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Fedupwithdebt

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What would you do?
So, what would you do? Here's my dilemma:
Have 1 joint collection account ($600)...SOL runs out Oct or Nov this year...Will be on reports for 3 more years. Wife has an additional medical collection account on her report ($588)...About 3 years left in SOL, 6 years until it drops from CR. Wife also has 4 student loans in default (~$8000 total)...been getting entire tax return hijacked to pay this debt. Also have numerous medical collections that aren't reporting (~$20,000-30,000) from last year's cancer treatments. Will be incurring more medical debt in the next 5 years due to monitoring for cancer recurrence. Just recently started to work on rebuilding, have 1 CC $400 limit (~5 months old), and 1 open secured loan (27.xx%) interest (~3 months) old. Wife is AU on CC...And it reports to her CR's...She has no other open accounts.
I was going to start by paying the joint CA, but am now thinking I should just wait it out since SOL will soon run out and haven't heard anything from them in a long while (Cavalry Portfolio). I'm thinking of paying off the medical collection on wife's account (hopefully will get PFD) using a 0% introductory card (after PAID on open CC). Then, thinking of doing the same with the two lowest student loans (~$1000 total). Also, hope to use 0% introductory APR cards to help tackle my unreported medical collection accounts (to hopefully keep them from reporting). I am hoping after 2-3 years to then be able to do the same with wife's last 2 student loans, thereby freeing up my tax returns for the remainder of medical collections and newer medical bills.

Would any of you do anything differently?
Also, besides Capital One, which other CC's report AU? Would you refinance the 48-month loan with someone who will give lower rate?
Current CK scores: 690/691 (1 yr ago ~610/610...FICO was 590)
Wife's CK scores: 609/614 (was ~560 before adding as AU on CC)
I would appreciate any advice on how to tackle these debts, and build up credit scores in the meantime for both of us. Wife is currently not employed, but is trying to get her pet sitting business off the ground). I am happily back to work fulltime after not working for nearly 7 months last year due to chemo treatments.
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Additional info:

Wife also has 3 CO's totalling approximately $4000. My credit history is clean (except for the joint collection account). Wife recently denied Capital One platinum with no hard pull. Not sure if it was due to listing occupation as homemaker or because Capital One is one of the CO's on her report. All 3 CO's will drop off in about 3-1/2 years. None of them are showing as collection accounts (as of now).

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You may want to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. Those debts aren't going to go away on their own, and many of them will start to pursue you. They will often do this without warning... for instance, my wife had massive hospital bills (well north of $70k), and the VA system neglected to pay them as they would normally have to (given our location and the lack of open ER at the time at their facilities, etc.) Anyrate, the upshot is that one hospital decided to take it to court, but thanks to my having a fairly common name, someone else got the summons, resuting in a default judgement. I only found out about it when my paychecks got whacked, which in turned knocked a lot of other bills into a tailspin of non-payment. I wound up doing a Chapter 13 just to  keep it all at bay.
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(long story short - if your in-collections/past-due debt is at least 2x your annual income, you will definitely want to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer, and don't rely on SoL to save you.)

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Reply by
Fedupwithdebt

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Thanks for the input. I really don't want to go the bankruptcy route at this time since the medical expenses will be ongoing...And I wouldn't want to have to file again (if they even allow you to). That would mean at least 14-20 years of severely damaged credit! Plus, I am trying to improve both our scores, in the hopes that we can buy a house after this **** cancer crap is all said and done. My wife is hoping to be earning a substantial amount in 2 years, so that will help. Total current debt is about 50% of current annual gross income.

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Reply by
Random789644

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Actually, a bankruptcy does not mean 14-20 years of damaged credit... a Chapter 13 is completed in five years, and drops off the credit rating in seven. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy goes away after 10 years. In some cases (if you have a car loand and mortgage ongoing), a Chapter 13 will even help your credit rating. Your debt/income ratio is evil, truth be told... most bankruptcy lawyers give free initial consultations, so it wouldn't hurt to at least talk to a lawyer or two.
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I'm sorry that the hospital bills appear like they will continue to pile up, though good insurance can help mitigate that (and with current law, pre-existing conditions are not a factor in acceptance.)

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