My Husband Had Open Heart Surgery, We Are Unemployed, And Just Got Sued. – Cathy

“Dear Steve,

I need some kind of advise please!! My husband lost his job June 09 after 17 years….a month later emergency open-heart surgery……we lost all unemployment appeals…..we have no income coming into our home…..friends and family have helped keep us afloat with just our living expenses….we have lost 1 vehicle (repo) still have 1 car left (current)…..now the problem…credit cards…balances are 1000 or less….I was served today by one of them…balance 1069 thats all….I do not know what to do….I contacted by mail all of them (Sept. 09)giving them our status but of course all went to lawyers wanted their money. I agree I owe them but can’t pay them until we get jobs….(steady looking submitting resumes) no luck so far….I have 10 days to reply…what do I do? I agree I owe them, what information do I send with the reply? Should I detail the letter with documentation of the appeals..doctors info on his surgery etc? Do I go to court (no date yet)? I was told they can put a judgment against me..what happens then? We have 1 checking account with 50 dollars in it…we pay our mortage through this bank(the only reason we have this) should I close it? I am 53 years old and this has never happened to me or my husband..these credits cards were paid every month until August 09…never late..What is going to happen to us? I know my husband is next on getting served the others are in his name. Please help me understand what is going to happen and what should I do?

Thank you,

Cathy”

Dear Cathy,

This is a horribly stressful time in your lives. I’m so sorry you are having to live through this.

The best thing you can do right now is, ironically, nothing. Without any income coming in there isn’t a payment promise you could make which you could make.

The creditors will sue you, will probably get a judgment against you but there appears to be no wages for them to garnish or assets to put liens against or attach.

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The primary focus at this point needs to be replacing your income. If your husband is healthy enough, he needs to get back out there and look for ANY job. You may have to also. You might want to try all the temporary agencies in your area and take any temp job they might be able to send you on.

Once you begin to bring in an income again we can deal with those judgment latter. For now, do nothing. This is not against you personally. It is just a big process.

While you are trying to get back on your feet, be sure to contact your local social service agency and apply for all the public benefits you are now eligible for like Medicaid, food stamps, etc. These programs exist, you’ve paid into them for all these years and now is the time to get the benefits that are waiting for you.

If you have big medical bills due from the open heart surgery as well, that process of taking care of all these debts latter is probably going to be bankruptcy.

Please update me on your progress by Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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