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since you asked most of the questions- i will respond to yours

M only has $800/month in expenses, $20K/yr in income and she's not keeping up? Those numbers don't make sense - in more ways than one.

First, the expense number is only $9,600/yr. I imagine M doesn't owe any taxes on her income, so all of that is being kept. (Unless some of the income is from a job, in which case there will be FICA due.) Therefore M has about $1,667/month in income each month.

$800 in living (housing/food /utility) expenses - have since discovered that this does not cover insurance (automobile), car fuel/repair expenses, health insurance...

Second, in what area of the country can you live on only $800/month?

I also wonder if she's even bothering to file income tax returns.
for a variety of reasons, I am certain that she is (with all of the appropriate schedules)-

M should be considering all of her expenses and all of her income when evaluating bankruptcy as an option. Simply saying she has $800/m in expenses is probably disingenuous ... as is saying she only has $20K/yr in income.

she probably is- I only have the broad brush here.

Once again there is more evidence M is being disingenuous because based on that approach to analyzing her reported income and expenses, she should still have a surplus of over $600/month to go toward the credit card debt. And $200/month to snowball toward repaying the credit cards.
so whether M is misreporting to her daughter, or her daughter is misreporting to me I do not know.
But the ball park was that $400-500/month goes to pay down CCs

thanks for the observations

and i do not know the state of- or whether she ever even had any 401ks, or IRAs...and yes, maybe dumping it all int oreal estate was not a good idea - but no changing that...

peace & objectivity
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