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By FemGeek
March 6, 2003

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

Back when I had a trial membership to TMF, I asked RAH if it was really worth the money to become a full-fledged member; after all, there are a lot of free boards out there. Fortunately, he persuaded me that it was...and today, I realized a major reason why.

Yesterday we had a couple of new folks asking for advice on digging out from under heavy debt loads. Invariably, the advice given was to do whatever it takes (cut expenses, increase income, etc.) for as long as it takes. No quick fixes, just hard work. That's not necessarily what we want to hear, but I firmly believe it's the right thing to do.

Okay, so I checked in on another site, where the main emphasis seems to be how to avoid paying debts. Most of the posters' debts seem to already be in collections, or they've got judgments against them, or they're about to be sued. And the advice they get is how to drag things out till the statute of limitations is up, etc. But there was one thread today that really takes the cake. Fellow posts that he's got $27K in debt, 6 months past due. 2 of his cards, representing well over half the debt, are about to sue. He's selling his house (either to his ex, or he and his ex are selling it as part of a property settlement, or something; no details) and he'll be getting $56K in cash out of the deal...so how can he protect that money from his creditors? Note that he seems to be admitting the debts are legit, he just doesn't want his creditors to get his hands on his money. And one of the board's "experts" actually gave him advice on how to do it. Hello? Am I missing something here?? $56K windfall (he's not putting the money into another house - like he could even get a mortgage at this point), he'd still have $29K if he paid his debts off...But no, he's getting advice on how to protect "his" money. What about the creditors' money that he borrowed?

Anyway, the contrast between the 2 boards really struck me. I'm so glad I came here when I was paying off my debts, and got the encouragement to do the right thing, no matter how hard. Because the feeling of accomplishment and keeping my self-respect make that difficult journey very worthwhile. I hope all the new folks will stick with it, and reach this point one day. Sure, there are those out there who will tell you to take the easy way out, but is it really worth it? And, if you take the easy way out, will you learn the habits you need to keep from getting right back in the same mess, all over again?

To all the old-timers who's advice and encouragement helped me stay on the straight and narrow: Thank you! And thank you, RAH - you were so very right. TMF is definitely worth the cost of admission!

FG


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