Read this BEFORE you file for BANKRUPTCY! Know the Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Debt in your State!

Did you know that in many states after 3 years of consistent non-payment on credit card bills that the credit card company or collections agency CANNOT sue you for the debt? Did you know that if you don't own a home, or a car, have no expensive assets like a boat for example and have no job that you are considered Judgment Proof? Judgment Proof means that a creditor cannot collect on a judgment even if the do sue you and win.


The following 13 states and Washington D.C. are 3 year states:


Alaska

Arizona (I was recently told that a new law was passed and Arizona is now a 6 year state)


Oklahoma

Louisiana

Mississippi

Alabama

South Carolina

North Carolina

Maryland

Delaware

D.C.

New Hampshire

Vermont

Virginia


If it has been 3 years since you've made a payment on a credit card in one of these states and you've not been sued, the statute of limitations has run out and you cannot be sued for a debt in these states. Your credit will still show the default for another 4 years but after that it will drop off of your credit report as well. The statute of limitations is from 3 years (as in the states above) up to as much as 7 years in Montana, Iowa and Wyoming.

And some states are ambiguous so you might want to contact an attorney and ask what it is for your state if you cannot figure it out using the chart link below. For example in Ohio some attorneys say that the statute of limitations is 6 years while others will tell you it is 15 years. So do your due diligence!

A creditor can still try to collect on the debt, which means he may still call you or write letters and ask you to pay but you are under no obligation to pay and you should probably not even talk to them unless you would like to remind them that the statute of limitations has passed and then hang up immediately after that. If you don't want to be harassed on the phone get rid of your land-line and screen your calls. If you are sued after the 3 years you should most definitely go to the court and tell them that the statute of limitations has run out and the case will be dismissed. If you do not go to court then the creditor can win by default so it is very important that you attend. If you cannot afford an attorney call legal aid.

A lot of people will call an attorney to ask for advice when they get in over their heads and the creditors are calling incessantly. Many bankruptcy attorneys will try to get you to file for bankruptcy (after all that is how they make a living), however bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years after you've filed! If you have already surpassed the 3 year window and live in one of the states mentioned above you will only have to put up with a dinged credit report for 4 more years. It is not in your best interest to file bankruptcy if you fit the above mentioned criteria. Not only that but filing bankruptcy itself can cost quite a bit of money, something you are probably short of or you wouldn't be reading this now would you?! So, if you need advice feel free to call an attorney just don't let them talk you into filing for bankruptcy when you don't need to.


The long and the short of it is to inform yourself of the laws in your state and to proceed accordingly. Do not let the collections agencies or the bankruptcy attorneys dictate your decisions. You must take care of yourself especially considering the economic climate we are now finding ourselves in.

Super Good News!!!

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Comments 117 comments

Jim 5 years ago

7 years not 10 is how long bankruptcy stays on your record. I know b/c I filed for bankruptcy.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Jim: Maybe it's different for different states? Also once you stop paying your 7 years starts ticking whereas with bankruptcy it doesn't start ticking away until you file.


J.P 5 years ago

What about California?Does California follw this 3 year non-payment law?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

4 years last I looked.


6hotfingers3 profile image

6hotfingers3 5 years ago

Useful information to consider when it seems there is no way out. Great Hub!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks...I'm all about useful :)


SJKSJK profile image

SJKSJK 5 years ago from delray beach, florida

Really found you Hub quite interesting. I have not paid any of my credit cards in the last year. I live in Florida. I own a home, but it is way under water and not only that, it has leins over the value. Of my unsecured debt, I have not paid. I don't have a steady job, just social security. Can then take my social security? Or any money that family gives me from time to time? Can they freeze my bank accounts? Thanks


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

They can't take your SS, they can freeze your bank accounts...so take your money out of the banks. If you have quite a bit you should buy silver and gold coins and then it will stave off inflation. The money you need day to day should be given to you as cash and kept by you. Don't use the banks. Good Luck...Oh if you liked my article please rate it up, thanks.


SJKSJK profile image

SJKSJK 5 years ago from delray beach, florida

Thanks for the reply,I don't have any money in the bank, only my social security, which gets direct deposited, I take it out the minute it goes in. The most I ever leave in my account is 200 - 300. I don't want to close the account because I pay my bills online. But, I never leave any money in it.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You should be ok then.


joe ford 5 years ago

bankruptcy stays on your report for 10 years,not 7.


mobley 5 years ago

i am just about to file bamkruptcy .. i charge up all the open balanances on the cards then i stop paying.. does that look fraudlent..


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

That IS fraudulent and you will be prosecuted for it!


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 5 years ago

First, I think it was a great post. Everyone should check the statute of limitations for their state, it can help. Incidentally, I do believe that bankruptcy is necessary at times. Here are some other things I feel is important as well.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is on your credit bureau for 10, chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on for 7 years, both beginning from discharge of the debt. The statute of limitations can help in certain situations as mentioned. Before you think about waiting it out though, take a look a how much you owe. If you have credit card debt in excess of $10,000 credit card companies will sue and they will get a judgment.

If you have a judgment for money, that stays on your credit report until 7 years after satisfaction. Also, no lender will loan you money (car loan, house loan, etc) with a judgment, even if you pay all your bills on time afterwards. Also once a judgment is won, they can garnish your wages, each state determines the amount that can be garnished. WI is 25% of disposable income, this is income after basic living expenses such as rent, food, utilities are paid.

