Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When it's Time to Walk Away

Migrant Worker, 1936

Many families are living on debt. They keep borrowing money and using credit cards just to survive. I know one family who repeatedly took out home equity loans for years until the bank finally took away their home.  It is unwise to live on someone else's money knowing it can't be paid back. It is unwise to dig oneself into such a deep debt that they can never escape.

There comes a point when one has to walk away. . .

A business would never stay open if it continually lived in the red.  The responsible thing for them to do would be to close the doors, take the losses and move on.   Modern families are facing the same thing, like no time in history. Easy credit, easy loans and the brainwashing in our culture that we can pay for everything later is destroying many.  It has created families who are, without realizing it, living a financial lie and they know not how to recover.

The only way to stop the deadly financial hemorrhaging is to walk away and start over.  Find a cheaper home - an apartment, mobile home or live with relatives temporarily.   If you are renting and have a lease, explain to your landlord that you are in dire financial straights and must move.  If you own a home that is far too expensive, or that has seriously lost its value and you can't sell, tell your banker about your financial difficulties and see what they can do. If nothing is available to help, then tell them to take the house back, then walk away. 

Walk away, but only if you've tried everything else.  Walk away and start at the bottom and begin to recover. Begin to be able to buy food again, have heat in the house and clothes that are not tattered.  Begin to breathe and start over.

This may seem radical, or even irresponsible to some, but if you are continually living on borrowed money, racking up debts higher and higher with no light at the end, it is time to walk away.

There is something called debt forgiveness, and debt counseling to prevent this from happening again.  Please don't continue to live on the edge of the cliff. There is help.  And there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Walk away and start again.  Everyone deserves a second chance.

Mrs. White

This post was written as a response to an anonymous comment on my  Living Without Credit Cards  post.  There are many readers in her situation. I hope this helps them.  Please realize, I am not suggesting everyone walk away from their financial obligations, but those in dire straights have that option. I do not want them to feel so trapped and hopeless that it is difficult to go on.

We must understand this - Financial Separation of the Social Classes.

Be Proud to be one of these - Blue Collar - Working Class Housewife.

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Teri Carter said...

Great timing! This is exactly what we are doing. Next month we are moving from our city home of 15 years to the country. We will be taking a family of 5 to a two bedroom trailer (we are creating a 3rd bedroom.) The fabulous thing is that this is my fathers land and will be rent free at first so we need only worry about an electric bill, it's located on 60 acres and we are really starting over! It's not going to be easy but I bet I'm going to sleep better at night!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. White,

I completely agree that this cycle needs to stop, and if walking away is the only way to achieve that, then gird yourself and make the changes. I would like to also say that this only works if you are changing most everything about your lifestyle, as in thoughts of "needs" vs. "wants." A cell phone is a luxury, not a necessity, especially for children who only go to school and do not have a job. Running the A/C all summer to be "comfortable" is actually a want, not a need (unless there is a medical condition or some such other consideration). I guess what I'm saying is that simply walking away without taking responsibility and owning the decisions that got you there in the first place solves nothing, and in fact creates more problems. Please understand that I am not speaking directly of any person (such as the commentor who spurred this article) or specific situation, simply to how the general population lives in today's society, unfortunately. We have been down and had to make such changes, and only by changing our entire mind-set are we digging ourselves out - slowly. We went with the older and less expensive house closer to our activities, we gave up our cell phone contracts (oh, the grief we took on that decision from family and friends who only communicate through text!), we make all our food from scratch now, we air-dry the majority of our laundry, I pack my husband's lunch for work daily, we budget fuel costs weekly, we cancelled satellite/cable, and we are changing our children's future by decisions we're helping them to make now (no student loans allowed). All of these things (and more!) require sacrifice, but the payoff of sleeping soundly (as your previous commentor on this article mentioned) and not living with daily financial stress are more than worth it. I would encourage everyone to look for that grown-over path less taken - it's far less crowded and the view is so much more enjoyable! :)

Thank you once again for such a thought-provoking article, and for allowing thoughtful discussion on the subject. And also for pointing out hurting families that we can pray for specifically. That's the most important and critical piece of the whole thing: God-led direction and dedication.

May you have a lovely and productive day today, all of you lovely ladies~
Mrs. Skutt

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Two thumbs up to Mrs. Skutt's comment.


dora said...

I've never commented on this website before, but there is something I wanted to say.

I'm 50 years old, and over the years, I have tried to live within my means.

This month, I wanted to buy some presents for my husband and 3 grown children for Christmas, having only £40 to spend, (I live in England).

I asked God to help me find some presents with that amount of money, £10 each.

Well, I got them all a present, and a treat for myself, all for £25
so I had £15 left over.

Only God could have done that, no one else. And I want to thank Him for hearing and answering.

God bless.

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