I have two lines of credit open that total around $8,000. The minimum monthly payments became to much for me, after a pay cut and my employer changing my medical decuctions. So, it has been quite a few months now that i havent made one payment towards either of these cards. I have spoken to people from both companies, trying to figure out a way to continue to pay off my debt but the only options they gave me were very un do’able. They wanted half of the balance due, paid in full within 15 days. Well, if i cant come up with a $200 payment every month, what are the chances im going to be able to come up with $4000 in 15 days..lol So, my question is this..if i continue to ignore these companies and my accounts get turned over to collection agencies, what happens next? Will the accounts just be at a charge off status, and i’m free of those debts (once the collection agencies stop calling)? I have read that eventually you could be sue’d or your wages garnished, are either of those common for creditors to do? I’ve had so much mixed advice. I know another option is always bankruptcy, but at 28 years old that seems a little ridiculous. Any advice is VERY much appreciated!!
In the current economy, it is more likely that the credit card company will sue. Even if the account is turned to a collection agency, many are suing. Some credit card companies like Capital One have their own in-house collection dept and are very aggressive about collecting. They will go to court over amounts as small as $200.
If they go to court and win a judgment, they can garnish your wages, attach your bank acount, and lien your property.
One of the first things I would do would be to go to ClarkHoward.com (a consumer advice expert in Atlanta) and get information on a letter that you can send the creditor. What normally happens is they apply lots and lots of pressure to try and get you to pay. After that the original creditor will normally sell the debt to an outside collection agency for 50% or so of the original balance. The outside agencies are nasty people. You are generally not in danger of being sued for around 24-36 months of the last activity on the account (last payment). On a balance that high they generally will sue you and obtain a judgement but only after 24-36 months of no payments. Once they obtain a judgement they can then garnish your wages, and they can also take money from any checking/savings accounts you have. If it has only been a few months then I wouldn’t worry abou it to much. I would however, contact a non profit such as CCCS (consumer credit counseling centers) and have them contact the lenders with you.
Yes, they can sue you for the balance, but they figure if you haven’t paid despite the collections agents making your life a living hell, then they figure you’ll bankrupt the debt.
But, some collections agents won’t let that stop them from getting your money.
In other words, THE COLLECTIONS AGENCIES WILL NEVER, EVER, STOP CALLING, once the debt goes to collections.
Your best bet is to avoid the debt going into collections in the first place.
It’s time for a lifestyle change.
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Close the accounts.
2) Write out a budget for the next month.
Nobody gets a dime until the essentials are paid for:
1) Food ($60/month, no restaurants)
2) Shelter (the rent or mortgage)
3) Transportation (Gas, car note. And sell the car if you owe more than $3,000 on it)
4) Clothes (Goodwill, not a sale at the mall. In fact, don’t go to the mall until this mess is paid off)
5) Utilities (electric bill, water bill, etc.)
If you don’t have enough, you have an income problem and need a second (or third) job.
If you have money left over, then pay this month’s minimums.
If you still have money left over, put the cash in the bank.
They could come after you, and YOU would have to pay their legal fees.
Also, that will go on your credit report, and make getting other credit difficult, or if you do get it, it will be at worse rates.
Call them and ask them for a payment plan. They will work with you. Tell them that they either work with you, or you just won’t be able to pay them, and that you really want to pay your bills. That way, you can pay them back, and keep your credit ok.
You ignore your debts they will come after you. Then you won’t have any money at all because they will take it out of your wages before you even see it.
Why not bankruptcy? Your credit is all ready tanked.
They WILL catch up with you in the end