In this situation bankruptcy is your only option. Know what the Fair Credit Collections Act says and how it works. Knowledge is power.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Everything you said is true except one. I know someone who owes more than 10k and was never sued because he has nothing, no house, no car, no job...so not everyone is sued.


TheMMAZone profile image

TheMMAZone 5 years ago from Kansas

this is good information to know. thanks for the hard work you obviously put into this hub! thumbs up from me


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, I'm glad you like it.


debt-management profile image

debt-management 5 years ago

This makes for some interesting reading - the financial situation in the USA is certainly different to here in the UK


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

How so debt-management?


ROB-ROB 5 years ago

I LIKE YOU!!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

:) I like u 2


todd  5 years ago

You resemble Sarah Palin who I like. So only three years in AZ?


todd 5 years ago

I wonder about what you have said about being sue proof. OF course if you own nothing and live under a bridge no one will sue you but what kind of existance is that?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I don't think I look like SP, but to each his own. What does "so only three years in AZ mean"? About the sue proof, personally I think you can live a very nice life without having a lot of material things and more than that I think that material things are used as a substitute for the more important things in life...especially in America.


suejanet profile image

suejanet 5 years ago

Thanks for this information. I am going to do some research.


Cougo 5 years ago

Brie, you said "...they can freeze your bank accounts...so take your money out of the banks. If you have quite a bit you should buy silver and gold coins..."

This doesn't sit well with me. If you borrowed money for some reason you should pay it back if possible.If you can't,then make plans for how you CAN pay it back.

There is a concept called "personal responsibility" which apparently is somehow overlooked here. There is no free money,somebody has to pay when others fail for whatever reason to repay a loan.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Cougo: Under normal circumstances I would agree with you, however, we are not living under normal circumstances. The banks have pretty much taken over this country with a secret coup...this is one way to fight back. The banks are stealing money from you and you don't even know it..through illegal taxation, bail outs, QE2, inflation, unlawful usury, lobbying..etc..in so many ways you and I probably don't even realize.

This is one way in which we can fight back.


Lynn 5 years ago

So I have been avoiding the constant calls and occasional letter from two credit card companies, Discover and BofA. I am in California and believe the statute of limitations is four years which for me will be up in July of 2011. Can they take me to court without personally serving me by a process server? I am not at my primary residence a lot because I am trying to avoid these guys. They have even gone as far as calling my surrounding neighbors and asking them to have me call about some urgent problem. While this is embarrassing to me as I have to explain to my neighbors there is no "emergency" were talking about $30 grand in CC debt I'm trying to skate on. I never pick up the phone unless I know who I am talking to. I have 7 months to go. If I don't get personally served and obviously do not confirm the debt verbally or pay anything on it, am I in the clear? Thanks for your response.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Lynn, I believe that they do have to serve you but in some states they can mail something to you (and I've heard that in some cases they will lie and say that you have been served even if you haven't). If you do get served ...make sure to attend, it's always better to attend and explain your circumstances..ie, no money, no job, whatever. Usually they wont sue if there is no money, no job, no assets. Don't ever admit to owing anything. You should also make them verify the debt...that is prove that they are the creditors. Usually, they cannot because they don't have the original agreement between you and the credit card company. If they cannot verify the debt, YOU WIN! Good luck


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Excellent hub. Thanks for the valuable info. I've passed it on to a good friend of mine in dire need of this peace of mind.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'm so glad, it makes me very happy to help. I hope you rated it up too! :)


Cougo 5 years ago

Well OK Brie,I admit I don't know too much about the secret coup,and the context obviously was "before filing bankruptcy". I would have to add that stashing "quite a bit" of wealth in gold coins etc.could be a bit problematic. Where would you store these? How would you insure them? What if gold and silver prices take a major dive? What if you do end up filing,do you list the coins or risk jail for fraud?

But I do agree about not using banks. I never even had an account until I was in my 50s and had to stash a major settlement somewhere. I was actually better off before in some ways. Thanks for the article.-Cougo-


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

There are all kinds of places you can store them...your freezer for one. I don't believe in insurance. If you file bankruptcy then you should list them, don't file!

Thanks for writing


FatherOfTwo profile image

FatherOfTwo 5 years ago

Just a quick addition for UK users - currently after six years, a debt becomes "Statute Barred" and cannot be pursued via the court system. New bankrupcy laws have been introduced which mean that a bankrupcy can be discharged within 12 months of the judgement allowing for the business to start up again - however, this is usually a one time chance - further bankrupcy would not be taken so lightly.

Great Hub.

Jim


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for the added information Jim.


Eddie 5 years ago

*I am NOT an attorney*

In Ca. you CAN own a home and still file BK. The court allows you approx $75,000 in equity that is untouchable. You can also severely discount the value of your home and nobody will ever come look or do an assessment/appraisal. You should also file a "Homestead declaration" in your county which protects the first $150k in home equity from creditors, it is easy. With well over $200,000 in credit card debt, I personally know of cases where NO suit or judgement was EVER made against the individual. The BK court does limit your equity/ownership of a vehicle to about $1800. You can liquidate assets prior to filing BK and spend the money, even foolishly. You are in BK court because you are bad with money. Some stash large amounts of cash in safe deposit boxes as a sock drawer is not secure enough while being too tempting for most. IRS debts and Student Loans are some types of debt not cleared by BK. In almost all BK cases I have seen, no representative of any creditor will even show up to the BK hearing.

