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Author Topic: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!  (Read 9570 times)

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Offline pozguy75

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Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« on: October 15, 2007, 02:15:43 PM »
I can go on and on...but, I am seriously having anxiety attacks...my chest feels like it's under a vice grip and my heart feels like it will explode any minute. Everything was fine until I got sick in May...then all down hill. FUCK!

I am not sure why I am posting this, maybe it's pointless, but I called my dad, and he asked me what I can pawn! That definitely wasn't the reaction I was looking for...but...hey...oh well.

I know it will work out just fine, but I felt that I needed to vent here a bit...thanks.
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline pozattitude

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2007, 02:31:38 PM »
vent away Jeromy,

We have all been there.
Just in this past June I was sick for about 2 weeks, I had my FMLA approved so that was good, but I also have a short term disability insurance through work that covers my salary if I am out on medical leave/accident...well, although my doctors and the FMLA people believed I was to stay home, the insurance people didn't think I needed to stay home and therefore I was out of pay for 2 weeks  >:(
It ended up that I had to make a choice between buying meds or paying my car that month...so I took a loan which I am still paying back....

yeah, it sucks....but don't let it give you a heart attack...go for the FUCK IT approach as in..."Oh, I don't have the money for this today.  Oh well, FUCK IT..."

Rich

Rich
POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline marc11864

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2007, 02:35:07 PM »
I can totally empathize with your anxiety on the financial issues.

Not sure what else to say about it 'cept that you are not alone.

Marc (Who offers a sympathetic hug on this issue)  :'(
Let us cavort like the Greeks of old! You know the ones I mean.

Offline Alain

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2007, 02:46:19 PM »
Been there as well when I had to leave work (Aids and becoming totally deaf).

I was in dire financial struggles (not prepared to retire) having a partner with good taste and trying to keep the life style just made it worst.

There is no easy answers my friend when we live beyond our means.

Fortunately, some people specialize with those issues; believe me it worked for my self anyway.

GOT TO KEEP THE JEEP thought, I just love it ;)

Offline HealthyMomma

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2007, 03:03:45 PM »
I'm sorry you are having problems. Hang in there!

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2007, 03:47:09 PM »
Anyone near you whom you trust who could give you some perspective and some advice? The anxiety feeds on itself and then shuts down creative, clear thinking. Sometimes a few phone calls or letters to the right people can buy time and make a strategy. That's where another person might be helpful to you--to prioritize the most urgent debts to be addressed and how best to do it.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2007, 03:54:23 PM »
It's hard to tell from this post if you're just having mild issues making timely payments, or whether you're at the point of needing to sit down with a credit counselor, or if you're at the point where something is going to be repossessed. 

Speaking as someone who actually had to file for bankruptcy when I went on disability for teh AIDS I'm just adding that there are definitely a wide variety of scenarios.  Feel free to describe your situation in more detail.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2007, 05:59:43 PM »
Jeromy,  frequently the hardest part of these situations is just recognizing you need help....it seems you have passed that point so start by checking out the local  "Helping Hands" group or whatever local group helps with short term assistance...for the longer term  ..as Philly pointed out there are a number of possibilities......be very cautious of "credit Counseling"  many of them are scams ..there are legitimate ones but they still put you in some tight places with control of whatever money you may have access to.......I would choose that only as a last resort just before "bankruptcy"    be especially cautious of  any kind of "payday" loan.....they are all scams......any church or organizational groups active in your community?...YMCA?  Rotary?  Food Pantry? county / city agency?
  Wish I could offer something more practical , like money, but we have all been there and unfortunately that is not an option for me at this time....

Try to approach this as calmly as possible  there is help available ...look for it...and don't be afraid / ashamed to ask....that's why they exist....

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Catman

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 06:30:30 PM »
  What a coincidence that I saw this post! Well just a week ago my participating in the ADAP program was terminated for me because the lady who manages the cases said that my Insurance Coverage does pay for the meds. I'm also on the anxiety attack road because I handed in the prescription at Walgreen's 2 days ago and the plan has not responded if it will cover! I'm suppose to pay from $15-$75 per medication but the papers I've always handed in to continue enrolled in the program state that it does not include viral medications nor cancer medications. Everything else is covered. I have no idea if the case manager was aware of this detail. Still, I do have meds until Friday. The lady at the pharmacy said that she thinks the plan doesn't cover for the meds and she was shocked at the price of Aptivus and Norvir. Lol, and to think I haven't even given her the prescription for Fuzeon, yet! This situation does have me worried because I'm not sure if I can manage paying for the meds and paying the bills I owe, which aren't many except for my car loan. It would be best for my relief that the insurance does not cover for the hiv meds and that way I'll be able to continue enrolled in ADAP. Though I am calm at this moment, I do get anxiety attacks every now and then!  :-\

 I hope you find a solution to your anxiety problem, Jeromy. I hope to find one also! :-[
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 06:41:46 PM by Catman »
Catman

Meow to the birds
Meow to the tree's
Meow to the end
of this dreadful disease...

