CCCS of Greater Atlanta Said They Can’t Help Me. – Wanda


“Dear Steve,

My husband and I are retired on a Gross Yrly income of $43,452. Our unsecured debts are over $94K. I ran all my information through CCCS Atlanta online counseling. They said I couldn’t do the Debt Management Plan because my income was to low. My net worth is a little over $69K. We have no cash savings; I used all of my IRA retirement funds since retiring in 2005. I started in April missing payments on 2 credit cards a month till I am now behind on 8 accounts and the interest rates are all over 26% and total minimum payments are $2900/month.

I”ve done a budget for my fixed income and only have $400 a month to pay on debts. I worked up a pro rada payment plan but I know the payments are not what they want. I have three questions. Should I pay only the ones I can still meet the minimum payments on (I have 14 accounts all together)? Should I keep sending in token payments on time even if it’s just $20 to each of the remaining accounts? Is my only option Bankruptcy and should I seek counseling before all my accounts have been turned over to collectors or they sue us?


Dear Wanda,

While Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta (AKA CredAbility) has not been able to enroll you in a debt management plan because your available payments are too low for what the creditors want, in a sense they have given you an answer. It is a confirmation about what path is the most logical for you to follow at this point.

Token payments or pro-rata payments are not going to stop the creditors from sending your account to collections. Unless your payment is current and you are making at least the agreed upon minimum payment your account will flow through the normal collection process and possible to court for suit.

If I could turn back the clock I would have loved to have met you before you drained your IRA. If you had pursued bankruptcy back then you could be completely out of debt by now and been able to preserve your retirement account.

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With $94,000 of unsecured debt the monthly minimum payment the creditors want to see is about $1,900 a month. Your available funds don’t come anywhere close to that.

There is no sense fooling around at this point or bargaining with yourself for a solution other than bankruptcy. It is fairly clear that you don’t have the current resources to enter into an creditor acceptable repayment solution that is going to keep you out of collections and/or out of court otherwise.

My advice is to find a local bankruptcy attorney that you like and make an appointment to go in and discuss your situation before you do anything else.


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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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2 thoughts on “CCCS of Greater Atlanta Said They Can’t Help Me. – Wanda”

  1. Dear Steve,

    Thank for your quick reply. You really confirmed what I’ve been greiving & praying over ever since I didn’t make a payment on two of my credit cards starting in May; then 2 more starting in June; then 4 more in July. I’ve been trusting the Lord to give me an answer and this very well may be it. I guess I was hoping for a miracle solution that would allow me to pay my debts off with my income.

    Now my next problem is telling my husband how bad off we are. He’s not a christian and in 46 yrs of marriage he’s trusted me with all our finances. He’s always been hard working but only made about 22% of our income plus I got a large inheritence over the years from my family and I got a buyout when I retired from my federal job.

    Neither one of us can return to work because of bad health and physical limitations. I had hoped to do some work at home on my computer but have no idea what that could be or would pay. I was praying to the Lord about this also.

    I ran across your website from your radio interview with Mary Hunt (I’ve been a member of her DPL for many years). I also follow Dave Ramsey and Crown Financial Minitries. I have a full set of Larry Burkett’s Family Financial Planning Organizer books and tapes but didn’t put them into practice after I got them. I guess back in 1990 I thought I could handle everything. Was definitely in denial.

    I assume none of these debt relief/mgt website on your website can help me at this point either. I know, you can’t manage money you don’t have and don’t know if you’ll ever have more.

    We have an attorney here that is offering a free consultation and a Bankruptcy Clinic. I will let you know what I do soon. My husband may refuse to go but his name is on 3 of the credit cards. We only have a Equity Edge line of credit on our house (no mortgage) and it’s current but charged to the max of $15,000!

    Sorry this comment is so long and I would appreciate everyone’s comments.

    God Bless You and Your Ministry, Wanda

    • Wanda,

      In my experience the best way to tell the husband is to already have an idea of a direction to go in for a solution. You’ve got that now.

      Things might be a little chilly around the house for a week as he absorbs this new information but a thaw will follow and life will soon be back to normal.



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