Our system isn’t working for a great many of us

I don’t want to argue, but our system isn’t working for a great many of us, and it is on topic for this board since many people wind up in bankruptcy only due to medical costs. The fact is I am closely related to a family of Canadians, some of whom work here for major pharmaceuticals so I think they understand our system very well. None of them would change. I know many other Canadians who feel the same way. To be honest, there are those Canadians who have to cross the border to pay to get immediate treatment of an unusual nature, this only means that they have the best of both worlds.

I will say that our system used to be the model of the world before the great American institution of greed ruined it. Before the days of health insurance and malpractice suits back in the fifties (I was a mere child) I remember my dad giving our family doctor $5 out of his wallet for a house call to give one of us kids a shot of antibiotic. Given inflation, that might be the equivalent of $50 or $100 today, but can you even imagine a house call? The equivalent would be a trip to the ER costing many thousands.

Insurance and pharmaceutical greed is high on my list of culprits. They formed the engine that made health care unaffordable. Certainly lawyers and government have done their part too, but their elimination from the equation will not make things better. It would only reduce our ability to get redress from a bureaucratic and oppressive system that runs on greed and not service..

I am sorry to have to disagree with you

I am sorry to have to disagree with you if you are implying that we need national health care. That is the last thing we need. I lived with national health care for 23 years, it is called the US Military.

There is NOT one single industrial country with the population of the US that has national health care that works. The two best things our elected officials could do is to get the govenment out of the health care business, then prices will come down as true capitalism and competition will kick in.

The second thing they should do is pass some serious tort reform to prevent ungodly malpractice lawsuits. It has gotten to the point where Doctors run a whole gambit of tests for your rash “just to be sure” instead of using the old fashioned method of letting a doctor use his/her best judgement.

I know that this group is to help people pay off debts and that is what we should be concentrating on.

P.S. You do realize that the proposal Hillary Clinton had when hubby was president would have made it a felony for both you & the doctor if you were to pay & see a different doctor than the one the government assigned to you? Is that what we want?

I was implying nothing….. just stating that our elected officials need to address the health care crises in our country as to these outrageous medical bills that are in reality a budget breaker….

There is no way you can prepare a budget if you get sick and have to go to the hospital.

I will not state my opinion on national health care because this is a blog. However if you would like to email me off list please feel free to do so. I always love a good discussion……

Laid Off from Job

I got laid off from my job on Monday. I don’t have a new job yet. I have about $30,000 in total debt, and half of it is medical bills. My car will be paid off in September. My head still has not cleared from this. I have tried to make payment arrangements with the the creditors from the medical debt but the hospital will not budge and is threatening to turn me over to collections. The total debt is $10,000 and they are demanding $205.00 a month. There are 14 other medical bills besides that one. The other half is credit card debt and a loan.

What is the first thing that I should do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

First send a brick to your elected officials telling them medical coverage should be the number 1 issue to be resolved for everyone. Why a brick… because they have to see the brick, not crumble it and toss in the trash or delete an email. Elected officials are not doing the will of the people any longer so we need to let them know what is important to us.

Having a $10,000 + medical bill is an unexpected hardship on most everyone and trying to pay in 90 days is just not real. Also making a $200 month payment is not an option for most. I always suggest you send what you can. If the hospital refuses the payment then go to the hospital board. Create a big stink that you are not trying to get out of paying BUT trying to work out what you can afford. Also let them know you appreciate the care you received and highly recommend them!

Thanks for the helpful advice, I am looking that brick right now! My next step will be the hospital board, I didn’t know I had that option and sounds good. I told the hospital that I had every intention of paying, but I just couldn’t afford $205.00 a month and now with no job. The lady was like “that is just too bad.” I received the worst care in that hospital, spiking high fevers and needing medication with no nurse on duty at times because the the nursing shortage. I feel like a victim now just as I did then when I was in there, but I will be okay.

Another scheme to watch out for!

I received a sobering notice of the latest scheme that credit card companies are using, so be aware of this!

This info is quoted directly from an email from website, which sells debt repayment software. This is not meant as an advertisement or an endorsement-I have not used it-I only receive his email newsletter. But do read the following:

“Reaffirming Old Debts…

You’ve heard of gift cards — they come pre-loaded with cash — but have you ever heard of a credit-card that comes pre-loaded with DEBT? That’s right… It comes with a balance due!

“Reaffirming” an old unpaid debt makes this possible.

Assume you have an old $2,000 unpaid, dormant, debt that hasn’t reached the 7-year Statute Of Limitation on collection. Perhaps it’s a disputed debt that was never resolved. A credit-card company can purchase your debt from the original creditor for pennies on the dollar. Any money collected from you that exceeds their cost of buying your debt from your original creditor is pure profit.

