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filing at 23?


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here's the deal--

i'm in debt about 18 thousand dollars. Half of that is student loans, which I'm not worried about.

The other nine is a charged off credit card, old medical bills, and random collections (ie the time I lost a video rental and it showed up as 2500 on my credit report... supposedly because of the "late" fees for two years). Creditors call me all the time, I get hate mail about lawsuits.

I live in Washington State and am taking a year off. My job is funded by a grant and I only make 700 dollars a month. I also live in sub housing.

Next year I am going back to school and will probably be in school for the next 5 years.

Should I file Chapter 7 before its too late and while I am young so there will be time for the stigma to go away?

I can not see myself paying anything (other than ten or twenty bucks a month) for at least another 5 years/ whenever I get a "Real" job.

I dont own any property, have no savings and my car is worth maybe 300 bucks.

thoughts? :(

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Just my opinion, but I'd say not. Yes, your credit is already a mess, but I think you can fix it. The CO'd CC is one thing, but if its been sold to a JDB I'd bet that with your college experience you could learn enough about the FDCPA and how to use it to your advantage that you could get these people to pay for a couple courses. You can certainly make the $2500 video thing go away, and I'd bet you could talk to the OC about the medical bills.

Bottom line...you're probably only looking at maybe $2-3k of real debt (excluding the student loans) and you'd be just a well off to meet that head on as to try to discharge it in BK...

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I think,

Right now, you feel overwhelmed due to your personal credit card debt (leave out student loans). However, filing BK is not a good idea for personal debt that might be only $2-6 thousand. BK can stay on your credit for a very long time. Think of another way to clear up that personal debt.

Your situation sounds very similar to mine. I am also in college and only have two real personal debt issues discover card and furniture store bill; my other debt is student loan at $6,000 but I do not count that as real debt. Nevertheless, at one time, I even thought about filing for BK; then I realized how silly it would be to file for that over a small amount of money. you probably think there is no other way to get rid of this debt but look again I did and found a solution that will work for me.

I wish you good luck!

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thanks guys.

I guess it seems worse than it is?! Still seems bad.....I guess thats just because of my current income being so low. On the other hand, I think I am judgement proof?

Right now I am afraid I will be sued. (In fact, one of the creditors insinuates they are thinking of garnishing my wages... which I now know is illegal to state???) I don't have any real assets.... but I'm still really nervous about keeping an open bank account.... is it legal to have someone else hold money for you or have your money in an account under their name? I have someone willingly to do this for me, so I could attempt to save whatever I could.... not sure if it's ok though.

Thanks again for your help and kind words. I did look at the FDCPA (hope that is the right abbr.?!) and was amazed at how many times the collection agencies have been out of line...

all this time I thought it was OK for them to call at 6:30 AM-- call my family out of state and harass them, as well as disclose info-- threaten legal action, to garnish my wages--- a couple years ago I had a woman screaming at me over the hospital bills.


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$2500 for a video? I'd be zipping a letter off to my state Attorney General....

Along with everyone else, I would say no on the BK at this time... however, if it begins to interfere with your schooling, it may be something to consider...

A BK may end up haunting you after you graduate and are looking to land a good job, whereas your credit issues (while they require some work) is something that may be much more temporary.

If you're in pre-med, don't worry about it. In a few years you'll be gouging us all and rolling in dough.


Report that CA. There's no way $2500 for a movie is on the level. For $2500 you can probably own the rights to Ishtar.

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Ok, the question no one has asked yet -- How old are these credit card debts and when did you last pay the ORIGINAL creditors ??

WA has a short 3-year statute of limitations on credit card debts, which means once that 3 years expires, the debt is uneforceable and you can have any lawsuit thrown out by using the expried SOL as your affirmative defense.

No one can garnish wages without suing and winning a judgment FIRST. In your case, you don't even MAKE enough money for anyone to garnish ! The federal wage garnishment law says if you don't NET at least 30X the Federal minimum wage (5.15/hr), then garnishment is NOT allowed.

You're also correct, it is a violation of the FDCPA to threaten legal action they either cannot take or do not intend to take.

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