OK - spoke to a lawyer on Friday. Gave her 50% of the cost for filing... copies of my Credit Report, copies of my paycheck stubs, and copies of my taxes.
I filed my tax return on Saturday - with any luck will get the refund before she files the official paperwork so I can use that money the way I please instead of the way the trustee sees fit.
My wish list?
- Replace my broken printer (so I can start doing internet coupons) < $50
- Pay the portion of the lawyers fees I can't cover with my next paycheck (if I get it fast enough)... if it's too slow, I can pay with my second paycheck... but honestly? I won't get any of it anyway if it's too slow - around $300
- Pay for Kyra's Spay (six months overdue) & hernia repair - quoted around $300 - but am going to a new vet to try to get it for < $200
- Trip to NY???? to see the "real" Dr House hoping for flight for < $300 (average); and other expenses at $200-300 - since I'm still planning on getting to stay with Phil when I get there :-)
- Emergency savings ... should leave over $1000 after my other items are covered, if not more.
Am discussing options about my car with the lawyer. I LOVE my Toyota Rav4, absolutely love driving it, riding in it, having it. BUT, I do NOT love the fact that its now 5 years old, that I've spent over $3000 in repairs in the past 12 months, and that the interior is a bit the worse the wear (my own fault), nor the amount I'm paying/still owe for it. This is the first time I have ever driven the same car this long.
The good news is that it seems to still be running really well... and given what repairs I did have to do, there's no reason I can't put another 50K miles on it with minimal expense. The problem lies in the fact that I'm now making a car payment for $600/month on an older car... I owe approximately $16K on a vehicle that if I could sell it, would only sell for $9K.
I do not qualify for a new car loan... already tried that in November... If I could turn this car in and NOT still owe the balance $7K? Then I think I would. There's a local company that works with a lot of new "immigrants" (not sure they're all legal) - that will sell me a car for about $500/down and $300/month payments - however, there is no way to know if that car will last even 10K miles, let alone a couple of years. Driving to Iowa City twice a month so he can spend a weekend with his father is a bit dicier if you aren't driving a dependable vehicle.
It's an option... and if it could mean that I was out of trouble with the balance for the existing car loan? I may end up taking it. I'm still debating it... the risk of breakdown triples with an unknown vehicle... if I'm toast about the balance of the car loan? I might as well stay with my current vehicle (better the devil you know???). Either way, my monthly amount will probably decrease. However, instead of having this paid off in 3 years, I'd end up probably with 4 to 5 years before this car is paid off. So - we'll see. The lawyer is talking with the car loan holders to see what options they'll consider.