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TxQuiltGirl

Where to go from here ... recovering from job loss

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In early 2016, I lost my job in the oil field. It was a very good job, and I made good money. I received a decent package when I was laid off, and starting looking for a job. Sadly, the entire oil patch was going through the same thing, and it took my 18 months to find a job that paid 1/5th of what I had been making. It took another six months after that to find a job that allowed us to keep our heads above water, and now I'm back in the saddle and we're doing much better. 

 

Around the 18 month mark, we had to let some of our credit cards go. They had pretty high balances, but we were doing fine until that point. It was always our intention to try to pay them when I found a job, because we did incur the debts and I felt pretty bad about having to let them go. Also, we'd worked so damn hard to get our credit straightened out and it was very nearly physical pain to let it go to hell again. But when I got to the point where we could actually start looking at making payments again (around that two year mark), well ... OCs were sort of like, too bad, we've already charged them off and sold them. I decided to try to ride it out and see what happens. We haven't applied for new credit, but we've maintained three or four cards, our car payments, student loans and a personal loan in the time that's elapsed. 

 

Fast forward to last month, and I was sued by Midland for a small-ish debt. I responded, but haven't heard anything back yet. The thing is, we're trying to move in to a new rental, and the RE agent is telling us it may be impossible for us to do so with our credit scores (my FICO scores are low 600s and I make the bulk of the income; DH's are mid 500s). Soooo I was wondering (and I'm no newb but I am sick of dealing with this crap) if I should try to settle some of these with a couple of caveats - primarily that they are PFDs and the remaining debts are never sold. I still have two years to ride out the SOL, and I cannot wait that long to move or buy a car (that needs to be done next year). 

 

Should I try to settle these debts? I'm morally opposed to paying bottom feeders like Midland and Portfolio, but I need to get my scores back to a reasonable point, and the damn collections from JDBs are what's really screwing it up. Also, I'm concerned that since half or more of my debts are now owned by Midland, if they are in any way successful with this lawsuit, they will charge full steam ahead and go after me for all of them. I can see it really opening the flood gates, so to speak. 

 

What would you do in this situation? 

 

TIA,

 

TQG

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Who are the original creditors? Give us a ballpark amount. For JDBs I always recommend private contractual arbitration (if there is that option in the card agreement) ; open one case for each account provided they are for different lenders. Each case will cost them around $6200 in initial fees; I've never seen them follow through and arbitrate. Each case will cost you $200 to file. If Midland et al refuse to arbitrate, you can threaten to take them to federal court and force them to arbitrate at a startup cost of $6200 times however many accounts they own. That gives you tremendous leverage, and usually ends up with them paying you instead of the other way around.

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