I helped my parents in their late 80’s transfer balances to a low 3.99% till pay down, because they had been solicited by a number of credit card companies to go ahead and use the convenience checks for a low promotional which grew to over 36% interest. They used it to pay their property taxes, insurance, heating fuel and Christmas over the years for over 35 grandkids and great grandkids, in addition to groceries.
They are now receiving letters from Chase and various other credit card companies, that their minimum due is going up from 2% of entire balance to 5% of total balance due. On the Chase alone that makes the payment go from $200. per month to $500. per month, which they cannot pay. They are on a fixed income of $1500. per month and that is just the increase for 1 card. I asked Chase if there was an opt out and could they keep the affordable terms and cancel the card. They said no….there is no such option. What can I do to help my parents now? I would appreciate some safe advice.
Thank you and God bless.
I think the situation is fairly clear. Your parents are not in a position or time in their life where they can earn additional income. With a finite amount of income their lives either have to fit within that income, supplemental income must be given to them to help make ends meet, or the debts will have to be reduced.
I don’t know if they have any assets for creditors to go after and I’m not a big fan of ignoring the creditors and disregard collection attempts because some may say your parents are judgment proof. I think the cleaner solution here is for you to go meet with a local bankruptcy attorney and discuss bankruptcy for your parents as a way to eliminate debt they can no longer afford to pay.
Bankruptcy in their situation is not a judgment about what kind of people they are. It is a reality based on their age, situation, income production and likelihood that this situation would ever reach a definitive conclusion with any other course of action.
My primary concern is now that those credit lines will be closed, I need for you to focus on a way to help your parents make ends meet without borrowed money.