Hi Terry,
I believe I've heard you talk about the DCSD, dept counsel for seniors and disabled, on WGN. I am a senior (69) living only on Soc Sec and run up 20K in credit card debt, due to circumstances since i lost my job in 2009. I own a townhome (live in NW Indiana). I am willing to sell my home but it needs considerable work to get it to a marketable condition. I considered bankruptcy a few years ago but was able to refinance with the HARP program. I've never missed or been late on any payments, but I can't keep it up. I have good credit (used to be excellent but my dept ratio has gotten high) and hate to loose that.

I'm asking if you recommend DCSD as a possible solution for me. I appreciate your input.Thank you!

Terry Says:

Let me give you TWO recommendations, because it would be a shame for you to have to sell your home, and a more holistic solution might be provided by starting with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  You can trust them.  Calling their toll-free number 800-388-2227 — will put you in touch with the nearest local agency.   They will work with your creditors to negotiate a lower rate of interest, and perhaps you could make one payment to them, which they will distribute to your creditors.  That WILL impact your credit report, however.

The other solution is referenced in my column about Debt Relief for Seniors.   Yes, you can trust them, but this solution will also impact your credit report.  AND, you will need to do something about your home –perhaps taking out a reverse mortgage to protect against a lien when you stop making payments.  Read the article for details.

In fact, a Reverse Mortgage might be your best solution if you work though NFCC — If you can continue to pay your property taxes and insurance, you could withdraw a monthly check from your home equity (assuming you have equity) and that could help you pay down your debt — or pay at least the negotiated amount each month.

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