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2007, 06:31:36 PM »
I sympathize but I'm not the guy to ask when it comes to money.

I can't be out of money. I still have checks in my checkbook!

Offline BT65

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 06:55:53 PM »
It seems like the gap between the haves and the have-nots grows wider every day.  I wonder if it will ever grow back together just a little. 

I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline pozguy75

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2007, 07:04:33 PM »
Thanks everyone...just feeling like everything is hitting at the same time...and I was at a moment of weakness and just needed to get out...

I am making timely payments, it's just that I feel like I can't get in front of them...and it really did start when I was out sick for 6 weeks...but, after making phone calls, and might I add, the fact that I have Iggy here, to keep me calm and grounded...actually it's all because of Iggy that I am not pretending to be a stock broker from a very dark day in 1928...Iggy, thank you for sitting me down and forcing me to take a breath!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words of support, I remember why I am here...thank you.
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline Chemteach7

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2007, 08:07:45 PM »
This really did ring a bell with me. I have had to take some time off work now and then. Being a teacher, we do not have unlimited days off during the school year and taking a temp leave brings up alot of questions that you might not want to answer to the board. A co-worker always says "Let the Universe unfold as it is ment to..."
Sometimes I have a hard one with that. I always #1 Take care of Meds and Health   #2 Take care of my car, so when I return to work I have one   #3 Pay my house payment so I have a roof over my head. The other bills seem to fall in line after that, they may not be happy at times, but they get up to date eventually.

Offline camille07

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2007, 09:33:21 PM »
Venting is definitely good when you're dealing with money issues because its FREE.
But it is a little ambiguous your posting with respect to the actual debt situation because there are so many levels of debt.  What is obvious is that it sounds as though you were reaching out for some financial help or advice from your father and his answer was a little disappointing to you.  That alone is discouraging.  Most of us, I'm sure, have been there. 

Hugs are also free, unless your dealing with a professional ;),

Cammie

Offline northernguy

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2007, 09:51:10 PM »
..
GOT TO KEEP THE JEEP thought, I just love it ;)

But in all seriousness, is the Jeep something you can give up, to get on a more even keel financially?  I have to admit I have been having severe temptation to trade in the old Crapolier and get myself a fancy car.  Dammit I've got HIV, I deserve something nice, don't I!  And then the angel on the other shoulder chimes in:  "be practical, think of your mortgage payments" :(
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline RobT

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2007, 10:25:29 PM »
Jeromy-
Wish that I can offer me some advice out of this situation, but I am right there w/ u. This was the month that my tuition for school is due. I did not have anything else, but only to put the entire amount on my credit card. I have no spending $$$ and I am w8ng for the Veteran's Affairs to get their act 2gether so they cud start paying for my school.
I am also suffering from a bit of anxiety other than financial means. I am so tired of being alone. It sux. Actually I am not alone, but my LDR is not what my partner and I had in mind from the very beginning. I just want some1 2 b there for me and comfort me from an awlful day.

Rob


Current meds: Atripla
VL: undetectable
CD4: 630

Offline Buff4evr

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2007, 02:37:50 AM »
Catman,

Those ADAP people are really aware of their own rules (where's the smiley for "tongue firmly in cheek"?).  When I was doing my annual birthday renewal last May, I was receiving disability from the State of California and Social Security.  They initially rejected me because they thought I made too much money.  Then I told them that the disability payments do not fall into their definition of income because they are nontaxable.  They thought they were clever when they replied that my Social Security disability was taxable.  I told them I had already concluded it was not based on a form the IRS uses to determine taxability of Social Security benefits.  "Would you like my benefits counselor to fax it to you?" I asked.  I'm sure that put their panties in a knot, but I did get my ADAP approved. 

I get angry and frustrated with agencies/healthcare providers/pharmacists, etc. when they can't get things right.  But I usually do my homework and find a way to cut through the crap.

Best,
Dave

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2007, 08:27:10 PM »
Hey Jeromy,

Keeping up with the creditors and living on disability is a juggling act which requires some talent.  After 11 years of a disability income and zero prospects in the job arena, I have maintained a 740 credit score.  I know a few "healthy working" people with a lower score than mine.

