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Credit Card Debt


HoosierGal
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My husband and I are way over our heads (around $50K) in credit card debt and can't afford to make the payments on 4 of them. We had planned on seeing a bankruptcy attorney yesterday but decided to postpone it for awhile.

I retired when I was 62, 2001 and my husband when he turned 65 which was in 2004. He went back to work over a year and a half ago with the intention of making double payments on a few of our credit cards and we did that for awhile but then we started using our credit cards to help pay our childrens rent and utilitiy bills so now we're worse off than when he went back to work.

We haven't received any collection letters yet but do get a lot of phone cals almost everyday but usually just let the phone ring.

We don't have a lot of assets. We each get a SS check every month and my husband gets retirement benefits from 3 different employers plus his income from his job and everything is direct deposited into 2 different banks. We own our mobile home, are making payments on our 2004 Dodge Durango.

There is no way that we can make the minimum payments due on 4 of our credit cards because of the interest, finance and late charges they're sky high now so what will happen if we make a partial payment to each creditor?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you very much.

Sorry for such a long post.

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Stop paying your childrens rent and utilitiy bills.

They are adults left them deal with their own problems.

I don't mean to sound harsh but look what this has done to you.

Have you called and talked to the creditors about your situation?

Your creditors may be willing to work with you if they know what's going on.

You would probably have to close the account and set up a payment plan.

It would be a good Idea to sit down with the BK attorney and discuss your options.

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If you're on SS they can't garnish, unless you plan to sell property who cares about a lien? Those are the worst things they can do to you.

I know it sounds bad, but if you have a legitimate hardship and can't meet your obligations you may have to think about those 2 things.

BK is not always the best option, have you thought about CCCS or debt settlement?

There are baddies out there in both of those industries, but if you do your homework you can find a good one that could help you.

If oyu just want it to be done and aren't planning on any other major purchases for quite some time BK might be the option for you.

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for your replies.

We aren't planning on selling our mobile in the near future. Even though the lot rent is $413.00 a month plus water and sewer I don't think we could find a decent place to rent that would be cheaper. The bad thing is that the lot rent goes up every year.

I've had several calls from CA's this morning but I didn't answer either phone. My husband has a private line so have no idea of how they got that phone number.

If we can't afford to make the payments on these 4 credit cards that we're behind on will the creditors sue us?

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That depends. If you have assets or income they think they can get...yes they will consider it.

The best thing you can do is send a DV letter combined with a cease verbal communication letter at home and work and you only want to correspond in writing. That should stop the harrasment.

SEE A BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY! That was the best thing I ever did. I thought I needed to declare bankruptcy, but he talked me "down from the cliff" and I did several things to rid myself of secured creditors, leaving the battle to unsecured creditors. I negotiated some of them out for about approx. 25 cents on the $ average.

Even if unsecured creditors sue, there are defenses and NACA has good lawyers to help with that.

As a gauge of "if they sue", I think I defaulted on somewhere over 40 credit cards. Its been about 18 months, only 2 sued and one has me in the NAF, a joke for "arbitration". (Even if they get an Arbitration award, they are meaningless until they attempt to confirm in court, and I'm ready for the battle on that one!)

1 of my suits, judge has been considering my moton to dismiss for 45 days now! 45 days! I'm a pro se' litigant against a bar lawyer. That bar lawyer is actualy "pretty smart" next to some of the dumb debt lawyers out there.

So my point here is, yes maybe they will, but there are defenses, even if you think you owe the debt.

Then...even if they get a judgment...you can appeal.

Even then..it sounds like you are "judgment proof"...meaning you don't fit any criteria to be liened, levyed, or garnished. (Check your state laws.)

Then...even if you lose the appeal... you can always stop them by declaring bankruptcy.

Do a seach on my posts and read about the guy who stopped his house foreclosure for 11 years!!!! 11 years! He lived payment free the whole time. Mortgages are far harder to defend, (because of the maticulous paperwork on them) then most credit cards suits.

Just my view on it.

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Hi,

As far as getting sued, it's possible. But usually it takes a long time before a suit is actually filed. They will send it to collections first. What you want to do first is to call all of your credit card companies and see if they have a hardship program.

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All day long I've been bombarded with phone calls from different CA's.. Should I answer the phone and talk to whomever is calling? I don't want to talk to any of these people so I've just been letting it ring.

