Last week I met with an elderly lady and her daughter. She had lived off credit for many years since her husband died, and now she owed many thousands of dollars on various credit cards. She has been retired for many years, and only receives a small government pension. The pension is sufficient to cover her monthly living expenses, but not enough to make all of her debt payments.
I explained that since she has no assets and only has pension income, she is basically “creditor proof”, meaning if she does not pay her credit cards they cannot seize her assets (she doesn’t have any) or garnishee her wages (she doesn’t receive wages). She could simply open a new bank account at a new bank where she doesn’t owe any money, and stop paying the credit cards.
After much thought and discussion, she said she understood what I was saying, but said she wanted to deal with her debts, even if her creditors couldn’t garnishee her, and even if she had to make a contribution each month towards the cost of her bankruptcy.
She wanted closure.
I was reminded of this last night, at about four o’clock in the morning, when my young son woke me up. