Anyone tried this?

Anyone have any information on Scott Stehpen’s Ultimate Debt Guide?

I don’t know if I would trust guy who has fied bankruptcy THREE times! Once is understandable… three times???? makes me wonder… If you google the last five words in the sentence above, you arrive at a blog. I like reading blogs and maintain one on yoga, nutrition and architecture. But this blog that you arrive seems to be what is called a junk blog set up to point to the same place, “Buy the book, want the answer? buy the book.” There is not one piece of information shared on how to reduce debt.

There is a hypocritical story about receiving an email about someone with 63,000 in debt reducing it to nothing in 3 months, and offers of work at home opportunities. Blogging is free on many service providers, but the service providers clamp down on these fake blogs that have nothing to say and are just pointing to the same place, where someone wants to sell you something.

I never thought about it that way… thanks for the eye-opener!

Has anyone been sucessful with Scott Stephen’s Ultimate Debt Guide? I purchased it today, and just started reading. I don’t want to file bankrupcy, I just want to get my credit cards paid off. All of them jumped from 5% to 29.9%! So the payments are tripple! We didn’t miss a payment, we always pay early, and we always paid more then was them minimum. I called and they can’t help me to reduce it. Has this happenend to anyone else?

debt relief

I would suggest you stay away from these companies

I would suggest you stay away from these companies. A lot of them will charge you a substantial fee and hold your payments allowing you to become further and further behind to make it easier for them to make a settlement offer with the company you owe money to.

A better option would be CCCS (consumer credit counseling), if you belong to a Credit Union or have the ability to join one many Credit Unions offer the services of Balance which is also a credit counseling service. They are reputable, charge a very low fee or no fee to their credit union members.

A reputable credit counseling service will have a reasonable fee, usually on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay. They will make payments for you monthly and will let you know up front about companies that will not work with you.

It will show on your credit profile, and some of your accounts may be closed, but the peace of mind you have from only paying one payment a month to one place is wonderful. You will also have creditors no longer calling you by phone. We went through a similar program many years ago.

Years ago we went through Consumer Credit Counseling Service. They were wonderful. I just wish we had stayed out of debt. I’m thinking about going back to them. The fee, 15 yrs ago, was only $10 a month. I don’t know what it is now but I do know they work with you and the credit card companies.

I am not sure I understand. A good thing to do is go to the library and read his books. Save up money and attend the FPU classes. Listen to his shows, he is pretty good. We just went to class this evening. We have 3 more classes until we complete the course. We were living paycheck to paycheck and using creditcards. We will be on step 2 for a very long time but the good thing is we do not want debt to control us anymore. I cut my creditcard up (should have long ago). We just paid off my husband’s creditcard this week. He isn’t too sure about cutting it up. He doesn’t want to, not yet at least.

I, too, tried them many years ago and they would NOT help me at all as I had a mortgage to pay. Some help. God helps those who help themselves.

debt relief

CareOne Debt Relief Help

Has anyone had any experience with this company? I looked at their website and ran some numbers. The result almost seems too easy after just punching in some numbers into a website. If this is redundant, I apologize. I’ve just joined this group and have been reading the messages for a week or so and didn’t see any mention of the company or these kind of services.

Hi, I just joined the blog and saw your post. I am in CareOne right now. I’m not too happy with them. I’ve been with them for a year now and my debt is NOT going down!! And depending on how much debt you have they charge a big monthly fee for their service. Another negative is if you try to enroll a debt you have and the place of debt won’t agree to their terms CareOne still takes that money every month. I had this happen 4 times. I thought they were in areement with my credit card company and I kept getting late fee notices and back amount owed. Once I called CareOne they said oh yeah they won’t accept our plan. So you have to stay on top of things – they really don’t look out for you at all. Personally, I’d never go that route again!! I’m looking into options for myself so I can get out from under their trap!

Have any of you watched Dave Ramsey’s show on Fox Business Network? We recently got the channel and it is good to hear it, and see what he has to say on various topics. I try to listen to him on the radio, but from my office getting a clear station is difficult, so I miss that on a regular basis. At home, I tape it, watch it and move on.

Never watched Ramsey on TV. Money Wise on PBS is the best financial show on TV IMO. They have great guests, feature real people in real situations, and it’s all done in a calm atmosphere. No name calling.