This afternoon I happened to remember that I didn't even sign up for a Sears Gold Mastercard. A little over 3 years ago I took my middle daughter and her youngest daughter to Sears to buy her school clothes and I used my husband's card. When I was checking out the cashier asked me if I wanted to sign up for the above mentioned card so I started to fill out the application but decided I didn't need one so she tore it up. I purchased some items on a different floor and when I was checking out the cashier asked me I wanted to sign up for the same card and I told him I didn't need one so checked out and went home. A few weeks later I got the card in the mail and it was in my name so why would they have sent me one without my filling out the application?

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I've heard of some stores sending customers cards automatically when they use a different credit card. But the question is did you ever use the card or did you cut it up and return it to them? If you used it, you can't blame them.

As far as the calls, you can take one of the calls, ask for a mailing address, tell them you wish to communicate only via mail and to not call you anymore. Then, send them a letter explaining that you wish to communicate via mail only. Then start the DV process and checking into hardship programs.

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Should we file for BK before we get any letters from collection agencies? We've gotten tons of phone calls but no letters.

My husband had to use one of his credit cards twice this year because our dog got sick and had to have surgery to remove kidney stones which cost almost $800.00. He got sick again last week so back to the vet so he charged $147.00 which was for an x-ray and medications.

I always use a credit card to buy prepaid minutes for my cellphone and I'm going to need to buy some in about a week so should we wait for a month or 2 before we talk to a BK Attorney?

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To the OP: Please, please ignore the advice that is being given to you here by the "debt settlement" posters. There are two of them who have replied, one being right above me.

As far as BK goes, I'd file immediately. As other posters have said, you guys fit the description to a tee...Or so it appears. Once you've retained a BK attorney, the CA calls and/or letters should automatically be forwarded to the attorney's office.

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I thought it was CA's that have been calling me but I was wrong. I'm getting calls from the credit card companies. Both my husband and myself got letters from Sears today and they're no longer willing do lower the interest rate or the finance charges. They didn't say anything about suing us yet but did say if we didn't make the payments they would try to get the money from a CA. I still don't answer their phone calls because I'm afraid to.

Does anyone have any idea of how long it might take before we get sued?

We don't have the money to file BK yet.

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To cease communication! www.budhibbs.com has suggestions for this letter.

Until creditors get the letter, just don't answer the phone if it so emotionally stressful.

Just because you do not have the money, does not mean you cannot see an attorney! Most BK attorneys do a free consult, just ask!

I was facing millions of dollars of secured and unsecured debt and I was in default or behind of nearly everything. I WAITED TO LONG TO SEE A BK ATTORNEY IN MY OPINION!

He analyzed my situation, we sold off assets to get rid of secured debt and settled or played hardball with unsecured debt! This is probably not your path, but I FELT A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAT I HAD A WORKING PLAN FOR THE FUTURE! I WAS JUST STRESSED BEFORE DAY IN AND DAY OUT!

Wow! Lovebug5 accused me of being a "debt settlement" guy! If you only knew how difficult of a guy I am to collection attorneys in court. I settled a portion of my unsecured debt for those that were reasonable, many unsecured creditors are unreasonable. Debt Attorneys would never accuse me of being a debt settler, they call me a "deadbeat"!

Hoosiergal, it seems BK is your best option, but just go see the attorney!

Charting the path for the future is the first 60% of the battle, the other 40% is working on the plan!

If you have no plan, you will continue with more of the things you complain about now!

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My husband wants me to make another appt. to see the BK attorney right away. I'm really nervous about doing this because I'm afraid the BK attorney will tell us we can't file.

Out of all the credit cards we have which is around 15 we're behind on 4 and had my husband not had heart surgery last March and had to miss a lot of work we would have never gotten behind.

Whenever you file BK can you keep any of your credit cards open or do you have to file against all of them?

I have a Best Buy credit card that I've never used and had planned on buying a new computer so if we do file for BK can I still use that card?

Thanks for all of your help.

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You don't have to BK everyone, no.

In fact it's a good idea to leave out one card that you don't have much of a balance on, but you HAVE to commit to at least paying it off before you use it again.

Why would your attorney tell you that you can't file?

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My husband wants me to call the BK Attorney tomorrow and make an appt. for him so see us as soon as possible. He's afraid that since I'm not answering the creditors phone calls we might be more likely to get sued and they might garnish his wages.

I don't think he's going to send the $250.00 payment for his Union Plus Card this month. We've never been late on that one.

I just hope we haven't waited to long to file BK.

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