Financial Fridays: Don’t Pay Your Credit Card Debt!

james-altucher-dont-pay-credit-card

My dad got off the phone and started crying. My mom yelled at him, “He didn’t give it to you!”

My dad had lent $2000 to S. and S. couldn’t pay him back “yet.” This call happened at least once a week.

S. was his best friend for 20 years. My mom would scream at my dad, “I told you not to give him money! What are we going to do now?” And she would start crying.

I was a kid. But we were going broke. My dad needed the money. I was a little kid but I felt scared and didn’t know why.

S. went to jail. Not for the $2000 of course (who cares?) but he was convicted of bribing a company that made him millions of dollars.

All of this is to say: your character creates your future.

My dad was too trusting and too sad and died from the cocktail of both.

My mother’s pessimism gets contorted into anger.

And S. didn’t have integrity and ultimately went to jail.

Your character today is your fate tomorrow.

What does this have to do with credit cart debt?

Everything!

First, always pay your friends back. This is what integrity is about.

This is what friendship is about. This is what handshakes are for. This is how you build character.

Credit card debt is NOT the same as friendship debt.

A bank is not your friend. A bank is usually a trillion dollar institution that charges you fees, interest payments, has lots of fine print, and makes you sign lots of contracts.

You have a contract with a bank.

The bank says, “we will lend you up to $X, and you will pay us back all the money plus interest, plus penalties. Or else we will seize your assets.”

So it’s give. And it’s take. Like every contract in the world.

It’s “I will do X, and if I don’t satisfy my responsibility, you can do Y”.

There’s usually other terms in the fine print, by the way.

A) If you default on even one of your credit cards, the interest rates on other cards you own might go up.

One card, with First Premier Bank, even had interest rates go as high as 80%. You had to read the fine print to see that. They ended that card in 2011.


B) You usually get low rates for the first six months, and then much higher rates, and if you miss a payment, your interest rates might be as high as 20% or more.

So the banks are not your friend.

Where does the bank get the money?

No problem: they borrow money from the US government, and the government will seize customer savings accounts if the bank defaults.

What interest do banks borrow at? Basically, 0% give or take. And this is how banks make money: the difference between that 20% (give or take) and 0%.

That’s a lot of money. There’s about a trillion dollars in credit card debt out there. I’m being very rough here, but that’s $200 billion in potential profits.

This post is in response to a question I got a few weeks ago. The question was this (verbatim):

“Hi James, Please please help me. I lost my job. I’m having trouble paying my mortgage. I’m really depressed and I think my wife is going to leave me and I have to put food on the table for three kids.

But every month I owe a ton of money to the credit cards. Should I file for bankruptcy? I can’t sleep at night. I feel like killing myself. What should I do?”

Answer: DON’T PAY YOUR CREDIT CARD DEBT if it is hurting the rest of your life.

Whatever you do: DO NOT file for bankruptcy. Then the courts just give the credit card companies your money. You have no say. Who do you think will win that battle?

It’s not an ethical issue. It’s a contract issue. You signed a contract.

Now the banks have to do their end of the contract. They have the full right to seize your assets. (but I’ll get to that in a second…)

By the way, the banks don’t even care. They have 100 PhDs who have already modeled out how many people will default.

They simply sell off your bad debt to hedge funds.

Why would a hedge fund buy your debt once you start to default? Easy: they pay 3 to 6 cents for every dollar you borrowed.

If you borrowed $1000 on your credit card, the bank will sell it to a hedge fund for $30.

The hedge fund now has to collect from you.

I can tell you: these hedge funds do very well.

How do I know this?

Because I was invested in them. They buy your debt for three cents on the dollar and they might, on average, collect eight cents on the dollar.

They outsource to either collection agencies or law firms in your local area to collect from you.

Maybe they give the collection agencies, on average, two cents. So now the hedge funds have made 100% on their investment. Not a bad business to be in. These hedge funds still do very well to this day.

By the way, hedge funds analyze these collections of bad credit card debt like they would any other investment.

They look at the ages of the borrowers (younger age means they will pay less money), they look at the age of the debt (older means they will pay less money for the debt), and yes they look at race and gender and what state you live in.

North Carolina and West Virginia, for whatever reason, are the worst states if you are a buyer of batches of bad credit card debt. Nobody could tell me why. But they might only pay 2 cents on the dollar for those.