I am sure some of you have taken his financial classes…can anyone offer one for a family that needs to learn how to budget. I have done that from home. Our office computer network BLOCKS anything that streams; radio stations; Yahoo and Hotmail; most pictures, etc. Love those firewalls. If you pay the band, you get to choose the tune.

Dave Ramsey’s in FOX news channel, but you have to get up early since it’s on 8:30am. Saw it and was impressed-had REAL sucess stories of people who made it-the get to say, really loud-I’M DEBT FREE, as a release. Nice.

budgeting · personal loans

Right, you won’t get what you paid

Right, you won’t get what you paid. I’d only sell what you aren’t using. The point I was making is that those ‘debt consolidation’ usually are mostly interest at the beginning, like a mortgage, so any extra you send them brings the debt down quickly. For instance, last month we made the last payment on our last credit card balance (YEAHH!), so this month I took the money I’d been sending the cc, and paid it as extra on the mortgage instead. So, even though it was the equal of 4 months of mortgage (we have a very small mortgage-2 bedrooms) it took 10 months off the payments! So any extra can make more of a difference than you think!

The more ‘open’ space you have (get rid of clutter, keep organized, arrange furniture in an ‘open’ way with only the furniture you need), the bigger the house will seem. We have 3 daughters (only 1 left at home now), and we’ve always lived in 2 bedrooms. How much time do your kids spend in their room, other than sleeping? If you have both boys & girls, then you’d want to separate them before the boys get ‘curious’. I had a friend with 3 boys-once her husband got the ‘big job’, they moved from their 2 bedroom to a 5 bedroom. The kids still ended up in 1 room!! That’s what they liked! Now she has 3 teens who are always out with school or sporting events, and she’s stuck cleaning a big empty (expensive) house. They want to sell & move back into 2 bedrooms again! By the time you have more kids, you’ll be in a much better position financially for having gotten rid of the debt.

You said your husband always feeled responsible although you had made your financial decisions together. You were trying to do what you could to help, but there’s no one to talk to when you got discouraged. If you talked to him, it will only made him feel worse and that’s not what we needed!

That’s what we are here for, to help encourage each other! Just tell him how proud you are of him and how hard he works, etc…

As for the baby’s clothes, check with a Crisis Pregnancy Center – they usually have more baby clothes than they can distribute, or can at least can let you know when some come in. Check with other families with kids about trading clothes that have been outgrown. As for gifts, since as a pastor’s wife the budget has always been tight, our families knew that only our kids, and our small nieces & nephews got Christmas gifts from us. Craft-type gifts that we could spend time together making were always most loved… Also check out this great website providing instant loans even for those with bad credit – I use them when I need cash fast and have nowhere else to go.

Got to go for today…will keep you in prayer. Keep up the good work, Jen!

credit cards APR

APR’s on Credit Cards

Happened to me as well. No idea why. Went from 4% to 20%. Transferred to a new card that promised “6% forever” which in a month was sold to another company and they immediatelly cranked it up again to 18%. Tried to get a consolidation loan at lower interest from a bank and was refused. It’s like some kind of conspiracy across banks- force you to pay through the nose for years and never be able to clear the debt. If it had stayed at 4% I’d be done paying it off by end of this year.

I have been with the same Creditcard for 10 years. I paid on time except twice and it was only a day or two late. I always sent the check 1 1/2 weeks early. I always paid more than the minimum. Last spring it jumped from 12-16%. I tried to get a card to transfer it to without luck ( I do not have a job, my husband does). I called a few times about lowering my APR). Mid summer it went to 19.6%. I called twice to ask for it to lower and got a copy of my credit report (no bad comments). I called twice in the last month to have it lowered and they said they were going to actually raise it again. I asked why, she said she could not tell me but a letter would be sent. I called again and aske for it to be lowered, she said she couldn’t do that because it appeared on my credit report that I had accumulated too much credit. My credit has gone up in the last 5 years (husband was in school the last 7) but in the last year it has stayed basically the same thanks to their high APR! She said I could choose to close my account to lock in the rate I had. I got a letter today that was so confusing and it makes very little sense.

It is stressful. When I got my credit card I believe it was 8%. Now near 20% and I have stayed within my credit limit, paid on time and more than what is the minimum.

go up the ladder, call, ask again, if they say no, ask for their supervisor, if they say no, ask for theirs, and so on….eventually you will get someone that will say yes.

I have come to believe that credit cards are the biggest scam ever. I am stuck with a few credit cards myself, but working very hard to get rid of them (my wife is not helping much!) And once I’m done with them, I will never ever have a credit card in my life.