Talk to a Bankruptcy Attorney who will usually advise you for free and if needed will file bk for you for around $1500.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Eddie: In some cases it is the best thing to file bankruptcy but in others it is not, depends on the circumstances.


independentwriter profile image

independentwriter 5 years ago from the Snowy Northeast

I found this to be a very interesting hub! I think if more people knew what was going on with their bank they would freak out. I have had several loans that I signed off on and come to find out they changed the terms without me being in default. I won't pay them a nickel. It's not skating it's about common decency. I am the first person to promote personal responsibility. Who do you complain to when the bank, credit card company, or loan agent screws with you. The government, get real, they can't even pay their own bills.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

That's just it...a lot of people don't realize that the Banks and the Governmental are behaving in a criminal fashion until it happens to them. Thanks for writing Independentwriter.


JP 5 years ago

I stopped paying on a Credit Card a while ago not sure how long a Collection agency was taking me to court but I was going to work a payment arrangement with them if it has been more then 3 years since I made a payments to the card your saying I can say see you in court? But I'd have to worry about them freezing my bank accounts/assets if they win till I paid up? What If they are joint bank account could they touch them?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

If you have assets then you need to file bankruptcy because they will go after them.


tritrain profile image

tritrain 5 years ago from United States

Thank you for this info. I'm facing the possibility myself.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I hope it helps...spread the word.


Dexter 5 years ago

This is very good information for people in a desperate situation. 99% of American people don't know there rights when it comes to debt collection agencies!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, I hope you will share it on your facebook page and help get the word out.


sagbee profile image

sagbee 5 years ago from Delhi

Could you provide some details for filing bankruptcy? As one of my brother living in NYC is facing this problem.

I will be grateful to you for this.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Sagbee, I am not a lawyer you would have to seek legal aid if you want to file bankruptcy.


Nambahu profile image

Nambahu 5 years ago from Cape Town

What I dont get is why people max out their credit cards.

Don't they plan & budget?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

A lot of people lost their jobs and/or have medical bills so it's a matter of life and death.


Hound Cat profile image

Hound Cat 5 years ago from Los Angeles area of Southern California USA

Watch out for those pesky student loans. They cannot be dissolved in a bankruptcy. There is no statute of limitation for them either that I know of. They will only grant you a forbearance, which is a delay of your payment. I was in the situation of no job, no assets and a student loan for thousands of dollars.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I know, I wrote another article about that: http://hubpages.com/money/The-Student-Loan-Scam


thejeffriestube profile image

thejeffriestube 5 years ago from United States

People, don't be afraid of bankruptcy if you have to do it. Yes, it is a hard decision, but do not think life is over because you have crappy credit for a few years. In fact, since I filed, my wife and I have used no credit except for a car and a house. And yes, we bought the house DURING our Chapter 13 bankruptcy, with court approval. So given the right circumstances, bankruptcy can actually make your situation better!


beccamoto 5 years ago

I am facing either debt settlement...or??? I have over 30k in debt from my previous marriage. It was all in my name and after we split, he wouldn't help until divorce was final...which was 2 years later. I stopped paying CC almost a year ago, I live in CA, I don't own a home (that got foreclosed on a year ago) I do own a car (making payments) and I have a good job. If I pay these people off, I will have ZERO dollars to live... Can they take my car, or my pay if I don't pay them? I need advise. The Debt settlement company wants $650 to start, then $450 a month for 4 years....??? Seems a little fishy to me. Please help, or direct me to someone in southern CA that can. Thanks!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

ABSOLUTELY DON'T GO WITH A DEBT SETTLEMENT CO! They are complete ripoffs. Read this: http://hubpages.com/money/Advice-for-those-who-Can...

Call a bankruptcy attorney and get advice, because you have a good job they can attach your wages. Otherwise I would advise just not paying them. If you file bankruptcy you wont be harassed at work and your wages wont be attached. Call a few attorneys to get the best advice for your situation and then go to legal aid because they wont charge you nearly as much as an attorney. Whatever you do DON'T GO TO A DEBT SETTLEMENT Co. All they do is tell you to stop paying the debt, then the credit card company will lower the amount to settle, you can do this yourself without paying the settlement company money. Read my other article it will help. They can't take your car...if they are unsecured credit cards that you owe.


todd 5 years ago

Hi again!

I only meant that I didn't know it was 3 years in AZ.Btw I think sarah palin is gorgeous wich means I think you are too and you are clearly smart too.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Todd


Contractor Accountants 5 years ago

That's great post


White Horse 5 years ago

Just call it 51 things Americans should know about the collapse of the economy. http://www.bushstole04.com/monetarysystem/economy_...

