You are about to read a very personal story about me. I am a happily married, 40 year-old father of two precious little kids. I live in Los Angeles, California and my name is Jonathan Grossman. This sounds like an introduction to an AA meeting. In some ways it is!
Back in 2004, I was making a great living as a TV composer and enjoying the high life with my wife. By 2006, we had our first child and I was unemployed, living off savings and hoping things would turn around. By 2009, I had 2 kids, went through all of my savings and managed to accumulate $130,000 in debt. Things were not getting better and I had to make a move.
This story is a lot of things. First off, it’s true. But even more than that, it is a brutal examination of the American economy from the point of view of the consumer. In many ways, I am the typical Hollywood story combined with the typical real estate boom home buyer. I was irresponsible and wreck-less and the financial climate was my gracious enabler.
This story will tell the tale of how I got myself into this financial mess, and I how I chose to get myself out of it. For the record, I take 100% responsibility for creating all of this debt. I am not for a second blaming anyone but myself!
The story has a horrific beginning, but a great ending. Without further delay, here are some details.
In July 2009 this is where I stood:
* $130,000 in unsecured debt.
$104,000 in unsecured personal lines of credit
$26,000 in credit card debt
* Owned, or rather “owed”, my home which was fully financed at $880,000 and it was underwater.
If I sold it, I wouldn’t even be able to pay off my mortgage.
* Monthly bills: $18,000
* Monthly net income: $12,500
Monthly deficit: $6,500
* I was drawing from my personal lines of credit to help pay the bills each month.
* I was drawing from those very same lines of credit to make the minimum payments on them each month.
* I had 2-3 more months before the credit ran out…MAXIMUM DEBT VELOCITY.
HERE WERE MY FEARS!
* Foreclose on my house.
* Feel humiliated with my family and friends.
* Declare bankruptcy.
* Look into the sweet little eyes of my 4 year old son and explain why we have to move from our home and make new friends
* Admit to my wife that I had let the family down.
* Admit to myself that I was a failure.
HOW DID I LET IT GET THIS BAD
NYC: National Debt Clock
I’ll tell you.
* I didn’t save enough for a rainy day.
* I kept hoping things would turn around.
* I ignored the obvious downward spiral.
* Once I started to fall into the pit, I passed the threshold of caring.
I LET MYSELF GO DEEPER BY SAYING “I AM ALREADY $100,000 IN DEBT. WHAT’S ANOTHER $5,000 AT THIS POINT”
Here’s my story of how I got into $130,000 in debt and how I am getting myself out of it. I am not yet done by the way.
Let me be clear up front. I am not a debt settlement counselor. I do not work for any of the debt settlement companies. I do not profess to be an expert or in any way imply that you are guaranteed to have the same results I am having.
Things that can or will happen if you choose Debt Settlement include:
* A lot of HARD WORK.
* A lot of time, focus and resilience.
* Rhino skin and tenacity.
* You MIGHT be threatened with law suits.
* You will have creditors calling you all the time.
* Your credit will suffer.
* You MIGHT have to pay taxes on the amount of debt that the bank forgives.
It is NOT easy. As I just said, you need rhino skin and tenacity. But, if you are willing to do your homework, you may find that debt settlement is the right road for you.