I mean who’s the genius that came up with this. I want a buy something that costs a 100 dollars. But I don’t have the money. So I take the item home, and I spend the next few years paying for it, over and over and over! How freaking brilliant (for them).

I have come to believe the only way to have a credit is to:

  1. Have an emergency fund.
  2. If one chooses to play the credit card game get a card only if you can get one that charges no fees and only charge what you know you can pay off when the bill comes due.

I know this doesn’t help when you are in the trap of high interest, but life is a learning process.

I have heard experts say “play the credit card game right “. The stakes are high for those who play the game wrong. I choose not to play it at this time in my life.

As long as the leaders in this country keep getting big $$$ from the financial services industry in this country, you can be certain they will be given top priority and not the lowly consumer. Beware. You may also be able to get some help at this site:

I have found that if you “need” a credit card a credit union will normally offer better rates than going through a CC company or your local bank. Best to check out local rates before you sign the paperwork….

This is why debit cards are so good. They won’t work (I don’t think) if you don’t have the money in your account but they’re used just about everywhere like credit cards.

The other thing I’m doing is weaning myself away from Wells Fargo and other gigantic banks who don’t need my piddly business and going to the small, local ones that only have a few branches. A benefit to that is that it’s not as easy to pull out cash, I’m not going to use a card for a small item, so maybe I don’t really need the $4 Starbucks coffee 😎

credit cards APR

APR’s on Credit Cards Jumping sky high

credit cardsI am going to slowly pay off all of my cards and say to hell with credit cards! I might keep my capitol one card as it’s only a $500 limit, and has always been 10% since I have had it.

We get paid weekly, so 4 times out of the year the whole pay check goes to nothing! So December I am going to pay off one of my lower cards with the check, and pay the amount I was paying to them to the next card, and I am going to try and do this every month that I can. We do go on vacation with one of the checks, so it will at least be 3 of them that will go to paying off debt!

I am going to work on paying off the Southwest Airlines Chase card first, and then go to the next chase card. Chase seems to be the worst! I’m not sure if I said this in my other e-mail, but they just did the same thing to my Dad, Sister, Brother & Mom! They are live in separate households, and different parts of the country! It must be a chase thing! Maybe they are making up for all the foreclosures that are going on in their mortgage department?! Who knows. All I know is that I am tired of the credit card game, and I am JUST SAYING NO as of right now.

Christmas is coming, and 95% of my presents are going to be handmade with things I already have to make them with! I am saying NO to retail this year! I know that’s hard on the economy, but the credit card companies and other companies have caused a lot of people to do this.

O.k. I’m off my high horse now!

It’s true. Out of my credit cards, my credit union one is the lowest rate at 12.9%. I am also done with credit cards. I wish we had “extra” checks. Mine will be a fairly slow process. But It already feels good. I haven’t used them for about a month now. It’s nice to see those balances go down. I have 2 chase cards as well and they are the highest interest rate. I’m not going crazy for Christmas either. There’s not much I can make.. so I’m doing gift cards to keep down the costs for most people. We usually go overboard on our kids gifts. But not this year. We’ll let Grandma do the spoiling this year. Actually, my debit card has a $500 overdraft. But I haven’t used it for awhile.

What are others doing for Christmas this year? What kind of home made gifts are you making? I know one woman with many grandchildren who has decided on gift baskets for the whole family instead of a gift for each child. Ever the baskets can get expensive though. I have some artistic ability and have made gifts. I have also found some unique gifts at yard sales this year. There are many times I have gone to sales where someone is selling a gift that was never opened, or newley weds have two of the same item. You can also find some collector items and if you are real lucky an antique at a yard sle for a great price. They are getting harder to find though since it is so easy to get info on what the value of something old is.

credit collectors

Credit collector’s calling work?

Hello everyone, I have 1 credit collector that is calling my work now. How do i stop this? Is it legal? The phone number comes up unknown, so I can not block it. It is one thing at home but I am worried that I could lose my job at work if they continue to do this. Anyone have any ideas?

Tell them that you cannot receive personal calls at work. Once you tell them that they CANNOT call you. If they call you again, tell them you will sue them for harrassment, and will report them to the FCC. It is ILLEGAL for them to call you at work once you have notified them.