I have no sympathy for high interest rate credit card companies.


vikramshanti 5 years ago

Fantastic post. Keep it up.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Vikramshanti


Lee 5 years ago

Check out or Google search "Re-Aging". Creditors and collection agencies has been doing it for years and year! The will re-age the statue of limitations to their advantage. I disagree with this post, when in debt, filing is ALWAYS better than waiting it out. I've had so many clients come to me after 8-10 years, when the creditors took them to court, it's cheaper to file than to fight it.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

It depends on your circumstances..if you are off grid and underground, you don't need to file...if not, well maybe.


texasgirlfw profile image

texasgirlfw 5 years ago

After doing this, how do you get your credit rating back up?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You have to have a little money..like 100 dollars and then take that to the bank and get a $100 dollar loan..using that as collateral. Pay it off and keep doing it, making larger loans, paying them off early and you will restore your credit.


BakerRambles profile image

BakerRambles 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Great post, I appreciated all the little details, especially the down to the state ones, great hub, voted up and useful and following.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Baker.


Ash Hicks profile image

Ash Hicks 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

This was really useful. I believe that if you owe something, you should pay it. But I was eighteen and had a kidney stone. Due to the idiocy of doctors, I had the kidney stone for a month and had to have it surgically removed. A lot of money later, no job, no house, no car, and you can get screwed. Sometimes things pop up, but as much as you try, hospitals and doctors are very picky about how quickly they get paid. For most hospitals, payment plans are only 12 months long! If the debt is not paid off in a year, then they can call the collection agency hound dogs on you!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

I agree Ash but things are very different now and the powers that be are not playing fair with us so I see no reason to be fair with them. Good luck to you!


Ash Hicks profile image

Ash Hicks 5 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

That's a very good take on it!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks


Aremelle profile image

Aremelle 5 years ago from NorCal

Thank You Ms Hoffman!

I was in here looking for a different article and found your Hub here on credit card issues. I WAS thinking of Bankruptcy--and then someone reminded me that THEY charge fees also =o/ What the? IF I had the money to pay a lawyer, I'd have the money to do everything else expected of me. Geez haha

I AM bothered about simply NOT paying--You are correct about how some of use think; if I bought it, I should pay for it. The issue of Keeping these Usurious Creditors in golf balls ALSO bothers me. Thanks for the reminder of WHO is the big bad wolf here!

What kills me is that over the years, I worked like mad to not "overuse" my cards and to keep my debts paid on time; I even paid them all off, including ex spouses, THREE TIMES. Windfall moneies was the opportunity those cases.

Today, however, I'm flat broke: Horrific costly divorce and economy/less income and moving and disability/lack of work, illness and yadda yadda...I simply cannot pay. I can barrrrrely pay my utilities! Lately, I've used my cards just to buy FOOD. :( I'm MORTIFIED.

I worked SO SO hard at keeping my credit score up and those bills paid SO THAT--in late life I'd have them for emergency/a cushion. If the Creditors had not been allowed to HIKE the interests rates so high, I might be okay. These are some of the UGLIEST times in my lifetime. I'm 63.

I'll do more reading and research and thinking on what You've written here before I decide which is best for me but I'm almost in tears of "relief" after reading your Hub.

Thanks again---destitute in CA


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Aremelle: Please Please read some of my other hubs..in fact I would hope that you would read them all! I am telling you this because there is a lot of information besides this one that will help you. I'm so glad you wrote..you are the reason I am writing these. Feel free to repost these articles on your facebook and to write to me if you have any questions. Also, make sure you watch all the videos because there is a lot of good information in those as well. Good luck to you.


time-barred 4 years ago

Really enjoyed your article. A few years ago, my consulting business dried up. I tried everything to find work, but eventually had to default on my cards. I paid on the debt for over a year, but eventually my savings gave out. That was well over four years ago. One creditor sued me, the rest gave up. All that time, I was only able to find small, part-time work, so I eventually went back to grad school to try and change careers. When I graduated, no one was hiring in the field I graduated in, so I went for another year unemployed. And now - after all that-- I'm back doing what I used to do, and wish I had never gone to graduate school. On the positive side, it has been so long, that I've been written off by most of the creditors. On the down side, I will have to pay the judgement off. As soon as I can get a full-time perm job, that's my first step. The worst part of all of it was that I took out the so-called credit-card insurance, but when I went to use it, they said it was no longer on the account. If you have to have your cards cancelled due to fraud, it's a good idea to check to see if the credit protector is still on them. I didn't check, because I was working and never carried a balance on them. But back in 2006, I started to carry a balance, and when I checked, I no longer had credit protector. Moral of the story is the credit card protector is worthless. Also, don't ever take a balance transfer out during a lean time. You'll only end up regretting it. I couldn't have known my business would completely dried up--I'd been doing it for years. But creditors will try to fight any bankruptcy claim if they think you took out the transfers when money wasn't coming in. I wasn't able to file bankruptcy because my lawyer told me some of the creditors would try to fight it. He said my only option was to wait it out and see who would sue me, while I kept looking for work. If I found work, he suggested I file chapter 13 and work out a payment plan. But I never found a gig-- I lived as a student for four years, so now the debt is now time-barred. I wouldn't recommend this path for anyone who can file and try to reorg their finances, but sometimes it's just not an option. I went from a 730 score to about a 580 and now am up to about a 660.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for sharing Time Barred.


Nick 4 years ago

Hi I need some advice. Both my wife and I don't qualify for a chapter 7 so we are thinking of a chapter 13 but I calculated all of our bills without the credit cards and we have maybe $200 left every month will that go to the creditors in a chapter 13


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I don't know, you need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney.


