Last time I talked about how to deal with collectors, and I mentioned an order of payment. Here is why the order is important. The order, from last time, is: 1- Food, 2- car and house payment, 3- Utilities, 4- Current bills, and 5- Luxury expenses.
The food always comes first in the order of payment. If there is no food, the reason for a house, a car, utilities, credit card payment, etc is pointless.
The house and car payments come next. It is much easier for a lawyer to fix the problem of unsecured debt (debt where there is no right to repossess a thing), than a secured debt. Your secured creditors are hard to solve, often requiring that you make deals to pay them much more than you ordinarily would. Unsecured creditors will often settle for pennies on the dollar, over long periods of time, because payments to them are so much more tenuous. You can have defenses, or file Bankruptcy, or just not pay, and there is often very little they can do.
The utilities and taxes come next. The utilities will cut you off, and the tax man will come get things, but neither of those things happens quickly.
Then comes the unsecured bills- the medical bills, the credit cards, etc. When they get paid it will be good enough.
Lastly comes the luxury expenses- vacation, jewelry, etc. If you are able to pay all of your other bills, then there may be money left in your budget for luxury goods and services. They are not things that you need, but might want. Instead of a vacation, try a stay-cation. You get the time off, but not the expense of travel. Instead of expensive jewelry, try costume jewelry. You get some of the look, but not the expense.
Consult a lawyer and maybe a financial planner. You need to know your rights, and how to get out of this mess. Above all, don’t play ostrich. Sticking your head in the sand and saying “I can’t see you” will not make the problem go away.
If you have been impacted by anything we mentioned here, please make an appointment to see us.
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