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- Ignore all calls and emails from creditors. Block them. Do not engage. Hang up.
- Respond by mail with a “cease and desist letter” to each collection letter you receive. Include the letter received.
- “Freeze your credit” , adjust tax withholding, file returns on time and get an “IPIN for your tax return”.
- Evaluate your income sources and assets. If you receive SS, a pension, unemployment, disability, and do not own a home or other assets, then you are collection proof. Stop here – there is no reason to attempt to settle or file bankruptcy.
- If not, then Calculate your “Debt-to-Income Ratio”. If over 35% consider bankruptcy. If under consider global settlement by offering a pro rata share of your payment amount or lump sum to all creditors.
- Calculate the “Median Income for your Your Family Size”. If eligible for Chapter 7 tell all creditors in cease and desist letters when contacted or in a settlement letter. File Chapter 7 if sued. If not eligible for Chapter 7, evaluate Chapter 13. Be aware that even after all of these things are done, creditors’ counsel could still choose to sue you in which case interest, fees, and costs, would be added to the Judgment. There is risk in delaying resolving issues with creditors both in terms of having to eventually pay more, delinquent credit reporting to credit bureaus, and of being sued and a Judgment being entered (an even bigger negative than a delinquency). If you are struggling to pay your bills each month and are overwhelmed by debt, it is time to learn the truth about bankruptcy.
Christopher S. Mulvaney’s Mission:
To Always Be a Human Being First, and My Role Second.
To First, Do No Harm, then to provide the best legal outcome,
smoothest process, best value, and to make a positive difference in the life of every client.
Christopher S. Mulvaney’s Mantra:
May I be filled with loving kindness for all life.
May I be safe from dangers within and without.
May I be healthy in body, mind, socially, and spiritually.
May I be at ease and happy, doing good in the world.
For more information about my practice in Bellevue, Washington, please consult my Blog.
- Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Issaquah, Sammamish, Maple Valley, Burien, SeaTac, and throughout King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.