Nick 4 years ago

I have an appointment with one next week, would you happen to know what time frame a credit card company will freeze my savings account if not paid? 3months? More?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I have no idea, they could do it at any time.


TotalHealth profile image

TotalHealth 4 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

Thanks for the hub! I found it useful and unfortunately applicable to the current market many of us are trying to survive.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're very welcome, please feel free to repost on your facebook. Thanks for commenting.


ENDcorruption 4 years ago

Brie,

LOOOVE your hubs! I AM about to spread the word, but I just NEED to ask this...we DO need to file bankruptcy (though not sure which as of yet)...but, BEFORE we speak to an attorney, we need to know, how much in assets are we ALLOWED to have before filing (if it differs for each, I'd GREATLY appreciate knowing the amount for each)! THANK YOU VERY MUCH (in advance)!!!!!!!!!!!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks ENDcorruption but you need to ask the bankruptcy attorney that question. I am not an attorney. Good Luck.


Remnant 4 years ago

If the CC's can't touch your SS or unemployment money

what do the get for freezing or putting a lien on your checking account?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Nothing if that is all you have.


Ryan 4 years ago

I filed a couple weeks ago and today my girlfriend added me to her bank account cause shes the bread winner. She has around 5 grand in her checking, is this going to be a problem for her/us cause im now attached to a account with that much in it? Thanks. By the the way I live in illinois


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Ask you attorney that filed for you..but since you already filed I don't think that there is anything you can do. But..if I were you I would NOT be a part of the account.


NYC Woman 4 years ago

Well, I AM judgment-proof, or more accurately, collection-proof, (no assets, no income, no NOTHING), and a certain bank began suing me for about $2100 in credit card debt last October (2011). My last payment had been in March (2011). So even tho they've been told there's nothing for them to collect, they're going for it anyway. Nice, huh? We've already had 3 pretrial hearings, and they were recently denied summary judgment. I think they're filing yet a SECOND motion for sj. (Yes, I've been down to CLARO a number of times.) I've been told I don't own/make enough for it to be worth it for me to file a chapter 7, even a do-it-yourself one, even with a waived filing fee and waived credit and debt counseling sessions fees. Hard times in the land of plenty! Think the bank is just flexing some muscle in my direction?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Is it a bank or a collection company?

I really don't know what to tell you. I don't know why they would do that since you have nothing. You have no assets either?


NYC Woman 4 years ago

It's a collection law firm for Capital One. Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to me either. Although, at yesterday's hearing, my volunteer lawyer for the day suggested that they pursue judgments on folks like me so they can use it to put fear into others who default on their payments. Not really sure how they'd do that; they certainly did no 'judgment-flag' waving in MY face. And to answer your question: no assets. No home (I rent), no car, nothing valuable, no retirement account, no savings, no resources, no nada, zilch. I've hit the dirt, as they say. It's been challenging to say the least. Especially since everyone around me seems to be doing just fine, as evidenced by the zillion luxury condos that have been continually sprouting up on every block around for the past few years now. (If you're in Manhattan I'm sure you know what I mean.) So who knows? I WILL say that the growing gap between the haves and have-nots has never been more evident. If only someone would do some 'judgment-flag' waving in Jamie Dimon's face!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

You have my sympathy. I knew that this was possible I just never heard of it being done before. Did your attorney's make them verify the debt? It might not work if it is with the bank of record and not a collection agency but why not try it. Have you read this article that I wrote?

http://hubpages.com/money/Validate-the-Debt...


Remnant 4 years ago

Capital One will sue a dead person.

Before most banks starting suing people

Capital One was the first one to take people to court.

If they sue you or get a judgemen agist you

it stops the statue of limitations


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for the info, Remnant. It is my opinion that we should just ignore these things anyway. So what if you get a judgment on your credit report, ignore it! Don't use credit and just go on with your life. The whole system is a scam and corrupt.


NYC Woman 4 years ago

Brie, I hear you! Corrupt is right! Remnant: LOL, I'm beginning to believe Cap 1 WOULD sue a dead person! Hahaha! And Brie, I just read your other article about debt validation. I don't have any attorneys on retainer (can't afford that!), but the woman at the civil legal advice and resource office (CLARO) who assisted me with my response to the initial summons said it looked like the original creditor. So I sent a request for documents to which they responded by only sending a years worth of photocopied monthly statements. This was back in November 2011. 3 adjournments and one denied MSJ later, I am very close to throwing in the towel. I have nothing for them to take anyway. And thanks to the Exempt Income Protection Act of 2009, they legally wouldn't be able to freeze up to $1740, ($2500 if direct deposit from ss, etc.). Btw, I am SO with you regarding the banksters. I mean, to a large degree their behavior is at least in part responsible for our currently messed up economy. After that bail out were any of them held accountable? Well, where's OUR bail out? People have been doing whatever they have to in order to survive. The result is so many, just in the New York area alone, are being sued for credit card debt that the Civil Court is being referred to as credit card court. But my heart really goes out to those who did everything the way they were supposed to and now find themselves being foreclosed on. Something's got to change, because the system is broken big time.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I couldn't agree more! You should get and read the book "The Creature from Jekyll Island", you could probably get it from the library...then you would see it is 100% their fault.