If your personal debt is less than $10,000.00 do not file a BK, it will be on your credit report for a decade and will impact any future chances of what we like to think of as financial freedom.

Those non-profit credit card relief companies... They close out your accounts, charge you a percentage of that debt every month, you never get caught up and that too is on your credit report for at least 7 years after completion.

Each and every year, you are entitled to a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting agencies.  Get a copy of your Experian, Trans-Union and Equifax reports.  Dispute every negative item in writing and save copies.  When they respond, dispute some more.  You are entitled to put a statement in your credit report for each and every negative item.  It doesn't matter how trivial or how low the debt may be just do it.

On disability, each month we get a check, which is never enough to live on.  Pay your rent, credit cards and utilities first.  Worry about food, ntertainment, and everything else later.  I have spent the bulk of 11 years getting my little check on the third and being broke by the fifth of each month.

Sometimes you have to let an electric or gas bill slide for a couple of months, maybe have to take cold showers because you can't afford to keep the water heater running.  Someone else in this thread mentioned "Helping Hands".  These organizations never offer help with credit card bills but they have resources for utilities.  Share of cost on meds... ADAP works.  Food?  Food banks are everywhere.  Utilities and phone companies offer Care discounts for low income people, some discount up to 20% each month, apply for it.  Call your county Housing Authority, find out when the Section 8 lottery begins and get on that list.  I got a lady on Section 8 immediately following the 2005 Russian River flood because that flood made her eminently homeless.  I got her into a very nice country house on private land in the mountains and she lost it all because... she didn't pay attention.

With some money saved, you can now pay more than minimum monthly payments on credit card bills.  Do that and call your card providers.  Some of them will lower your interest rates, others will raise those rates because they can.  Each and every month, as the available credit increases, that is your emergency money.     

I have sent in over 400 resumes for employment since 1998 and am unemployable because of health reasons and time unemployed.   But, my personal net worth has exceeded $1 million twice since college and I have had the ability to have on foot in the door of the poor house with the other on a banana peel since 1996.

I opened my own company on credit this year.  The bank would loan me nothing, even with a spotless credit report and being a client for 18 years.  I used private money from local lenders.  This would be the same lender who approved me for a $1.5 million loan to purchase a vineyard last year.  The deal fell apart because the seller would not carry a second.

My start up loan is paid, I work at home and make my own hours. I make a decent living and am off all assistance programs because... I did everything, I recommended you do and I never took a break.  It is not easy but living with HIV is not easy either (as we all know).

There are lenders who will put up 80% of a housing loan for a multi-family property if the seller will carry the 20% as a second, using income from the units as income.  This can be difficult based on the median income of your community, cost of housing and past rents received on the property.  If you find the right units, it is possible to find a loan where the rents received will cover the mortgage and property taxes.  This should leave 1 unit (rent free) for yourself.  Banks do not make such loans, private lenders do but, you have to do your due dilligence.  Good luck Jeromy, Have trhe best day
Michael

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2007, 09:17:26 PM »
Wow, Michael, what  great post!  I have tried many things that you have mentioned but its a change in lifestyle for me that I am trying to accept.  I can't get much help bec I own a home, but because of that, credit IS my friend.  I have tons of credit and don't see me paying any of this back in full until I refinance here, but its helping me to get by.  I don't want to pay any bills late, yet DSS says that "perhaps" they can help me when a bill is past due, and only then.  Maybe I should let the electric bill slide for a month and see what help I can get?  I would hate to ruin my credit that way, though.

Hang in there, Jeromy, Michael gave some great advice here tonight.

~ Cindy

HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline mudman8

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2007, 03:25:35 PM »
great ideas Michael,  I had some money in a stocks account  from work and an inheritance. I was trying hard to make it grow these past years (and did a pretty good job), but last year found out about Canadian Trusts which are planned to give a steady income.  Some of them from 10-15% monthly.  I bought into some of them and now get  several hundred dollars every month, that sure comes in handy.  If I relyed on American companies I'd be living on2-5% every quarter. Not nearly enough.  Leave it to our trusty neighbors to make companies work for them instead of us working for overpaid top brass of American companies.

