I have $57,000 in credit card debt, famiy of 4, income of $41,000 a year. I also own a home which is worth about $130,000. I am current on the mortage. Last month, I stopped paying my credit cards and brought my utilities and insurance up to date. I qualify for Chapter 7. As you can imagine, the phone is ringing off the hook.
Do I tell my creditors, I am in the process of filing bankruptcy or do I just wait until I actually file? I have an appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer next week, but would like to know what to do in the meantime.
Excellent question. I would suggest that you do nothing to tip your hand until you file. As soon as you file you will get a bankruptcy case number and that is your golden ticket to making the collection calls legally stop. If a collector calls after you file, and they might as your case filters through the system, say this:
“Thank you for calling me today but I have filed bankruptcy and this debt was included. My bankruptcy case number is [case number] and my attorney is [attorney name]. My attorney is representing me in this matter and you should only contact my attorney at [telephone number] for any further information on this debt. Do not contact me.
Until you file bankruptcy anything you say about wanting to or intending to file bankruptcy is a hollow statement collectors hear all the time. Most will ignore it. But once you cough up the case number and attorney, collectors have a process on how to deal with that and will stop calling you.
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