I was completely clueless when I was younger. The second I turned eighteen, I got a credit card. And then another. And then another. And another. And now, with over 10k in debt, just out of a year of unemployment, I’m still floundering. The job I have now is barely above minimum wage, and I’m lucky if I get ten hours or more a week. I’m still looking, but in the meantime I have bills I’m late on – some of which I’m months late on, and bills I’m trying hard to not be late on.
When the bills (late payments included) I have are greater than the income I get, and the collection calls won’t stop, what should I do? My mother says filing for bankruptcy will ruin me, but this is ruining me anyway!
Unfortunately, like a lot of people, your mother has some bad preconceived notions about bankruptcy. This fear stems from a lot of things, but it is fueled in large by banking interests and surprisingly the part of the debt relief industry wanting to sell you an alternative to bankruptcy.
Is bankruptcy a good move for you? I don’t know. I would hate to have someone do it for only 10,000 unless it was necessary, but then again, the amount of your debt is relative.
I would highly recommend that you meet with a local bankruptcy attorney. The initial consultation should be free, and you are not going to sign up during the initial meeting, but you are there to simply gather information. It might be a good idea to take your mother along with you.
The reality is that bankruptcy is the only way to put these debts behind you unless you can raise additional money to negotiate and settle these debts. Having a job barely above minimum wage at 10 hours a week, means that you are not going to pay these debts unless your income improves.
If you think there is a high likelihood for that, then you can meet with the bankruptcy attorney now, get all of the facts and learn how it would effect you. Then you can give it a few months to see how things play out income wise. If it doesn’t improve to the point of allowing you to work out a deal with your creditors, then you have the bankruptcy already lined up.
Damon is a talented independent debt coach that provides in-depth assistance and consultations for people struggling with debt. If you want a personal debt coach to help you through a difficult situation or want assistance to find secret discounts offered by debt settlement companies I think Damon Day is an excellent person to contact for advice and assistance. He can be reached directly at DamonDay.com
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