Understand this – you will NOT go to jail in case you forfeit. In a worst case scenario, your credit card company will file a suit against you. But, they will abstain from doing that until and unless you owe them several thousand dollars. The lawsuit can cost them more in legal obligations than the amount you would pay for your credit card debt. In most cases, credit card companies hire a collection agency that calls you repeatedly and pesters you ruthlessly. But, that is the part you want to avoid right?
Approach the credit card company and tell them the exact reason for not paying off the debt. If the problem is related to employment, you can clearly tell them that you are unemployed and will begin your payments once you find a job. Request them to reduce the interest rate and discuss how the issue can be resolved. If they don’t listen and continue to bother you, bluntly threaten them that you will file bankruptcy. Credit card companies do not want you to file a bankruptcy because they know that if you do that, there is no way that they can EVER get back their money. Bankruptcy protection is created to save people from oversized debt. You will have to decide between the two evils, whether you want to repay your credit card debt or file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not a good option considering the way it destroys your credit history and all your financial credibility. A suggestion worth following at that stage would be to start clearing things and not give up.
Credit card companies want their debt repaid and will help you find ways to pay back the debt. They have tie-ups with debt companies such as Hudson and Keyes that purchase debt. The company that purchases your debt will issue a letter to you proposing the ‘settlement’ for a lower amount. The debt purchasing company has attorneys, which help you lose debt by paying a lesser amount.
One more option is to go to a debt reduction firm such as Consumer Credit Counseling Service. The debt reduction organization contacts the credit card company and tries to derive a proposal, where both parties benefit. The ‘reduction’ may be in terms of lowering the interest rate. Monthly payment would still continue from your end but you would pay them to the debt reduction firm who would give it to credit card companies.
Whatever happens, do not let the problem scandalize you. Even if it means changing your phone number or having it unlisted. Every problem can be resolved and will resolve within due time. On your part, try to shave off your living expenses and keep your accounts current by paying the minimum due. Pay off small debts first and then move over to high interest rate debts. When you get the accounts current, contact the credit card company and request them to alter their interest rates. This will help you save a lot of money on the debt. Contact your credit card company consistently in a period of six months to lower your interest rate. Who knows they may help save a considerable amount of money! Just try you best to move out of debt and don’t borrow another penny.