This credit-card company then sends you an enticing credit-card offer. When the card arrives, it has a $2,000 balance due, reflecting your old unpaid debt!

It’s now a new unpaid debt to a new creditor and the 7-year Statute Of Limitations clock is reset. Not to mention whatever credit limit you were granted has been reduced by $2,000.

This is legal if the credit-card company discloses their intent to resuscitate this debt in their solicitation. If you agree, that is, if you apply for their credit card, you have “Reaffirmed” this debt and re-committed to paying it.

If you search for “Reaffirming old debts” on a search engine, like Yahoo!, you’ll see hundreds of results associated with bankruptcy. Reaffirmation is most common in bankruptcy proceedings, when you are agreeing on which of your debts you are going to pay after bankruptcy.

You won’t see many results associated with credit-cards. This is a new credit card company profit strategy, but one likely to grow in popularity. It combines low cost, low risk, capital appreciation, high interest potential, and FICO score pressure.

…if you find yourself with an unresolvable debt situation and have chosen to let the statute of limitations on collections expire, be aware that you’ll become very interesting to credit card companies as your expiration date approaches.

That new credit-card may come with a very sturdy string attached.”

Hope this helps!

It’s normal to use credit?

According to a commercial that I have seen, at least once every time I turn the TV on, it looks like a good, normal life to use credit lines. In just sixty seconds, this commercial portrays the life of a couple. They meet, they get married, they have babies, they are middle aged, and finally they are senior citizens and grandparents. All along, it shows flashes of the different credit cards, that go along with the themes of the various stages of this couple’s life. They have a great, healthy life, using credit cards in sixty seconds. At the end of the commercial, the voice over says “We offer over NINE HUNDRED credit lines for your needs” or something like that.

Nine hundred credit lines available from one bank. WOW! What does this commercial paint? What does it do to our acceptance as a whole society for using credit lines to pay for our lives? It makes it look normal and healthy. These people are successful, relying on credit through the various stages of their life.

There should be a commercial that shows them opening the bills. It would show their stress with more bills on items, they charged, after one of them loses their job. The added medical bills when the children are sick and need countless doctor’s office visits. Health care insurance just doesn’t cover it all, anymore.

The two SUVS in the driveway, the fuel and maintenance the payments. They live in a house, in Suburbia, USA that has a hefty mortgage and upkeep. They pay out the wazoo for daily childcare, so they can earn two incomes, to pay for all this stuff. They fight a lot, mainly about bills, things they think they “need” and how they never get ahead. Other family members are constantly trying to give them financial advice. On Sundays, they show up at church, looking as if everything is fine and dandy. It’s normal, because they’ve been in debt, ever since they got out of college, started their careers and got married. They are one or two paychecks away from financial destruction.

Well, this is reality. This is the way it really is for a large statistic of young American families. It’s easier for people to read something like this and think, “Oh, it’s not that bad for us we only carry a little debt.” What is a little debt? The national average of credit card debt is around $9,000.00. If this is the average, that just means that many people whom are the ones who say “It’s not that bad for me” are somewhere near or above this average for credit card debt.

I was almost $14,000.00 in credit card debt alone, when I finally opened my eyes. I had many other needed expenses of life also. I could not make ends meet. I had lots of great clothes and some great toys. Mainly I had a crutch, that whenever an emergency happened, I pulled out one of eight credit cards. Or if there was a special event, I pulled out a credit card. Any excuse was reasonable. Paying my bills was like a juggling act.

There are millions of Americans living this way. They have been misguided by commercials like I’ve mentioned for many decades now. It can change for you, starting with taking “charge” of your personal financial life. The key is in your hand! The plain, easy and right in front of your face truth, is nobody or nothing will make it easier to pay off those debts. There is no magic cure. Now for the good news, with acceptance of the problem, you will be able to find a way to be happy, free and wiser way before the debt is completely gone. You can live life without using credit lines at all and stop adding to the debt. It can be done!

With so much hope to help millions of people, I am sharing my own experiences with paying off a large credit card debt. I survived and got more gifts from life then I ever imagined I would. I have freedom, happiness, and wisdom. I have grown as a person. I don’t use credit lines anymore at all, buying only what I know I can afford with cash up front. It’s definitely a better way to live.

How to settle?

Dear Gurus,

I had 8k debt and a 16k car loan(I surrendered the car which was 7 month old) when my visa to reenter US was rejected 3 years ago due to insufficient documentation on part of my employer. I had a good credit rating till that point, but I couldn’t sustain my payments after my visa rejection. I had to return to my home country find a job and start life again.