NYC Woman 4 years ago

Oh right! The book about the Federal Reserve! Thank you for reminding me, I've been meaning to read that! I'm going right now to see if it's available or put a hold on it through the NYPL online thingee! Thanks, Brie! The worst is feeling alone in all this mess. It really helps just to be able to interact with a kindred spirit...it's empowering, isn't it? Solidarity, sister!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I know just how you feel! Feel free to write to me using the contact button in the upper right hand corner.


monicamelendez profile image

monicamelendez 4 years ago from Salt Lake City

No fair haha I don't want to live in Utah anymore!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Utah is better than some.


NYC Woman 4 years ago

Did you see that Crap 1 got slammed yesterday? Not slammed ENOUGH imo.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yes, I saw that, I agree!


RU 4 years ago

Arizona's SOL is not 3 years, it's now 6 years due to HB2412.

Also for those in California, we do have a choice of law provision (read Resurgence v. Chambers) to borrow the lesser SOL if the credit card company uses a different state under 'Governing Law'.

Capital One uses Virginia - 3 year SOL

Chase uses Delaware - 3 year SOL

HSBC uses Virginia - 3 year SOL

Etc. Check your agreement to see which yours uses.

Good luck!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for the update RU.


NYC Woman 3 years ago

UPDATE: After a year of being sued by Cap One, I guess they finally realized they were trying to get blood from a stone and subsequently sent me a Stipulation of Discontinuance this past December. They're still sending me settlement offers, however -- the latest one is for less than half of what they were suing me for. I figure if I wait long enough I could send them a couple bubble gum wrappers and they'll call it even Steven.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan Author

LOL, Good for YOU!


exadallia 3 years ago

in alabama all the lawyers i have talked to say the sol on old credit cards is 6 yrs.. im just sick i to thought it was 3. they can't touch my social security but the ban tells me they can get my retirement pension. im old and im not going to make it. im terrified.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan Author

Exadallia, I don't know who you are talking to but they are wrong. There is NOTHING they can do to you. First of all, Alabama is a 3 year state not a 6 year. AND, it doesn't matter anyway because you are what they call judgement proof if you have no assets. Read this article:

http://hubpages.com/money/Is-Bankruptcy-a-Good-Opt...


Remnant 3 years ago

Brie Hoffman 8 months ago from Manhattan Hub Author

Thanks for the info, Remnant. It is my opinion that we should just ignore these things anyway. So what if you get a judgment on your credit report, ignore it! Don't use credit and just go on with your life. The whole system is a scam and corrupt.

If you are looking for a job,it is harder to get one if you have a judgment against you.If you do have a job you can not be fired if a CC company gets a judgment against you, but they can let you go if you get more than one


NYC Woman 3 years ago

I just have to repeat what many others have already said: there is a special circle in hell for these banksters. After they trash our economy, after they aren't held accountable by our justice system, after all the bail outs they've received and continue to receive, for them to pursue those who are struggling financially is BEYOND unconscionable, especially in light of the fact that they are insured for their losses. Bunch of sociopaths.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan Author

I agree Remnant. And, I'm glad more and more people are waking up to this fraud. I just feel for people like Exadalia, who wrote before you. People who don't know how to beat the system and are tortured by it. Please share this article, feel free to repost it on your facebook and/or pinterest and get the word out.


lorraine masmille 2 years ago

Hello Ms. Hoffman,

Sorry for the longer than usual post but was needed to call attention to some concerns...and thanks in advance for everything you do to help everyone.

We are elderly and can't claim bankruptcy since no $ to pay for it and I have read that there are debtor's prisons in the U.S, many in Ohio and I believe another in Minnesota. I just read this on the internet on 8/28/2014, and it really frightens me.

Reason is my husband and I are elderly, quite ill and have some credit card debt we can no longer pay due to increased higher APR'S and we were never late with any monthly payments. We paid off 3 credit cards in full few years ago, and just had 1 cc and 1 charge card, which seem to hike up the APR'S quite often with no warning. Also this Bank and charge card company have no interest in discussing a remedy to continue to receive monthly payments from us and lower the APR'S to what was our previous acceptable level.

Now it has come down to basics of becoming homeless, death from not buying life sustaining prescription medications,(cant afford prescription coverage), or starving to death.....or paying both cards at their higher APR rates. Already we are doing without so many life sustaining medications, healthy food, and a lot of other basic living essentials.

We worked hard and paid our taxes all our lives, but also took in and cared for our aged parents a few years ago who were very ill and helpless, and also bedridden and my Dad was multiply disabled and received very small SS checks, as they all did. They needed our financial help through many years when we were employed to continue to live, after they ran out of their $ due to no fault of their own. That is where all of our retirement and savings went, and also where many of our current credit and charge card charges now appear. We now have no savings, no cars, no property, no extra income coming in at all. We are ill, very elderly have no living relatives or friends anymore, and are just terrified of being sued since we can no longer make these 2 monthly payments. We really fear being sued and dragged back and forth to court, even though we cannot pay anything anymore.

These companies received their government bail out with our taxpayer's money and we were never asked.

Should we have watched our parents die early deaths from being multiply disabled, very ill, and completely helpless in their old age? They were not garbage to be thrown away, they gave us life, love, respect, and a safe roof over our heads growing up. They certainly deserved the same from their children. We helped and helped until they died in our arms bedridden in our place, and my Dad died in the Hospital. The grief continues as does the guilt and nightmares, wondering if we perhaps overlooked something important to have helped them more.