This is all happening between three and 12 months after you stopped paying on your debt.

Now collection agencies start calling you day and night. You can change your number.

Or if you answer the phone, record the conversation. Every state has different laws on how collection agencies are allowed to talk to you. You can google the laws in your state.

It’s very easy to catch them breaking the law. Then you owe nothing. So record the conversations and try to get them angry.

They will try to scare you. They use fake names like “Dick Brockman” and they say things like “In five days we have to go to court and seize all of your assets.” Again, in some states this is illegal to say. In some states it might not be.

One thing you always have the right to do: Say, “Show me the proof I owe this money.”

Since the collection agencies got your name from a hedge fund that might have bought only part of your debt from another hedge fund, who knows where that original proof is? It’s gone! They are required to show you proof if you ask.

How do I know this? Not because I was invested in the hedge funds. But because “Dick Brockman” called me in 1994.


I once owed on library fines from 1988. In 1994, collection agencies would call me and I would get scared. I eventually paid. What an idiot I was! Six years later! Library fines!

Local lawyers are a bit tougher. They can actually threaten you with court action and they might not be bluffing.

No problem. If they have proof (unlikely), then settle.

If you owed $1000, offer them $100. 10 cents for every dollar. They might take it. It’s above average. Oh, and offer a payment plan. Maybe a little bit each month for two years.

They’ll take it because it’s like free money for them.

It’s a negotiation at this point. They are pretty happy to collect on anything so they will probably say yes.

Again, I know this because I know the hedge funds that are the ultimate beneficiaries (not the banks, or the credit card companies).

The investors in the hedge fund make money but mostly the hedge fund manager gets enormous fees off of the money they collect.

That’s where all the mansions come from while you were struggling to pay your mortgage.

I’m not saying they don’t deserve their mansions. They take risks buying all that defaulted debt.

But you don’t deserve to struggle with your mortgage either. Or worry about killing yourself or feeding your kids.

You deserve a good life without stress. You weren’t trying to be bad, but (as the banks already modeled) sometimes bad things happen to good people.

You signed a contract where everyone knew the risks. Even if you didn’t read all the fine print (who does?) and even if the banks are gleefully hoping you pay penalties, etc, the flip side is they know there is a reasonable chance you can default.

It’s not like friendship debt where you need to pay back.

Default in the credit card industry is, by itself, an entire industry that many people benefit from.

What would happen if everyone followed this advice?

The system would totally break. The economy would collapse.

But here’s the good news: not everyone will follow this advice.

And if you owe $10 and have $100 in the bank, you might as well pay your credit card debt. Don’t get any more credit cards after that. They are a scam once you read the fine print.

But if you are struggling and your kids need food and your marriage is at stake and you lost your job, then simply stop paying your credit card debt and follow the process I describe above. It’s a 1-6 year process.

I would say mortgage debt also but that’s another post. Student loan debt is yet another post.

OK, you might say, but what about my credit score? Won’t my credit go bad?

I’m going to be totally transparent. I’ve never in my entire life had a credit card. But still…

I separated from my ex-wife in 2007. In the confusion of houses and misery and despair and kids were scared and “nothing will ever be the same”, we were a few days late on two mortgage payments in a row. I was also late on a state tax return (but not federal).

I paid everything but it was too late.

Just those two things and because I have no credit cards (so no opportunities to show regular payments) my credit score fell from 780 to 580.

It’s horrible.

That was 2007. It’s still 580.

Guess what? I can make it 780 again anytime I want. I’ve done it before.

I can pay an agency that does it for me. It cost me $2000 last time (in 1999 – those library fines were haunting my rating). They call up the credit agencies and “fix” things.

But I won’t pay an agency. Since 2007 I’ve rented four other apartments, had background checks run on me, and even leased two cars.

Did anyone bring up my credit score? Of course they did! Did it effect the final price on anything or cause me to be rejected from anything. No! And sight unseen. People didn’t even know what I looked like.

People want to make money. They want to sell you things regardless of credit score. Credit scores are a scam industry also.

In one case I had to promise to pay an extra months rent as security. But we ended up not renting that apartment anyway.

I felt really had about my dad and my mom and even S.

When I was a little kid, S. owned a small publishing company.

