Retirees who have paid their dues

Life was supposed to be smooth sailing for Edith and Archie in their retirement. Archie worked in the steel mill since he was 18 years old, and Edith stayed home to manage the household. They never wanted the latest fashions or popular items; they were just down-to-earth folks who enjoyed their family and a simple lifestyle.

But things weren’t sailing so smoothly for Edith and Archie. Both experienced serious health issues and the costs associated with illness were staggering. Archie had an extended hospital stay and Edith tried her best to keep up with the bills, but she had to use their credit cards for everyday living and to pay bills. Just visiting her husband in the hospital became costly.

They felt a little better when Archie was released from the hospital, but Edith was stunned when she received the credit card bills to find that, not only were they paying bills with them, but Archie had been getting cash advances and was buying items on credit at an alarming rate. Edith had no idea he had been spending so much money and, with his illness affecting his memory, Archie didn’t realize he had been doing this.

While they owned their very modest home and had no car payment, they became overwhelmed with credit card bills and out-of-pocket medical expenses while limited to their fixed Social Security income. They saw a television commercial for Steidl and Steinberg, but were hesitant to call because they felt embarrassed to have gotten so far in debt. They were used to paying for what they bought, and didn’t want anyone to know they were in such deep financial trouble.

Finally, facing a date in court with a lawsuit filed by one of the credit card companies, Archie and Edith gave Steidl and Steinberg a call. They met with an attorney who calmed their fears and understood their hesitation. Edith and Archie discovered they weren’t alone in this situation. They could also recover and still keep their home and car. They filed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the lawsuit was averted, and the credit cards and bills were erased. They could return to their humble lifestyle, and enjoy retirement again.