Sorry I can't help you with your debt problems.  I don't own a house, just my car. I do know from some recent health issues that even if you're in a good place all can seem hopeless and miserable.  Good luck on resoving your problems
Life is analog

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2007, 04:47:22 PM »
Oh Mudman,

I'm not having money problems.  This is another member's thread and I have experienced debt for the past 10 of 11 years of AIDS but, I took detailed steps which I took to make a more productive life for myself and have shared those, thinking others could do the same.  ;D Have the best day
Michael

Offline PozMike

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2007, 05:59:00 PM »
I have been trying since the beginning of last August to get my one credit card company (Washington Mutual) to work with me so I can pay them off. I get SSDI and that's it. My lover of ten years walked out on me the first week of September. WaMu refuses to speak to the local pro bono community law center, and whenever I call, they tell me their computers are down. Five out of five times having their computers down smells like a skunk or a scam.

WaMu sent me a form with a bunch of medical questions and requested contact info for my County doctor, etc. I filled it all in plus I attached a letter explaining the situation in depth. I even sent them a copy off my SSDI letter in which the SSA tells me how much I'll get.

Instead of talking to me about how I can get a lower hardship payment, they have increased the interest I pay by 12% (it's up to 31.49%) and upped my monthly payment by 50%.

WaMu has already trashed my credit reports. I don't see that I have much to lose by declaring bankruptcy. I'm not going to be buying much of anything with SSDI.

My last (pre bankruptcy) options are contacting the TV consumer reporters in the Bay Area or organizing a demo with "WaMU unfair to people with AIDS" banners in font of the local branch.

Offline pozattitude

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2007, 06:37:58 PM »

WaMu sent me a form with a bunch of medical questions and requested contact info for my County doctor, etc. I filled it all in plus I attached a letter explaining the situation in depth. I even sent them a copy off my SSDI letter in which the SSA tells me how much I'll get.

Instead of talking to me about how I can get a lower hardship payment, they have increased the interest I pay by 12% (it's up to 31.49%) and upped my monthly payment by 50%.

WaMu has already trashed my credit reports. .


WaMu SUCKS.... I hate them. Well I hate credit cards period (such a rip off) but we have to have it or forget about getting a rental car or hotel room or anything nowadays.....
WaMu used to be Providian (CROOKS, THIEVES who were forced to pay a huge settlement because of their unethical business practices).

I hate having money problems, nothing freaks me out more than that, even more that health issues.....I am playing catch up now from 1 month ago when I was out of work for a few weeks and still having a hard time cathing up.  As far as credit scores are concerned, I feel that no matter if I pay it off, my credit score never seems to be very good, Oh yeah, maybe it is because of hospital bills that I refuse to pay (and I will never pay)..to make a long story short...AETNA approved tests and a procedure I had done 5 years ago, I had referral approval number and the insurance authorization, but after the fact they decided that they did not want to pay and the hospital billed me ....I SAY FUCK AETNA.....  >:(

sorry about the rant...just really pissed off lately...got to deal with my anger....
POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2007, 08:36:41 PM »
WaMu aka Washington Mutual and Cross Country aka Applied Card Bank are the worst.  Remember the TV commercial where the WaMU bull pen is ready to jump off the high rise?  I sit on the sofa going, "jump, jump, jump".  There was a class action suit against both Providian and Cross Country about 5 years ago for charging a fee for credit line increases (both lost).   Never admit to a creditor about being disabled because it will forever be on your credit report.    You are "self-employed", a Consultant and your lowest monthly income (ever) is the amount of your disability income.

If you are being harrassed by a creditor with phone calls, tell them, "Your company or no other related company is authorized to call this phone number again, all communications regarding this debt are to be handled through the U.S. mail only, Thank you, good bye."

The Fiscal Agent for Sonoma County HIV services offers a seminar every year on money management for people living with HIV.  Of the 500 people living with HIV in Sonoma County, only 1 or 2 sign up each year.  I don't get it.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline PozMike

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2007, 11:03:53 PM »
Thanks to you both for responding.

I have a cunning plan. Tomorrow, I'm going to Radioshack and buying a device to record phone calls. If I get a couple more responses of "our computers are down," I'll take the tape to the district attorney's office, via my pro bono lawyer in Berkeley. I will tell the WaMu operatives that I am recording the call. They're doing the same thing on their end.

Worth a try. F them if they can't deal with an angry queen!

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2007, 09:37:15 PM »
Hey Pozmike,

It may help if you can access your past phone records to show the dates and times of other calls to WaMu.  There was once a person living in my house who had been using my name as his business partner.  He had been charging materials and not paying his bills.  One evening a delivery person came to my door with a "delivery" for Michael Sonomabeach.  As I accepted it, he (process server) said and Lance Dumbfuck.  It was too late and I was served small claims in Orange County for a debt of another person.  Lance Dumbfuck had been calling vendor as me and saying, I am Michael Sonomabeach, I have AIDS and I am trying to pay the bills. 