I was an expert at solving Rubik’s Cube when it first came out and was popular. I had my own tricks to do it fast.

S. told me he would publish a book with my formulas if I wrote them down. I felt great. I bragged in school I was going to be a published author.

One teacher told me not to say it anymore. She said, “You can’t say it again until it happens.”

I ended up not finishing it. And now S. is in jail. I often have ideas I don’t finish. Even to this day.

Character defines your future.


Related reading:

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Investing All of Your Money

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  • Ben

    A classic JA good stuff!

  • SopranoOut

    I can’t possibly thank you enough for this article, and this whole Financial Fridays series. Thank you so much.

  • good stuff, James! nothing as atrocious as debt.

    • anne lee

      Oh, Yes, so do everything as self ability. :-) not always watch how other people else to live, of course, peeping in seconds is ok. but focusing on how yourself to live is your happy way. is it right ?handsome Lady. .

      • Peter Dijkstra

        Why think in terms of handsome and ugly. Why is a crocodile ugly? Why are it’s tears not true?

  • Liberty4ev

    Thank you for this James!

    If you have credit card debt, and wind up in serious financial trouble (been there…), the banks will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help you, give you a break, work with you to help you pay them off. Instead, you get condescending lectures on how irresponsible you are. Next, they raise your interest rates through the roof and systematically destroy your credit rating. Through this experience, I learned a whole lot about the monetary and banking system, but I didn’t know about the stuff you wrote about here. You’ve just reinforced my belief that it’s all basically a criminal enterprise designed to suck money out of ignorant (and I was) people.

  • EchoLiberty

    I’m a financial advisor who works with high net worth clients. One thing I notice is that people with wealth do not have any debt whatsoever. It’s a pretty common theme. If you practice delayed gratification, you can make yourself wealthy, not the banks. I also have no credit cards outside of a gas card that I pay off monthly. Everything else is paid for in cash.

    • Jennifer

      If you can pay your bills off monthly, I’m pretty sure that drowning in credit card debt isn’t going to be a theme for you. However that is not the case for a lot of people – who, in my neighborhood, are having to choose between essentials such as getting their car repaired or buying groceries or getting medication. Choose one.

      • EchoLiberty

        For some people, yes, they really have no choice. But the other common theme I see are people who could live within their means, but choose not to. If that describes you, in order to build wealth it’s advisable to stay far away from debt.

        • Tyson Mclane

          Well what about those of us who are unaware we are spending the money when we are doing it? I had a manic episode two months ago, took out 3000 in credit cards, tried to pay them back but I do not work, have not worked in over three years. Not sure why they even gave me credit cards tbh.

          Suffering Mental Illness also can play a huge role here, as i recently found it.

    • yvonne white

      Good for you. All the people you hit below the belt thank you. NOT!

  • livingonaprayer

    I’m waiting for the student loan post…

    • SmartMarvin

      ditto here

    • Jamie Seal

      And you will still be waiting. Student loans that are federally subsidized will be paid back one way or another. The goverment will garnish wages, defer income tax returns, defer lottery winnings, gambling winnings and plethora of other ways.

      • Debra Jesberger

        Yeah, I’ve learned the hard way, there’s just no messing with Uncle Sam… he’s getting his pound of flesh no matter what your problems are.

  • Umar Farooqi

    This was one of the best articles iv’e ever read on this site.

  • Since the 1990es (at least) financial gurus like Robert Kiyosaki in the US and Bodo Schäfer in Germany have been advocating that the above 2 things are bad.

    I’m wondering, what is the percentage of people, who

    a) don’t have credit cards (the ones, which allow you to spend more than you have) and

    b) don’t have consumer loans (when you borrow money to buy some stuff for personal, non-business use like a fancy TV or car)

    ?

  • samsays

    I used to work in collections (australia) what James says is correct.
    but do your homework, get free financial advice from a local charity (its very good).
    learn how the system works, most debts can be repaid at a fraction of the face value or not at all (I used to be the person who wrote off debts entirely), sometimes there may be consequences but the worst can be avoided.
    I repeat learn, the system and get advice.
    FYI the charity financial advisers (salvation army etc) have vastly superior knowledge than any lawyer/doctor/paid financial adviser I ever dealt with, in fact it is detrimental to your cause being represented by a lawyer than a salvo when asking for debt forgiveness.

