If You Can’t Pay Your Bills

If You Can’t Pay Your Bills

If You Can’t Pay Your Bills

Don’t hide. Don’t cry. Don’t shove unopened bills into a drawer. Don’t have your cousin tell the bank that you have gone to Sicily for the summer. That would not help. Someone will find you probably a bill collector and you will be in more trouble than you were before you got your commercial truck title loan.

What is your biggest problem when you can’t pay your bills? Money, you say. I say it is fear. You are sure that everyone will point and sneer. Your son will be kicked out of Boy Scouts. The police will hang you up by your thumbs. But nothing like that is going to happen. You are not Jack the Ripper. You do not beat up babies or set fire to cats. All you did wrong was to buy more things than you can pay for right away. That is an error will be forgiven.

If you can’t pay your bills, write a letter to your creditors and tell them so. For a really big bill, like a mortgage, make an appointment to see someone in the credit department. Don’t slump in like a bankrupt. Approach the interview like a business person with a problem to solve.

To do this you need: a spending plan showing how much money you need to live on; a repayment plan showing how much you can spread among your creditors every month; a specific offer for each creditor, as in, “I will pay you $50 a month and clear up this bill in 10 months.” If your situation is dire, offer your unsecured creditors a settlement say, 50 cents on the dollar.

Each creditor will want more. But if you hold firm and keep making the payments you have decided on they will eventually accept the deal. If someone threatens to sue, do not ruin your rehabilitation plan by trying to accommodate him. Keep on talking, keep making your payments, even go to court. No judge will order you to pay more than you can afford, and your creditors know it. Your strengths are three: the lender would rather stretch out payments than repossess, it is cheaper to talk than to hire a debt collector, and the interest you pay is compensation for the delay.

If you can’t handle these negotiations yourself, or if you are such a spendaholic that you find yourself hurtling toward bankruptcy, nonprofit credit counselors can help with your Atlanta car title loan.