Paying credit card bills can feel like fighting a battle sometimes. You try and win one battle and the other one seems to be waiting right around the corner. In this part I article we will have a short introduction to the above question and how to deal with the debt problem.

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Most people think the best way is to file bankruptcy, mostly because without paying their bills they will escape. But without paying, can you really get rid of credit card debt?

The response, logically, is yes. You can do that. Realistically, there’s no solution. You can’t.

Let’s get to grips with the “technical” answer we don’t recommend. Technically, you could stop paying your credit card bill and hope that your state’s statute of limitations expires before the card company, or more likely a debt collection service, catches up with you.

The problem with the status of limitations in most states is somewhere between four and six years. Your creditors could bring you to court on no account

That would mean a court judgement against you for the amount owed, court costs, possibly attorney fees and maybe interest or late payment fees and … well, you get the picture. At your own risk, try this and we’re not suggesting that you try again.

Now, back to reality. No, you really can’t get rid of credit card debt without paying.

Bankruptcy indeed lets you escape credit card debt. But if you ‘re asking, “How can I get rid of credit card debt without paying anything to anybody?”the answer is still: You can’t!

Well, you could if you dropped dead. But even then, credit card companies are entitled to at least partial repayment from your estate.

Bankruptcy also devastates your credit rating and stays on your credit report for 7-10 years for future lenders to look at. That means you’ll eventually pay more–sometimes a lot more–if you want to borrow money to buy a car or a house.

The fact is a basic economic law applies to escaping debt–There is no free lunch. You can’t get something for nothing.

But if you ‘re disappointed to learn there is no free bankruptcy, take heart. The costs can be viewed as a down payment on a fresh start that will turn your life around.

There were 772,646 bankruptcy filings in the 12-month period ending March 31, 2019, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Bankruptcy has been a good option for millions of people, some of whom you ‘d never expect to be broke.

Did you know Walt Disney filed for bankruptcy? So did Elton John, Willie Nelson and Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln didn’t technically file because modern bankruptcy didn’t exist in the 1830s. But after the general store he ran in Salem, Illinois, went into debt, Lincoln was required to repay creditors over 17 years.

You ‘d have plenty of company if you decide to file. But you need to be aware of the financial consequences and how to minimise them.

Are There Options Besides Bankruptcy?

Yes, but they ‘re definitely not free.

One route is debt settlement. You hire a lawyer or debt-settlement company to negotiate with creditors in an effort to pay less than what you owe, presumably considerably less. You make one lump-sum payment and are done with it.

That sounds good, but there are serious drawbacks.

For openers, some companies won’t even consider debt settlement and there is no law forcing any company to settle your debt.

If they will negotiate, you ‘re still going to pay part of your debt. The advertisers say you may only have to pay pennies on the dollar, but better you should count on quarter on the dollar. Like three of them, as in pay 75% of what you owe.

On top of that, the debt settlement company will charge you 15% to 25% of the amount saved. And the government will tax that as income on your next tax return.

The process could take as long as three years. Your credit score is destroyed.

But at least you ‘re not dead.

Another option is a debt management plan. A nonprofit company consolidates your bills and negotiates lower interest rates with creditors. You make one monthly payment that is lower than the combined payments you were making.

It’s a better option than debt settlement, but the debt management company also charges a fee, the process takes three to five years and you pay your credit card bill in full.

That brings us back to bankruptcy.

Watch this space for part 2 of this article.