I’m Going Bankrupt. How Long Until Bank of America Sues Me? – Mary

“Dear Steve,

I have consulted an attorney regarding my overwhelming credit card debt ~ over 80K. I was told to stop using the credit cards for 3 mos before filing Bankruptcy. I have 3 credit cards with B of A, and also have my checking account with them. The attorney told me to move my bank acct, but I’m concerned about being sued by B of A and/or my other creditors before I can file. I still have to save up the money to pay the lawyer. How long before creditors can come after people who haven’t paid their bills with a lawsuit? Does the amount owed factor in at all?


Dear Mary,

If you are going to stop paying your cards now, you aren’t even on the Bank of America radar.

Collection calls might start to arrive in a few weeks. They will be friendly at first. As soon as you file bankruptcy, get the case number and have your lawyer’s contact information handy and if anyone calls after that, just tell them you filed bankruptcy and give them the details.

Worst case scenario, if you were sued before you filed in three months, the bankruptcy will kill that anyway.

It sounds like your bankruptcy attorney gave you some wise advice.

No worries, this will work out fine.


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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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3 thoughts on “I’m Going Bankrupt. How Long Until Bank of America Sues Me? – Mary”

  1. This site is a godsend. I just talked with a bankruptcy attorney, yesterday, and got the advice not to use my card for 90 days before actually filing. He filled me in on the process, and though my knees are still knocking at the prospect, I’ve decided to stop paying, as well. At least, the higher interest payments will stop – I still feel that I should continue to pay whatever I can, as long as I can.

    I realize now that I’ve been insolvent for far longer than I ever thought. Working on commission, with the real estate market failing more and more every day, deal after deal not closing – I’ve become desperate. There truly is no way that I can continue.I’ve used up every penny of the equity in my home, half of my retirement funds – and prospects seem grim as ever.

    I’m trying to adopt the attitude that, hard as it will be to recover from this and adjusting to a life without credit, it will be a challenge worth rising to – and I’m going to do it, dammit! What a huge lesson this has been, indeed. SHEILA

    • Shelia,

      Good for you! Those realizations are hard to confront, but critical.

      May I make one humble suggestion. If bankruptcy is in the cards for you and it is now only a matter of time, you should consider putting whatever money you would have sent into a savings account. Rather than sending it, which will be a drip for the creditor, you need to save it to begin to build your emergency fund. I need for YOU to be safe.


  2. The bankruptcy attorney did give the appropriate advice, but I wanted to expand on it and Steve’s comments just a little more.

    Under the Bankruptcy Code, luxury purchases and cash advances meeting certain criteria made during the 90 days prior to filing bankruptcy might be presumed fraudulent if the creditor files an adversary proceeding objecting to your discharge. Purchases made after consulting a bankruptcy attorney might also be considered fraudulent. That is the primary reason for the advice not to use them for at least 90 days. By stopping the payments, many debtors use this to save up the money to pay their attorney.

    Bank of America is likely to spend several months trying to collect before they refer to the matter to an attorney or a collection agency. And depending on the work load of the courts in your state, it could be several months before a judgment is entered. The time and cost to defend such a lawsuit will vary by state and could motivate you to file your case sooner, but this is unlikely.

    Sending a notice of representation letter to the creditors is often helpful. I often send letters that simply state I have been retained to file a bankruptcy and request that the creditors stop contacting my clients. In some cases, continued creditor contact can be a violation of state or federal fair debt collection laws. Some attorneys will send those letters, nail creditors with violation lawsuits and used the settlement to pay for the bankruptcy fees.
    .-= Carl H. Starrett II´s last blog ..California’s 90-Day Foreclosure Moratorium Really Isn’t =-.


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