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I have $39m credit card debt & unemployed. I can no longer

make monthly payments. All my...
I have $39m credit card debt & unemployed. I can no longer make monthly payments. All my credit cards are paid on time & no late payments. Should I call the creditors myself or join a law firm hard ship. My healthcare has increased over the past 5yrs. over $900 monthly & we are living on my husbands pension. I am presently looking for employment
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
9/28/2013
C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8,023
Experience: Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
Verified

C.Fortunato :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Consumer Protection attorney here to assist you.

C.Fortunato :

In general, there is little a law firm can accomplish that you cannot also accomplish. Additionally, many such firms are not reputable, and it is usually not possible to know in advance whether the firm you are dealing with is reputable.

C.Fortunato :

Given the information you provided, it may be a good idea to consider filing a Bankruptcy.

C.Fortunato :

Have you thought about filing a Bankruptcy?

Customer:

No I have not. I wanted to find out if I could re-negotiate myself. A law firm mentioned a hardship program that will last about 42 months. My problem is they want the credit cards to go into deliquent to negotiate a payoff amt

C.Fortunato :

That is the procedure that most law firms use to negotiate debt.

C.Fortunato :

As credit card companies will not negotiate debt unless the accounts are delinquent.

Customer:

Should I try to talk to the creditors myself & take a chance. They suggest to stop paying the cards. I have used all my savings & can no longer make the monthly payments. My healthcare has increased & make this very difficult for my family

C.Fortunato :

The fact is law firm cannot negotiate debt any better than you can. Credit card companies are generally very firm in what they will allow for negotiation, and most credit card companies will allow you pay 50% of the outstanding balance - but only if your account is past due.

C.Fortunato :

And they will want the full 50% payment within one month.

Customer:

Ok, I am not in a position to make the 50% payment, but I can make payments monthly but @ a lower rate & montly payments.

C.Fortunato :

Paying off debt in this manner - negotiating with credit card companies does not save your credit rating.

C.Fortunato :

It is possible the credit card companies will allow you to make lower payments. But you can call them yourself to find out if this is possible - you do not need a law firm to do this for you.

C.Fortunato :

It may also help if you explain to the credit card companies that you may consider filing a Bankruptcy if they will not work with you.

Customer:

Ok! I will make the calls today & see what they can do for me. 1 of the cards I had since 1974 no late payments

C.Fortunato :

I understand that you feel bad about not being able to continue to pay the full amount - but it is not your fault.

C.Fortunato :

You can explain to them that you lost your job, but are looking for another one, and that you will hopefully be better able to pay once you get another job.

Customer:

The $48 fee I paid today is just for this session or will my card be charged montly. I just wanted advice on how to proceed. Thank you for understanding I am upset about this healthcare situation & trying to find employment is not easy

C.Fortunato :

Just to be sure, you should sent a message to the Just Answer administration to let them know you do not want to be charged monthly. But if you are erroneously charged, you can send another message telling them you do not want monthly payments, and they will refund your money.

Customer:

I will call them & let them know I am searching for employment & see what happen. Hopefully this will get better when I get another job.

C.Fortunato :

The email address for Just Answer administration is [email protected].

C.Fortunato :

Also, many credit card companies will allow a grace period - of up to a few months - for customers who have until the present had excellent payment histories.

Customer:

Should I use my first name or do I have a special number for this session

C.Fortunato :

You can use your first name.

Customer:

Really, thank you for that info. I do have excellent payment history & no late payments as well. Is there anything else you suggest. I was going to use a law firm, but confused the method they wanted to use. Either way my credit will be effected.

C.Fortunato :

If you get a grace period from any credit card company, that will not affect your credit rating.

C.Fortunato :

If you stop making payments with getting a grace period, that will affect your credit rating.

C.Fortunato :

The last sentence should have read, "without a grace period".

Customer:

If they do- it will allow time for me to possibly find another job by then. Hopefully they will understand & work with me. I appreciate the information & I will try starting today

C.Fortunato :

You're weocl

C.Fortunato :

You're welcome!

C.Fortunato :

Please think if there is anything else I can help you with today.

Customer:

When the grace period is over - does that mean I can make payments from that point on or will they add up the months I have missed.

C.Fortunato :

With a grace period, they will continue to add interest, but when you resume payments, the payments will be the same as they were before the grace period.

C.Fortunato :

And if all else fails, you should not feel bad if you have to file a Bankruptcy.

Customer:

That mean the balance will increase as well. What if I have them close the account & make fixed monthly payments until it is paid off

C.Fortunato :

They will close the account if you ask them to, but it is unlikely that they will stop adding interest.

Customer:

Ok thank you for your advice. Enjoy the weekend

C.Fortunato :

You're welcome!

C.Fortunato :

And you please enjoy your weekend also!

C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8,023
Experience: Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
Verified
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C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8,023
8,023 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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