Can We Offer Creditors a Little Bit Each Month to Hold Them Off? – Paige

“Dear Steve,

My husband is 67 and retired. He is on social security only but was working part time before he became ill. He is under a doctors care and will probably have to have surgery in a few months. He received a summons from a law firm representing Capital one credit cardthat for $5000. He is due in court in March.

I work full time but my name is not on the debt. We both have debts that have been charged off. We are contemplating bankruptcy but want to hold off since he is under a doctors care and we do have a couple of old vehicles we want to sell one of which has a lien on it.

My question is should we try to offer the creditor a small amount each month (if they will take it) or tell them that he is judgement proof so that they may drop the law suit? We want to buy some time for a few months to see what happens with his health. Thank you for any advice you can give us.


Dear Paige,

By all means you can try. Any solution you can work out where you both mutually agree, is a good thing. Communicating with your creditors to see what they would be willing to do, would be a good thing to do.

But I doubt they will drop the lawsuit just because of his situation. For them, this is not a personal situation like it is for you. For the creditor the next consumer in the delinquent hopper is just that, the next one in the hopper. They are not attacking you, just executing their process.

Many get confused on the term “judgment proof.” It doesn’t mean you are not sued, it just means any remaining assets may be exempt and not available to be attached for collection.

This could become a sticky situation especially if you live in a community property state or you commingle funds.

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If bankruptcy is on the horizon then I would urge you to meet with a local bankruptcy attorney now to discuss your situation and come up with a plan for the next couple of months. Better to plan and implement the plan than just react.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and arrange a free consultation.

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


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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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