Bankruptcy or Credit Counseling

Q: I had given bankruptcy some thought and spoke to an attorney and I was advised that it might be better to talk to a credit counseling agency. I however don’t see any thing about secured debt.

My problem is this; I found out in June of 2007 I had cancer and after two surgeries it cost me my job due to physical restrictions. Prior to this, I had one credit card and had purchased a boat in 2006. The boat was repossessed in June of 2008 leaving a large balance due.

I am currently receiving social security disability and know that income cannot be garnished. Also, my wife and I were both on the boat loan and she is currently employed. We are concerned and the finance company will sue her and garnish her wages.

I do own my home, cars are paid for, and mortgage and utilities are current but after food and fuel there’s not a lot left.

I would like to satisfy the debts without filing bankruptcy, I had to do this about 9-10 years ago, I would really rather not go through that again.

What options can you offer if any?

A: I am sorry to hear of your illness and the resulting struggles. There may very well be hope other than through bankruptcy- and you are right in trying to avoid filing if at all possible!

We certainly can take a look at some other options. One of those may be a Debt Management Plan. Since the boat has been repossessed, it is no longer a secured debt, and a Debt Management Plan may help you set up affordable monthly payments and prevent any further collection activity, such as wage garnishment.

Without having more details, it is difficult to know if other solutions may be viable. If you would like to give us a call, we would be happy to review your financial picture. We will complete a financial overview and budget, and determine the best options available to you. When calling, if you have your creditor information available, it will be very helpful in completing the process.

By Steve Axtell