Ask Terry Questions Bankruptcy


By Terry Savage on September 16, 2019 | Credit/Debt

I have about $20,000 worth of debt on 15 different credit cards. I have had these cards dating back to between 5 to 10 years. I made consistent payments on these cards for many years. However, I stopped making payments over two years ago, and so, I haven’t used them since. I just no longer have the means to make any more payments on these debts. I have been on social security permanent disability for 10 years now. I have absolutely no substantial assets; I rent a meager apartment and I do not even own a car. Most of the creditors have stopped trying to contact me, a few are still trying, and one has now threatened to start legal proceedings.

I am thinking that the best option at this point is to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In your opinion, is that an advisable option? And, if so, is that something I could handle on my own or is this situation at the complexity for which it would be best to work with an experienced attorney specializing in bankruptcy law? Thank you so much.

Terry Says

I do not believe you have to file bankruptcy.  The point of bankruptcy is to protect assets — at least some assets — from creditors.  But you don’t have any assets. And your Social Security is protected from debt collectors.

But I suggest you get trusted credit counseling from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227.  That will connect you to the nearest local office.  They will review your situation at no (or very low) cost.  They can help you deal with your creditors — whether through advising of your rights to ignore those calls, or having them contact your creditors and have you make one small payment a month, which they will distribute to creditors, or whether you need to file for bankruptcy.  Start there, and please write back and let me know what happens.



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