Can a senior citizen walk away from credit card bills?

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Can a senior citizen walk away from credit card bills?

Asked on May 7, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

 

Thank you for submitting your question senior citizens and credit card bills.  This is a question of contract law, which can vary from state to state, and can also vary from contract to contract.  However, generally speaking, at a certain age, one cannot simply walk away from accrued credit card debt.  That being said, as with any contract, a credit card contract is a contract, and its terms can be renegotiated at any time.

 

 

 

If a credit card company does not believe they are likely to receive any payment from their customer from any reason, could be age and that they do not have the funds to make the minimum payments on the card.  The credit card company may agree to negotiate a lump sum payment to finalize the debt and close out the credit card. 

 

 

 

Since credit cards are treated as contracts, a person should not assume because they are a senior citizen that they no longer owe debt on a credit card.  If that were the case, people would run up high credit card bills and allow them to remain with a full balance since the balance would become null and void when they become senior citizens.  In some states the debt can be collected against a spouse, and a person should never assume a debt is gone unless the debt has been paid. 

If there is any debt as to the amount owed on the credit card or the terms of the credit card agreement, the customer can contact the credit card company to get all information on the account, including any information about settlement arrangements to have the account paid in full and closed.  Until the account in considered paid in full, the debt will be considered owed.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No one including a senior citizen can just walk away from credit card bills.  The credit card companies can file a lawsuit against you.  If they obtain a judgment against you, they could place a lien on your property.  If you are not retired and are still working, you could be subject to a wage garnishment.

If the credit card companies sue you and get a judgment against you, you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  If you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is straight liquidation which eliminates your debts.  If you are not eligible for Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Chapter 13 requires a plan (budget) for repayment of creditors.

If you file bankruptcy, you will need to list all of your creditors.  Your bankruptcy is effective immediately upon being filed with the court.  The court notifies your creditors of your bankruptcy filing.  That is why it is important to list all of your creditors in your bankruptcy.

 


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