Is our fear of being thrown into debtor's jail a possibility in NYC?

I just read that attorneys are now beginning to take the elderly whose only income stems from their monthly SS check to court anyway, even though they know that these elderly people can never pay back these credit card debts as they have no property which they own, no vehicles, no other bank accounts, no other incoming incomes of any kind, and just manage to barely get by on a small monthly SS check. In our home my husband collects SS, as I am not of entitlement age yet.

Many times we look at what the medical community and the pharmaceutical community have done, as far as our parents and us having experienced being medically violated with so many numerous unnecessary expensive diagnostic medical tests, painful expensive long hospital stays, double billing for medical treatments never received, double billing for bills already paid in full which keeps reappearing as unpaid, arguing that the life sustaining meds we are taking have worked for years and still do, so why are we being forced to try some new medication which became recently available, which has not passed the test of time.....Why were our parents given Cipro, and vioxx which kills and the physicians were aware of that at the time they gave them those prescriptions...How many people died needlessly taking these horrific drugs only to become statistics..... I am sure everyone knows and can understand our fright and frustration with all of this.

We are now wishing God would claim us both, since it seems the saying we always believed in "where there is still life, there is hope", no longer exists for us because at this point we are so fearful of what lies ahead when we stop both monthly payments, and wish we could just escape the outcome completely.

Now we fear the unknown of stopping both credit card payments in order to continue to live....or end up perhaps in a debtor's jail....the Government bailed out the banks and other companies and even bailed out Detroit.....why can't they also do the same for elderly ill people who have charge and credit card companies raising their APR's, and expect those who are the have not's to fork over every cent they have to pay monthly payments, even if it means an end to their humane way of life.

Bree your comments or advisements would be so appreciated.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Lorraine: You have absolutely nothing to worry about. Read this article I wrote: http://hubpages.com/money/Is-Bankruptcy-a-Good-Opt...

It sounds as if you are living on social security and have no assets..then there is NOTHING they can do to you. Stop paying your credit cards now. Send your creditors certified letters telling them that you are on SS, than you have no assets and that you cannot afford to pay your bills any longer. I know several people in your same situation. They did what I told them and nothing happened to them. They are now able to manage. There is nothing a credit card company can do to you..you are judgment proof!

After you send them the letter NEVER talk to them again and throw away any letters you get unless it has a court date on it. If they try to take you to court (which I doubt they will) THEY WILL LOSE! Don't believe a word that they say, don't ever talk to them again. If you happen to answer the phone by accident and it is a collector hang up.

Don't file Bankruptcy, you don't need to...just quit paying and be free. You will not be thrown into a debtor's prison, don't worry about that.


Lorraine Masmille 2 years ago

8/29/2014

Dear Ms. Hoffman,

Bless you for your prompt reply and sound advice, but we still have some concerns left which is the following:

Very early this morning before you replied we watched some internet videos that gave a few different scenarios and advised the following:

1) It is best to stop making the monthly cc payments but do not speak or communicate with anyone at all, unless we receive via certified mail intent to sue notification papers from an attorney, a debt collector, or actual court papers advising us that we are being sued for these debts and must appear on such and such date.

It was also noted in one video that if the collections agent or their attorney sent us an intent to sue letter then we should send via certified mail return receipt requested a letter stating we have no idea if these debts are truly our debts, and therefore request via certified mail validation of the original agreement documentation between the card holders and the original charge or credit card companies. Also we wish to further advise we are elderly, ill, not employed, and our only means of yearly income is from Social Security, in addition to not owning or having any other assets pertaining to ownership of a home, car, savings accounts, or any other income.

2) Another course of action in another video was not to notify anyone at all since the original creditors will write off our debts and debt collectors will buy them, so it would be in our best interest not to give them a paper trail unless we receive actual court papers that we are being sued and the court date to appear. They stated by the time a court date is set there is a very extreme slim chance the collection agent or their attorney can actually locate the original valid documentation between us and the original creditors to be able to offer that exact validation in a court of law.

Ms. Hoffman now we are still a bit confused and would like to especially know your thoughts as to the best way to proceed regarding the other scenario’s also outlined above, in addition to yours.

Whatever your next reply is Ms. Hoffman we will follow your advice, and pray for a good outcome, but we just wish all avenues are considered and be able to understand the best way to approach this, in order not to leave large paper trails which can be used against us in a court of law if we are sued. They were explicit in that video as to not notify the original creditors, at all since they will only pass the debts on to debt collectors and time will pass before any debt collection court action may or may not be initiated.

We will also update if there are any surprises, but we hope there will not be, and many thanks again Ms. Hoffman for all the wonderful help you give to everyone in need.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Lorraine:

You do not have to do anything in you don't want to. The first scenario you mentioned is for people who are not judgment proof. Since you are senior citizens on SS with no assets you are judgment proof. That means they cannot sue you in court and win. That means you are free.

My own mother was in your situation. I had her do exactly what I'm telling you to do:

Write letters to her creditors telling them that she could not afford to pay.

Tell them that you are Senior Citizens on SS.

You have no assets.

Tell them not to call you ever again.