You are correct legally but sometimes it is impractical. I’ve told these people that I cannot take personal calls at work but still was harassed at work. When you ask their name or what company they work for, they just hang up. Their caller ID is blocked so what can be done?

what you say is true, the only way you can prove you told them is to send a certified letter, return receipt requested containing specific words. You can find these at many websites, has one and I believe does also in the free zone.

After you have proof they signed for the letter, next time they call, if you can record the conversation, it should go something like this. “OK, Mr. Smith with ABD Collection Agency, this is being recorded for my lawyer. You are in violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You are not authorized to call this work number. Any further calls to this number could result in my suing you and your company.” You may find yourself speaking to a dial tone before you finish.

I have also gone so far as getting a supervisor (which could have been the shmuck in the next cubicle) who took a moment to delete my work number form the database. It must have worked, because they have not called that number in the past 7 weeks. This debt, actually belongs to a deceased friend, of whom I am the executor.

Thanks for this! I looked up Chase and almost every one of them said the same thing that I am going through with the rising interest rates for no reason! I can’t wait until those chase cards are paid off, the sooner the better!

I had to deal with collectors calling my workplace before. Hopefully, this will work no matter what state you’re in. If you write them directly telling them to no longer call at your work, they must abide by that. Usually after that they send a letter confirming they will no longer call your work UNLESS you give them permission to do so (like anyone would do that). In Massachusetts where I am it’s the law.

SAVE ALL CORRESPONDENCE!!! Just in case you need proof that you actually wrote them.

real estate

The best “insurance”

I think the best “insurance” is to get the best property manager you can find. We have a condo in Hawaii and I was very nervous to go long-term rental. But our management company is the best and we are very happy with their maintenance, supervision of the unit, and the tenants they chose. Peace of mind is priceless.

The first few years we were landlords we never had any problems with deadbeat renters. We did have a big problem with a Property Management Company. All they did was stick a sign out in the yard and post our homes on their webpage, and they requested we jack up the rent (to increase their profits!) Anyway the 3 months we were using the PMC the houses never rented, so we quickly advised the PMC that we were taking back control of our homes and they could sue us if they wanted to hold us to their 12 month contract. They never question our actions and we had our houses rented within 2 weeks!

Everything was still fine up until the past few years, when we started getting our share of deadbeat renters. We always had a strict screening process and always checked credit, job and personal references but the deadbeats slid through.. We got tired of dipping into our savings accounts and working triple extra overtime on our full time jobs to cover the rental house payments while the deadbeats lived there for free until they were legally evicted! We got lucky and were able to sell all of our rentals (before the real estate crash) except for 1 home which we have decided to keep because of the area it is in and the renter has been there for several years with no problems.

Anyway – I dont believe there is any “insurance” anywhere which will help cover deadbeat renters. People always say “just sue them” but you figure if the renters dont have the money to pay the rent in the first place and you find out they moved out into some type of government housing complex, do you really want to waste the money to file the payperwork to get legal action started? In my area it will cost $75 to file to sue for back rent and if you are “awarded” the rent, who is going to force these deadbeats to pay what they dont have? Think you will put a “lean” on their credit?? Deadbeat renters are not worried about their credit scores….

Your only safe option is to rent out a home that is already completely paid for (good luck), so if you can’t get someone in there asap or if your renter bails out on you, you are not left with an additional house payment to make. And dont ever listen to these so called real estate investors (Carleton Sheets..John Adams..whoever) that tell people you will make $$$$ with little work and investment on your part – Anyone that has truely played the real estate game for any length of time will tell you you can get in big trouble and loose it all if you dont know what you are doing and dont have plenty of $$$ to back up your investments. Our money is now going into more “secure” investments and my weekends/off days are no longer spent at the courthouse or “Lowes” purchasing items to repair damages done by deadbeats.


Investment/rental property

Got a friend that had trouble finding renters for his new “investment/rental property.” Within 12 months 2 different renters trashed the house and stopped paying rent, which led to my friend not being able to make the payments on the rental house. Friend had to file paperwork to have both renters legally removed from property which took 2-3 months each time. Friend almost went broke trying to make his house payment, payment on the rental and paying for repairs caused by dead beat renters. He eventually had to stop paying on the rental home in order to keep his personal home.

Rental home was forclosed on and now friends credit is shot.. Cant get credit for anything. If you are facing this make sure you now have what you need to survive and will not need credit for a while…And dont ever let anyone tell you you “cant go wrong” in the real estate business. I know plenty of people that have lost almost everything because they thought they could get rich quick (Carleton Sheets program….) with real estate/rental property. Yes, some do well, but most that do so have plenty of money to begin with to cover problems which will come up.

