Well, things are kinda starting to clear up over here. It’s been 10 weeks since my Dad passed away and we are still finding stuff. And by stuff, I mean debt. If I have to put a round number on it I’d say we are up to about $2,000,000 in debt. YUP! TWO MILLION DOLLARS. I don’t even know where to begin with this. It actually makes me feel like I can’t breathe when I think it about it as whole.
It’s a good lesson for me because it’s been a long time since I’ve felt overwhelmed with debt, and this is the first time in my life I’ve had creditors calling me. For me the amount is 2M. But this feeling of “holy crap I don’t think it’s possible to pay off this much debt” isn’t tied to a number. Everyone who decides to turn the debt ship around feels like this. Maybe for you that number is $20,000, or $50,000, or $3,000. The number isn’t important. It’s dealing with that feeling of drowning that is important. I literally can’t think about it all at once. I can only focus on one debt at a time. Hence, the debt snowball.
You might be asking yourself “Hey Ashley, why do you feel you have to pay it off? It’s his debt and he died, just let it go.” For some of it, yes, that’s true. There are some credit cards that I’m not going to be paying. A lot of it is debt on my step-mom’s house. This needs to be paid or she won’t have a place to live. Same with debt on my Grandma’s house. It needs to be paid. I’m also running his landscaping business at the moment. The rest of the debt for the most part is debt on the business. We could potentially sell the business but that isn’t a decisions we have made yet. So I’m moving forward as if we will be keeping it.
A very large portion of the debt is to the IRS. The accountant is working on exactly how much he owes but a worst case scenario is about $500,000. Gulp!! This freaks everyone out. How far will the IRS go to collect? The general consensus is “very far”. So again, I need to protect my step-mom from being evicted from her home, if possible. I don’t know if that’s an option the IRS has in their “toolbox of horrors” but I’m moving forward as if it is. Of course seeing half a million dollars written out like that I get that drowning feeling again. I don’t know if it’s possible to pay off such a large debt.
But like I said in the first sentence of this article, things are starting to clear up. I think at this point I know what I’m dealing with. It’s better to have the monster out of the closet and in the light. Even if it’s a big, hairy, fire breathing, jagged toothed monster. I don’t have the whole debt snowball worked out but I know what my first project is; stay up to date on the taxes. The accountant said to make sure I’m paying all the taxes as of the date of my Dad’s passing so that I don’t personally get into trouble with the IRS. So I’m doing that. By the end of July I should be caught up on at least that. The accountant is going to be working with the IRS to determine what we owe and trying to get them to make a deal. Once I have that in place I can start working on getting it paid off. Oh what a happy day it will be when they are paid!!
I’ll keep you updated!