Am I Better Off Filing Bankruptcy and Starting Over or Trying to Pay My Debt? – Jamie

“Dear Lewis,

I have approx $18,000 in credit card debt. I was making regular payments on those cards and then, with much regret, signed up with a debt settlement company. I signed with this company 9/30/10 and since then I have been sued by one creditor and the second creditor is still looking for payment. I also recently accrued approx $2,000 in medical bills.

I know that bankruptcies can stay on your credit for 10 years, so my question is…am I better off filing for bankruptcy and starting over or trying to pay my debt. I feel like at this point it will take me 10 years to pay the debt! Also, if I do file will my credit report reflect the judgement against me and the late payments as well as the bankruptcy or just the bankruptcy?


Dear Jamie,

It is hard to know whether someone should file bankruptcy on $xxxx in total debt because I only have a part of the picture. I have no idea what your household income is or any asset issues.

As to your credit report, if you already have late payments on your report, you have done most of the damage to your score.

The bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to ten years. And any lawsuits that are public record are part of the report.

But, any debt balances should only be reported as $0 balance, discharged in bankruptcy if you actually file and get a discharge.

Good luck!

My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

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