It has been my past experience that at 3 months behind that is when companies will begin to “deal” with you. Call your credit card company’s default department and begin talks with them and if you have to ask to speak to a manager ask for one. They want their money and they normally will make some sort of deal. It seems Chase and USBank are two of the hardest to deal with and won’t deal until you are 3 months or more behind. Call and ask them for a workout package so they can see what goes out each month and can help you find a payment plan. If you can avoid a debt consolidation company avoid it – they charge outrageous fees and can negotiate what you can yourself usually.
Don’t let it stress you out too much – we live in the credit card age and most of the lower – middle income brackets are in the same boat. Pay your mortgage and essentials and deglutinate the credit cards to where you can pay what you can.
your story prompted a sympathetic “ouch” reaction. You don’t say why you feel you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and you may have your own good reasons for not sharing all the details of your situation. However, there are cases where bankruptcy may be the best, and possibly the only, way for people to re-balance their finances and start their lives over. Bad things happen to good people – disability, unemployment, unexpected family crises — and, as they say in the song, “you gotta know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em.”
What state/city do you live in? You may be able to find a bankruptcy attorney who offers a free consultation. Although you may suspect that they are “selling” bankruptcy, you may also get some surprisingly objective and honest advice. A good attorney won’t take a case he/she feels will not be successful. However, be forewarned that they collect their fees up front, and those fees can be steep. There are additional filing fees that go directly to the state. Keep all options on the table, for your own peace of mind and for your financial future. Hope this helps. (Been there, done that.)