0.00 balance (or whatever adjustment they make).

The settlement you reached was about 30%, so I guess that's the going 'rate' these days.

Reaching that settlement for $4800 was such a weight off my shoulders, a NEW YEARS' gift to me and even though that creditor will never extend another card to me, I've learned my lesson and I've closed the account.

Sub: #2 posted on Mon, 12/28/2009 - 21:23

Unregistered


Isn't it a wonderful feeling to not have to dodge your ringing phone? It's such a stress reliever. To those of you contemplating using a debt settlement company, you can do this yourself and save thousands of dollars in fees. Most of the companies are willing to help (Citibank was the hardest for me). Congratulations and best wishes for a peaceful New Year!:D

Sub: #3 posted on Tue, 12/29/2009 - 06:03

aubrey aubrey
Moderators Cum Industry Expert
(Posts: 1204 | Credits: )

Thanks for everyone's positive replies and congratulations on settling your own debt. It's such a relief. I hope I emphasized enough in my last post that this is a stressful process that takes months and also, that debt settlement can't be done without compromising your credit (in a big way). The credit card companies will not talk to you about settlement if your accounts are current. We had to stop paying our cards because of my husband's reduced income but in reality, we weren't doing so hot before that. My credit was already lacking before I stopped paying the credit cards. In all the years of carrying debt, I only had one late payment (sent my online bill payment one day too late to Chase - raised my good rate to 30% - which I refused to pay - and sent a late charge status to my credit. Thank God I will never have to deal with Miss Simmons and Chase again!!!!!!). Even though my payment status was stellar, my credit was poor due to the amount of debt we carried. Paying on time is good but it's not all you need for good credit. We really had nothing to lose. Also, it's really important to know exactly how much available cash you have for this and that the cash is ready to go before calling your creditors. Creditors will want your settlement money ASAP (that day or the next few days). We had money in a family member's account that was ready to go when we needed it. Better not to mix that money with your own. Too easy to nickle and dime it away. Your goal is to do this as quickly as possible. Chase agreed to settle a $12,800 account for $3,000 under the condition that I have that money in my checking in an hour and half. Little stressful :) Had to drive across town to get the money and had to pull over to call Chase on my cell phone when I realized I was 5 minutes away from their deadline and still hadn't made it to the bank. That was my most important account to settle as they had served us legal papers. Scary. I made a spreadsheet of all of our finances yesterday so we now know to the penny what we need to survive. Not much available at the end but will record every dime spent and deduct it from our "left over" money in a spreadsheet to better keep track. Phone is still very quiet - love that! Anyway, again, Happy New Year!

Sub: #4 posted on Wed, 12/30/2009 - 11:04

Unregistered


My Husband an I are going thru a very similar sittuation as you have gone thru. We have so far settled with Chase on two accounts, but the really weird thing is that just recently we received a letter from JPMorgan Chase Legal Department stating that they have been insructed to file suit against me. This is on another account I have with Chase. Now the thing that really gets me is that on this particular account I owe $3029.00. On the other two accounts that we settled one was $10,000 and the other one was $9,000. I don't understand wy they sent this one to the legal department. This letter is pretty intimidating. My stress level went from a 5 back up to a 10 with this letter. Did you receive anything like this from Chase?

Sub: #5 posted on Mon, 01/18/2010 - 00:28

rosaandfive rosaandfive

(Posts: 4 | Credits: )

Though I haven't been in the exact same situation before I have been in one very similar and since I never really give exact advice I'm really just going to say that the best way to get out of debt is to do it from a mindset of being calm.
Imagine it's already handled and then from that point try to find the solution to the problem. I've personally found that whenever I'm frustrated (or scared) and I try to take actions from that mindset I find myself in another situation that frustrates me (or scares me worse!). Einstein put it best when He said 'You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it'.... really clever chap :).
Don't know how much this Helped but here's Me Wishing You the best in the World and I hope You get out of debt soon :D.
Ricky.
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Sub: #6 posted on Sun, 01/24/2010 - 18:57

Ricky.J.K.Ruto Ricky.J.K.Ruto

(Posts: 1 | Credits: )

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosaandfive
My Husband an I are going thru a very similar sittuation as you have gone thru. We have so far settled with Chase on two accounts, but the really weird thing is that just recently we received a letter from JPMorgan Chase Legal Department stating that they have been insructed to file suit against me. This is on another account I have with Chase. Now the thing that really gets me is that on this particular account I owe $3029.00. On the other two accounts that we settled one was $10,000 and the other one was $9,000. I don't understand wy they sent this one to the legal department. This letter is pretty intimidating. My stress level went from a 5 back up to a 10 with this letter. Did you receive anything like this from Chase?


were you served a summons? stay strong, you can make it through this.

