Rather than beating him senseless (I’m only partially kidding about that last part)

We’re into week four now of our own ‘where the HECK is the money going?’ issue, and we’re still wrestling with some parts of that. Despite having answered a LOT of recent questions about where our money has been going, my DH and I are still butting heads in some ways about how to manage it from now on, similar to your situation. Best I’ve been able to come up with so far for conversations like this is to try to find a 3rd alternative, a compromise somewhere between my very-logical-and-practical-and-DR-approved-approach (and if it sounds like I think my idea is better, of course I think it’s better), and his I-work-hard-for-my-money-and-I-get-to-spend-it-the-way-I-want (and if it sounds like he thinks his idea is better, of course he thinks it’s better). That’s the problem – each spouse tends to think we’re the only ones who really know what the priorities should be. Which puts us back into our own corners and if we come out of the corners at all, we come out fighting.
I’ll have an updated post on our own situation within the next day or so, because a lot has changed with it (mostly for the good). In the meantime, Kathy, hang in there and keep trying to work with him on something you can both live with. I think I saw someone define “compromise” as “when all parties are equally unhappy”. That sounds dorky but sometimes that’s really the big flag that you’ve arrived at a workable plan. Everyone got something, but no one got everything.

How long will it take for you to get out of debt?

If it’s less than about 2 years, I think Michael suggests stopping retirement contributions. But if he contributes to retirement, that’s your gas money and bill money? You just need to make him understand how important it is to you to get out of debt and build an emergency fund – bad credit payday loans. Sadly, that’s not a financial issue, that’s a marriage issue… The face that the recent unemployment doesn’t seem to have changed his attitude is strange.

It’s amazing after all this, how DH and I could still NOT be on the same page

So we started talking in broad terms about the budget once he starts working.

My position: he will take home enough to cover basics, plus the outrageous amount we are going to be spending in gas. I then want to use the leftover to build up a BEF, build up a stockpile to pay off a debt, then repeat until everything is paid off, then revisit.

His position: the company matches 100% up to 10% in a 401(k), so let’s do the 401(k) as soon as he qualifies (which I think is 90 days). His motivation is NOT we depended on that $ when we lost the recent job (I could understand that reasoning), his reasoning is, IT’S FREE MONEY…and he doesn’t want to walk away from free money.

Mind you: his plan means NO money for gas, or money for gas and we are never current on ANYTHING. If taxes work out the way I think they will, after covering expenses we will have $230 A MONTH for food, unplanned events, paying off debt.

Yes, we still have an income problem not a debt problem, so I’m going to really have to up my plan to bring in more income. But even when I do, in my opinion, working so he can do a 401k is really pointless. All my income will be doing is covering basics then, rather than getting us out of debt.

So here’s my real question. I was SO MAD that he would not be on the same get out of debt page, that I couldn’t even talk about it. How do I have a conversation? (other than emailing him a version of this email, including numbers, which I’m probably going to do…at least it will be out there)

Received the official offer letter today

A few (good) surprises:
1. The hiring VP called this morning and told DH to come and start on August 1 vs August 5. Reason? Because medical benefits would then start in 90 days, whereas if he started on August 5, medical wouldn’t start until 120 days out. So that was really nice of them, and bodes well for the future, I think.
2. Wages are paid out semi-monthly. Although I don’t know the exact dates, what that means is getting paid twice a month, versus every two weeks. You’d think that would be a bad thing, but instead, it works out so that the checks are only about $500 less a check than what we were getting before at the old place. This is really a huge relief. It means careful budgeting, but not so careful that a hiccup would turn into a major cough.
And what that really translates to, is building up our BEF quickly, then building up a stockpile of cash, and then once it reaches a certain amount (for example, equal to a debt) paying off the debt in 1 fell swoop.
I’m too gun-shy after this unemployment to just put money toward a debt without having it in the bank first…so I am hoping I can be mindful of the $, and not spend it wildly. If I see we are not being prudent, then I will just go back to normal debt snowball.

YAY!! Snoopy dance!!!

I have to tell you, when you talked the last time about the job offer that had been extended, and we all sorta barked at you for him not accepting it, and then you came back and reminded us that it was a 75 mile a day commute, I sorta did a second-take on that one. We’ve had that conversation here, more than once, because the only professional work I could have gotten after being laid off, was about that far away. I couldn’t see how I could possibly continue to run the house and the farm AND stay sane, with that kind of commute. We’ve really had to suck it up to keep the costs down without that second pro-level income. And now with this “where did the money go” recent hiccup, I’ve been finding myself once again wondering if that commute might actually be worth it. Each day I start off with the thought “no, it would unravel everything we’ve done here”. Each night after another day of trying to balance the books and squeeze a few more pennies out of the wallet, I think “maybe???” It really is a hard call sometimes, deciding whether to cultivate well-paying-but-distant jobs, vs lower-paying-but-more-more-humane jobs. So kudo’s to you and your DH that you’ve found something quite a bit closer, and better paying. That’s awesome. Very, very good news.

