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Old 02-28-2008, 01:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry

The Not - So Mighty Dollar


Does anyone find themselves in debt because of their addictions? I know my alcoholism has impaired my life in many ways (a million different jobs, starting school a few times and not finishing.....etc) and I got an email today from the company where I borrow my student loans, and I have defaulted on a loan (it's 217 days past due) that I barely remember getting! I borrowed this money in 2003 and I still have not paid it off - HOW PATHETIC IS THAT?!

2003-2004 was a really bad time for me, I was severely depressed and drinking everyday. I just can't believe I've been so irresponsible and owe $1400 for something I was to drunk to even complete.ugh.

So now I have to call the collection agency next Monday (apparently it takes that long for them to transfer my info to the collection people) and hope that they will take a payment arrangement from me.



Jen
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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During my drinking days I was so busy drinking that I couldn't find time to file income tax for 4 years running. I meant to get around to it, but I usually had another drink and gave it some real serious thought. There were several credit cards that I was too busy to pay etc.

After I began getting sober I contacted those who had of course already contacted me (many times) including the IRS who had already begun "helping me" with my taxes by levying my bank accounts. I was surprised at how workable people were once they saw that I was serious about my amends and was paying them as I was able.

It took me 2 years to get everyone paid, including the IRS who needed $35,000.00 to get caught up. It wasn't fun, but it was doable. Since I estimated that my drinking was about a $10,000.00 per year habit the savings were able to be used against these debts. In fact with the money I saved by not drinking and the increased productivity that being sober brought to my job, I not only was able to pay my debts but I also bought a condo!

I am living proof that a sober life has monetary as well as all the other benefits that life can offer.

As an aside, the lady at the resolution office of the IRS told me that a vast majority of personal delinquencies are in fact due to substance abuse and it is very common to hear from recovering folks who want to get right with their obligations.

It is my experience that just about any problem related to abuse will have been done by thousands of us before you!!

Good luck,

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Old 02-28-2008, 02:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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drinking, drugs, and gamballing have affected my fiances too.
i'm unemployed and living off of handouts from my family. i have $14.35 to my name right now
i totalled my Porsche last June and wasn't able to afford repairing or replacing it. so i drank more.
my credit cards were always maxed out. i once cut them up but i then figuered a way to repair them. now i've thrown them away.
i owe the credit card people about $5000.
i often can't afford to pay my bills and stuff. but i don't really worry about it too much. i pay when i can.
in regards to your debts, making an arangement with the collection agency is certainly the best thing. they'd rather you pay a bit at a time rather then nothing at all.
good luck. let us know how you're getting on.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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and owe $1400 for something I was to drunk to even complete.
Well there is one thing you could do to brighten your day, dial up Dave Ramsey on the AM radio dial sometime and listen to the insane debt stories there... and you thought you had financial issues!
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I hear ya Pat. Credit card debts that I have no idea how to pay off (and of course they have astronomical interests rates since I never pay on time.) No savings account ect... *sigh* I have tried lately to start thinking more positively about things though. At least I have my health and a roof over my head and a computer.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your responses - not that I'm glad, you've been or are in similar situations, but it's nice to know I'm not alone!

Jon - you inspire me, I just need to face up to this and start being responsible. I actually considered taking the money I would normally spend on alcohol and putting it in my savings account - maybe I'll do that.

Jen
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jen,

If you start paying yourself instead of the alcohol producers and bars and liquor stores you will (I absolutely assure you) pay off your debts and will also be amazed at what you can afford. Even more importantly you will be able TO ENJOY the money and the things that it buys.

Most of us are very intelligent people; we simply have misplaced our ambition and drive in a bottle. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the results of sober living. It is a tremendous struggle at first simply not to drink, but when you can see that life is getting better it is a great way to keep moving along the sober path.

I received a lot of great encouragement from the people in AA that had traveled this road before me. If you haven't looked at that possibility I would suggest that you may want to. Just my opinion, it worked and after 8+ years it still is working for me. I live my life outside the meetings of AA, but I have a life due to the fellowship of AA.

