My husband has $48,000 in credit card debt. Should he file for bankruptcy?

Personal Finance August 02, 2012|Print

A credit card debt of $48,000 is a large amount, but, depending on the interest rates charged on each credit account contributing to this total debt and the income you have available to pay down the debt, there may be other options besides bankruptcy for dealing with this and getting out of debt. Even if some of the interest rates are currently high, if you are able to restructure the debts and gain concessions, like lower interest rates or offers lower than the amounts showing due to settle the debts, you may not need to consider bankruptcy at this time.

A reputable not-for-profit credit counseling agency can give the best advice for your specific situation and can weigh the pros and cons with you of filing bankruptcy versus entering a negotiated debt management plan. Please be sure to seek advice only from a not-for-profit credit counseling agency as there are many "debt repayment schemes" out there that will not operate in your best interest. On the Internet, look for the extension ".org" at the end of a Web address, which may indicate a not-for-profit agency. 

Once you are talking with a particular agency, ask and verify that the agency you choose is a nonprofit entity, and be sure you understand any and all fees associated with their services. Even a nonprofit will charge a small monthly fee for administering a debt management plan, but their initial consultation is usually free of charge. A referral to a reputable organization may also be available from your financial institution. Call your bank or credit union and ask whom they recommend in your local area.

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