URGENT!! Deep in Debt with Questions

Sorry, this is long….My husband has an LLC that we can no longer continue running. It never made any money because, unfortunately, we financed it four years ago with a credit card. We are in the process of selling it, but will never make back what we owe which is about $18,000 to Chase. The offer for the business is $8,000 and we may be able to sell the vehicle separately for $2,000…maybe less. We are current on the Chase payments, but only have $1,000 in the bank – that’s maybe two or three more months of payments. Do you think Chase will settle for $8,000??? The card is in the business name and has my husband’s name on the account.

How would you go about it, since we are not delinquent…yet. We would prefer not to stop paying them, but just end it as quickly as possible. We need to make a decision on the sale by tomorrow. I don’t think we will get much more if we don’t accept this offer, it’s a rental business and the inventory is four years old and depreciates quickly.

Our only other option is bankruptcy for the company. Since the new owners would be keeping the same business name, we would prefer not to have to file bankruptcy.

In addition, we owe over $40K on several other credit cards. I work part-time for a paycheck (and the health insurance) during the school year only, and part-time without pay in my husband’s other business (dba). That business would do much better if we weren’t paying on all these credit cards. I’m trying to obtain other part time work as well, but no luck yet. I’ve been looking for quite a while.

I got a notice that Chase is raising the interest rate on several of our cards. Citibank already lowered our limit since we don’t use it. We only use 2 or 3 cards for business purposes only, so I expect the other cards will all be doing the same since we are just trying to pay them off and don’t use them anymore. Yes we did a lot of transferring balances, very poorly managed though.

I know it looks like we should file bankuptcy, but I’d really rather settle most of these cards than go through that. We are current on all the accounts, although we’ve paid several late fees this last year. There’s just too many cards to keep track of. I received $20K from my father’s estate recently, and we’ve just been hanging onto it in case we fall behind on the mortgage, as his other business may very well slow down due to the economy. With the increased interest rates, things are beginning to spiral out of control even more. Any chance I could settle the $40K for $10K so we would at least have a cushion and not fall into the credit card trap again?

I tried setting up a plan on my own to pay things down, but with our erratic income that may be difficult to do. And, now with the raised interest rates, it could be impossible. I never know how much I will have by the end of the month.

I’d appreciate any advice, especially regarding debt settlement. I’m very leery of going through a company to do this and would love to hear from people that have done this on their own. I am desperate to get out of this mess!