My response in court?  Vendor is in Orange County, I live in Los Angeles.  Now, I am too sick to get out of bed so, where are the long distance charges from my house to vendors office.  I submitted 3 years of phone bills to show such calls were never made by me.  Michael Sonomabeach won the case.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2007, 10:23:27 PM »
Hey Jer, good that you spoke up about this. That money stuff can just cripple your soul.

It's great that you have Iggy for support. Good deal that!

You're going to get through this. And not magically. Just by taking the steps to address whatever you need to bit by bit. And while you're doing that make sure you breath well which will allow you to continue to also enjoy all the good you have in your life. Doing that will strengthen your ability to get through this financial stuff.

Who you are is about more than the money problems. But sometimes that can feel overwhelming. Good that you spoke up about it here to lift that weight a bit.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Suntropic98

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2007, 02:50:10 PM »
I can go on and on...but, I am seriously having anxiety attacks...my chest feels like it's under a vice grip and my heart feels like it will explode any minute. Everything was fine until I got sick in May...then all down hill. FUCK!

I am not sure why I am posting this, maybe it's pointless, but I called my dad, and he asked me what I can pawn! That definitely wasn't the reaction I was looking for...but...hey...oh well.

I know it will work out just fine, but I felt that I needed to vent here a bit...thanks.


It gets better. I had a bit of a problem myself and I made just over 90k a year. Thats not much unless you live in some po'dunk city but still I had no reason to let things get crazy for a time. I had to sit down and budget everything and stop spending money like trailer trash that just won the lotto. I started back promoting on the side for a few clubs and slung street pharamaceuticals for a couple of months to pay off debt- part time, granted it was only to close friends but I still did it. Not my finest moment. Eventually business started picking up and everything has been peachy since. Life is like a roller coaster, we have ups and we have downs. It seems like every 6 months I get stressed about money then I take a look at what my dad pays in taxes alone for the year and it's almost twice the amount I make in a year now. That, my friend, is some serious stress. If need be get a 2nd job, if your health prevents you from doing so then try living like a broke college student. Drop that BMW M3 and get a VW jetta. My problem was women and everything that went along with them, going out all the time and everything that goes with that, clothes, my house and the contents inside it. I had to sell my 110 gallon saltwater aquarium (custom made). I even got rid of my eel, Poncho, and got a cat whom I named after a stripper thats a friend of mine.

Offline thunter34

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2007, 05:07:55 PM »
Atlanta must really be a po'dunk city.  I could get by pretty well on $90K.  Poor thing...I'll save you a spot in line at the soup kitchen.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline pozattitude

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2007, 05:57:19 PM »
Atlanta must really be a po'dunk city.  I could get by pretty well on $90K.  Poor thing...I'll save you a spot in line at the soup kitchen.

don't think ATL is po'dunk, as a matter of fact I would very happy making 90k and I live in one of the most expensive areas in the US.  Anyone having money issues making this kind of money, it is because they don't know how to manage it or just trying to show off.
POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline Suntropic98

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2007, 06:02:37 PM »
Atlanta must really be a po'dunk city.  I could get by pretty well on $90K.  Poor thing...I'll save you a spot in line at the soup kitchen.


Taxes in Cracklanta are nothing compared to what they are in Florida.

Offline thunter34

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2007, 06:16:31 PM »

Taxes in Cracklanta are nothing compared to what they are in Florida.

they must not be.  you can get by fairly decently on half that amount in Atlanta. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2007, 06:18:28 PM »
... and still have money left for some crack
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline pozattitude

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2007, 06:19:32 PM »

Taxes in Cracklanta are nothing compared to what they are in Florida.

Please, taxes in Florida are cheap, you don't even have a state tax....
POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline Suntropic98

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2007, 06:19:44 PM »
don't think ATL is po'dunk, as a matter of fact I would very happy making 90k and I live in one of the most expensive areas in the US.  Anyone having money issues making this kind of money, it is because they don't know how to manage it or just trying to show off.