We are cautiously optimistic

An offer was extended to DH late yesterday afternoon which he accepted. It is a 60 mile a day commute, and it is not what he was making before, but it is much, much closer to it than anything he has been offered in the past. It’s enough that I don’t have to leave home to work outside (I have some things lined up to work inside the home) and it is a “line” position (executive/management) rather than a “staff” position. They are a solid company which has been growing 21% every year for the past 12 years…so we think it is a good, long term prospect.

They will overnight a written job offer with particulars on Monday, and since their industry convention starts on Monday, he wouldn’t be starting for two weeks (until August 10, hence the cautious optimism).

We appreciate all your prayers and thoughts in our behalf, and look forward to our new adventure.

We applied for a Board of Governor’s waiver for DS17 and DD16 at our junior college

It pays tuition, but (a) it is on a sliding scale, so there isn’t a 100% guarantee and (b) they don’t tell you in advance how much it is, you just have to register for classes and be surprised when you go to check out and pay.

So I just registered DD16.

HOLY COW !! 95% !!!
Her total tuition costs were $40 for a full load.
Truly blessed. Can’t wait to see what DS17’s is going to be when he registers on Aug 1 (presuming he can actually get into classes by then!)

It is true

I have no idea who was voted off the island or who won American Idol and we are millionaires. I could care less about the royal baby. (I am just being goofy today, I am sure someone watches all these reality shows and has a high net worth.)

I wasn’t originally going to get into this point

But one of the lawyer friends I mentioned does this. For example, if Chase is suing someone locally (in Richmond, VA), they hire a local law firm to do it (actually that firm is contracted to sue all their local customers).
The simple way to put this is that when it comes to court, my friend goes in and says, “Does this person owe the plaintiff money?” They say, “Yes, he does,” then he asks them to prove it. Again, I’m simplifying what he told me, which was a simplification in itself, but basically the law firm, if questioned properly, will have to reveal they do not have the authority to state the defendant owes them money.
Only specific people that are employees of, in this case, Chase, have the legal standing to state whether or not the defendant owes money.
Since they’re not there and can’t make the statement, the result is the defendant (my friend’s client) not only can’t be sued, but the debt is voided.

Again, as I’ve said twice, this is an oversimplification and not something any of us could do on our own. In most cases when my friend would start that line of questioning, the plaintiff’s attorney would see where it’s going and drop the case immediately, before the questioning can reach a conclusion. They could still re-sue at any time. There are ways to avoid this, such as filing the proper counter suit. Then there are other issues. I have a good technical mind and he had to dumb it down for me when he’s explained it in the past.

As Jon pointed out, usually the ending point is a FDCP violation filing and not going this way because, as I understand it, there are still only a limited number of lawyers who have been practicing with this kind of case.

Along with the FDCPA, there is also the Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA, and many times collection agencies or firms violate this and can be taken to court as well. Right now we’re about to check my credit report since I got a call from a telemarketer (violation #1, since I’m on the FCC’s Do Not Call list) who claimed to know my credit score. If we find the info by finding a credit check on my record, then (I am told), it’s almost a slam-dunk to win the case and the question is not if but how much.

I doubt, though, that they checked my credit score or anything else, since I’ve been debt free for over a year. (They were saying they could reduce my credit card interest rate on what I owe.) Thanks to my own business (the one my gf in QS didn’t consider successful since it wasn’t part of QS) I was able to pay off a large amount of debt in under a year. I mention that not so much for bragging rights, but as a point that MLMs are not the only way an individual can succeed. I’m debt free and doing well and I have yet to hear from mutual friends of her making any progress in QS.

These are bona fide pyramid schemes, and are illegal

Most of these schemes involve filing suit against a third party debt collector. Whilst collection agencies violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act nearly every time they contact somebody for a debt, getting a court to award you damages is not trivial. The violation has to be something that is not technical, and not a matter of human interpretation.

The one’s that don’t involve FDCPA violations, revolve around the issue of whether or not money was lent to the debtor. Typically proof of indebtedness is requested, as a preliminary step to establishing that no money was lent to the consumer. The usual ending point of this strategy is the person filing an FDCPA violation, and ignoring the issue of whether or not money was lent.