    • Hey nice to meet you, I’m in Australia, too.

  • John

    This is a great read even though I have always avoided credit cards. I’m glad you post frequently now online how it used to be. James I was wondering, how would you feel about making money off an Idea I have?

  • A friend of mine that ran collections on bad debt for a credit card company in Asia, candidly told me that if they settled at $200 for a $2000 debt, that it was an excellent win.

    I’m not sure what scares me more. Their happiness at a 10% return, or that I always pay my bills.

  • Its far worse owing your friends. Thanks for the insight!

  • Michael

    Regarding your comment about credit scores, the Sept 2015 Consumer Reports has an article about car insurance and credit scores. The article indicates that companies are now using your credit score to assess risk and determine policy premiums – the lower the score, the higher the premium and the increase added as a result of an accident/moving violation.

    The impact varies by state, but seems to merit looking into it to determine what the impact might be.

  • Love this one James. This is part of my story too. I’m all about killing debt in very untraditional ways! And simply: “Fuck you very much” to all debt collector companies. There’s so many ways people can get out of debt if they open their eyes.

    Love your work. Huge blessings. Namaste.

  • Makes me want to get a credit card and not pay it back! LOL!

  • Greg Gouner

    I am a bankruptcy lawyer in Baton Rouge, and disagree with James on a few points. I cannot say how much the credit agencies pay for the debt. However, I don’t see the kind of discounts he references. I see my clients getting slammed with huge judgments and garnished for years.

    Bankruptcy is often the best route out of the jungle. My office has discharged millions in debt over the last 21 years. Debtors usually get a very fair shake in court. I understand if you want to take the hard line approach of “Sue Me.” But I don’t find most unrepresented people fare well in the legal system.

    I don’t recommend debt settlement agencies. We have also beat back collection efforts in the court system and regularly represent folks who dispute debt. We are frequently successful with this, but it is harder than James makes it sound. When the chips are down, bankruptcy is a solution to consider.

    • Mitchell Thompson

      Well the problem is that most young people who have no assets and much credit card debt can’t afford attorneys. If they can’t pay their monthly minimum payment, how can they afford a bankruptcy lawyer?

      • Andres

        its actually pretty cheap in relation to the credit card debt amount, that can be completely wiped out

    • snowyowl

      When the chips are down I will never again trust an overpriced lawyer. During the 2008 fallout I lost stocks, a home, my car, and most of my savings. I paid a lawyer who did nothing when we were told that we must pay another copious amount of money in court. While other friends kept their cars and stayed in their homes we gave it up to the court. My friends waited it out and their mortgage company actually helped them. I never hid anything I had and it was taken. I will never again trust a lawyer. I will never trust a court of law again. They give bail out to banks while the little person must pay and pay till they have no blood left.

  • Is the last few lines of this post from something else? After “I felt really had about my dad and my mom and even S.” It just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the piece… thinking it might have been in there from a draft.

    I agree with the advice in this post for folks who are in the situation described, but find it funny to end with “Character defines your future.” :)

    • Jeffrey Snow

      It seems you skipped the introduction. He started the article by talking about his dad, his mom and S.

  • Elle Ahearn

    Thank you, very enlightening article, and humorous. We all need the comic relief these days. I recently read an article about how we’ve been (I’m in the US but think this applies just about everywhere) taught that debt is synonymous with immorality. We’ve been taught so this so well that we actually believe it about ourselves; we owe money (esp if we can’t pay) and we believe we are inferior, derilict and deserve to be punished. Debt buyer-collectors profit well by exploiting this belief. If we already believe we’re deadbeats, all they have left to do is get our credit card or bank account number and viola!, the criminal junk debt industry rolls on … at the expense of our homes, our families, our well-being and sometimes sadly, even our lives.
    I know this reprehensible practice is ‘legal’ but I have yet to hear a logical argument justifying in any manner how the buying of a “debt” ffor pennies on the dollar (esp a debt that’s been written off and profited from), ethically or lawfully entitles a junk debt scavenger to thousands of dollars that it didn’t earn via the fair exchange of goods and services. Even the mafia pays off the debts of others in full before going after the debtor.
    I plan on (just for starters) writing to and of course, respectfully, asking my congressmen and women to explain this abomination of a ‘law’ that makes it legal to rob, bankrupt and generally destroy the lives of ordinary citizens. My ultimate goal (and hope) is of course to nullify such laws. At the least I hope to focus as much negative attention as humanly possible on the morally depraved and toxic junk debt racket and it’s players so it will be indelibly branded in neon with the depraved and inhumane stigma it so justly deserves.