Sub: #7 posted on Sat, 02/06/2010 - 16:19

bea2ls bea2ls
Moderators
(Posts: 3840 | Credits: )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I wouldn't exactly call this a "winning from debt" story as I don't feel remotely like a winner. More like an idiot for getting into this much debt in the first place. I just settled $55,000 worth of credit card debt today for a little over $17,000. I didn't use a settlement company as I figured I needed whatever their fee would be to add to my pitiful cash on hand to pay the creditors. It took months of harassing phone calls, avoiding phone calls (haven't answered our land line without screening for months), phone calls to our cell phones and our places of employment and finally, phone calls to our family members living in different residences (my mother-in-law was freaked out to say the least :) We've also received many, many letters of doom and gloom and were served papers from Chase. To say it's been stressful is putting it mildly. Companies were Bank of America (two accounts), Chase (three accounts), and AT& T Citibank. I still have a Discover Card but I ran out of available cash having exhausted every source and am unable to make a settlement. The hardship payment at a low interest rate is manageable, so not too bad. Have always payed everything on time until my husband took a loss in income a year ago. On the advice of financial professionals, just payed our survival bills (house, electricity, insurance etc.) and let the credit cards go by the wayside Went to Consumer Credit Counseling, nice people by the way, who told us to declare bankruptcy since we were cash poor but decided to hold off and try to settle ourselves. The credit card companies tried every trick in the book to get us to pay in full or to pay really high settlements but the thing was, as I told them over and over (calmly, most of the time :), the amount of cash I have available is finite. There isn't any other avenue to get any more cash. Yes, our credit is shot but it will recover someday maybe and at this point, I couldn't care less about the credit. With the current state of the economy and so many people out of work, I figure I'm just one of many with poor credit. The most important thing is my family has some peace. We can live within our means and still be okay. We have no credit cards (Discover is closed) and don't need them. My debit card is also a Visa which is accepted everywhere. My land line hasn't rang since I got off the phone with Chase at 10:30 this morning and I just feel so much better that I can wake up tomorrow without this financial black cloud hanging over my head. The best of luck to those of you struggling with debt and I wish all a financially healthy New Year!


this sounds just like the situation my wife and I are in even the amount owed is the same. My question is how many months did the whole process take and how many letters did you send to them or was this all done over the phone?

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 08:03

Unregistered


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous
I wouldn't exactly call this a "winning from debt" story as I don't feel remotely like a winner. More like an idiot for getting into this much debt in the first place. I just settled $55,000 worth of credit card debt today for a little over $17,000. I didn't use a settlement company as I figured I needed whatever their fee would be to add to my pitiful cash on hand to pay the creditors. It took months of harassing phone calls, avoiding phone calls (haven't answered our land line without screening for months), phone calls to our cell phones and our places of employment and finally, phone calls to our family members living in different residences (my mother-in-law was freaked out to say the least :) We've also received many, many letters of doom and gloom and were served papers from Chase. To say it's been stressful is putting it mildly. Companies were Bank of America (two accounts), Chase (three accounts), and AT& T Citibank. I still have a Discover Card but I ran out of available cash having exhausted every source and am unable to make a settlement. The hardship payment at a low interest rate is manageable, so not too bad. Have always payed everything on time until my husband took a loss in income a year ago. On the advice of financial professionals, just payed our survival bills (house, electricity, insurance etc.) and let the credit cards go by the wayside Went to Consumer Credit Counseling, nice people by the way, who told us to declare bankruptcy since we were cash poor but decided to hold off and try to settle ourselves. The credit card companies tried every trick in the book to get us to pay in full or to pay really high settlements but the thing was, as I told them over and over (calmly, most of the time :), the amount of cash I have available is finite. There isn't any other avenue to get any more cash. Yes, our credit is shot but it will recover someday maybe and at this point, I couldn't care less about the credit. With the current state of the economy and so many people out of work, I figure I'm just one of many with poor credit. The most important thing is my family has some peace. We can live within our means and still be okay. We have no credit cards (Discover is closed) and don't need them. My debit card is also a Visa which is accepted everywhere. My land line hasn't rang since I got off the phone with Chase at 10:30 this morning and I just feel so much better that I can wake up tomorrow without this financial black cloud hanging over my head. The best of luck to those of you struggling with debt and I wish all a financially healthy New Year!


i am late on this but i consider you a winner.. you did what you had to do and learned from your past.

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 16:58

bea2ls bea2ls
Moderators
(Posts: 3840 | Credits: )

Did you get a settlement offer from Discover? I'm trying to settle with Discover, but they don't go below 60%. Has anyone settled recently with Discover?

Thank you.

Sub: #10 posted on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 00:58

Unregistered


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