You might also want to look into doing what I believe is called a “quick sale.” Recently was told by my neighbor that she is having to get rid of a condo in Panama City Beach. She has been having trouble keeping it rented and can no longer afford to make her house payment and paments on the condo. She advised me she contacted the bank and advised them she cant make payments and told them to take back the condo.. She said the bank told her they did not want it and advised her they will determine a “quick sale offer” (apparently the lowest amount they can take for it) and will let her know what she can sell it for to get out of it – without it being sold at the courthouse to the highest bidder.

Apparently the banks would rather have a little $$ than being stuck with yet another forclosed property… Worth a try to contact your bank/leanholder and explain your situation…chances are if you can sell for less and the property is a potential money maker some sucker, sorry, real
estate investor will buy it off your hands and maybe save your credit.

I may be in the position where I am going to rent my mother’s house. It’s all paid for, etc but James’s email got me to wondering: is there some kind of insurance against deadbeat renters. Obviously I’m going to try to get the best renters I can and even use a reputable property management company if possible but as they say, “stuff happens” and it would be good to have a cushion against deadbeat renters as I know there is a 2-3 month or more process to get them out.

Do you think filing for bankruptcy is better than foreclosure? Also, will the bank come after my personal assets? Can I lose my home or lease cars for instance? Or my 401k?

I’m not being a smart alec (sp?) about this but where are these condos? Nothing in San Francisco goes a long time without it being rented or some developer buying it. Living here all my life, the concept of residential property not moving (pardon the pun regarding earthquakes) is just very, very foreign to me. The only exception may be in the worst parts of town but those places wouldn’t be purchased except by a nut anyway as they look so bad.

I think contacting the bank and notifying them in writing (certified mail) is the way to go. There was something about this very thing discussed on Dave Ramsey’s t.v. call-in show. It is better than foreclosure. What is the penalty attached to returning the leased cars early? You can then buy yourself a less expensive car NOT LEASED (Terrible financial move to do that!!!!!), even one you can pay cash for and be free of any sort of car payment.


Foreclosure question

foreclosureI own an investment property whose value dropped in the last year. My equity in it went from 60k to about 10k. There is a person currently renting it, but his lease will expire in 6 months.

Since the condo itself has almost no equity in it for me, I don’t see why I should bother keeping it. What are the risks? I don’t have any equity in my actual home, and I’m leasing cars (not owning them). I also have 30k in credit card debt. Will the bank just peacefully foreclose and take the property and let it go?

Would it be illegal to intentionally initiate the process myself, so I can continue to collect rent for the rest of the lease perior and use the money towards my credit card debt instead as the foreclosure process is going on?

Is it advisable to get a lawyer involved or is this something I can do on my own?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Living in the Bay Area, I don’t understand how an investment property plummets in equity like that. Would you mind explaining? Thanks.

It’s in Michigan. I bought it for 210k in 2005. I put 35k down. So I owe 175k. At one point, it was worth 230k. A couple of weeks ago though, it was assessed to be worth 185k. That’s actually optimistic. Similar properties around it (brand new) are being offered for 170k, and they’re not selling. So in reality, I’d be lucky if I got out of it owing nothing to the bank. And it doesn’t help that the association fee has gone up since. I’m just looking for the best way to just get out of the situation. I wonder if I could just call the bank and tell them they can have it!

My brother in law did something simular and it cost him money and caused problems on his credit report. Could you sell the home rent to own and make enough to pay the mortgage? You could auction the property. The housing market stinks right now.

I know someone who’s in the same situation (same condo complex even). The lease ended and they struggled for months to find another person to rent or lease (let alone buy). Sound like an evil plan, but I’m wondering if I could stop making payments (forcing the bank to foreclose), and meanwhile continue to collect rent for the expected expenses resulting from that.

Is the rent covering your expenses on the condo? Where do you live? We are in Southern California, so I’m thinking you should hold on to your investment because the value will double in ten years.

If that is not how real estate goes in your area, I have heard of people walking away from homes. I had a co-worker that did that in the last turn down. He realized he made a bad choice, got into another home, and then just stopped making payments on the first. I don’t have the details — that’s just what I heard. And I don’t know anything about the legalities of it.