  • westlake777

    James is an excellent writer but the kind of credit card debt he is talking about and did not pay anymore is peanuts compared to the real credit card debt that gets most people in trouble. If you owe $100,000 on your credit cards and cannot afford the minimum monthly payments anymore due to financial difficulty, get amazon didoSphere Obtain Credit Card Debt Forgiveness. this book will guide you thru the very end until your enormous credit card debt is forgiven. James Altucher should get this book.

  • stoppuppymills

    They have no right to do this. They have all the money.

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  • snowyowl

    The banks get bail outs while good people do have situations such as illness or loss of jobs. I thank James for helping me at this golden age where medications such as insulin takes most of my income I find it a struggle to pay anything anymore to debtors. This economy is bad for most people who do not have large incomes. I owe 7000 in bills but cannot pay them this is over eight credit cards. I was sent by certified mail a letter with an offer on one card. They offered to cut the bill in half. Honestly I do not have a 1000 dollars for them. We are struggling to feed ourselves, pay for our medications and the more we stress the worse we become. I thank you James for your kindness in writing about debt. Life is what happens after we make our plans.

  • Cindy Brick

    Yep, agreeing to a contract doesn’t mean you’re giving your word … if you made a promise, on the other hand, you’re giving your word again — but that’s ethical! Why would I trust your word on ANYTHING if you weren’t willing to honor it, no matter what? My guess — a lot of people who get into this pickle (like Edmund Andrews of BUSTED fame) got themselves there, by spending and borrowing in ways they shouldn’t have, in the first place. Which means, when they default, that everyone else gets to cover the shortfall.
    Sorry, buddy, I value my honesty and good name more than dollar bills. That’s what my father taught me.

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  • Lisa StayoutmyBiznass

    Not sure how I ended up on this page, but this was quite an interesting read. Especially the ironic ending of thinking there is more to be said about the topic like there was more to expound upon but just as you stated in your closing; “I often have ideas I don’t finish. Even to this day.” #cliffhanger lol

    • Jamie Seal

      It’s just his way of running out of bullshit or getting bored with bullshit he was enthusiastic about when he first started writing this bullshit article.

  • Lee Hurst

    What an absolutely horrible article. If you borrow money from someone and refuse to pay it back you are a thief period. Stop trying to deny it you are a thief and your word means nothing. It is sickening how many people try to justify themselves taking something from someone else, refusing to return it, then claiming some kind of moral high ground. “Well you shouldn’t have let me borrow money so you deserve to lose it” this is nauseating.

    • Ben

      So usury is not theft? I don’t think JA was ever advocating creating a credit card account explicitly with the intention to max it out and then just not pay it off. What he’s saying is that if you gotten into a debt trap that is ruining your life just stop worrying about it since a certain amount of customer defaults are built into the business model and the people you borrowed that money from are not going to suffer for it.

      • Lee Hurst

        That is true, the people that were defaulted against will pass the your debt on to those who do repay their debt. I may be harsh, but there is no such thing as a debt trap. We make conscious decisions to buy things we normally could not afford by borrowing someone else’s money. I’m simply saying that you cannot take the moral high ground and say that nobody is being harmed by failing to repay your debt. That defaulted debt lands on someone else to pay in the form of higher interest rates fees, etc… There are no free rides in this world and if you are getting something free someone else is probably breaking their back to pay for it. I understand it is much easier to blame “the establishment” than it is to take responsibility for our actions, but the fact we have people out there rationalizing if and making it okay worries me.

        • Ben

          i am not saying that you should not meet your obligations and i don’t think JA is either, frankly. i think what i would say and JA is saying is that if not paying avoids greater harms then don’t beat yourself up about it. the fact of the matter is after a certain amount of time it becomes almost impossible to pay one of these things off even if you want to because of the passing off from institution to institution.

          When you say “there’s no such thing as a debt trap” what would you call minimum payments? Or pay day loans with APR’s in the triple digits?

