Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Debt Settlement

I’m Being Sued for a Debt and Wondering if Debt Settlement is Right for Me. – Pamela

“Dear Steve,

I have been served a summons to respond to lawyers representing a credit card company for what is now $45,000 in debt owed to them. A lawyer who is helping with the legal answer/response to this summons. But now I need to deal with the mess and figure out what my options are. I also have one more credit card balance that I have not been paying on and has gone to collection – that is for $30,000. I have other credit card debt — about $45,000 more — but am paying every month on those.

All other bills are being paid every month. Including my mortgage. The more I read about the debt management programs the more dismal that alternative appears to me. I am considering bankruptcy. My preference would be to have a lawyer/or some negotiator to settle an amount and payment plan with the two creditors I have not been paying – and keep paying off my debt.

I want to get good advice and really understand my options and what is actually the best choice for me — rather than just making emotionally based decisions. I work on a fee for service basis and make a reasonable living. My adjusted gross income varies over the past few years from being just below to just over the average for my state in terms of qualifying for a chapter 7

Is is reasonable to think my 2 outstanding debts can be negotiated and a settlement and payment plan reached at this late stage? How do I go about this process — who is the best source of help/advice. Is bankruptcy a good option? Just really want to know what to do next and what are the pitfalls to avoid.


Dear Pamela,

Well you said a lot of good and reasonable things in your question that lead me to believe you are clearly interested in finding an answer that is most appropriate for you.

Let’s start with two steps.

  1. I think you should use my online How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to take a look at your options.
  2. I think finding a local bankruptcy attorney and talking to them about your situation is a really smart idea. You don’t need to go with the intention that you are going to file bankruptcy, but to educate yourself about what bankruptcy would mean for you.

If you had previously filed bankruptcy the significant odds are that your debt would have been discharged and you would not be getting sued.

Let’s get all the facts first and then together we can make a good informed decision about the best way for forward for you.

I think you’d agree with me that the best goal is one that allows you to resolve your debt situation in some way and move forward with a better financial safety net so you don’t have to face these issues again.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

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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