I need advice please!

Hey friends,

I wanted to ask y’alls advice on my situation. I have about 20k in credit card total debt spanning over 3 financial entities. This was racked up after I graduated college and could only find low paying wage work that barely covered my expenses and I had to supplement w/ debt. At one point, I just said “fuck this! I’m working 3 jobs and taking classes to gain more skills and I can barely hold myself together, it’s not worth the stress and anxiety, so I’m gonna quit and totally rely on credit cards for rent, groceries, utilities etc while I get my nonprofit off the ground”. So I did. A few months later, COVID happened and I had to close and reform my nonprofit which was starting to make a little money but not much.

I’ve been on the rent strike since April (my landlord is a giant property management firm that rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars a month) and I have no means or intention of paying back-rent, so I’d like to have a backup plan when the likely inevitability of an eviction happens by purchasing an old trailer/camper and making it live-able. With the back-rent debt conflated with my credit card debt, I’m thinking of defaulting on my credit cards but BEFORE I DO SO, I may as well increase the limits (since they’re essentially all maxed out) and get this trailer figured out so that I have a place to live, right? I’ve been paying all my cards on time while I think about what to do, so as far as I know I’m not on their radar for default yet.

I’m not sure what my credit score is… one entity says 666 and another says 605, so I’m not sure I’ll be accepted to other credit cards/banks if I were to apply, which is why I was thinking increasing the limits on existing cards would be the way to go.

To sum up, I don’t care about my credit score and think the financial sector is bloodthirsty so I don’t believe this plan is unethical, ESPECIALLY because the debt is from necessary expenses and I’d like to have shelter in the event of an eviction… which is an absolute right. I’d love to hear what you think and if you have any recommendations for the best way to do this. Thanks so much

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hey @bucksatan welcome to the debt collective community! i’m winter and i’m an organizer with the Debt Collective!

i’ve actually been through this process, i did something VERY similar about 3 years ago and i’d be happy to talk through it with you.

shoot me an email at winter@debtcollective.org and let’s chat.

i also saw your other post and wanted to introduce you to @brooksrichelle1 and @Hannah_C_Appel, they are organizing a Debt Collective chapter in Los Angeles!

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Just to let you know , your calculations and resulting strategy has been a very common approach to the kind of economic positioning you find yourself in. Been going on this way my whole adult life. I’ve got hindsight and saying no to the department of Ed has been one of the most important stands I’ve made yet. I’ve been striking student debt for over 25 years. Proud working class called myself labor until I had no other choice but to disassociate myself from working in a system that took advantage of me and failed to provide the basics. Put my black and brown brothers and sisters down. Lied about the treaties with the Natives. You know how much we are in the red with the Lakota alone? American’s have been practically living here for free since Columbus! Got nothing moral to stand on. I had to take all the relief options I could get to survive including bankruptcy and taking on a lot of social debt from friends in the most desperate times. It ruined my standing in my community and made me look like a freeloader. Made my mom worry.
My dad lost respect for me. Nobody can afford that. Refusing to cooperate can look really bad if you don’t have a strong narrative to counter. Now with the UNION we don’t have to stand alone defending ourselves from moral accusations and victim blaming. Tables turning because people like me don’t have a choice but to defend themselves from economic terrorism. Why are so many people okay with the mismanagement of our national resources and a social safety net made of holes?

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And wanted to invite you to our Quake City Weekly, we’re on Zoom Wednesday nights at 6pm. Contact me at lavishpraise@gmail.com if you want more info. We’re strategizing because we don’t plan on getting back into the down position when all the moratoriums lift and the landlords, creditors and banks get their red pens out to mark up our futures with their ridiculous calculations. Do they really thing we don’t know how to do the math!!!??

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Hey there,
My little bit of advice is do not be afraid of bankruptcy. Once you hit the balance limits, and balance transfers to other creditors, and can no longer make your minimum payments on your cards, stop paying them and then let them hound you for a while while you prepare to file for bankruptcy. If and when you get served with papers taking you to court, then you pull the trigger and file for bankruptcy, Chapter 7. Then that stops all the collection actions against you, then you get your day in bankruptcy court, and the debt is discharged. Just don’t make a bunch of frivolous charges right before you default on your cards, file for bankruptcy, and the judge won’t bat an eye. Also, don’t bother hiring a lawyer for bankruptcy, you can do it yourself, It’s easy-peasy!

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thank you for debtor skill share, super helpful!!

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I’m too old and have already been living on that edge too long. Hub and I inherited a property that couldn’t survive in its inflated market, so we traded it for a huge, beautiful piece of land with an old house. While we work on farm assessment to get out of even that property tax pile, we spent down our liquid assets supporting offspring and fighting the IRS over disability back benefits. And then what credit we did have crashed on us.

What I’m fighting most immediately is a measly $2K on a store card. The backing bank has sued, and I need to submit any evidence by 1/28 for a 2/2 “settlement conference.” I demanded that they produce the history of the account, and of their (nameless, mostly robocalls) harassment after they closed the account, and they said that was “too burdensome” for them. I found records of our payment of more than minimums for 7 months in 2018. Should I put that on the record? In what form?

This isn’t worth bankruptcy, as our biggest debts don’t apply. Waiting to hear what the IRS may come up with.