Deep in Dedt What Can She Do?

Updated on June 23, 2011
A.R. asks from Oxnard, CA
16 answers

Hi Ladie I need your help. Actually I need your help so I could help a friend. I've known her for over 11yrs. In the past 4-5 yrs she has had alot happen to her. First she got divorced. Then she had to take over taking care of her two children and her elderly mother. With only her salary coming in to the house hold. Then her daughter became pregnant, and her boyfriend does not want to help finanacially to raise their daughter. So that added one more person my friend had to take care of. She tried to keep them up float all that time. She is an only child and her aunts and uncles no where to be seen. Then this past year her mother passed away. Which she had to take care of the costs. Her daughter unable to get a job, and her son not old enough to get one. She is still the only one bringing in the money. She is stretched with mortgage, car, ins., gas, and the regular bills. She tried to keep going but this month she got overwhelmed and doesn't know what to do.She tried calling lawyers to file bankruptcy but they will not do anything unless she has the money up front. What can she do? Does anyone have any suggestions to where she can get some help? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you so much.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

Daughter should try babysitting jobs where she can take her child along. Agree with applying for public assistance. The friend should try to get a second job also.



answers from Honolulu on

Does she have any gold jewelry?
She can sell that. At a reputable gold buyer.
That is quick way to make money.
Just temporary though.

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answers from Jacksonville on

First: Her daughter needs to go to the local child support agency (if she hasn't already) and file for child support. The father of her child not "helping" is not optional... she needs to file and get some assistance flowing. It is his responsibility, whether he likes it or not. It shouldn't cost her much, if anything, to file. Has she applied for any state assistance for the child? WIC?

How old IS her son? I'm assuming that if he is not old enough to get a job, then he is still a minor. Since you said the only salary coming into the household is your friend---it sounds like her ex is not paying child support. WHY isn't your friend receiving support for her son? The same things I wrote above for your friend's daughter, can be done by your friend to get support from her son's dad.
I'd start there.

And eliminate every single non-ESSENTIAL expense. (Cell phones are NOT essential. Cable/Satellite are NOT essential. Internet is NOT essential.) Also, eliminating some of those non-essentials might help motivate her daughter to find SOMETHING she can do part time at least. Can she watch someone ELSE's child during the day, along with her own?

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answers from Milwaukee on

Get rid of all unnecessary things; ie: cable, internet, bare bones calling plan on cell phone, all kid's cell phones, stop eating out. Her daughter is able to get a job, but I'm assuming she doesn't want to because mom won't make her. It doesn't matter that her daughter's boyfriend doesn't *want* to help pay for his kid. He has to. She just needs to go down to the courthouse to file the papers for child support.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Dave Ramsay's Total Money Makeover. Buy her the book.

She needs to see if she qualifies for any assistance. And her daughter needs to check too.

She needs to eliminate ANY non essential bills asap. Cable, cell or house phones, etc.

If she is contributing to her 401K she needs to stop temporarily.

Bankruptcy may not be the answer.

She needs to sell everything she does not NEED. If she has a car payment, she needs to get rid of the car and buy O. for cash.

Pay house, lights, water bill and let all other stuff wait until she's current on the essentials.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If it is debt (i.e. credit cards, etc.) try CCCA (Credit Counseling Centers of America) it is non-profit and legit. NO OTHER DEBT CONSOLIDATION COMPANIES ARE OK!! She's right on bankruptcy. The court will take all assets to distribute amongst creditors, if the attorney doesn't get paid upfront he will never get paid. But, unless it is a non-repeating financial situation, she is not a good candidate for bankruptcy. Try helping her do a garage sale, talk to churches, etc., but DON'T YOU get in a position to be her financial fall back.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Reno on

Really good answers below. In addition, have her call around and find bankrutpcy attorneys who give free consultations. Most here do and one even has a "walk in Wednesdays" where anyone can go in and ask questions and meet with an attorney. Our Law Library at the Courthouse also has a program they call "Lawyer in the Library" where local attorneys volunteer an evening to answer any type of question people have. This would give her an opportunity to see if there are any other options and the best thing to do as far is what to pay or not pay if she decides that bankruptcy really is the best option.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on


Gather all the bills and see which ones are completely necessary. Such as, mortgage, car, insurance, gas, groceries etc.

Get rid of the ones that arent. Cable, internet etc.

She can go and get state help, DSHS can give her food stamps, they have programs that will help her pay her phone bill or get it for free, health care, etc. Check into it, and see which ones are available.

Her daughter can get on WIC and that will be good until the child is 5. It is such a great program, and it really helps a lot.

There are places that can help.

Tell her to hang in there, and not to lose hope.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Lots of things she and her family can do.

1. Cut back on expenses. Get rid of everything that isn't necessary. Cable, anything other than basic cell phone, internet service.
2. Sell items you don't need. Have a giant yard sale. Any broken gold chains laying around, sell them.
3. Stop supporting her daughter and her grandchild. Her daughter is responsible for her child, not your friend. Your friend needs to be herself and her son first; if she has extra then help out. Has the daughter taken the father to court for child support? Why can't she get a job, is she handicapped? If yes, then she should be collecting social security disability.
4. How many meals a week are eaten at a soup kitchen?
5. Is her son getting free lunch at school? Now that school is out, has she applied for assistance for him?
6. She can get another job. If her daughter isn't working, she can take care of her brother.
7. If she's considering bankruptcy, then she should stop paying some of her bills and take those funds to pay an attorney.
8. Has she gotten any food from the local food bank?