Nothing happened to her and nothing will.

You can in fact, sue THEM and win if they call you after you tell them not to, in writing. Keep copies of the letters. The problem is that they will then sell your debt to someone else and then they will try to get the money out of you. These people are low rate cons sitting in some back room trying to squeeze money out of people like you. It makes me so mad..but that is another story. I have many articles about them on my website.

From now on screen your calls and do not answer any calls that come from people you don't know. The will lie to you about having you arrested and taking you to court. They will also record the phone call, that is why you don't want to talk to them. There is no benefit for YOU in talking to them.

If you do happen to get a rogue creditor that is stupid enough to try and take you to court (believe me the odds of this happening are very small and I have never ever heard of it happening). You should go to court and tell them..just what you wrote, that you are senior citizens on SS and have no assets. The court will judge in your favor. If you don't go to court, your opponent will automatically win because you didn't show up. But, I doubt this will ever happen because they know this.

The only reason I am telling you to write letters is to let them know that you know you are judgment proof so hopefully they will give up calling and writing and you will have some peace. Did you read the other article I sent about Seniors and Bankruptcy?

Please feel free to write again.


lorraine masmille 2 years ago

8/29/2014

Hello Ms. Hoffman,

Many thanks again and yes I did read everything you sent me and thank you for that. Also thanks for allowing us to write back now...but I also read your last reply which I greatly appreciate, but also see in your column that NYC woman was also judgement proof and her creditor Capital 1 knew that, and still took her to court many times. Your reply was you were not aware that would or could happen.....but evidently you probably forgot since you are so kind and help and reply to so many people........Ms. Hoffman this is where I become a bit unnerved.....so please kindly give me your best replies to what I have outlined below should that scenario take place in my case.....

Question 1)

Since I am the person who took out both credit cards in my name and a while afterwards added my husband on to my accounts as an additional card user, because I eventually had problems walking, I believe it is I who can only be sued in Court, since I am the original card holder accepting full responsibility for any additional card holder users on my accounts? (I know he will not be able to physically endure being present in a courtroom if I am sued over this due to his extensive cardiac condition and high blood pressure, and he is not well versed in the English language, in addition to having his memory failing, he also becomes tongue tied very easily, and is close to 80 years old). In view of all of this Ms. Hoffman if the court papers arrive in my name only can I leave him at home? Please advise......

If after contacting the bank and charge card company via certified mail return receipt requested, and also alerting them we can no longer pay our current credit card debt due to vast hardship, as well as informing them that we have no other income or any assets whatsoever other than my husband’s monthly SS check and a small Annuity pension check, should they decide to sue anyway I would bring the previous years IRS tax filing along with my husband’ SS award letter for the Judge to see we are telling the truth and are insolvent, and submit all that documentation if required.

Question 2:

Ms. Hoffman you mentioned the debt can be sold over and over again to other debt collectors, but if we go to court and the 1st debt collector loses because we are insolvent, when the judge rules in our favor and we win this specific credit card non payment case, then isn't this all over? Doesn't that stop any other future collections from starting over again? Please advise.....

Question 3:

After the 1st debt collector loses the case in Court doesn't the debt collector or their Attorney have to notify us by certified mail signature required, that they lost the case in Court by sending us a Stipulation of Discontinuance? Please advise.....

Also shouldn't the court then also notify us by mail of their ruling that we won? Please advise....

After that I believe we are to expect an IRS tax form in the mail (which by the way the IRS should also receive) alerting the IRS that we won this court action for non payment cc, and being insolvent (judgement proof), doesn't our tax preparer then have to submit that form we received in the mail and alert the IRS we are judgement proof and cannot pay the taxes due to being what is also called insolvent, meaning we have no funds to make any payments? Please advise.....

Ms. Hoffman can you please advise the name of that IRS form we should accept to receive?

Last question....Once all this is enacted above can we expect to never hear from another debt collector ever again regarding this specific case?........or even with the stipulation of discontinuance from the 1st debt collector (or attorney), will this scenario keep repeating itself over and over again?????? Please advise....

Miss Hoffman I believe knowing all of this in advance now may prepare me better as how to safeguard my husband’s health and well being, as he is all I have left now. I am an orphan all my family died, as did my relatives, and he is truly what keeps me from giving up as life is not easy when one is so ill, and the golden years without finances and good health are not so golden for many of us.

Also with all your advisement replies so kindly noted above of which we are so grateful for Ms. Hoffman, I believe I will also become more knowledgeable as to what exactly to expect during a debt collection enacted Court lawsuit.

Again many thanks for all your kindnesses, and we respectfully await your kind knowledgeable replies.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Lorraine, the NYC woman never said she was a senior citizen collecting social security with no assets. You will NOT be sued, I've never ever heard of someone like you being sued. So don't worry about it.

But, to answer your questions, if I were you I would get a note by a doctor regarding your husband and that should suffice in court. Also, if you were sued and when they lost it would be over, no one would ever sue you again..but like I said you wont be sued. The reason you wont be sued is because it costs them a lot of money to sue someone and they know they will lose. You will be contacted for a long time by phone and mail..just ignore it/them. Eventually it will stop too.


lorraine masmille 2 years ago

Thanks again Ms. Hoffman for all your kind replies, and I will keep you updated if you don't mind.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome and please do.

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