Well I bet you also did not have a wife that didnt work, a $473,000 house with $3,400 a month mortgage payments plus about a $500 a month electric bill because somebody liked to keep the air on 68 degrees all year, 2 vehicles with payments of $648 and $830 a month (which I'm still paying for) plus all the other crap it costs to maintain a woman (clothes, makeup, bullsh*t like that). Yea, I had some major bills. And I'm only 27, almost 28. I don't know how many finance management classes you took but I had several and it takes mad skill to keep all that up plus everything else. Give me a little credit here. Oh yea, and did I mention I'm getting a divorce? You do not even want to know how much that costs, I'm still not out of it yet. Her lawyer is from Lauderdale and did Burt Reynolds and Lonnie Anderson's divorce. I already have nightmares of getting stuck like Burt. Have any idea what that does to my stress levels? And you want to talk to me about ATL? Puhhhhleasee!!!

Offline pozguy75

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2007, 06:20:56 PM »
Hey gang...well, I have to say that after a few panic attacks and taking a hardship withdrawal from my 401k...I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I should also give a bit of background...you see when my ex of 9 years and I parted ways, well he got the house and the dog...and well, I got all the debt! Not the fairest of trades in hindsight but, at the time, Steve wanted to keep the house, and this was the best thing we agreed to in a short period of time.

And when I got sick this year, and went almost 4 weeks with out a paycheck, things piled up, and I fell behind.

Thank each and everyone of you for allowing me a space to come here and let steam out...and not judging me for my financial issues.


Suntropic, I want you to understand something...not all of us were born with a silver plated spoon in our mouths and gloat about it. I started this thread because I saw myself declining and wanted to stop myself before I fell flat (emotionally). I am GREATLY offended by your post. You have done two things with your post:

1.) You have accurately described yourself as a hedonist with out respect for women, or others on this site,
2.) You have slapped me in the face with your statement about making 90K a year as not being much money.

Sunny Boy, I have to tell you that I have worked MY ASS off to get to be where I am today, and I take offense to your statement. I wish I could do nothing but DJ and and dance and make money off of that...but I like millions of other people in this country, I live and work in the real world.

I am sorry you pissed all of your money on women and "all that goes with them" but I am not sorry I am 32 years old, and have out paced my parents in salary...that to me is one of hell of an accomplishment that I am proud of! I grew up in double wide, and paid my own way through college and I would never change that experience! That experience made me strong and who I am today...I am sorry you sold your "salt water fish tank" I am sure it meant a lot to you...I am self made, and I can't think of anything that I would rather be at this time!

Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline Suntropic98

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2007, 06:25:24 PM »
Please, taxes in Florida are cheap, you don't even have a state tax....


Believe me, our prop taxes and insurance in coastal counties more than make up for a state tax. Our energy prices are outrageous already and they keep going up every 6 months. We even get taxed for water and garbage pick up. Believe that? It's a racket I think.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2007, 06:33:55 PM »

Give me a little credit here. 

It appears they gave you too much credit. Mad props for living above your means. Quite honestly I hope that little gold digger takes you for every penny you got.

Offline newt

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2007, 06:44:44 PM »
I would like to share a bit of personal history on debt.

Well, the 80s were not kind, got fired, lost my house, and general badness with easy money.

But I got good at talking to creditors, especially the "You've got to collect, and it's the end of the month" line (kinda softens the bastards) and saying, basically, I will pay X, I know you want Y. No judge in England goes for the jugular if you will fairly pay X. My credit rating got shot for 6 years, my anxiety management improved, and Mr J you are so lucky to have Igs cos doing it alone was a shitpot of stress.  But I got good at it. Explaining, making payments after I'd paid essentials...ahem, we have laws though, about utilities and disconnection in cases of hardship, dunno about the US.  But from all of it I was proud I stood on my own two feet (if broke). In the end it's only money, people, friendship, love is more important eh?

A good screw from the boyf costs nothing and carries no interest, and they don;t ring asking when you's gonna pay (hopefully).

It was something of a pain buying an international airline ticket in cash and being interviewed by the Special Branch, but I quite like our boys in blue (or as it happens badly chosen grey).

In the end it is a short-term trouble.  Work, which you do pays off in the end.  Self-made, good word.  ;) Keep an eye on the long game and your man, and improve your telephone negotiating skills in the short term (not for the CV perhaps) << these things saw me through.

You are a star and will shine, do shine.

Now, 2007, work is good, solvent creditworthy (but pension gaga, oh well)

PS - and save. Even in debt, even £5/month (that's about a dollar/month at the mo) seemed off advice given every penny was spoken for but am I glad I did...blew it all on one glorious night a a dodgy pub with a backroom one cold November (another story, another day).

