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Maxed Out: Single Mom Faces Eviction

This episode of Maxed Out made me feel for the in-debt participant more than any other. It's about a 27-year old single mom named Marybell who left her abusive ex-husband five years ago with her three children. Her ex doesn't provide any child support and Marybell used debt as a stepping stone to gain independence — the only trouble is that it's gotten out of control.

A collections company calls her at work every day, her electricity was turned off and she had to use rent money to pay the bill, they've been without gas for two months and cold weather is approaching, and the family is in danger of being evicted from their apartment. Find out more about Marybell's situation and what happens when financial guru Allison Griffiths steps in to help, just


Marybell has over $66,000 in debt and $27,000 of that is in collections. Her monthly shortfall of $1,770 has forced her to borrow an average $960 from her younger brother every month. Allison instructs Marybell to cut and track her spending in order to live within her means, start saving $50 a month for a psychological boost, and tells her to go see a credit counselor to explore her options.

At the end of the episode, Marybell has cut her spending by $2,000 a month and she decides to declare bankruptcy. She was resistant to bankruptcy because she eventually wants to buy a house for her family, but Allison reminds her that the first priority should be keeping a roof over her children's heads. Bankruptcy seemed to be the only option for Marybell, who says she can now look toward the future and feels that a huge weight has been lifted.


Join The Conversation
damienstar damienstar 8 years
If the banks and financial institutions can screw up Big Time than so can you. Just do not expect any help from Uncle Sam. Unless you have made contributions to your friendly Scumbag politicians.(Assholes) damienstar
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's really hard to think about some of the situations that we get ourselves into but i think that there is at times a worse case scenario and that's about all that you can do. i hope that i can manage to learn from some of these examples and avoid having to put myself in the same situation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
And why isnt she getting child support? they CAN enforce it without letting the douchebag know where you live.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
There are two different types of bankruptcy that people can file for: chapter 7 and chapter 13. Chapter 7 means you don't have to pay anyone back once you've sold off all possible assets. It is also more difficult to file for. Chapter 13 means that debtors have to back off while you pay them back in 3-5 years, usually not including as much interest as before. You can get credit again easier and sooner with a Chapter 13 because it shows willingness to pay back your debts.
geebers geebers 8 years
I saw this one and really felt for this woman. She did all the right things -she wasn't spending on anything (besides the occasional take-out) and she was working several jobs. All her debt was through not being able to afford basic things. I think this is the first time where I didn't throw my shoe at the screen and call the people stupid.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
bankruptcy ISNT easy but as a last resort can be beneficial. We have credit advisory bureau (in UK) to give free advice to anyone who needs it financially. Maybe there is something in the US savvy can let everyone know about who is in rough times?
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Bad credit for the next 10 years is something not to look forward to, and it's one of the things that filing for bankruptcy offers.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It's somewhat of an easy out, but it makes it next to impossible to get any sort of credit for quite some time. It makes it difficult to buy a car, to get a home loan, to get approved to rent an apartment...the list goes on. However, I feel that most people who get to this point already have pretty bad credit, so I wonder sometimes why more people don't do it, too, skigirl. I know someone who looked into it, but was told he made too much money. But, then I see celebrities declaring bankruptcy. I'm sure it has something to do with income to debt ratio, as well. (So, I guess I'm not much help.) About the story at hand-I feel bad for this woman. I understand that we are all responsible for our own choices, but I also know that fear of not being able to provide for yourself and your children/knowledge that you won't be able to provide for yourself and children is one thing that keeps a lot of women in abusive relationships.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i don't really understand what it means to declare bankruptcy the context i always hear it in makes it seem like an easy out, so i don't really understand the reasons why people wouldn't want to do!
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