Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Maxed Out

First, let’s start with a fun quiz. Guess which of the following didn’t happen to me last week:

  1. I spent all but $50 of my remaining money to pay for part of June’s medical treatments.
  2. I received notification of a bill for July’s medical treatments.
  3. One of my two remaining credit card companies said they are raising my APR unless I cancel the card (and lose all my Amazon points in the process).
  4. I nearly maxed out the same card paying for car repairs.
  5. I received notification of another bill for June’s medical treatments.
  6. My other credit card company lowered my credit so now that card is almost maxed out.
  7. I received another unexpected bill from my hospitalization in April.

The answer is number six, but only because it happened more than a week ago. In order to help bail me out, one of my remaining creditors (I only have two cards because I cancelled my third earlier this year when they offered me the “cancel or we raise your rates” special) offered me a personal loan at a lower interest rate than the cards so I could consolidate and reduce my debt. Via loan application, our conversation went like this:

Them: how about a loan to help with all your debt?
Me: I’d love help getting rid of my debt. Thank you.
Them: Oops – you have too much debt. Get rid of it and then we’ll give you the loan.

I saw a movie (available for online viewing if you have NetFlix) (if you don’t – loser) called Maxed Out which claims a lot of predatory credit companies really love people who can’t pay their bills because the write-off potential will give them more money than the tiny credit card payments. I have heard of other people having their credit reduced with the economy as the excuse, but it seems like I'm being targeted because they since my financial collapse is near.

So, my current money options are a) have absolutely nothing else unexpected go wrong in my life until some of the debt is repaid (at least three months), or b) accept an offer for a new credit card from my bank who promises they will love me forever and they won’t cum in my mouth and if they do decide to bend me over the hood of my car, they will at least use lube. I don’t really want a new card, but I have no remaining wiggle room in my financial life so I think I’ll apply for it and see what happens.


Hit 40 said...

I was hoping the answer was #1. Screw your hospital bills. They do not charge interest. I think you can call and work out a very small monthly payment plan with them. My mother in law used to do billing at hospitals.

Avitable said...

You should set up a little "Support the Bunnies" link with a Paypal account. Let us buy your friendship.

Whitemist said...

seen this before, "but credit card companies aren't doing anything wrong:" To quote a former senator from our state, who was booted out of office last election.
The attitude that it is always "your" fault" and lets see how we can make a buck on this one, deeply disturbs me.
I am sorry you are caught in this nightmare.

Jay said...

Hit 40 is right. Just send the hospital whatever. Don't worry about their minimums.

A few years ago I had a kidney stone and went to the emergency room. I was paying $50 a month, but in December, because of the extra Christmas expenses, I paid only $25. The hospital sent me a letter saying that since I didn't pay the minimum, I should pay the entire remaining $75 at once!

I sent them $5 a month for the next three months, then paid it off over the next three. Screw them.

Captain Dumbass said...

You need a bunny to support you. Maybe several.

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Robin said...

i keep meaing to watch that movie but i'm afraid to, it scares me.

Hit 40 said...

Jay speaks the truth!!! Take your time on the hospital bills. It's a dirty secret that they will not tell you.

Grant said...

Hit 40 - I called and have set up payment plans for most of the bills I've received, but they weren't that low (one is about the size of a monthly car payment) and new bills keep appearing.

Avitable - I would like to be the rent a friend for once.

Whitemist - the joke's on them. I'll probably die before they get all their money.

Jay - I'm going to try to honor my commitment to the hospital just because I said I would, but the lousy wound care place is going to get what I can afford and be happy with it. I tried to call to make payment arrangements, but they leave you on hold for five minutes then ask for a number so they can call you and never do.

Captain Dumbass - we have a bunny shortage on the East coast. Can you mail me some spares from your region?

KARMINA - gee, thanks.

Robin - the movie itself was not great, but some of the information was interesting. And scary.

Hit 40 - I wonder if there's some line you can cross that will prompt them to sue you for more, such as if I start mailing them checks for a penny each month.

Ricardo said...

Before I went into bankruptcy, the credit card companies started pulling all sorts of predatory stuff with me because it is their goal to keep you in debt. there are very few laws in place to keep them from exploiting you.

Screw them all.

Seems like everyone is feeling the money pinch these days.