          • Lee Hurst

            I would call payday loans a poor decision. Minimum payments are actually designed to ensure that you can repay the debt in a set timeframe. You are correct that interest and crazy rates can get you into trouble, but it is still a personal decision these folks have made. I’m not claiming to be perfect, i once defaulted on a loan because i “didn’t have the money” yet i still somehow had a cell phone and beer money etc… Looking back, of course i could have repaid my debt had i cut out frivolous expenses. I did end up paying, in full, what i owed eventually because i grew up and realized that my decisions had resulted in the default and i wanted to repay my debt to the people i had burned. Maybe there are some cases where the person in debt absolutely cannot meet an obligation due to a medical condition or death of a spouse, but i do not believe this to be the case of most. It is typically the case of people living beyond their means. You are correct in saying the article does not specifically state that you should run out and get a bunch of credit debt and not pay it. He does claim that you are not breaking your “word” if you don’t pay the bank, and in my personal opinion that is not right. All i am getting at is if you enter in to an agreement, your credibility is on the line and you should feel a personal responsibility for it. Perhaps the values i grew up with are no longer socially acceptable…

          • Ben

            Well i do think there is a lot to be said for the capacity to make informed decision in today’s evermore complex credit market but i digress your values are good ones but no value should be considered in a vacuum. :)

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  • Jamie Seal

    You lost all credibility when you said governments loan banks money at zero interest. The only money the government makes is coins. Paper money is loaned into existence by a private central bank called the federal reserve. Then it is literally printed out of thin air. They also charge the government interest which also has to be printed and loaned in a never ending cycle of debt. When the government defaults the banks come in and seize real assets. You are phoney as the worthless paper fiat called the u.s dollar. You are one hell of a bullshitter.

  • Maria

    Social security cut my moms ssi and she owes to the bank credit card, she can’t pay back what will happen?

  • Mark Pamare

    Today, my TransUnion new score is 775 out of a possible 850; my Vantage score is
    990 out of 990; my auto score is 905 out of 950; and my home score is 912 out of
    950. All scores computed from the same database on the same day. Why the
    variances? Use of different algorithms. Who controls the algorithms? The rating
    agencies..What can you do about it—-nothing! I filed a complaint against the rating agencies in 2010 to the FTC, and to date, they have acknowledged receipt but have not responded..They are not going to repond. The rating agencies run wild
    I don’t need new credit. I am 73 years old, and have assets. However, I do pay auto
    and home insurance each year and not having my home and auto scores maxed-out
    affects what I pay for home and auto insurance each year. Probably costs me
    several hundred dollars for my private residence and rentals.I repeat, the credit rating agencies have more power over your financial life than you can imagine, and they report to no one. Not one government agency will get involved in the algorithms used by rating agencies. It’s their call. Not even the new Consumer Protection Agency will touch this subject. I know. I tried to get them involved but got disappointed..As usual no response..I was able to put a full stop to through the help of a young man and now my scores are what I want it to be..He’s honest and very intelligent..The way he worked it all out I have no idea but he did..You should contact him today he will help change your life..+1(614) 669-5983.

  • Coeleen Palmer

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  • Sarah Mckelvey

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  • abdul hassan

    if you need a professional hacker to help you fix your credit contact elitecracks1@gmail.com

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  • Calixto

    How about if the credit card company files a law suit against you?

  • Nathaniel Henderson

    I had a class A.license I tried to get my job back have moving violations on my mvr needed to have some things removed so a friend talked to me about this dude..At first I doubted his ability since I have not always being a firm believer of hacking..So I decided to give it a try and to my utmost surprise this man fixed my records..If you need help contact him and tell him I referred you (253) 234-9230

  • Ann Albano

    I wondered if I could get a car accidents removed from my mvr I have had 2 totaled accident in the last 2 years but nether were my fault one a animal jumped out in front of me the other was due to weather conditions and hydroplaned but my insurance has skyrocketed to almost 1000 dollars for 1 vehicle what can I do I asked myself until I read an article about hackers and how competent they are..I gave Roman a shot considering it was his email I saw on some article..I didn’t believe until he got the job done I am recommending him to whoever needs help..#romanarshavin@cyberservices.com#

  • Holly Pa

    This is a bunch of SHIT because nowadays credit card companies are NOT selling your debt: American Express, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Discover, etc. all the big ones! … they’re holding on to it because they can afford to and it’s much more lucrative to then trott off to Court and file a Warrant in Debt against you to sue you for judgment for every single penny you owe them, and then some! Suddenly, your unsecured credit card debt has become secured debt, and for the next 20 years your wages will be garnished, your bank account funds seized, and forget about owning a car or a house!! Both of those will have property liens on them … if you will even be able to afford to buy them with your crappy credit score!! THIS IS HAPPENING EVERY DAY!!! So do yourself a favor: File that bankruptcy, say Sayonara! to that credit card debt once and for all, wipe the slate clean, and start over!!!

