I Was a Dumbass That Has Poor Money Management. Now American Express is Suing Me. – Jasper

“Dear Steve,

First, thank you for volunteering your time, knowledge and past experiences with dumb**ses like me who used poor money management in the past and are now paying for it. I’ve read thru much of your site and found many helpful pages in preparing me to get back on track, especially the 7 stages of debt.

I have 2 credit cards, with combined debt of aprox 23k, that were closed by the company’s but whom I am making monthly payments too in attempt to pay off. I also have 2 or 3 other active cards which I’m not using and paying off each month with aprox 2k owed. The only other card I have which is the one I’m experiencing current issues with is Amex that owe 7k on and that was written off and has been sold to collection agencies. No payment has been made on the debt for last 15 months and I had thought there had been no correspondence or attempts to contact me about it for last 9 months.

I was divorced and left the residence a year ago and my ex-wife did not inform me that the collection agency had sent a letter and had made numerous phone calls trying to contact me about the matter. I found out earlier today from my ex-brother in-law that someone came to my former residence asking for me and stated he was from Superior Court System….so I am confident that they were trying to serve me with a summons pertaining to collection agency filing a suit over the Amex debt.

My ultimate goal is to pay everyone off and get back on the right track but my job which I just started 3wks ago and getting paid barely over min wage cannot handle anymore bills, that is if I want to keep roof over my head and vehicle to go to work in (I’ve gotten use to eating 1 meal a day). BTW, I live in AZ

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My question is that since the summons has not been served to me and they do not know my current address as of yet, the 20 days to respond to the courts cannot start yet correct? I’m hoping that it won’t so I have a couple extra days to contact and meet with a lawyer with debt collection experience as well as, if I can afford it, to also meet with a bankruptcy lawyer so I can figure out the best procedure to take for my specific issue. Is meeting with two different lawyers overkill, if so which would you suggest I contact?


Dear Jasper,

If you were to make an investment in a legal solution that could address the entire situation for the least amount of overall money, logically it seems that bankruptcy intervention would be the correct choice.

You sound as if you might qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy and in that case you would probably pay $2,000 or less, including court fees, for a chapter 7 bankruptcy that would stop all lawsuits and collections activities. It would also eliminate your unsecured debt in three months or less.

Remember, you can file bankruptcy and still repay creditors if you want to. It’s just that bankruptcy gives you legal protections from creditors that are not otherwise available.

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

Considering the fact you are just getting started again and not making much money, a bankruptcy approach would eliminate your debt and give you a fighting chance of getting things back on track again.

You said you’ve read a lot on the site, but I want to make sure you read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth to get a good perspective on the entire situation.

I would not drag your feet in talking to a bankruptcy attorney. You’d want to file before you are lose in court so you can stop the suit.

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If you want, you can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney that may be able to assist you right away. They should also give you a free consultation as well.

Stop beating yourself up over this. Debt happens. Let’s just learn from the situation and use that new wisdom to do things differently moving forward.

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

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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