I am new to the blog and hope that perhaps some of you might have some useful feedback/advice for the situation my husband and I are currently experiencing.
We are a family of four. My husband’s monthly take-home pay is $3754.00. I am currently a SAHM. We have two sons, one of whom is autistic (6 years old, non-verbal) and one who is four and developing typically. We live in a rental apartment, $1425.00 per month.
Recently, my husband told me that he was 45K in debt. A year after we married (we are married seven years) I paid off 40K worth of credit card debt and I assumed that the accounts had been closed.
However, my husband claims that, since we live in an expensive area (Westchester County, New York) and I am not currently working, he had to take online payday loans here some months in order to meet household expenses and that, since credit card minimums were recently doubled, that it is becoming unmanageable. I believe that about $1900.00 per month is going toward the credit card debt.
He saw a credit counselor last year (Greenpath) and they recommended bankruptcy. My husband does not want to do this because, if he does, he feels we will never be able to own a house. He doesn’t seem to feel it would be useful to speak to another credit counselor, but I disagree.
However, while I was working and living at home (10 years after graduating college) I managed to invest some money every week and the accounts are now worth about 141K (mainly retirement accounts). What my husband wants me to do is to put money down on a house so he can roll the debt over using the house as security.
I have asked whether he could negotiate better interest rates, or speak with someone at Money Management International and work out a payment scheme for the debts, but he has not yet taken a step in this direction, to the best of my knowledge. I have the feeling he just wants me to make it go away again.
I would be happy to cut our budget to the bone, get rid of any unnecessary expenses (cable, go back to dial-up service for internet, purchase only generics, halt purchase of new consumer goods, make do with what we have, cut the grocery bills whatever way I could) but he is not being very responsive to my suggestions for cutting costs which is rather frustrating to me.
Also, he wonders if, in NY State, if he tried to file for bankruptcy, would his creditors attach my retirement accounts?? Frankly, I’m curious about this as well. Our finances have been separate since we have been married, most all of my assets are in my name only (since they were earned prior to our marriage).
If there is anyone out there who has been in a similar position I would greatly appreciate your feedback.