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tinae159

I can't pay

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Hello. I am so confused. I had to retire from my job 2 years ago. My daughter is ill with cancer and I can not go back to work. I have a lot of credit card debt. I can't pay the payments and need advice. I am married but the accounts are mine only. The only thing I own is a new house with my husband. We live in Florida. I believe my income is protected as it is retirement income. I am trying to decide if I should use a debt settlement company or just walk away from the debt as I am supposedly judgement proof. Which option would be the worst for my credit score?I have spoken to a bankruptcy attorney and he told my to just stop paying the cards. He also stated that I do not need to file BK since the companies cannot collect from me.  Thank you for any advice. 

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Few of us are attorneys.  

None of us are familiar with the specifics of your case.  

Based upon what we do know about Florida law, it seems very likely your attorney gave you appropriate advice.  I mean, O J Simpson can live nicely off his untouchable  NFL retirement income, and he has zillions of dollars of judgments against him   

Your credit score is messed up for a while.  Possibly a very long time, if they get judgments against you.  But they can’t touch your money.  

If you stop paying, you won’t be able to borrow more money.  But you won’t need to pay anyone back.  

If the cards are only in your name, your husband is probably protected.  Florida is NOT a community property state.  

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I suppose I am so upset because I worked so hard to keep a good credit score. I was a member of this site a long while ago. I followed everyone's advice and learned a lot. Thank you all for that. Anyway, I am having a very hard time realizing I can't pay my obligations. I never imagined having to retire so early. I have Capital One, Discover, Chase, AMEX, Citi. I am about 30,000 in unsecured debt. I was considering the debt companies to settle them, just so I can pay the creditors something.  I will not be able to return to work until my daughter passes.  Hopefully that will be awhile and I am already 57 years old. I think I know the answer but I  am probably trying to hold onto a life I had before her cancer. I do have to help her financially as she has a 2 year old. I am drowning.

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1 hour ago, BackFromTheDebt said:

I mean, O J Simpson can live nicely off his untouchable  NFL retirement income, and he has zillions of dollars of judgments against him   

OJ doesn't live in FL.  He resides in Las Vegas Nevada.  He is collection proof because his NFL pension cannot be garnished or levied and a buddy allows him to live in a luxury home in the most expensive community here RENT FREE.  He drives a Bentley free as well.  

He wanted to move to FL when he was paroled but the state refused to accept him.  Until he is off parole he is required to remain in NV.

46 minutes ago, tinae159 said:

I was considering the debt companies to settle them

You can settle them yourself at much less expense.  A debt settlement company will keep a huge chunk of what ever you pay as their "fee" and you likely will be sued anyway.  Many creditors will not work with them because of this.

4 hours ago, tinae159 said:

I have spoken to a bankruptcy attorney and he told my to just stop paying the cards. He also stated that I do not need to file BK since the companies cannot collect from me. 

First:  consider removing your name from the deed on the home so that they cannot put a lien on it.  Do this before you default.  Have your retirement funds deposited into a separate account so that they cannot be levied.  Take your name off the joint bank accounts so they cannot be levied.  If your husband is still working you don't want his wages seized in a bank levy simply because your name is on the account.  They cannot garnish his wages for your debt but any amount over your monthly retirement deposit would be fair game in a bank account you are listed on.  There are ways to protect your assets when there is a risk of judgment but your income is exempt.  Study up on those.

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3 hours ago, tinae159 said:

I am current on all of them at this time.

The absolute best way to preserve your credit score is to file bankruptcy before you go late on any of your accounts. Without the hundreds of derogatory marks, and the bankruptcy being the only derogatory thing on your credit report, you could be 700-plus FICO in two to three years from now. (My sister was 720 FICO 2 years post-BK.) Most mortgage lenders will consider you for approval 2 years after BK. You'd never get this with 5 defaulted credit card accounts totaling $30k.

If you decide to go bankruptcy, be sure to open a secured credit card as soon as you can after your bankruptcy case is closed ("discharged"). If you do it right, a year from now your mailbox will be stuffed on a daily basis with pre-approved credit offers.

The alternative is 5 derogatory accounts on your credit for the next seven years, 50 phone calls a day, and because four of your five creditors routinely sell bad debts, you'll have the likes of Midland, Cavalry and Portfolio also breathing down your neck. If you had no life and just needed something to occupy your time for the next seven years, that's one thing. It sounds to me like you have plenty on your plate otherwise, and I would not want to be dealing with creditors and collection agencies on top of the other things you have going on in your life.

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I agree with Harry.  Why not look into Bankruptcy before things get real bad.  BK is much easier and quicker to recover from than most people realize.

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