I Want to Settle My Own Debts But What Should I Do? – Danny

“Dear Steve,

Married, mortgage, 2 kids, wife lost job September 2008, returned January 2009, however with reduced hours (office admin for Real Estate Appraiser). Now works about 1 day per month for same office and has returned back to college for Business Degree, graduates December 2010. Mortgage is current but with 8.25 interest rate and unable to refinance due to credit score and past 30 day late payments on mortgage. Currently have about 12,000 in Credit Card debt that is in collections, wife has approximately same amount, some in collections, some not.

I have just begun to research the idea of doing my own debt settlement plan since the accounts I have, 3 of them, close to $12,000 appear to be eager to settle for .50 on the dollar. This is without me asking for a thing, these are the deals they have started with. Of course, they want the lump sum now which I/we do not have.

Looking at the SOL in Georgia, it appears that Credit Cards are under the 6 year limit. What I would like to do is begin to save up money in order to meet their lump sum request and take advantage of the offer. In reality, how long do I have before these collectors push it to the next level of a lawsuit? I can deal with the phone calls, have been for quite some time. I can deal with the mail, I’m just looking to buy enough time to raise the money to pay them off before they decide to really get nasty.


Dear Danny,

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

In my experience, the more you try to dodge the creditors and collectors the faster they tend to sue. Since you are delinquent a creditor could sue you at any time.

What you might want to consider doing is find a local bankruptcy attorney and go meet with them to understand what bankruptcy would mean for you. If you get a notice you are being sued you could then go bankrupt to stop that one and any others to follow.

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Until then you could save funds to settle.

I’ve seen so many similar situations that get blown apart just by the actions of one nasty creditor that insists on taking legal action.

There is in fact, no time to buy here. This bus is being driven by the creditors at this point and you are along for the ride. If you decide to go bankrupt you end up driving.

Please update me on your progress by

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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.
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