Best wishes and keep up the good work,

Jon
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Urgh, money. I think that was the one limit I placed myself during my drinking career: absolutely no debts. And I pretty much managed to pull that off. But of course, my quality of life was severely affected, especially these past couple of years.

As soon as I receive my paycheck I devote half of it for my "miscellaneous" (as in booze and cigarettes) expenses, just a bit into a bank account, and the rest of it to pay bills and for every day life. I got used to being perpetually broke - but I did drink the best wines and liquor I could get. I'm now pretty ashamed and disgusted at myself, surveying my "material" life. I refuse to think of the amount of $$ I wasted. My once very nice apartment is a disaster, it's been years since I went shopping for clothes etc, I don't even own a complete set of dishes as I've managed to break more glasses and dishes than I care to admit. I could go on and on, straight into the whiner's thread.

But... It's okay, it's only material stuff. It comes and goes. I wouldn't trade this moment for anything.

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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and hope that they will take a payment arrangement from me.



Jen
They will and You set the terms.

They will ask for as much as they can get you to agree to.
You can tell them...this is all I can afford, as I have to eat and pay rent.
Pay as much as you are able and get it paid off faster that way.
It is a low interest loan compared to a credit card so if you are also paying a credit card... strive to pay the credit card off first (bigger amounts to them).
Sure feels good when you put the stamp on that last payment though. Debt free and all bills paid off took some time but the time didn't seem that long when that last payment went out.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm now pretty ashamed and disgusted at myself, surveying my "material" life. I refuse to think of the amount of $$ I wasted.

......
I wouldn't trade this moment for anything.
Unwise money use but it equaled an education that can't be bought any other way. Harvard at $42,000 a year. I think we get our education a little cheaper then that *LOL*
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input Best! I actually paid credit cards off last year (whew!) so I just need to get a handle on these student loans. I am actually kind of proud of myself today for even calling them - I got the email this morning I was in default - and my normal response would be to get angry, cry, feel like the whole world was coming down around me and go out and buy beer. But I didn't do that, I faced the problem and now it doesn't seem that bad. At least I'm working now and CAN pay them, I have a roof over my head, food, etc.
I guess I need to keep the simple things in perspective!
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input Best! I actually paid credit cards off last year (whew!)
Didn't that feel so good!
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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(((Jen)))

I'm a little late on this, but in the same position.

I had one credit card that was turned over to a collection agency for $4000. I was out on the streets, smoking crack, and paid no attention to it. They sued me and won. I finally paid attention when an officer showed up at my door with court papers. They wanted $200 immediately then every month and at the time I didn't have it. I got prepaid legal, we wrote letters (to answer the court and take care of that) and it gave me a month. Told them I couldn't pay $200, but would do $100 and they were fine with it.

Not long after, got another call from a collection agency on a $7000 credit card debt. I didn't avoid them, and they are taking $50/month (I told them it was the best I could do) and they also knocked off $1500 from the amount.

A friend I work with has worked in finance industry and said that once you start making payments to a collection agency, they are far more willing to work with you. He says that after you've paid for a while, you can offer to settle for half what you owe and they almost always take it. They don't pay that much for the loan and would rather have the money in lump sum.

I don't know if I'll be able to do the lump sum...may be paying these off for 9 years, but at least I am paying. I work as a waitress for $3/hr plus tips, but have still managed to make some progress and raise my credit score back up from poor to good.

I'm actually much more responsible with my money than I ever have been...think it comes with practicing my recovery in ALL my affairs.

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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We pay a lot getting into this club.

Might be why it's a dollar in the basket!!


Making amends isn't always easy but, it's the right thing to do!!!

An, somewhere along the line the word responsible creeps into play.

No one is an adult until they become responsible!!

Doing the next right thing is always better then doing the next wrong thing. Wreckage from our pasts won't disappear; but we should make restitutions or, they haunt us forever
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