We’re Behind on Bills and Debt Collectors Are Threatening to Sue Us. – Krisstina


“Dear Steve,

We’re behind on bills. My husband had to leave his former job when he worked as a delivery driver for a furniture company and his pay became almost non-existant for a few months until he could find another job. We were good enough to stay afloat for a while we were ahead of our mortgage payments and had some in the bank, but our credit cards were put on hold to keep on our essentials.

We kept in contact with them and at first they were supportive, but they’d only put temporary helps, and then became very impatient with our situation. We’ve had a baby since that time and medical bills are piled on top of a car payment, two credit cards, and another credit account. One credit card has gone to collections and we’ve been trying to find a temporary loan to pay the balance until we get taxes back, but no one in our family and friends has any money to loan us.

We don’t qualify for loans anymore. It’s frustrating because we’ve had a high credit score since we were married and just in this last year it’s gone to craps. We’ve looked into everything including selling our home and getting into an apartment, but all the rent prices have gone up to about as much as our mortgage payment is now, especially for a family our size. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m tired of trying to talk to everyone and they keep sending me to call centers in India, where they are hard to understand and don’t really care.

Is there anyway we can buy a little more time with the collections, they want one week for the money in full, or apparently there will be a lawsuit.


Dear Krisstina,

The collectors can want what they want but that does not change the fact that you just don’t have it. The worst scenario here is that you promise to pay money that you don’t have and then don’t meet that promise.

The threat of being sued seems really scary. But collectors threaten lawsuits all the time and while it is possible they will sue you it is not likely to happen so fast. Even if you were sued you could nuke the suit by filing bankruptcy so the only thing a lawsuit does is allow you to go before a judge and explain your situation. Lawsuits don’t happen overnight so potentially by the time you got to court you’d have your tax refund in your hand and you’d pay off the debt and the suit would be dismissed.

And while I’m on the subject, if you are getting back a big tax refund it means you are having too much in taxes taken out each pay day. If you cut back your deductions so that you break even at tax time then it will put more money in your pocket each month when you really need it.

I would stand your ground right now and tell the collectors what you can and cannot due. If you are sued or it all get to be too much, click here to file bankruptcy.

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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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