Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in California

Credit Card Debit $140,000~Current~Need Help!

I live in California & I currently have $140,000 is credit card debt due to hiring an attorney for a cross complaint, paid medical bills, and some daily living expenses. I currently have good credit, a high credit score, and I'm current on all my payments. I no longer have any household income. I know that I may default on payments soon. What are ways to avoid bankruptcy and negotiate with the Credit Card Companies? Is it better to go to collections then work out a deal? Can I be sued in court and what is the likely hood of that happening? My husband has stock account & 401k in his name only, can they go after that? We are both listed on our home loan. What is the best solution in this case? I can't afford to pay back such a huge amount and I donít want this to affect my husband in any way.

Asked on 9/16/08, 1:28 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Mccoy Law Office Of Robert McCoy

Re: Credit Card Debit $140,000~Current~Need Help!

If you default on payments, the likelihood you will get sued is high. You can ask your creditors to reduce the debt, and they may or may not agree. Note that my experience has shown that most institutional creditors will not agree to reduce your obligation or do not agree to reduce it enough. You then may or may not be able to afford your payments.

You have asked how to negotiate with credit card companies. In order to negotiate you have to have something to negotiate with more than "I don't have any money.". You might be able to give them collateral, for example. If you have nothing to negotiate with, then you cannot negotiate. You have indicated you are not willing to file bankruptcy, so you have taken away that negotiation card.

Your husband's 401k is exempt. However, any other property held in your husband's sole name may be subject to seizure once a judgment is entered.

If you are not concerned about your future credit score, then you may avoid filing bankruptcy. But if you want your credit score to someday be high again, you very well may need to file bankruptcy now to avoid years and years of continuing damage to your credit report.

Read more
Answered on 9/16/08, 5:39 pm
David Gibbs The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

Re: Credit Card Debit $140,000~Current~Need Help!

I'm not sure how you can avoid bankruptcy with that much debt, and no way to pay it. You would be much better off contacting the credit providers now, and trying to work something out than waiting until it is assigned to debt collectors. Although once in collections, there is an expection of writing off a certain amount of the debt, collection firms are notoriously difficult to deal with. As for your accounts, if your 401K is setup properly, it can be a protected asset from creditors. The stock account, if not in the form of a protected asset such as a qualified retirement instrument, may be available to creditors to satisfy your debts. Unfortunately, without more information its going to be impossible to say if your husband's assets are available to your creditors, so you will need to sit with an attorney to discuss the specific facts which govern community assets and obligations. Will you be sued - yes, if you don't deal with this I can guarantee that one or more creditors will eventually sue you to collect the money they are owed.

*Due to the limitations of the LawGuru Forums, The Gibbs Law Firm, APC's (the "Firm") participation in responding to questions posted herein does not constitute legal advice, nor legal representation of the person or entity posting a question. No Attorney/Client relationship is or shall be construed to be created hereby. The information provided is general and requires that the poster obtain specific legal advice from an attorney. The poster shall not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice nor as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence.

Read more
Answered on 9/16/08, 2:46 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Credit, Debt and Collections Law questions and answers in California