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  • Charlie Serocold

    Ha! Great stuff!

  • Sonia Garces

    Like your Dad I had that terrible experience I lost everything I almost kill myself

  • Pablo Aimar

    My recent experience made me understand that the credit score doesn’t matter nearly as much as the actual information in your credit report. When I was applying for loans for my most recent investment property (my third property including my home), my score was in the mid-600’s. I had four late payments, which hurt me, but the lenders actually looked at my report and refused me a loan..I explained this to my hacker buddy who I met recently and he helped clean my report and took out all of the negatives and late payment..I simply can’t thank him enough..Contact him today and tomorrow you will be glad you did..His work email is privateinvestigator1967@gmail.com and you can also get to him via his work cell (614) 669-5983

    • Mel

      You guys are upvoting a cheater/scammer on the internet not having any idea if what he says is true, but he is so “generous” to people he does not know, on a platform for all, going out of his way to provide you a number, a home AND a work phone, to who knows who and where.

      BEWARE

      This is why Jonathan Gruber said it was easy to scam America with Obamacare, because they relied on the stupidity of Americans. Smarten up folks. And no duh what is in your credit report counts, pay your bills on time, to which you agreed when you borrowed the money you did not earn, and you won’t have to worry about scamming or being scammed.

      • Ann

        What scam? It’s only a scam if you’re a sheep in their system.

        • Mel

          A sheep in Pablo Aimar’s system. Don’t borrow money if you can’t pay it back. PAY BACK THE MONEY YOU BORROWED and you won’t have to call criminals to break the law by falsifying documents and risking further trouble. See Gruber.

          • Ann

            The “law”? LOL You have no idea how the banking system works. They give away credit cards and don’t care if anyone pays them back because in issuing them, that put’s the amount in the bank as an asset. The fiat system allows the bank, by law, to lend out 10X the amount of their invisible money. They make way more money on the money they loan out for homes than they do in credit card losses. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight snowflake.

          • southerntokin .

            Mel please stop breathing our air idiot.

  • Luette CeCe Berbena

    say I have 4 credit cards. All 4 maxed out. I am currently waiting on probate/
    distribution.
    (my brother passed away in the ‘family house’. Purchased & paid off by my late father.
    I am the executor. I come from a family of 10 brothers. Many who have passed,. However,
    their children are getting a piece of what was to be split between myself & 2 other brothers. Unfortunately, there has never been a formal will created. (which would have
    been my late brother,whom had been living in ‘the home’) Because he failed to do so,
    this made for ‘family distribution’.
    My main concern is,, in owing approx.12 grand to these 4 credit cards. I plan to write
    each card a letter of my personnel hardship. And informing them, I am only able
    to pay $10. dollars a month. Which I will do. I have been told, as long as I am making
    an effort, & my particular effort is based on what I can currently afford. Which is $10 .
    a month to each credit card. .I am a vet, 67 yrs. old, and have had difficulty in seeking
    employment with my health issues.
    My main concern being; since I am making payments, (considerably less than what is being asked- yet still making an effort. Can a lean be put on my assets? My plan and
    hope for the long term is, after making these consistent payments. After some time,
    I hope that the C.C. companies will make an offer. Such as, if I will pay, example; If
    I pay $200 on $2000 they will write off the rest.
    However, my main concern ,as I’ve stated is, can they (the credit card co.s) put a lean on my assets. And, will they even know of these assets. please respond if you have
    a solid understanding & knowledge of my concern. To my email; robt.tav.1949@gmail .com. I Thank you in advance to the kind person taking time to
    respond to my concerns. . Thank you, Robert Tavernier

  • Donald Montgomery

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  • Steph l

    Ok so i paid $300 to a loval lawyer who was represented a credit card i defaulted on. I paid the $300 because thenlawyer sued me and this is ehat i had at the time. They accepted it. Today inreceive in the mail a copy of my entire billing history with the cc, a copy of my military records and a judgement against me for the full amount. Now i an terrifiede

  • Lex Luthor

    Excellent read! I wish I read this earlier!!!