I plan to apply and sure of getting visa this time. But, I don’t know what awaits me. I have no information on what happened after I was out of US on all my accounts. I’m scared of returning back, but cant keep myself awake everyday with all those feelings. I want to settle these accounts.Please advice if you can.

What country did you go back to? I don’t know all your personal circumstances, but is there a reason why you would prefer to be in the USA over your home country? Whether you are coming back to the USA on a visa or not, then it may be best, just for your peace of mind to find out what your debts are and start planning a real action based payment plan yourself. Having a debt, that no doubt accrues interest, is a life of turmoil to live no matter where on earth you are. Put it in this perspective… you built up the debt, now the only person who can get you out.. is YOU.

For a temporary amount of time, you will have to surrender to the debt and pay it off. Whether you start right away or next year, will only be the difference of interest accruing and your mental anguish over it. You will still have to deal with it, and once you do… half the personal battle you are going through will be over. Is it worth to be that worried about it, when you have every means to take control of it? No.

Do you still have past records of the statements on those debts?

Appreciate your response. I’m from sri lanka. Only reason i want to retry visa to US is to payoff my debt so that i have a clean record and comeback with pride to live good life back home. I couldn’t sustain my payments after visa rejection as my meagre salary i get here will not suffice. Standard of living in these two countries is very different. What do you think about getting online installment loans from 48loans.com or similar website?

I do have my credit card numbers and car account number. Though no statements or agreement letters available as I couldn’t return back US to collect any of my belongings.

Now can anyone suggest me if i should go for debt management or settlement?

Also, will there be any court proceedings or arrest warrant issued against me?

I will already be under high pressure to perform at my job as I’m not a native, if I have these court proceedings too… I’ll be in a mess.

I am in debt up to my ears $12,820

I started to fix it by making a spreadsheet. I know I have to pay before it is due so as to not incur late fees and then overlines. I am getting there but need encouragement and help.

Here is the breakdown:


Exxon 300 63.51
Boscov 300 167
Chase 300 269
HSB 545 495
Capitol One 600 562
Capitol One 800 784
Radio Shack 800 790
Citibank 1,600 1,447
Dell 2,000 1,989
Home Depot 2,000 1,922
Nautilus 2,200 2,281
Discover 2,200 2,050

The cards are all cut up and gone. I think I am supposed to shotgun them? Pay one off then go to the next? All help would be appreciated.

Hi there! I just started helping people control their budgets and get out of debt. I have a passion for it and would love to help!

Be sure you make your minimum payments on all cards, but put ALL extra money towards the smallest debt first. Once that is paid off, put all the money you were paying on the first card as well as all extra money to pay off the second card.

The first thing you need to do to help you get out of debt, is control your spending, which I see you have cut up your cards…Congrats! Get on a budget. This is so important. Decide what you need for each category (food, home, electric, gas, etc…) and stick with it. If you spend all your clothing budget in a month, don’t buy more clothes until it’s time to replenish the budget. Find ways to save money, such as coupons for groceries, eating out less, buy used when possible.

If you have any more questions, or would like help setting up a budget, I’ll try to answer any questions.

This is very informative. Is this a good idea to have some moeny keep as fixed deposit and after some years we get a lot more than actual amount. If so then what & where I look for.

Well not much really going on

DH came home for 2 weeks leave from his deployment in Iraq. It was nice having him home but not back to reality….

Things here are going good. Since he left, I decided to look for a part time job. Something to keep me occupied and the extra money wouldn’t hurt 🙂 I have decided with my paycheck to put 1/2 into savings and the other half into paying more on our CC’s. I am already paying extra on our cards. I have put a big dent into them since he’s been gone. Still owe alot but i can see it going down. Plus our Credit Score has gone up so i’m happy about that.

I went in for a job interview yesterday wiht Old Navy but they are just hiring seasonal. They are calling people back Friday so we’ll see. I talked to hubby and he said to take it even if it’s seasonal…. it’ll give me local references. This is my first job since moving here in dec 04. I didn’t work last year because I knew he’d deploy and wanted to spend as much time together as i could. They are going to keep some of the seasonal though…. so we’ll see if i get a call back. I think the interview went good.

This morning I got another call for an interview at the PX on post… It’s the stores on post. I go in in the morning.. I only applied last night so this is promising I think. I hope its not seasonal… LOL I am not going to Maine to see my family this summer like I thought. The plane tickets went up to between $450-600!!! I can’t afford that AND kennel my dogs. Plus with me looking for a job i’d hate to ask for time off so soon.