These organizations do not reduce your debt load by a single penny..
Neither creditors,nor collection agencies have any legal requirement to pay attention to what they do, or offer, even if they are acting as your authorized representative. [The rules are slightly different, if they are your legal counsel representing your interests in a legal matter.]
I’ve forgotten the name of the organization, but most US pharmaceutical manufacturers belong to it. Basically, it screens individuals for various criteria, and if enough matches are found, you get your prescriptions gratis. If you don’t hit those criteria, but match a different set, you get them at a discount. (Ask your pharmacists for the name of the organization. Also ask your pharmacists about options for you to continue them,when your insurance ends.)

Depending upon the amount, and type of debt that is owed, bankruptcy might be your best option. However, bankruptcy lawyers typically do not do pro bona work for individuals. (They do do it for non-profit organizations. But even in those instances, the person filing bankruptcy has to pay all of the court costs.)

Talk to your local consumer credit counseling agency. [Make sure it is the real mccoy. IRS (3)(c) Increasingly, these are for profit organizations with similar names.] Find out what other options are available.
Find out what usually happens to creditors in similar situations as yours, who do not go thru their entire program.

Once upon a time, a debtor in the circumstances you describe, would not be sued, because it was not cost effective to do so. [This was especially true in Texas.]

The current situation seems to be that creditors will sue regardless of their costs. Their theory being that the individual will have attachable assets before the judgment expires.

Some parishes have already had new maps issued, such as St. Charles

They have already informed residents what they’ll be paying based on the new maps. I live in Terrebonne Parish and our parish president is holding off as long as possible to help remedy this situation. I had lunch w/a friend who works for the parish and she firmly believes he is doing all he can for the best of the parish. Time will tell whether this impending tragedy can get upended.

I went to the flood insurance/maps meeting last night

It was very informative. EVERYONE on this list should find out more about this because it DEFINATELY affects many, many states, not just coastal states. About the only states without much affect are the states where the Rockies are located. I am dead serious and not exaggerating. All the flood maps have been redrawn and people who have NEVER, NEVER, EVER flooded are now in a flood zone according to the newest maps. I cannot answer questions about specific areas because I am not an expert at all. Consult your local officials about this.

ALL FLOOD INSURANCE is through the NFIP, national flood insurance program. I know the initials are right but it may be “premium” instead of “program.” No matter who sends you the bill it all comes from the NFIP. That is almost word for word from our parish president.

In my particular case, in the past we have not resided on a flood plane but had flood insurance anyway. Thinking that if a Katrina hit our area we would be taken care of. I am pretty sure that now we would be in a flood zone. We have changed nothing about our property (none for the worse, only improvements) and it has never flooded. Others across the country are finding the same thing. They have done nothing wrong and many have never had a claim and many have never flooded but now they are in a flood zone. Our insurance currently runs about $335/year, paid annually.

Accourding to the reports last night this will affect residential and commercial property just the same. There are families who are currently paying about what we are and in very smilar situations that could pay in the 10’s of $1000’s. No, I did not put too many zeros. There is Microtel within 30-40 minutes of us that currently pays about $6000/year in flood insurance and theirs will go to about $100,000/year if something is not done. For the examples they gave they used real addresses, showed pics of the house, the physical address, and real current flood insurance rates to compare to the potential future rates.

If rates go to what they project, it will end up causing an economic downturn like we have never seen in recent years. Why? When you’re in a flood plain and you have a mortgage, you are REQUIRED to have flood insurance. No flood insurance? Your mortgage is called. Many people will walk away from the rising rates, just turn the keys over to the bank. Banks will end up with alot of bank owned homes. No one will want to purchase homes with such outrageous flood insurance rates, no one will bea ble to sell them. This has a big domino affect on the whole economy of local communities. If houses don’t sell, the real estate industry bites the dust. Then all the industries that feed off that bite the dust and on down the line. Eventually the tax base of the whole community dwindles, services from the city/parish (county) dwindle, and so on.

All this got passed as part of the transportation bill last year. Louisiana reps are not the only ones caught off guard. There are reps in Florida , New York , New Jersey , California , etc. that are beginning to realize what is going on. There is a big coalition that is beginning to form between leaders (local community people/leaders up to members of congress) to begin to address this issue. I won’t bore you with more but do encourage you to attend any local community meetings about this to get informed on your community and the impact it’ll have.

I hope y’all will really look into this for your community. It is definately worth it. Much of what I shared came from that meeting last night. Some states are more affected than others but many more states than you can imagine are affected.