This question comes up a lot. Direct collection calls; robocalls, all day long starting in the early morning. I owe the money, but I can’t pay the credit cards and also pay my car loan, my mortgage. I don’t know what to tell them . . .
First things first. Never pay a past due credit card to get the collection calls to stop and leave yourself without enough money to pay that loan for the car you need, or the mortgage for your home.
Next, you should understand that the employees of the companies administering (technically, “servicing”) your credit card accounts have a script. They will only (eventually) agree to accept one of two things: payment, or a promise to pay. You can’t afford to pay what they want, and you shouldn’t promise to pay what you can’t deliver. So, what to do?
The answer is: don’t answer the phone calls coming from numbers you don’t recognize. The collectors rely on feelings of guilt and shame to get you to pay. Don’t play that game. You can’t win. You do have a valuable alternative. Learn about your rights under the federal Bankruptcy Code, which is designed to help people just like you. The sooner you learn about how a bankruptcy discharge can give you a fresh start, the sooner you can begin your new financial and credit history. That doesn’t mean that you definitely need to file for bankruptcy protection. But you can’t make the right choice for you or your family if you don’t know your legal rights.