Non-bankruptcy Options

Non-bankruptcy options include:
 
Credit Counseling (advertised on TV) - this process has resulted in the IRS shutting down many of these fraudulent agencies who were stealing your money.  Their basic scheme was to charge you exorbitant amounts of money to send tiny payments to your creditors.  This offered you zero legal protection and often just left you owing more than you started with plus all the wasted money paid to the credit counselor.
 
Home Equity Loan - danger, if you miss your payments they can take your home.  Most of your creditors cannot take your home if you do not pay them, but if you consolidate your bills into a home equity loan, your home is the collateral and can be repossessed for non-payment.
 
Borrow more money - if you are lucky enough to get a very low interest rate loan with payments you can afford, and you are disciplined enough not to go out and charge up all your credit cards that you pay off with this loan, then this might work.  However most people who try this end up in even more debt, and some of that debt might be non-dischargeable if a bankruptcy is ultimately required.
 
Settle with creditors - sounds too good to be true, and it usually is.  They send you a letter saying they will take less than what you owe on your debt.  You quickly pay them off and think you are done.  Later you receive a 1099 from them claiming you made income of the amount of debt you did not pay and now the IRS wants taxes on your "income." The IRS does not go away as easily as the original creditors.  Debt discharged in bankruptcy is not taxable, debt "settled" is taxable.  The other issue is 'settling' with a collection agent may not 'settle' the debt with the original creditor.
 
Just don't pay - if bankruptcy is not an option for you (morally and/or legally) you may be forced to just not pay your debts and see what happens.  Typically the creditor has a right to sue you within 4 years of your last payment or other action on the account.  If they get a judgment and if you own non-exempt property (as defined by your state law, not by bankruptcy law) at any time the creditor can use that judgment to seize that property.  In Texas non-exempt property includes cash and money in the bank, so it may be possible for them to seize your paycheck as soon as you deposit it or cash it.  A judgment will also remain as a negative on your credit report for up to 10 years.  Non-payment of debt also continues to hit your credit report, which continues to lower your credit score and makes it more difficult or costly to obtain credit.  Some creditors will insist you pay off any judgments you have prior to loaning money.
 
To find out more, please call or email us to schedule a free consultation to see if you qualify.
phone (254) 752-4279 or email gary@752gary.com
By Act of Congress and Signature of the President:
 We are a Debt Relief Agency. We help people file for bankruptcy.
Please realize the information contained on this web site should not be construed as legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between us. It is simply here as a means for me to provide you some basic information for you to use when deciding on whether or not you need to hire an attorney. Because each case is different, it would be impossible for us to provide legal advice on a web site.
Gary Cunha, P.C., Attorney and Counselor at Law
100 N. 6th #604, Waco, TX 76701 254-752-4279
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