No. of Recommendations: 2
Other option to try:
1) You mentioned that you've tried to reduce rates sometimes it is hard to find what to ask for. Instead of requesting reduced rates, request to be on a hardship program with the credit card companies. Talk to someone in the collections dept for this usually. They can reduce monthly payments, reduce interest rates so that the balance goes down quicker, and reage the account (bring it current instead of being behind in payments.) Tell them you are thinking of filing bankruptcy. Ask to confirm in writing. Do not use their electronic payment system.

They would not do this for us until we were 3 months behind but it helped in the long run to get back on our feet. This is also better on the credit scores then bankruptcy because it is only a few late payments. This was a lot of work for me and several phone calls but it worked eventually. Keep good records and follow-up with certified letters if they will not do so.

2) If they don't want to budge, determine what you can pay. Set up a payment plan and send a letter indicating that this is what you can afford. Start making those payment. They want their money even if it is a little bit. This will help if you do file bankruptcy because it will show that you are still trying to make good on your debt. Keep good records.

3) Try one of the Credit Counselors or Debt Management companies. Read the contracts carefully for all fees. You need to still read you monthly statements to make sure the creditors get the payments.

4) Soapbox: I favor child support reduction in money but find other ways to help provide for the children. Like buying clothes in the thrift shop, making sure they make it to the doctors office, providing phone cards to call you, or spending more time with them. Especially if it was the ex who helped get you into this much debt. I know of more cases where child support is not spent on the kids but on the ex who is a shop-aholic or does not care about the kids. We know nothing of how the children are living to say money is what the kids need the court just makes this assumption. I don't think either spouse should bear the burden and often this is not know until about a year later when they are trying to live seperately.

5) Something to remember if you move to CA is there is a State Income tax about 10%.
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