Paying Vs. Bankruptcy

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by AJiLE, Aug 2, 2001.

  1. AJiLE

    AJiLE Well-Known Member

    Hello all:

    I'm a "newbie" in this forum, although I see some familiar faces (lol) from other boards that I've come to know since I first undertook this royal pain of life called "credit rebuilding". I've been in this process for over 3 years now, trying desperately to resolve the 60K + of debt that was incurred during my horrible 7 year marriage. This, of course, included repos, bounced checks, medical collections, and credit cards. In fact, in 1997, I don't believe I had only two positive trade lines, with over 40 negatives.

    Now, after reducing my negative tradelines down into the teens, and after adding my positives (over 4 years with Providian (1 x's 30 days late... my mistake), and Capital One, and a good car note that is almost paid off (slightly early @ 50 mos vs. 60 mos), I'm finding that I still cannot get over that 600 + hump, much less into "prime" territory.

    I've found, in discussions with rental property management companies, car dealers, banks, and other financial institutions, that I would have been better off by filing for bankruptcy. While filing for bankruptcy is certainly not at all a good thing in my mind, it is treated much better by our society and credit lenders in particular than someone who actually pays their bills, albeit late or in collections. Unfortunately, I learned the "art of negotiation" a bit late, so I've got no ammunition whatsoever, and am pretty much resigned to waiting for those negative accounts to fall off (2002-2003) before I can have a better score.

    Sorry to vent... but it's kinda sickening to think that I'm worse off by actually having paid those bills. :(

    A. J.
  2. Larissa

    Larissa Well-Known Member

    I know how you feel. I too find that I should have filed...I have a few lousy collections, lots of late pays and 2 loans in default...can't even get a credit card much less a mortgage. If I had filed back in 98 when the trouble started I would be getting all the great offers that my brother who filed last year is much for trying to be responsible...

  3. Struggler

    Struggler Well-Known Member

    That's what's sad, you know? A person who attempts to pay their debts to the best of their ability gets shafted, whereas someone who dumps the debt gets a second chance.
  4. making

    making Well-Known Member

    How much of the debt is left? $60k? It sounds like you have worked it down to a reasonable level. If that's the case, I'd say just wait.

    In 2 years everything but the 1 thirty day late will be gone? It sounds like you have done almost all the hard work of paying and waiting already
  5. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    OK, so you are down to 60k.

    That's a fair amount, but certainly not enough to think about filing bankruptcy over. Filing BK costs entirely too much and it does your credit no good at all. In most cases, it's a real killer for the next 10 years as everybody seems to understand. Yes, there are plenty of cases where people came out of BK and it didn't take them any 10 years to get good credit again, but I tend to think that is more the exception than the rule. Of course, most people don't really understand how to build good credit quickly either. So that don't help them any either.

    And of course, paying the bills off may be an admirable thing to do, but it sure don't help the old credit rating one little bit. In fact, it might be considered as being worse than bankruptcy for the damage it does to one's credit reports.

    So the better option would be if you could get the creditor to forgive the debt for you and take his adverse report off your credit files as well or get the collection agency to pay the creditor for you and take the bad report he put on your credit file for you as well.

    Now doing it that way is the best of all. Beats the heck out of either bankruptcy or paying them off.
  6. AJiLE

    AJiLE Well-Known Member

    Well, I've already paid nearly all of the 60K, so at this point, I've already lost my negotiating points (e.g. the monies owed). And no, paying them off hasn't helped a bit as far as my report (although many had fallen off earlier after I disputed them).

    A. J.
  7. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Until you have paid every crying dime you have not lost your rights under FDCPA which would include your right do demand a full itimezed accounting of the debt at any time.

    In the event they do not respond within a well defined period of time they violate the law. There are several more things that they must do and in the event that they violate any one of them, they are open to attack legally speaking although you most probably do not want to actually take them to court if you can keep from it unless you do so on the advice of a competent legal counsel. Most assuredly not on your own. But each violation of the law (which ever law might be applicable at any time or under any given situation ) can eventually add up to a powerful court case that could reward you very handsomely.

    Something to think about
  8. making

    making Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm confused. Is it correct that you owe very little now and in 2003 you will have zero negatives on your report? That seems like a great position to me. Just wait 2 years and make sure you are generating something positive credit info right now and you should be golden.
  9. AJiLE

    AJiLE Well-Known Member

    It won't necessarily be "golden", but I do see signs that it's going to improve (eventually). I guess I just don't want to wait an additional two years (after working on this for the past 3-4 years). I've had a few "blemishes" since, although most of those seem to stem directly from bills in 1996 (last big year of problems). That includes two judgements from later years that will haunt me until 2005/2006. Again, my goal is to get up above the 600 mark soon, but I'm not sure if that will happen or not (here in the Midwest, everyone seems to pull TU, which has the lowest of all 3 scores). It's just a frustration thing I guess...

    A. J.
  10. making

    making Well-Known Member i did misunderstand. Some baddies stay after 2003 :(
  11. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    I'll bet I can get rid of the rest of them for you a whole lot quicker than that.
  12. mj

    mj Well-Known Member

    It may not make sense at first, but think about it from the lender's perspective.

    If you filed BK, you would have been debt-free- more likely to pay the new bills since they aren't competing for your money with the old stuff. You would not be able to file BK again for 6 years. You would be a better risk.

    In your case- you had many "old" bills competing for your money. Some may have gone to (or were close to) filing suit, and as such could have attached your wages. The other creditors could force you into filing BK at any time. You're a higher risk, so they'll avoid you.

    Hopefully you get a red-carpet at the pearly-gates because you did the right thing :) Seriously, maybe you sleep better knowing you did the "good" thing.

    You have a good "story" to tell any loan officer about why you got into trouble, and more importantly, that you picked yourself up by the bootstraps and made it right. That should work for mortgages and cars. Probably not for automatically- decisioned bank cards, but sometimes people there will listen.

    The decline letters may all seem to be putting you down - but you should be proud of yourself.

  13. AJiLE

    AJiLE Well-Known Member

    Well, in my mind, paying the bills off was the responsible thing to do. As of this December, I should have only one more unpaid negative left, with everything else paid but still reflected on my reports. Unfortunately, as you've stated, this doesn't seem to help with those "automatic decision-makers", e.g. most credit cards. I guess I'm just frustrated with the whole thing, and hopeful that my scores will go up within the next few years.

    A. J.

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