Q: I cant pay my credit card bills. what happens if i stop making payments ? i am 74 years old.
A: It depends on what assets you own and what your sources of income are. I have several ideas for you if you want to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you stop paying your bills, your debts will be sent to a debt collector and you will eventually be sued and the creditor or junk debt buyer will get a judgment. The judgment will allow the creditor to try and collect by garnishing wages (you may not work and this will not be a problem then), seizing assets owned free and clear that are solely in your name or seizing your bank account (your bank account is safe if there is only Social Security or other exempt income there).
If you are worried, you can file bankruptcy, but depending on your assets and income, I would take a wait and see approach to see what happens and if you are sued.
If you stop paying your bills, your credit will take a nosedive but unless you are applying for loans/credit then it is not as big of an issue as the hype leaves you to believe.
If you do nothing and take a wait and see attitude, I would try to make yourself as judgment proof as possible, but again it would depend on how assets are titled, if you own them free and clear or if there is a lien. One caveat - if you have something, like a car or a piece of land and you just put it in your spouse's or child's name then you will not be able to file bankruptcy for at least 1 year. If you really feel that bankruptcy is the way to go then do not start transferring assets. Please email me as I said because if I have more specfics about your situation I can point you in the right direction. Email consults are free; I charge $50 for a 30 minute phone chat.
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