I'm sure there are many other things she can do, without knowing the entire situation it's hard to give specific help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

The grandchild's father can be taken to court for child support.
Daughter could get a job somewhere - McDonald's and Walmart are always hiring.
If she does not get child support for her children - then she should go to court for that.
Does her elderly mother live with her? Does she have any income that contributes to the household? If Mom lives elsewhere, but your friend contributes financially to her, then she needs to combine households.
Coupons, food co-ops, and food pantries for groceries.
Bankruptcy does not make mortgage, car notes, insurance, utilities go away. She needs to pay the necessities every month, let the other ones slide until she gets some help.
She needs to look into getting a second job and letting the daughter pick up the slack in the housework and care of family since she is not working.

Everything Love my boys <3 wrote. :)

I wish her luck and creativity. I am facing the same financial hardships right (just with less people) and I know how stressful it is.

God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

Salvation Army helps people, she can go to them and see what help they may be able to offer. See what assistance she may be eligible for. Look into local food pantry ( most churches have one)
Sell everything you don't want or need through Craigslist or garage sales...have her daughter look into assistance as well.
Make severe cut backs, no cable...we even got rid of our land line recently because we all had cell phones and the cell phone plan was cheaper. Maybe let go of the car if she is having to make payments and get something she can buy out right and drop insurance down to the minimum.
It sucks, but I do not recommend bankruptcy to anyone, it is a short term fix that has long lasting issues tied to it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reno on

Wow! Sounds very familiar. We're stuck in worker's comp triangle and have been living on $157 a week since October for a family of 5. Back when we had it bad...we were both working and lost our house. Shortly after that we lost a vehicle. Medical bills were piling up. I had a really hard time thinking about bankruptcy because I wanted to fulfull my responsibilities. However, it was pointed out that you could spend years trying to pay back your debt and your credit would still be affected, or you could file bankruptcy, wipe the debt clean and start rebuilding your credit. It's a lot shorter time with bankruptcy.

We have been in this mess for more than two years now. We thought we were living basic then, but kept loosing more and more. Now, we're down to what I hope is very basic. We have power, water, cell phones, car insurance, a student loan, a truck payment (paid with my child support) and internet. I comprimised to get internet instead of TV because you can watch TV on the computer. We watch a lot of movies (over and over again).

We do have food stamps that help tremendously! However, ours was recently decreased, so we're back to living on hot dogs and pasta (there is a pasta that costs $0.35 per package. It's Semolina and in the mexican isle of the store.) My girls are allergic to most foods so it poses a challenge and this is something they can have.

Anyways, it's amazing how much of an emotional toll it takes being, well, poor. To take our mind off of ourselves and our problems, we've also started preparing shoe boxes for the homeless. Any time we see someone on the off ramps or in parking lots with signs, we give them a shoe box with food and some supplies in it. I figure we are so close to being on the street ourselves, we should do what we can to help those that are already there.

Oh, and we paid the attorney through our tax return. Another comment is right. If you are going to do bankruptcy anyways, stop paying things that you will be claiming.

I'd love to add more, but this is too long already...sorry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I won't go into our whole story of what happened, just what we did... We put off filing BK for a couple years. Just did it about a month ago. ALL debt was discharged. The attorney does take payments but will not be completed until he is paid in full. We did not have any assets to sell to pay back any debt. Even if we did, it wouldn't be enough to make a dent in the debt incurred because of a few businesses that went bad, along with economy. We now have medicare for our children. It is based on income and number in household. Might want to apply for it. Also had food stamps for a brief time, which helped a lot.


answers from San Diego on

Your friend is exactly who government help programs are set up to help. She needs to look into what she can qualify for. They can also offer advice on things to help. As several have said before, she needs to cut out anything that isn't a survival, car, insurance, food, gas & electric, water. A lot of those have programs to help lower income people pay the bills, she should look into any and all of those.
I know it takes a hit to the pride to ask for assistance but bankrupcy is even worse.
The daughter should look into assistance as well. She qualifies for WIC and should attempt to get child support from the boyfriend or the boyfriend can give up some of his time to watch his child so the mom can go to worka nd make some extra money.



answers from Oklahoma City on

She needs to start paying the attorney a little bit each month and build up the money to file. That way it won't be an easy bit of savings to help out at the end of the month when money is tight. That's what a couple of my friends have done. It's not a lot of money. She can call around the find if everyone charges the same.

She needs to do this so she can start building good credit again. This is a legal and used by many thing to do and she should not feel bad about having to file bankruptcy. The bad thing about this process is how many businesses do it regularly every few years so they can make more profit. She needs to do it so her family can make it.

She might also look at downsizing if she has a lot of monthly payments like cars, boats, a large home that costs too much each month, she can do lots of things to help herself but if she has given all she has there is nothing left to do.

Do NOT use the debt consolidation places. We used one and it was a real one that was paid by the government and legit. We brought home $800 a month after they took the portion they thought the needed to get our debt down. That $800 was for car payments, gasoline, car insurance, groceries, utilities, any clothing or extras like shampoo, soap, anything that was not a house payment or credit card bill. No one can live and pay everything on $800 a month. It didn't work. They told us they could not take less than the $1300 they were taking each month. They needed that much to pay the current payment and pay off one bill each month. We lost our vehicles and our home by doing it. We did get Wards and Citibank paid but we only owed them a few thousand combined. It was WAY WAY not worth it. We just gave up. My husband then got laid off and we lost everything except our clothes and household goods. We lived in an apartment for a while then he got another job.



answers from Chicago on

pay the essentials and then use the bill money from the bills she is not paying to pay the attorney, then file bankruptcy.

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