That’s about it… oh yea.. Wednesday my dog goes in for surgery. He’s got some fatty lumps that are getting removed, as well as getting his teeth cleaned. I worry about him but I’m sure he’ll be okay. He’s a 7 year old border collie mix. He goes in Saturday to get the spots where the lumps are shaved. Should be interesting to say the least! LOL

That’s about it. Hope everyone is doing well!!!

We have ourselves in a mess with our mortgage

(This is besides the $40K debt we are trying to get out of a little at a time). Our first mistake was to get a home equity loan, which despite our best intentions, we maxed out paying off other debts and medical bills. Then to correct that we made it worse by refinancing with an ARM. We intended to be out of the house by now, but we have to pay down the principal at least $8K to break even when we sell it.

Our rate is going to keep going up starting in August and we just won’t be able to afford the payment. Is there anything we can do? My husband is going to try to call in to Dave Ramsey today, but I thought I’d check with you all, too. You are always so helpful. We don’t know if we should pay every extra penny on our house or on the other debts we have. We have never been late on any payments, we always make them but just barely sometimes.

My best advise would be to have your wife call her credit card companies and you call yours and threaten to surf the balances over to another card company that has offered you much lower interest rates. The first time you call they will say no, so call back the following week and do it all over again.

Most of them will drop the interest rate within three tries. If they don’t… surf those balances. Even if your credit isn’t great most card companies will bring you on for 12%. Of course don’t roll three cards over to one, each balance should be surfed separately. That way if you are late on one they don’t hit you as hard. Hope that helps!

I’ve had a bad problem with credit card debt

I’ve had a bad problem with credit card debt for a long time and it is getting worse. My wife and I are in serious debt trouble(however, all of our debts are current, no late payments).

My problem started in the late ’90’s when i was about 20-22 yrs old. I got several credit cards and ran up about 5K in debt within a year or so. I started to pay them off and ended up getting an apartment(I had been living with family till that point). About a year after I got my apartment, I had to go with a debt management program (Credit Counselors of America) to help me with my debts. By this point my debts have exceeded 18K.

I had to get a second job to be able to make my payment to CCOA, as it was 495.00 and I only made 490-525 dollars every two weeks and with rent, utilities etc, that wasn’t going to do it. I worked a second job on the weekends for nearly a year and I met my now wife.

She had a job at the time, but quit when we moved in together(she didn’t have a car or license and still doesn’t). For nearly five years I’ve paid everything on a salary of less than 22K a year.

Between our house payment(we live in a mobile home), car payment and credit cards our debts are nearly 50K. With no overtime I only bring home about 535 dollars every two weeks, should have been more but our insurance at work has doubled over the last few years (went from 75 dollars every two weeks to 121 dollars in just three years). Plus I’ve got about 25 dollars a pay period taken out in AFLAC also.

Here is a problem that I want some help with. I just checked my credit report on annualcreditreport.com and everyone of my creditors are in good standing (except MBNA, but that’s a story for another day) and my wife’s credit card companies keep raising her interest rates. She only has three cards with balances, although one is very high, but the one in question only has a balance of about 1100 dollars. It went from about 18% to about 29.9% in one or two billing cycles. Another one of her creditors did this to her and we had to borrow money from her mom to pay it off. I called this creditor myself and couldn’t get any decent reason as to why they rasied it other than some arbitrary formula.

I’ve had several of my cards go up from about 12-15% to around 18-22%. This is getting to the point that bankruptcy may be the only option. I don’t want to go down this road as I know that the laws have changed, but I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to survive.

I would like some advice in how to negotiate(sp?) with the creditors to bring down the interest at least a few points if possible.

I also feel that the government made a big mistake in changing how the new minimum payments are figured. It has just about killed me trying to work every ounce of overtime that I can. I do not know how they figure that a working person can just pull nearly twice of the money out of thin air just to make minimum payments. We haven’t used our credit cards for frivilous things, other than a computer when our old one went out. We had to spend money for a trip when her grandmother passed away, a new water heater, new tires and brakes for our van, her asthma medicine, not to mention groceries and gas.

I’ve even checked out state website(we live in Indiana) and I make TOO MUCH money to qualify for any govt. assistance programs. I guess that 10.42/hr is really big time here.

My goal is to have EVERYTHING paid off in ten years. This will be a challenge, especially when the creditors are unwilling to work with a debtor.

I would be very appreciative to any suggestions, advice, etc that others on the board can offer. We are about to be in a major financial crisis when our tax refund check runs out here in a couple of months.

Many thanks to everyone for any help, and I appreciate blogs like that.