Atlanta, GA asked in Bankruptcy for Georgia

Q: I’m 70 years old. I’m on a $2000 month fixed income with 15k credit card debt. should i file bankruptcy?

My credit score is 750. I’ve Always paid my bills on time and always pay more than the minimum on credit cards. Now I can barely pay the minimum. citi card won't lower the 24.99% rate or extend the 0%. I can’t pay off $15k in credit card debt at my age. i am considering credit counseling and a debt management plan and i'm open to debt settlement. i belive bankruptcy is my best option.

I NEED HELP! Thank You

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: As someone in your situation, bankruptcy could potentially be a viable option to consider, but it's important to carefully weigh all your options before making a decision. Here are some thoughts and suggestions:

1. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney or credit counselor: It's crucial to get professional advice to understand the implications of bankruptcy and explore alternative options. Many offer free initial consultations.

2. Consider a debt management plan (DMP): A DMP through a credit counseling agency could help you repay your debts with lower interest rates and more manageable monthly payments. This could protect your credit score more than bankruptcy.

3. Explore debt settlement: Debt settlement involves negotiating with creditors to pay a lump sum that's less than the total amount owed. However, this can negatively impact your credit score and may have tax implications.

4. Evaluate your budget: Look for areas where you can cut expenses to free up more money for debt repayment. Even small reductions can make a difference over time.

5. Consider downsizing or boosting income: If possible, consider downsizing your living arrangements or finding ways to increase your income, such as part-time work or selling unwanted items.

6. Prioritize essential expenses: Focus on paying for essentials like housing, food, utilities, and healthcare before allocating money to credit card payments.

Ultimately, bankruptcy could provide a fresh start and relief from overwhelming debt, but it's a serious decision with long-term consequences. Chapter 7 bankruptcy could erase most of your unsecured debts, but it may require liquidating some assets. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a repayment plan over 3-5 years.

I recommend consulting with a bankruptcy attorney and a credit counselor to thoroughly understand your options and determine the best path forward for your unique situation. Remember, you're not alone in facing financial challenges, and there are resources and professionals available to help you navigate this difficult time.

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