Message Boards

Topic : 06/10 Marriage Crisis: Drowning in Debt

Number of Replies: 78
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, December 04, 2008, 12:01:38 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 12/08/08) Money is the number one reason why couples say they get divorced. The country’s current financial crisis has resulted in more and more households getting buried in a landslide of debt, which takes its toll on a marriage. Meet Chris and Pam, a couple who after 10 years of marriage face a financial disaster. How did they rack up $624,600 in bills? Pam, who entered the marriage with very little debt, says Chris is responsible for 75 percent of their deficit. Should she have seen the warning signs before they got married? Chris admits he spends money very easily but says he’s tired of his wife placing all the blame on him. After spending thousands on unfinished household projects and allowing his adult daughter to live with them for free, is Chris to blame? Pam is heartbroken that they may lose the house that she bought with her own money before she tied the knot. But that’s not the only reason why she now wants a divorce. Find out what she’s trying to avoid. Can this couple save their house and their marriage? Can they dig themselves out of the red without filing for bankruptcy? Financial expert Amelia Warren Tyagi weighs in. Plus, don't miss tips for getting out of debt. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

June 10, 2009, 3:38 pm CDT


Are these folks still married?  The first show was in 2008.
June 10, 2009, 3:54 pm CDT

Drowning in Debt episode

She needs to kick him to the curb before she inherits and all that is gone with his ridiculous spending, etc.  I'm not sure why she hasn't done it before it got this far.  It is obvious she is miserable as she has lost all respect for him and I doubt that can return.  I guess she has held on this long hoping for a miracle and a woman just hates to lose her home.  I can see why this was the final straw.  I'm not sure why Dr. Phil didn't deal with the grown child living with them and not contributing.   I really don't think he is going to 'man-up' and do the right thing and I think it is way too late.  The wife needs to file for divorce and get him to pay all his debt and she pay hers after they let the house go back.  They both need debt counseling so they don't repeat their past.   
June 10, 2009, 3:57 pm CDT

my take on your message

Quote From: jemadys

I feel sorry for Chris. I think all his spending is to fill a void. That being Pam, and the fact that she treats him so awful.

No communication, no intimacy, calling him names, etc... He seems so sad and lonely. I thought she was rude. Always answering when Dr. Phil asked Chris a question. Ugh.

No offense to all the great people on the boards, but we are all hurting with today's economy. Coming on here and posting all the "poor me" stories is so depressing. It's a waste of energy.

You'd be amazed at how your life can change if you just have a more positive attitude.
I think you should hook up with Chris.  He'll be looking and available soon. 
June 10, 2009, 9:05 pm CDT


But all I could take away from this is how selfish, mean spirited fat and ugly Pam is. Period.
June 11, 2009, 5:16 am CDT

06/10 Marriage Crisis: Drowning in Debt

The only thing I keep thinking of is that 24 year old daughter of his living off his wife and her hard work. When her parents die then everything they worked all their life for will also go down the drain with nothing to show for it. She should run as fast as she can, get a divorce, file bankrupcy or whatever it takes to get herself  on track. Her parents should change their will or put all their money in bearer bonds and hide them in a time capsule somewhere.
June 11, 2009, 7:07 am CDT

Debt is way too big to repay

It is unfortunate that a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney was not stressed more.

It is obvious that no one can afford the stress or the amount of time it will take to pay the interest on $300,000 worth of unsecured debt.

It is obvious that in order to save this family a more agressive solution in a more reasonable time frame is needed.

With the wife facing the posibility of inheriting assets, several years down the line the exploration of Asset protection options is even more important.

