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Mark Cappel
UpdatedJun 17, 2024

I was recently diagnosed with cancer and and since then, have had problems paying my debts. What are my options?

Two years ago I had 3 cc one with Juniper and two with capital one, one with capital one had protection on it for if I was sick it was supposed to cover me. Had excellent credit. cards were 1000, 2500, 3000. Found out that I had cancer had to start chemo got really sick, insurance did not cover all meds, had to stop work. late on payments to cc, but still made payments. Meds were more expensive, husband worked and covered meds, never used cc's during this time since out of work, cc's were in my name only. After late for payments to cc's experienced late charges and then even paying cc's min. even though late, was charged late fees which put me over balance and then charged for over fee limit. So discouraged at that point, stopped paying for one year now on all cards. We are barely getting by, late with our mortgage, 1 month behind. House is in husband's name only. collectors calling threatening to sue, I offered what we could possibly make as payment arrangements and was told it wasnt good enough. we live in PA. Don't know where to go at from here. I am willing to take the judgment, but will they garnish our bank account although we live from my husband's paycheck to paycheck and our house is not paid off and no equity in it and it is in my husbands name only. What do we do now. Please give us an answer.

The best advice I can offer you at this point is to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area as soon as possible. A qualified attorney should be able to carefully review your overall financial situation and tell you whether filing for bankruptcy protection could help you and your husband avoid the potential consequences of continued collection activity on these debts. The fact that you are behind on your mortgage payments is a sign that you are in dire financial straits and that your income is inadequate to cover your necessary expenses and service your debts. Mortgage payments are the last debt that most consumers will allow to go unpaid; in fact, I know many people who would go hungry in order to make their mortgage payments each month. Given your drastic reduction in income, and the clear evidence that you are unable to meet you monthly expenses, bankruptcy may be the only viable option available to you at this point. However, I am not an attorney, and cannot tell you definitively whether or not bankruptcy can help solve your financial problems; again, I strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area to review your individual circumstances and help you determine how you should proceed. To learn more about bankruptcy, you can visit the bankruptcy page at

Many people who are struggling to pay their secured debts, such as their mortgage and car note, find that bankruptcy can be very helpful in helping them prevent foreclosure or repossession of their property. Because Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge most unsecured debts, such as credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans, consumers can apply funds that would previously have been paid to unsecured creditors to pay their mortgage and other secured obligations. Given your limited income, any reduction in your monthly expenses should help ameliorate your financial difficulties.

Extended illness, like the one you experienced, is often the root cause of the financial problems that force many Americans to file for bankruptcy protection. Thankfully, the bankruptcy system is designed to help people like you and your husband who, through no fault of your own, are faced with a drastic reduction in income, leaving you with debts which you simply cannot afford to pay. Hopefully, a good attorney will be able to guide you through the process and put you back on the road to financial solvency. I wish you the best of luck, and hope the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.



Debt statistics

Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q1 2024 was $17.69 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.62 trillion and credit card was $1.12 trillion.

According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 10% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.

The amount of debt and debt in collections vary by state. For example, in Missouri, 29% have any kind of debt in collections and the median debt in collections is $1775. Medical debt is common and 16% have that in collections. The median medical debt in collections is $767.

To maintain an excellent credit score it is vital to make timely payments. However, there are many circumstances that lead to late payments or debt in collections. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to deal with debt including debt consolidation and debt relief solutions.



BBill, May, 2009
When you missed payments on your loan, you breached the terms of the agreement with the original company. Once in default, the original company has the rights to pursue all collections on that account until 6 months, after which the company writes off the loan from its books. when that happens the debt is sold to another company, who now have the rights to collect on it. In short, yes, you still have to pay the firm.
VVeronica, May, 2009
I had a loan with a financial company and missed six months of payment. A law firm have aquired the loan and wants me to pay them. My agreement was with the original financial company. Do I have to pay the firm?