For the past two years now, I have been having a lot of financial problems. The problems are due to a combination of issues having to do with the downturn in the economy, a real estate related business that is not doing well, medical problems, and, most recently, a new roommate that turned out to be a nightmare from hell and caused me to fall very far behind in rent
. I am pretty sure that I could eventually catch up on everything but it would take awhile. But last weekend, I was served with a summons to appear in district court for default on a credit card with Capital One Bank. The entire credit line was only $500, and it was not charged all the way up to its limit at the time when I was no longer able to continue making monthly payments. I tried my best to negotiate with the bank. I told them what I “was” able to do, but they didn’t care, wouldn’t listen, and they made demands that I was simply not able to meet. The summons was filed by a local attorney and asks for judgment in the sum of $1,021.75, more than twice what my credit limit was. The law firm did not even contact me before filing suite. I have been thinking about contacting the law firm and offering to make payments, but right now my income is not stable and regular enough to be able to commit to regular payments, nor to an exact amount each month. Things like food, rent, power, phones, medical, Etc. absolutely have to come first. Also, I have other accounts that are delinquent, and I am afraid that if I go down the path toward trying to negotiate to pay one, then all of my creditors will start to come after me. That would create a completely impossible situation. I am 59 years old, my small business is struggling but it is my only source of income and I can’t afford to lose it right now, even if it IS bringing in far less than it was a couple of years ago. My questions are: Am I better off to take bankruptcy in my situation? The court date is this coming Wednesday, Feb 2nd, so I don’t have a lot of time left to figure out what to do. Since the bank is represented by an attorney, am I entitled to an attorney too? And if so, am I entitled to ask the judge for a postponement until I am able to get representation? Since these are attorney’s, I really feel like I’m at a major disadvantage if I represent myself and go into court alone. If a judgment was entered against me, would I be able to file bankruptcy and stop the judgment? What happens if a judgment is issued? I am so tired of all of these financial problems and this faltering economy. I have done absolutely nothing wrong and I feel like I’m paying the price for a world wide / national situation that others created. I am doing my best, XXXXX XXXXX is only so much that I am capable of doing. These banks don’t seem to care about ANYTHING but money. Along the same note; the local bank that my car is financed with sent me an email earlier around the middle of January, threatening to repossess my car if I did not make two payments during that month. The payments I owed for was December and January. But January’s payment was only a few (5 or 6) days past due when the email came. I’ve been averaging one month behind for awhile now, but this honestly feels like harassment to me. Every month they do this, even though I haven’t missed a payment in over a year. I need my car because I live over an hour’s drive away from town. I am worried that if I take bankruptcy I might have to give up the car. I have already paid 70% of the loan off and have over $20,000 into the car with only about a year and a half left to go. I have more equity
than the bank at this point! It seems like the closer I get to paying off the loan, the more the bank wants to take the car back. I’m only running one month behind, and eventually, given enough time, I would catch it up. The bank has already been paid back more than the entire principal amount owed, so everything they receive now is all profit. They refuse to refinance, even though I’ve asked them over and over again to add the back payment onto the end of the contract
, which would bring everything current and end this situation. They’ve been charging me late fees every month, on top of the interest. I don’t believe they really want a solution, to be honest! Is there any way for me to stop them from this constant harassment? The pressure of all of this is making it impossible for me to concentrate on work and on actually earning and bringing in the money that I need to get back up on my feet again.