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I Am Now Widowed and Left With Credit Card Debt I Can’t Afford on Social Security. – Lula

“Dear Steve,

I am a widow, as of Nov 14,2009. I now reside in Missouri. I was left with credit card debt totaling apx. $10,000. I have been trying to keep up the monthly payments but it is getting impossible to do so. I am having to do without meds and groceries. At some point I may have to stop paying on these debts. Three of the debts are to Capitol one, Citi Bank, and PayPal.

If I stop paying what will happen? Social Security check of $1057 a month is my only income. My only asset is a 2001 Ford Escape auto. I have heard they will take me to court, then attach my bank account and it takes months to get the bank account unfrozen. In the meantime I would not be able to pay my rent and etc. I am so scared. What can I do.

What can I do about the credit card bills I owe and only have SS check as income. Can’t afford for court to freeze/attach my bank account. I would be homeless if they do.

Lula”

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The Answer

Dear Lula,

First off, before I can really answer your question, is the debt in your name alone or was it a joint debt with your partner? It makes a big difference.

Please post your answer in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

I Am Now Widowed and Left With Credit Card Debt I Cant Afford on Social Security.   Lula
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I Am Now Widowed and Left With Credit Card Debt I Can't Afford on Social Security. - Lula by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Doula2002

    I am a widow of almost five years. I was able to pay my Bank Credit card full minimun payments of over $300.00 a month for about the first three years, but than my money ran out.  I told them the best I could do is pay $50 a month, but they said that wasn’t enough.  So I just stop paying them and still can not do any more.  I only get social secrurity disablity of $831.00 and a job that is prn only make 8.75 hour, you never know when your hours may go down, or conpletly be gone.  How long do I have to deal with them?
    Frustrated

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      You should consider filing bankruptcy to terminate any responsibility for past debts. Alternatively, you may want to open a separate bank account to deposit the earnings and one account for the disability check so they don’t garnish your disability check funds if they sue you.

      You may qualify for free or low cost bankruptcy assistance. Check here http://probono.abiworld.org/index.html

  • Steve Rhode

    Odd. If the accounts were in his name alone then they should have been closed after he passed. On the Citi cards I would contact Citibank again, let them know that and see what they say. I wonder if it was really a joint account.

    Any credit card that was a joint account will become the responsibility of the surviving party.

    Call Citi and then post in the comments here what they say about if it was a joint account and why are they still sending bills if he was the only account holder.

  • Lula F Scott

    Only Citi Card has his name on it. Insurance paid off what was owed and they changed the account to me, but bill still comes in his name. Rest of the bills are in my name and that is why insurance would not pay them.

  • Lula F Scott

    Only Citi Card has his name on it. Insurance paid off what was owed and they changed the account to me, but bill still comes in his name. Rest of the bills are in my name and that is why insurance would not pay them.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Odd. If the accounts were in his name alone then they should have been closed after he passed. On the Citi cards I would contact Citibank again, let them know that and see what they say. I wonder if it was really a joint account.

      Any credit card that was a joint account will become the responsibility of the surviving party.

      Call Citi and then post in the comments here what they say about if it was a joint account and why are they still sending bills if he was the only account holder.

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