cokeguy223

No money, no job.. best course of action?

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Today a certified letter had tried to be delivered to me from Synchrony Bank but I missed it.  I know exactly what this is and what it's about.  Being served for a deb ~$2,500 with them.  I stopped paying on all my loans (probably about $8000 in total) in May after having some major surgery, no job, no money.. simply no way to pay.  What is my best course of action?  Should I go pick up the letter from the post office and what then?  If I go to court and lose I still can't pay.  I am trying to get my life back on track and the only valuable property I have is my car, which I am still making my monthly payments on with only a few months to go.  Can I go to jail for this?  I had no intention to never pay but right now I simply can't and I am worried.

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Synchony has a good arbitration clause to use.  They use JAMS and they say they will pay your $250 filing fee if you ask them too.  I would open a claim in JAMS and ask Synchony to pay.

 

JAMS arbitration will cost them at least $5k for the first hearing.  It can go much, much higher if you know how to stall, object and force more hearings.  There is a 90% chance it never gets that far anyway. They will not want to spend twice the amonunt they are trying to collect and end up losing money anyway.  If this happens to be with a JDB collector and no longer with Synchory, then your chances go up to 99% that arbitration will make this go away.

 

I would not BK for only $8k of debt. And if I did, I would not do it this early.   I would pick up the letter and see what it says.  Hiding from it will only make things worse.  Face them, fight them, and quite possibly wipe out all your debt on your own.

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With all due respect to the prior poster; filing a bankruptcy on an $8K debt would be using a sledge hammer to kill a fly.

 

I think fisthardcheese gave you some good advice and that's the route I'd pursue.  Keep in mind that no one can collect money you don't have so until you are back on your feet financially and can pay and/or settle these debts there isn't much more that you can do.

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The only reason I gave the BK suggestion is if the OP has no job, no money and really was not up to fighting this, then the BK route was the easiest. But yes, their are many other ways to go about this, just depends on the effort they want to expend. Normally, I am up to fighting them tooth and nail and take no prisoners.

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I know $8K is a lot when you owe it and don't have it and it may be the right move for some; it's just that I've seen a lot of people file bankruptcy on relatively small amounts that could have, over time, been paid/negotiated with much, much less negative impact on the person's finances.

 

Plus, if one files on a relatively small amount what happens when something truly monumental happens (like a $100K medical debt, etc.)?  :)

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The only reason I gave the BK suggestion is if the OP has no job, no money and really was not up to fighting this, then the BK route was the easiest. But yes, their are many other ways to go about this, just depends on the effort they want to expend. Normally, I am up to fighting them tooth and nail and take no prisoners.

 

I understand your reasons for the suggestion.  BK is, in fact, the quickest and easiest way to get rid of this.  Although, it would probably cost OP around $1k to have an attorney file and sort through the paperwork with them.

 

My objection to BK for this small of a debt - and especially before any suit is filed - is just due to the changes in BK law that occured in 2007 (I could be off by a year or 2 on that), which says you can only file BK once every 8 years.  Since Op is still unemployed, it would be a shame to file BK now over the $8k debt, then have an unexpected health issue causing $150k in medical bills a year from now and not being able to do anything about it because the BK cannon was blown over the $8 the year before.

 

That's the reason I say to hold off on BK for as long as possible.  And in the meantime, learning about arbitraiton and other methods to fight off the collectors can actually end up benifiting op with a nice bonus check or two from violations.

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Yes, this is an old post, but it is relevant to me. I found myself in a very difficult position due to the quarantine, so I am looking for various information and opportunities to improve it.

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