Many people would walk away from $92,000 in credit card debt, but not Jerry and Sue Bailey, who were recently honored with the NFCC’s Professional Achievement and Counseling Excellence (PACE) Clients of the Year Award.Â
The Jackson, Michigan couple was committed to repaying their debt obligations in spite of having had bankruptcy recommended to them.Â Searching for alternatives, their credit union suggested they reach out to NFCC Member Agency, GreenPath Debt Solutions.Â Taking that advice began their journey to financial freedom.Â
Their financial troubles were deep, with debt spread across 17 credit cards.Â Jerry recalls, â€œIt was so easy to get a credit card with a high limit at the time.â€Â Jerry was the bill-payer in the family, leaving Sue unaware of their financial situation until Jerry suggested to her that she put the costs associated with their daughterâ€™s wedding reception on credit.Â Looking back, she realizes that should have been a clue.
The Baileys will be the first to admit that paying off that much debt was a struggle, but a struggle worth making.Â While on the Debt Management Program, Sue required surgery, putting her off work for six months.Â Jerry had already taken on a second job, and they had sold one car because they could not afford to repair it, so the loss of Sueâ€™s income seemed insurmountable.Â Â It was at that point that GreenPath again came to the rescue by contacting their creditors who agreed to once more adjust their payments until Sue could return to work.Â
A stunned Jerry commented, â€œWhen we received the call from GreenPath informing us that our debts were paid in full, I had to ask them to repeat it.Â We are forever in debt to GreenPath, but thatâ€™s a kind of debt we donâ€™t mind.â€Â
â€œWe are so pleased that the Baileyâ€™s were chosen as the 2011 NFCC PACE Clients of the Year,â€ said Jane McNamara, president and CEO for GreenPath Debt Solutions. â€œWith GreenPathâ€™s help, they developed and implemented a plan to successfully pay off their debts.Â They are a shining example of how hard work and perseverance can really pay off through a debt management program.Â â€œ
Special thanks to Citi and Experian for their contributions in support of the PACE Award program.