I Ran Into a Rough Time and Defaulted on All My Credit Cards. – Scott

“Dear Steve,

About 6 years ago I ran into very rough times and defaulted on all of my credit cards. They were all charged off and my credit was ruined. I was too afraid to file for bankruptcy and opted to do nothing (foolish me). At any rate, I was sued by one creditor for $17,000 but the judge denied judgment due to lack of proof of the debt. The suit was later dismissed for lack of prosecution. None of the other creditors sued me and the SOL have passed this year (5 years for Florida). Most of the derogatory accounts are scheduled to fall of my report in the next year and a half. In the meantime I am still in debt for about $50,000.

My income is sporadic and I have limited funds to work with. What are typical settlement amounts I could realistically expect get with these old (past SOL) debts? Or should I still seriously consider bankruptcy?

Thanks for any advice you could give.


Dear Scott,

I see where you are coming from but I think it is a bit of the cart before the horse scenario. Before even considering some settlement offers I’d like to see you have at least $25,000 in cash in a savings account so if you decided to move ahead with settlements, you could.

Not having the money on hand and trying to guess what the creditors want at some point in the future is a bit like trying to herd cats or push string up-hill, it’s pointless.

Do you have cash saved already? Is the $50,000 you mention in debt, new debt?

Please update me on your progress by

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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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2 thoughts on “I Ran Into a Rough Time and Defaulted on All My Credit Cards. – Scott”

  1. Thanks for your reply, Steve. No, the $50,000 is old debt. I have not incurred new debt or obtained any credit cards since defaulted on my old ones years ago. I have since learned to live on a cash-only basis, however, I only have about $6000 to work with.

    I am at a crossroads. When I defaulted on my loans I felt like a total failure. I have essentially been ‘hiding’ for the past 4 years. I have even not applied for certain jobs because of the embarassment I will have when they pull my credit reports. Instead, I drive a taxi working ungodly hours for minimal pay. A part of me says I should just file for bankruptcy and start over. Another part of me says to just keep drifting along until things change.

    Thanks again for the reply.

    • Scott,

      You contacted me for my opinion so here it is. Go bankrupt, clear the decks, and get a totally fresh start. You deserve it.

      Not to be harsh but the only thing you’ve accomplished by hiding and not dealing with this is not much except a lower quality of life.

      Once you go bankrupt and get your second chance I need for you to get back into the credit game with a secured card so you can start building new and good credit again. Believe it or not you will have excellent credit again if you step up, deal with it, and then focus on rebuilding your credit.

      As far as someone seeing the bankruptcy on the credit report, so what, they can already see the history of you not dealing with your financial problems. At least bankruptcy says you took action, not ran away.

      Sorry for the blunt and honest talk but you, my friend, need a good swift kick in the ass so you can go and live the life waiting for you and not the purgatory you’ve created.

      Big hug.



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