- matt

Now playing: Blue, Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 06:46:34 PM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Suntropic98

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2007, 06:45:00 PM »
Suntropic, I want you to understand something...not all of us were born with a silver plated spoon in our mouths and gloat about it. I started this thread because I saw myself declining and wanted to stop myself before I fell flat (emotionally). I am GREATLY offended by your post. You have done two things with your post:

1.) You have accurately described yourself as a hedonist with out respect for women, or others on this site,
2.) You have slapped me in the face with your statement about making 90K a year as not being much money.

Sunny Boy, I have to tell you that I have worked MY ASS off to get to be where I am today, and I take offense to your statement. I wish I could do nothing but DJ and and dance and make money off of that...but I like millions of other people in this country, I live and work in the real world.

I am sorry you pissed all of your money on women and "all that goes with them" but I am not sorry I am 32 years old, and have out paced my parents in salary...that to me is one of hell of an accomplishment that I am proud of! I grew up in double wide, and paid my own way through college and I would never change that experience! That experience made me strong and who I am today...I am sorry you sold your "salt water fish tank" I am sure it meant a lot to you...I am self made, and I can't think of anything that I would rather be at this time!

Dude I'm not gloating about anything. I was relating to you about having a hard time. I've worked my butt off, too. I never paid my way through college but I have worked my ass off to get where I am. After college I had a rude awakening, thats all I have to say about that. You don't even know what my day job is. Yea, I have gigs on weekends that is solely for the people but more importantly for the women. Yea, I get paid nice for it. And rightfully so. I've been doing it since 1995. Thats before I could drive. No I have not surpassed my parents, but one day I will....hopefully sooner than later. I'm self made as are you.

BTW, ever been to a resort in Jamaica called Hedonism? It's one crazy place my friend. Absolutely insane. Gangbangs right at the pools, 40 feet worth of dudes lined up for headjobs, girls walking around butt nakked wanting to have sex with you right on the spot. I never saw stuff like that in my life, it was too much for me. But to remark on your comment about me, I'm not a hedonist. And you're lucky I'm not a punk that reports things to mods otherwise you would be flagged for flaming my friend.  8)

Keeping it real.

Sun

Offline thunter34

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2007, 06:49:33 PM »
i'm so broke i can barely pay attention.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Suntropic98

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2007, 06:51:52 PM »
It appears they gave you too much credit. Mad props for living above your means. Quite honestly I hope that little gold digger takes you for every penny you got.

I know this may be hard for you to believe but I'm actually the one leaving her. She wants to make it work and wants to stick it out but I refuse to be married to somebody that lies. She's a pathological liar. She lies to me and does not even know why she does it. There are two things in this world I won't put up with...a thief and a liar. She never stole from me but I've busted her in so many lies I can no longer tell when she tells me the truth or when she's lying. It's sad. I'm even paying for her therapy, $90 an hour / 3 days a week with 1 hour sessions. I even pay for her Zoloft.  ::)

Offline pozattitude

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2007, 06:54:46 PM »

Believe me, our prop taxes and insurance in coastal counties more than make up for a state tax. Our energy prices are outrageous already and they keep going up every 6 months. We even get taxed for water and garbage pick up. Believe that? It's a racket I think.

I moved from Ft. Lauderdale in 2004.  I had a 1200sq ft condo on the beach overlooking A1A and the ocean and I lived very con fortably making much less that 90k.  I still say Florida is a cheap state.

Rich(who can't even afford a studio in San Francisco)
POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline newt

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2007, 06:56:20 PM »
What was that film, "When Worlds Collide"...

Sun, you's gonna get divorced? Start a new threat, you's gonna get cleaned out, and who's to say your status won't be a (public) chip on the negotiating table.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Robert

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2007, 08:00:34 PM »
Hey Jeromy.....

Newt says, "PS - and save. Even in debt,"

This is really important.  Can't say it enough. You mentioned you went without a paycheck for 1 month and it really set you back.  Ideally you should be able to go without for 6 months but that's hard to do.  Set yourself a goal and put at least 1 months worth of pay in the bank.  Not to be touched.  It's easy to do.  Have iggy make your lunch for you.  If you must go out for dinner, only go 1/week.  This might seem trivial but it adds up.   Forget the colas or bottled water.  Think twice before you buy that new pair of shoes or the new shirt.  Do you really need cable? 

robert....who just wants you to stop spinning your wheels   
..........

Offline Iggy

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2007, 09:41:58 AM »
I want to thank many of you for the support you offered Jeromy and more importantly for your concrete ideas and guidance.  He is not the only one who will benefit from your advice and experience.