June 11, 2009, 3:34 pm CDT


Quote From: zipperheadmom

Not all of these cases are people spending beyond their means! Yes most are, but take me for instance. My husband and I are going to have to file for bankruptcy this year because I had to have brain surgery in Sept and still have not been able to return to work. And my husband is in the construction business which has slowed down and he  also has a work related injury so his pay has cut drasticly. And we are no longer able to pay all of our bills. So we have to decide what bills to pay each month. I have 6 medicinces and my son has 1. So of course we dont pay the credit cards. Of course we have to pay the electric and gas. And we have to have the phone and the tv for the kids to have something to do. So now we have to lower our heads and go to food pantries the last 2 months, which I have never done in my whole entire life. It is quite embarceing to tell you the truth. So not all people are just spending and living beyond their means. And my husband and I only have about $6,000.00 in Credit Card debt. So please think of others before you post something like this, it could hurt alot of peoples feelings. LIke you posted, you are no expert!!!!

This reply does not apply to those who through no fault of theirs like an unexpected illness, accident, death of a spouse, loss of job, etc., cannot pay their debt and must declare bankruptcy,  but I was 'sick' watching the couple who are over 600k in debt and this reply is for them.  Dr. Phil mentioned bankruptcy as an option.  First of all, the wife KNEW what was happening, the husband KNEW what he was doing so there was no excuse to allow the spending to continue (this is for the wife who blames all on the fat husband).   I would like to see people prosecuted for not paying their debt like this couple.   I say bring back debtor's court.  I oppose people using bankruptcy AFTER they have gotten all that "material gain', used it and then claim after they've created the debt....oh, poor us, look at us, we are in this mess!  PAY THE DEBT you so gleefully created.  And to Dr. Phil, shame on you for not telling this woman that she needed to use the inheritance she's anticipating to pay some of the debt.  She made that debt, she's the other half of that 600K debt they have because she's the other half of the bad marriage.  Bad marriage, bad debt!  They both need, I say all three of them, including the 24 year-old stepdaughter, to work 2 jobs apiece to make a dent in it.  No more shopping, eating out, entertainment or anything else that costs money.   I consider declaring bankruptcy A DISGRACE!  When are we Americans going to start being responsible?  Any youth watching this episode must be thinking......well, if we overspend, we don't necessarily have to pay for it.  Just look at those millionaires, Donald Trump comes to mind.  He's Bankruptcy king.  He has no shame.  It's disheartening to watch a show like this.  Dr. Phil, one straight answer for this couple should have been ....'you need to pay the debt you created even if it takes the rest of your lives."  Set an example for our youth, don't excuse irresponsible behavior.
June 13, 2009, 6:06 am CDT

Better Advice Than Dr. Phil's Advisors


I am terribly disappointed in the advice provided to the couple who was “drowning in debt”. 


Why should the lender be left with a dilapidated house because of the decisions being made by the owners and their inability to complete the tasks they undertook?  This penalizes the lender who was willing to buy into the borrower’s dreams.  It costs everyone who borrows more because of this type of thinking.  Spoiled and self-indulgent is what I see in both of the parties to the show.  The “folks will bail me out” (even if it is at their death) was no doubt in the back of their minds when they borrowed the funds to do the unfinished projects.


Lenders make loans based upon the ability and wiliness to repay the debt as well as the collateral.  The first (highlighted part) is the primary lending decision especially on seconds and equity lines of credit.  If these people had job stability, educations and good incomes they would be loaned the funds based on that.  The house was collateralized as a protection in the event of default and to make people more aware of their obligation.  The “I might loose my house” thought can keep people meeting their obligations.


The anticipation of the future inheritance could very well have led to the wife’s agreement to continue to borrow money and have new projects begun.  This anticipated windfall should be used to pay back what they borrowed. 


The laws were created and manners to handle defaults on property loans in order to accommodate the people who fall onto hard times based upon illness, job loss, and death.  They were not put there for lazy bums like you had on your show.


I speak from knowledge and experience in these items.  These are not harsh opinions but educated observations.  I’ve been a lender and a borrower for over 30 years.  I’m sick and tired of people like this getting away with their spoiled attitudes and then costing the public and the lenders money.  It comes out of all of our pockets. 

First | Prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Next Page | Last Page