Credit Card Negotiation (and home modification)...

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by hankrobbin, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. hankrobbin

    hankrobbin New Member

    Hello. I am new to this board, so please bear with me.

    I would like to have feedback on any part(s) of my question(s), or on the whole picture, if you think it might help me. Thank you so much for reading this.

    I am terribly embarrassed about the situation I am in. But, here goes:

    I have over $90,000 in credit card debt to various credit card companies.

    Discovercard: $7000
    US Bank (3 Credit Accounts): $22000
    Bank of America: $14000
    Chase: $27000
    CitiCard: $12000
    Credit Union Visa: $13000
    Credit Union OD Protection: $1500

    I am about 5 months late on each of these cards. I do not know what I was thinking when I agreed to accept the CC offers, and I am confused as to why these companies extended me this amount of credit.

    My job pays about $3000/month (net), and household income totals about $3500 (with my wife's contribution).

    So, I have a huge Credit Card debt with limited income.

    The complication: I am in the process of trying to get my home mortgage modified, and I believe that the main thing that they (CitiMortgage/Citibank) will want to see is that I can and will safely make the modified mortgage payment.

    CitiMortgage "prequalified" me for a modified mortgage payment of $1100 down from $2400/month. I am now on a "trial period" of three months at the reduced mortgage payment. This was in February, at which time I was already over 30 days late on most of these credit accounts. CitiMortage prequalified me for this modified mortgage payment, and I am nearly certain that they had my credit report in front of them when they prequalified me. One of the questions, from the representative on the telephone, was what my payments for Credit card/unsecured debt was. I said $1000/month, which at the time was a good rough estimate (I had relatively low interest rates before my lates).

    So, I am guessing that if I have any chance of having this modification go through, I will want to show that I am dealing with this CC debt, or have the capacity to pay the new mortgage payment, and somehow have a manageable CC monthly payment. So, my ultimate motive is to get this modification, but to do this, I am guessing that I will need to have reasonable CC payments. Needless to say, since my lates, my interest rates have went through the roof, and I would not be able to afford the payments and have my family eat at the same time.

    All of this said, I now know that my chances of winning the lottery are realistically very small, and I am starting to think that my only option is to declare bankruptcy, especiallly if I do not get these CC monthly payments down. This is whether I get the modification or not, but bankruptcy will likely be certain unless I can both lower my mortgage payment (through the modification) AND have reasonable CC payments.

    Does anybody have any advice on:

    1. How to get my CC monthly payment to a reasonable amout.
    2. Whether I have a chance of getting this mortgage modification with all of this CC debt.
    3. Should I consider engaging in negotiations to lower my CC payments to where I can avoid bankruptcy, and at the same time. eat, and be able to rent an apartment, assuming I cannot get the modification modified.
    4. Is my only option to declare bankruptcy?

    I could comfortably pay $750/month toward the CC debt; Maximum would be $1000/month.

    I am thinking about offering to pay this $750/month, divided by the various CC companies. Here is what I am thinking about offering:

    1. Reduce my principal by 2/3 In effect reducing my entire CC debt to roughly $30000.
    2. Allow me to make payments on this $30000.
    3. Lower my interest rate so that I can be out of debt as soon as possible (48 months might seem unreasonable, but this would be the ideal situation for me).

    Any advice on any of this?

    Might these CC companies settle on or near to these terms, and get something from me, or will they be more likely to make more money from a bankruptcy, being able to charge off the debt?

    I am desparate, but I believe that if I know the likely outcomes of this situation, I will find some peace of mind.

    Sorry for the long post. Thank you again.

  2. JoshuaHeckathorn

    JoshuaHeckathorn Administrator

    Welcome to the forum, and I'm sorry to hear about the situation you're dealing with at the moment. It must be extremely stressful, and I do hope you and your family are able to successfully navigate through all of this and emerge with a better understanding of how to manage your credit wisely in the future.

    I agree with you that you likely won't be able to complete the loan mod unless you work things out with all your credit card debt first. $90K is a big chunk of change to overcome, so it certainly wouldn't hurt to schedule a meeting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can review the details of your situation and at least help you take a closer look at all your options. Bankruptcy, of course, could wipe out or significantly reduce your unsecured debt while potentially protecting your home.

    That said, there have been plenty of people who have dug themselves out of huge amounts of debt in order to avoid bankruptcy and save their credit scores. Start communicating with the CAs if you haven't already, negotiate hard, and do everything within your power to structure payment plans that you can afford based upon your income. If you can get a second job or sell something of value, even better. And whenever possible, don't forget to negotiate your credit score along the way as well. Settlements or paid collections that remain on your credit reports will essentially hurt your scores just as bad as unpaid collections.

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