  • bigfootrsteve

    If you’ve rented apartments and made timely lease payments since 2007, your credit score isn’t still 580.

  • I’ve spent 6 years in Europe without using any US banking institutions and guess what? Big Brother is freakin’ forgetful! When I came back stateside, I’ve checked my credit score with just one agency, and it was nearly 800, which is “good enough”. Then strange things started to happen: I was denied car insurance, failed some pretty easy background checks, even some banks denied to open a checking account for me. Took me a few months to realize that there’s something wrong with my credit score, so I checked again… One agency (the one I originally checked) still reported me as 800-ish, while the other two reported me as… 0. Yep. Zero.

    A few months later some sort of the error correction protocol kicked in (obviously they check the delta from time to time), and they all… averaged. That’s right, all 3 started to report me as 400-ish.

    Brilliant, eh?

  • MK

    James, you are Awesome !! :) Love this article !

  • What about car payments? All they can do is take it from you.

  • Aaron

    If you lose all your assets filing for bankruptcy then why do it? You can’t lose more than all if you are sued.

  • Daniel Garfinkel

    I am going to raise awareness for this, I worked for a major credit reporting agency and you won’t believe how many Americans are affected by poor credit, and how simply they can help their own situation. Do you not watch the news? People think that the banks are on their side, but in fact they’re trying to keep credit scores low so they make more from interest payments – wake up people! Mine was also affected until I got intouch with a gentle man..I told him what I wanted him to do and he got it done..email him privateinvestigator1967@gmail.com

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  • Elie Khawand

    Borrowing money means a promise to pay back. Trying to accuse banks or others of mischief is weaseling away from your own responsibility.
    It is unethical to try not to pay a debt even if it is somehow legal. Right and Wrong and sometimes way off from Legal and Illegal.

  • Rose Johnson

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  • Sergio Fred

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  • Steve Pridgen

    BE SMART AND BECOME RICH OVERNIGHT… I have been battling with my credit score because it was very low and i saw an ad by a hacker on the internet. I contact the hacker named Mr Aaron Swartz he helped increase my credit score from 550 to 850 and boost your credit report to an excellent level. I was really surprised that he helped me do it within 48 hours.It still amazes me you can contact him on at aaronswartzcyberservices@gmail.com

  • Brenda Willey

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  • majic

    Cant really agree about your credit scores not mattering..I have been turned down for apartments based solely on that very fact…Is it impossible to get one with bad credit? No…But does it make it much more difficult? Yes…I also disagree with paying a company to “fix” your credit…these company’s are generally scams and its something that you can do on your own by working with creditors…I went from 5 something to 780 (now unfortunately I’m back down to 6 something again)…the reason you may not know this is because you wrote an article about not paying back credit cards and then said you never had one…So how did I fix my credit without paying some company 2 grand? I worked out a deal myself with my credit card company to pay back $20 a month something easy to afford, then after I paid back that money I did NOT cancel my cards, (except one that had an annual charge) and i did not open new ones, instead, the cards I finally paid off I started using again, only carefully, make one purchase, pay it back, make another pay it back, then you find out something interesting…all those “interest charges, and fines” they don’t exist when you pay back in full so its a simple trick…say you have 5 dollars in your checking account and you want to buy a 5 dollar sub at subway, buy that sub on your credit card, then pay back the 5 dollars…now your account shows that you made a full on time payment…keep doing that and watch that score change….Now yes if you don’t mind waiting there is another way…eventually collection agency;s give up and after a while of no bad credit reports they fall off and yes your score will get better…but that can take a very long time…all of that to me still beats paying some random company 2gs for nothing. Credit cards aren’t bad if you use them smart but once you spend more then what you can pay your screwed…if you have a credit card sitting around one day when you truly need money like if your stuck in the middle of no where or you ran out of food or your car suddenly broke down and you know you wont be paid for 2 weeks, youll be happy you have that card.

  • Maaie Evans

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