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Need help with Mom's credit card debt


cbbjr31
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I found out about 4 weeks ago that my mom had $31,000 worth of credit card debt. I had no idea and thought that she was doing ok since she never asked me for any help. She is 67 and only has Social Security of about $900 per month. Her and her sister inherited a house together about 12 years ago which she has lived in for the last 10 years. House is listed in both of their names and is worth about $50,000. We have talked to a lawyer and don't think that bancruptcy is the best route to go. We have a appt. with a credit counseling agency this Thursday. I have just found this site and think that I should consider trying to settle her debts. By the way she owes on 8 different accts. and 5 have gone to a collection agency which have already started to offer settlements. I don't want her to lose the house and really don't know what to do. Any help would be appreciated.

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Hey, welcome...we'll help if we can.

By all means avoid the credit counselors...they won't help and it will cost you money.

You might want to verify this with a lawyer in the state your mom lives in, but I'm guessing that she is essentially judgement proof. Depending on the state, the house may be entirely safe, and they can't take her social security. Having collections and judgements on her credit report at 67 is no big deal...

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Your mother is not judgment-proof unless she is incapacitated in a custodial facility and someone has power of attorney over her affairs. Creditors could easily sue for recovery which would amount to a lien against the equity in her property. Most creditors will offer reduced settlements is get her off the books, however some may not if their are assets in her name. Credit counseling and bankruptcy are viable options.

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Well, like I said...discuss this all with a CREDIT competent lawyer. BK should be reconsidered...the damage it does to her CRs is of no consequence.

And, perhaps I should rephrase what I said...it is entirely likely that a creditor MIGHT get a judgement, its unlikely that they'll actually see any money from it.

On the other hand, if you have money to settle these debts, that would certainly be the honorable thing to do. However, be sure to get a LOCAL credit savy lawyer involved and make sure that all of the debts are settled and that there will be no residual problems.

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