We wanted to let our friends know we are okay. Mom and her brother had some hard choices to make, but they finally made one and we are purring that everything will work out in the end. Mom and him decided that taking out a 30 year mortgage on the house was not a good idea. Not when mom is 54 and he is 56. After much praying and purring, tears and sleepless nights for mom, they decided to take money from our uncle's annuity to pay of the personal loan and all of the credit card debt.
Mom said it was okay to share her story here in hopes that it will keep others from repeating her mistakes (and our uncle's mistakes too).
Several years ago mom had a lot of credit card debt. She took out a personal loan to pay off all of the credit cards and she had gotten rid of a lot of them. She did without them for a long time, but over time she got one, and then another one, and then another one. She used them to buy things she really didn't need and take trips she didn't need to take. Three weeks ago she added up all of her credit card debt. It was $22,000!!!! Her personal loan through the bank still had a balance of $57,000 before it would be paid off.
Here is our uncle's story. Uncle had a good part-time job for 15 years at a discount store. He had a huge savings because he wasn't much of a spender. He always paid his own health insurance since he didn't get it through work. Uncle has mild cerebral palsy and doesn't have use of his left hand. He also has noticeable limp. Back when he was a boy in school he was put in special education classes because he couldn't keep up with the other kids. He would probably have been mainstreamed into some regular classes in this day and age. He, too, took a yearly trip to Florida and he would use his only credit card to pay for it. Occasionally he would draw money from his savings to pay off his card and help mom out. He took care of the electric and water and cable bill and the house phone bill. Then he lost his job in September 2013.
Uncle sunk into a depression and didn't do much of anything from September 2013 until March 2014. He has tried to find work but has not been able to get hired anywhere. In the meantime, he and mom kept using credit cards and living like they had the money to do so. What they should have been doing was getting uncle set up with a cheaper health insurance policy and trying to get him on disability. And Uncle had $15,500 in credit card debt.
About a month ago when mom was paying bills she realized that it was a losing battle. Uncle's bank account was quickly draining away, his health insurance would soon end because he wouldn't have the money to pay for it, and neither he or mom had a regular savings account to draw upon.
Mom talked to two different attorneys about filing for bankruptcy but there was no way to do it without putting the house in danger. The bank drew up a loan that was going to be a 30-year mortgage and the monthly payments were going to be $735. That is a little more than half of mom's monthly take home pay.
The only viable option she and our uncle could come up with was to take money from his remaining annuity to pay off all of the debts. It will be about 14 days for the money to come through and then the debts can be paid off. But that money will also be considered income for our uncle which will prohibit some of the social services he could get.
So that is the story that we are sharing with the world. It is the hardest lesson mom has had to learn. She has accepted that she can no longer live the lifestyle she was living, and she is okay with that. The biggest concern she has is that our uncle will be provided for if something should happen to her.
We are asking for a lot of prayers for mom because she knows this is her last chance to make things right. She is going to take some free budgeting classes that are offered through her job. She has cut all of the unnecessary expenses from her life except the cable/internet/landline. If she can work the payment into the budget until the contract runs out in February 2016, she will keep then. Then she will drop the landline and the cable. If she can't, she will cancel the package and pay the early termination fee ($15 for each remaining month of the contract) and start over with internet only.
We keep purring that the past is past and she needs to stop beating herself up over it. But we don't think she understands us. And she is afraid of the fear of the unknown future.
Thanks for letting us share mom's story. We love our friends and we miss visiting. We are hoping that one day soon we will be able to start visiting again.
Love and Purrs,
Clarissa & Co.