Do I have a right to make installment payments for delinquent credit card debt?

UPDATED: Aug 12, 2010

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Do I have a right to make installment payments for delinquent credit card debt?

I am low income, house purchased with government assistance, and 3 children that reside with me and my wife. I am a school bus driver, so income is only seasonal. I am willing to pay this debt, but I cannot in large chunks. Is it possible for me to file a “motion for installment payments” if the collector takes me to court? Can they garnish my wages or lien my home?

Asked on August 12, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

These are tough times and good people are falling behind with bills.  And good people feel guilty about not being able to pay.  That is why they allow themselves to be bullied by debt collectors.  They will indeed insist on a certain amount of money each month, money that you can not possibly pay, and that will cause you to default once again.  I would advise you to see a debt adviser rather than to wait until you are sued to try and see if you can negotiate a lower payment.  Sometimes repayment is set by statute in the state as to percentages allowed.  Certainly garnishment of wages is a percentage set by statute and yes, they can garnish and put a line on real property should they obtain a judgement.   Maybe discharging the debt is another option to think of.  Seek help.  And if you are sued then seek help from the court.  I doubt that there is such specificity in the state procedure act that allows for the motion you want to make but it is a really good idea!  Good luck. 

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