Debt Settlement – The Gory Details

POST # 1
You are about to read a very personal story about me.
I am a happily married, 40 year-old father of two precious little kids. I live in Los Angeles, California and my name is Jonathan Grossman.  This sounds like an introduction to an AA meeting.  In some ways it is!
Back in 2004, I was making a great living as a TV composer and enjoying the high life with my wife. By 2006, we had our first child and I was unemployed, living off savings and hoping things would turn around. By 2009, I had 2 kids, went through all of my savings and managed to accumulate $130,000 in debt. Things were not getting better and I had to make a move.
This story is a lot of things. First off, it’s true. But even more than that, it is a brutal examination of the American economy from the point of view of the consumer. In many ways, I am the typical Hollywood story combined with the typical real estate boom home buyer. I was irresponsible and wreck-less and the financial climate was my gracious enabler.
This story will tell the tale of how I got myself into this financial mess, and I how I chose to get myself out of it.  For the record, I take 100% responsibility for creating all of this debt. I am not for a second blaming anyone but myself!
The story has a horrific beginning, but a great ending. Without further delay, here are some details.
In July 2009 this is where I stood:

→$104,000 in unsecured personal lines of credit

→$26,000 in credit card debt

  • Owned, or rather “owed”, my home which was fully financed at $880,000 and it was underwater.

→If I sold it, I wouldn’t even be able to pay off my mortgage.

  • Monthly bills:                 $18,000
  • Monthly net income:    $12,500

→Monthly deficit:  $6,500

  • I was drawing from my personal lines of credit to help pay the bills each month.
  • I was drawing from those very same lines of credit to make the minimum payments on them each month.
  • I had 2-3 more months before the credit ran out…MAXIMUM DEBT VELOCITY.

?

HERE WERE MY FEARS!

  • Foreclose on my house.
  • Feel humiliated with my family and friends.
  • Declare bankruptcy.
  • Look into the sweet little eyes of my 4 year old son and explain why we have to move from our home, leave pre-school, make new friends.
  • Admit to my wife that I had let the family down.
  • Admit to myself that I was a failure.

?

HOW DID I LET IT GET THIS BAD?

NYC: National Debt Clock

I’ll tell you.

  • I didn’t save enough for a rainy day.
  • I kept hoping things would turn around.
  • I ignored the obvious downward spiral.
  • Once I started to fall into the pit, I passed the threshold of caring.

I LET MYSELF GO DEEPER BY SAYING “I AM ALREADY $100,000 IN DEBT. WHAT’S ANOTHER $5,000 AT THIS POINT?”
Here’s my story of how I got into $130,000 in debt and how I am getting myself out of it. I am not yet done by the way.

BIG DISCLAIMER!!!!

Let me be clear up front.  I am not a debt settlement counselor. I do not work for any of the debt settlement companies. I do not profess to be an expert or in any way imply that you are guaranteed to have the same results I am having.
Things that can or will happen if you choose Debt Settlement include:

  • A lot of HARD WORK.
  • A lot of time, focus and resilience.
  • Rhino skin and tenacity.
  • You MIGHT be threatened with law suits.
  • You will have creditors calling you all the time.
  • Your credit will suffer.
  • You MIGHT have to pay taxes on the amount of debt that the bank forgives.

It is NOT easy. As I just said, you need rhino skin and tenacity. But, if you are willing to do your homework, you may find that debt settlement is the right road for you.
I did A LOT of research and ended up using a debt settlement company that was extraordinary. I will wholeheartedly recommend them because I believe they are fair, supremely skilled and a true consumer advocate. My intention is to give back to the very company that gave me so much.

Here’s the deal about this blog:

  • Take what is useful.
  • Toss what isn’t.
  • Call my recommended company if you are inclined…..BUT…..do your research. Call a dozen of them.
  • You may discover what I discovered.
  • There are only a few debt settlement companies that are really there to help.

The one I used, Consumer Recovery Network, was incredible for me. I imagine they could help you as well. Throughout this blog you will notice that I keep mentioning Consumer Recovery Network (CRN). They are the only company that I have worked with and therefore the only company with which I have first-hand experience.
As I said, I highly recommend them. Definitely call them to see if they can help you the way they helped me.

But please, please, please. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
So here it goes…..my debt settlement story.
Stay tuned, stay afloat. WEALTH AND FREEDOM ARE IN YOUR FUTURE!

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25 thoughts on “Debt Settlement – The Gory Details”

  1. I hear you, I’m with you, I’m in the same boat and have and still am educating myself.
    The only statement I have is that the “Banksters” are out to get you and will stop at nothing. Be vigilant, aggressive and never give up.There are more of us than them.
    Be well all.
    Richard Band

    1. Thanks for sharing Richard. Hang in there. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly. If I can’t answer them, the good people at CRN can.
      With regard to your opinion that the banks are out to get us, I disagree. BY LAW, a corporation’s job is to make money for its shareholders. In my situation, the bank loaned me the money when they thought is was profitable. When times changed, the bank realized their most profitable move was to settle with me.
      As consumers, we should have personal accountability. If mistakes were made, find a good consumer advocate, do research and diligently fight to rectify the problem. Stay tuned, stay afloat. WEALTH AND FREEDOM ARE IN YOUR FUTURE!

  2. Jonathan,
    we often think that hiding our mistakes or the bad situations we’re in is the best way to face our friends, loved ones or the entire world. It takes courage to share personal painful experiences with others and to admit we’ve made mistakes that might have lead to our fall.
    I’m glad you’re on the recovery path.
    thanks for sharing.

  3. Having been there myself (although not as deeply as you were), I know how overwhelming being in debt can be. I’m appreciative of the time you have taken to share your experience, and am glad that you found a system that works for you. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share the info for the company I work for – http://www.thedebtclassroom.com – as we also provide guidance and assistance to those needing help in settling their debt on their own. I look forward to reading your blogs further!
    Melissa

  4. Excellent story, Jonathan, which I know will help so many individuals who have been in the same situation. I am proud of you for sharing this with the “world”. There is no doubt in my mind that it will help so many individuals.

    1. Thanks Gail. I hope I can help a few people. As of today, 2 people have read my blog, enrolled in a debt settlement program and are on their way to becoming debt free! That makes me feel good.

  5. Excellent story, Jonathan, which I know will help so many individuals who have been in the same situation. I am proud of you for sharing this with the “world”. There is no doubt in my mind that it will help so many individuals.

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