Other people's (lack of) money
November 28, 2005 6:14 PM Subscribe
Help me with my pseudo-sister-in-law, and the debt that keeps her living here...
posted by tkolstee to Work & Money (9 answers total)
My (long time, live-in) girlfriend's sister has made some exceptionally bad choices in the past, and is a single mother of two children. After she hit an especially bad patch, we let her come and live with us until she can "get back on her feet". She has a low-paying part-time job, and is going to school now. She gets food stamps and state-provided daycare, and is still a long way from independence.
The main problem right now is that she owes $2600 from a previous eviction - she skipped out on her lease a while back - which keeps her from getting an apartment. It would be years before she can save up that kind of money. It's really getting hard for the five of us to live together, and we want to help her get a place of her own - and regain ours!
I know that debt collectors will sometimes negotiate debts down to as much as half the original debt or even less, especially if you can pay it all at once. I've talked with my girlfriend and her parents about making a Christmas gift of negotiating this bill down and paying off some of it. Let's say they cut it in half - $1300... In that case we might be able to pay $350 per couple and get half of it taken care of.
First of all, is this doable? Can we negotiate on her behalf with a bill collector and then pay some of the amount? Even if she gets this debt completely paid off her credit is basically shot and I'm wondering how hard it will be to get a place even after this point...
Am I barking up the wrong tree? Is there a better way to find a win-win in this situation?