A thought occurred to me in relation to this thread and some posts above as well as my own financial mess.  Though my own debt is a matter of sloppiness and disregard for responsibility, I think it is related to HIV in a sort of codependency in immaturity.

Many know that my mom's death from lung cancer profoundly affected me and have seen me discuss this previously.  What I have not mentioned before was that years prior (about 15-20) my mom thought she had breast cancer due to a lump and a bad initial diagnosis.  The result?  Mom went on a hell of spending spree.  Now keep in mind that cancer diagnosis and treatment was less exact back then and her hopes at recovery (particularly off of the lame initial diagnosis by the first doctor) was pretty dim.  So she used her many credit cards and just bought, bought, and bought.  Trips, elaborate Christmas gifts ( I remember thinking my mom's job was paying really good that year) and all that comes with spending without worry thinking that when she died the credit card debt would as well.

Well, upon getting ready for treatment options all was deemed an error (actual several errors she was misdiagnosed over a few tests and weeks) and it was deemed to be a benign tumor that was removed successfully with no complications.  What was left was bills that she had no way in hell the ability to pay and she spent the next 10+ years in deep financial shit.

I bring this up because I think many of us (certainly myself) has seen HIV as carte blanche to not worry about tomorrow in the long term sense - whether it is about our health, political responsibilities or finances.  In my own case I was just sort of getting my shit together after my party years of my 20's when I was diagnosed and what should have been a continuation of  building a stable financial future was simply shelved for the benefit of me pretending it was all just for naught - maybe not consciously but certainly in spending and (non)saving habits.  Believe me I am aware that no matter how good one is at planning and saving - having HIV can bankrupt you in a flash, but the point (for me) is that I did a pretty bang up job doing that myself with no participation required from the virus outside of my purposeful hanging out in its shadow.

So here I am in my mid thirties facing setting myself up on a path of rebuilding my own credit and savings and it is going to be a long and hard journey, but it is a journey that I see that I not only have the right to but the responsibility to take mainly because I am not using my fears of tomorrow as an excuse not to do what is right to do today.

In may ways its a matter of living with HIV and learning to swim.

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2007, 11:59:40 AM »
Hey Iggy  I think you have your head on straight and can now see the way to a more stable and secure financial future.....  I wish you all the best .......several people have commented on ..saving....I really have to second that....a fixed part of every piece of income, however earned needs to be paid into a savings account just as important as the light/heat bill.....It will add up quickly and you will start to have a much better feeling for the future as you see that fund grow....been there ,done that....it really works....

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline pozattitude

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #47 on: October 30, 2007, 03:19:44 PM »

I bring this up because I think many of us (certainly myself) has seen HIV as carte blanche to not worry about tomorrow in the long term sense - whether it is about our health, political responsibilities or finances.  In my own case I was just sort of getting my shit together after my party years of my 20's when I was diagnosed and what should have been a continuation of  building a stable financial future was simply shelved for the benefit of me pretending it was all just for naught - maybe not consciously but certainly in spending and (non)saving habits. 
So here I am in my mid thirties facing setting myself up on a path of rebuilding my own credit and savings and it is going to be a long and hard journey, but it is a journey that I see that I not only have the right to but the responsibility to take mainly because I am not using my fears of tomorrow as an excuse not to do what is right to do today.

In may ways its a matter of living with HIV and learning to swim.


Iggy, I feel like you have spoken for me...this is so so true. 
I was in college when I became positive and I didn't think of anything but the now, basically I thought "Fuck it...I'm gonna die so I'll just max out my credit cards and don't give a shit"....over 10yrs later I am now rebuilding my credit score...

Rich
(who wonders how Iggy's mind seem to be in sync with his most of the time)
POSITIVE PEDALERS... We are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, eliminating stigma through our positive public example.

Offline PozMike

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #48 on: October 30, 2007, 06:53:24 PM »
I guess Washington Mutual didn't appreciate the idea of me calling up a bunch of activists and picketing the local branch.

Under a special hardship program, they gave me a small enough payment at 0% interest.

So, there's hope for getting out from under huge payments, still fulfilling the obligation, and not having your credit hosed.

Offline J220

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Re: Living with HIV and drowning in debt!!
« Reply #49 on: October 30, 2007, 10:55:10 PM »
We've all been there. I just wish there was some kind of program where people can make contributions into, and then poz individuals with financial problems, under specific situations, can apply for financial assistance. I'd definitely contribute into something like that...does anyone know if this exists?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 10:58:35 PM by J220 »
"Hope is my philosophy
Just needs days in which to be
Love of Life means hope for me
Born on a New Day" - John David

 


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