What could I do if I have about $5,000 worth of credit card debt? 14 Answers as of April 29, 2015

I am deep in debt and I am constantly being harassed by collection agencies. Wondering if bankruptcy is my best option, and if so, should I file a 7 or 13?

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The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If you are actually being harassed then often we file FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) lawsuits to remove the debts. The collection companies will have to pay your legal fees and money damages to you. If you are not being harassed then we would file a chapter 7 bankruptcy to get rid of the debt.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/29/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Meet with a lawyer. My meetings take about an hour, and I cover all options with my client. They are thoroughly informed when they leave my office. I have successfully filed THOUSANDS of bankruptcies!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/28/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Bankruptcy is an option. I do not have enough information to advise as to 7 versus 13.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/28/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
You have fairly low debt to file bankruptcy. While it's allowable, I generally recommend against filing when you debt is only $5,000. Instead, I'd recommend that you contact your creditors and propose to pay 1/4 of your balance at a reduced interest of 5%. Figure the monthly payments for each card and make those payments. Tell them your only other option is to file bankruptcy. When they agree, put it in writing have them sign it AND MAKE ALL THE PAYMENTS ON TIME. This is a much better deal then you'll get with a debt firm (and most debt firms are con artists that will just rip you off anyway).
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/27/2015
Novakov & Associates, PLLC
Novakov & Associates, PLLC | LINDA S. NOVAKOV
If you do not have the means to negotiate the balances and settle the debt, then bankruptcy is an option. Much depends on your income level and if you pass the means test required. If you are below the median income level in your area, then you may qualify to file Chapter 7 and discharge the entire debt. If, however, you do not pass the test, then, if you have a steady source of income, you may qualify to file to a Chapter 13. You should find an attorney in your area who can assess your situation.
Answer Applies to: Kentucky
Replied: 4/28/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If you can't pay it - bankruptcy is always an option. "Debt settlement" is expensive, and they can not guarantee the results.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Whether bankruptcy is your best protection against $5000 of debt depends on how many creditors you have and whether they would be willing to accept a lower settlement. Whether you qualify for a 7 or 13 depends primarily on whether you are above or below the median income for your area. The income limit varies by household size. You should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who could tell you in a free consultation what your best strategy would be. An ethical lawyer will not talk you into a bankruptcy if there are better options.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/27/2015
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    If you qualify chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/27/2015
    Tokarska Law Center
    Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
    A question like this (should I file and which chapter is appropriate) really needs a consultation to review all the facts of your situation to get an answer. Just off the top of my head, with $5K if that is all the debt you have, BK is probably overkill. But perhaps you have other debts besides credit cards. As far as collection agencies calling you - check out Fair Debt Collection Act. Google it. It outlines the types of things the debt collectors can and cannot do. For example, if you write a debt collector a letter demanding they stop calling you, that is what they by law are supposed to do, stop calling you. They can still send you letters. If after they have received your request they continue to call they are violating the law and you could collect a small sum for this by taking them to court. State of California also has "Rosenthall Act" which further defines what can and cannot be done by debt collectors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    No, you will want to have 4 times that much debt for bankruptcy to be an option for you. BTW, a chapter 13 could easily cost you $5,000 in legal fees and trustee commissions. Suggest you contact a local nonprofit credit counseling service.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/27/2015
    David Andersen & Associates PC | Jeremy Shephard
    Bankruptcy may be a good option. Many bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation where they go over your options. It may be worth setting up such an appointment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/27/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Chapter 7 is the usual preferencebut you can only do it if your income (gross and after deductions for regular necessities) is below a certain level. But while $5,000 is a lot to pay at once, for most people it is not crushing debt. You might want to approach the creditor(s) and try to work out payment terms with which you can live.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/27/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    $5000 is notice to file over. You'd want a 7 if your low income allows it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/24/2015
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    Bankruptcy is a very serious step to take and if your debts total only $5,000 you should not take that step. Straighten out your financial affairs and pay your credit cards off.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/24/2015
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