Help me fix my debt fiasco
December 7, 2012 10:12 PM Subscribe
Please help me get my financial situation in order during a separation from my husband. Looking for advice and suggestions from your own experience, or factual knowledge of "legal separation" in Washington state. Also looking for personal experiences relating to credit counseling, credit attorneys, etc.
posted by virginia_clemm to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry this will be long and most likely confusing, since I am confused as to what I am even asking here.
My husband and I have physically separated (living apart) due to many relationship issues we would like to resolve, but our ultimate goal is to overcome these challenges and someday get back together. That's all you really need to know about the emotional aspect of this question...my real questions have to do with legal and financial issues.
First: we do NOT want to get divorced. Washington state has something called a legal separation, which we believe would allow us to untangle our finances while staying married and keeping me on his insurance, which is vital for treating a long term medical issue I suffer from. I am looking for confirmation from anyone who has done this personally, or advice from legal types whether or not this will work. He and I both have major credit issues that date back to before we were married, and have continued to haunt our relationship. If we were to become legally separated, would this allow us to dissect our finances, leaving each of us only responsible for any personal debt accumulated BEFORE we were married? The debt we have as a couple is minor compared to our "old" debt.
My second question is: what is the best option for paying down my own debt and rebuilding my credit? I know the best advice is to consult a professional, but I am so confused as to which one I should ask. My options seem to range from shifty looking debt consolidation services, credit attorneys, and bankruptcy. I honestly feel that I could pay my debt off if I found the right way to do it, bankruptcy is a last resort for sure. I have some debt I do not want to include in this arrangement, mainly student loans. I basically have credit card debt I have not paid on for years (yes, this is really embarrassing, but I really do want to rectify the situation). I don't make a lot of money, but I also have few expenses beyond rent, and I could afford 300-400 dollars a month to repay my debt. I need to do something soon, as my wages have started to be garnished, and now that I am supporting myself without my husband's help, I need to keep my income as high as possible.
Feel free to ask any questions, I will not threadsit, but will check back periodically. You can also email my account here on Metafilter. Thank you so much for any help you can give me.