Hi, Suze. I'm recently divorced and after discovering that my husband, among other things, didn't pay our taxes for several years. I also recently just decided to pursue my dreams and start a new career, so I'm not making that much money. And I just wanted to know how in the world I'm ever gonna be able to tackle this huge amount of debt that's in excess of $80,000? -Melissa from the
Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience
All right, so, you know, obviously whenever we have guests on, we ask [them] to fill out all of [their] expenses, what assets [they] have, and what's going on here. But it goes beyond just the tax return. It goes on to also where about $50,000 of credit card debt was run up, that she's legally responsible for half. It also goes to where she got her step-parents, step-father, to take a line of credit out on his home. Where her ex then put his credit card debt and paid it off with the line of credit and took the additional money and put it in his savings account. So, as you stand here in front of me - and I have to really applaud you for doing so - you're $80,000 in debt to the IRS. You have about $32,000 of debt to credit cards. You owe a good amount of money, about $30,000 now to your step-father with that, and you have $500 in savings and you make $600 a week.
This is not easy what I'm about to say to you because I don't say it lightly. But it's important that we all stand in the truth and we look at the situation that we're in. And not even Suze Orman can tell you how on $600 a week you can pay off that amount of money. You know there's a saying that when you owe as much as you make you're technically bankrupt. You owe 10, 20, 30 times more than what you're making. So, you're technically bankrupt.
Emotionally - not easy to do - but you are one of those people, and you did not do this just buying things, going out and spending money. You did this because you love somebody and this is what happened because you didn't watch it, you didn't check it. All of you in this room, all of you watching at home, this can happen to you. My advice to you is you're going to have to claim bankruptcy here. And you're going to have to hopefully find somebody who can deal with the IRS to see, is there a way with that to get the IRS to work with you in what's happened.
So, Dr. Oz, for instance, when somebody has this kind of debt, what is the physical effect on her when she's under this kind of financial stress?
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