What happens if I just stop paying my credit card payments?

I have $8000 in debt on 2 credit cards. I am 59 years old. I have no assets other than a car that is paid for. I am living with my daughter. Because of health reasons I can only work part time and the only job I can find is at minimum wage. About 2 years ago things were fine but everything has fallen apart and I am struggling to make these payments and also pay for medications and doctors bills. I cannot afford an attorney to file bankruptcy and I have been denied help by legal aid.

Asked on January 16, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, you are likely effectively judgment proof--a creditor, including a credit card issuer, could most likely not recover anything from you (except possibly your car--it depends on its value) due to your lack of income or assets. However, that does not mean there are no consequences from ceasing to pay the credit card: if you stop paying and default, you will have a default on your credit history, which could impact you if you should later look to buy a car, rent an apartment, or apply for a loan--or possibly even apply for another job. Also, if they sue you and (presumably) win, they will have a judgment which could be enforced against you for years to come, such as if you should at some point be in better financial shape.

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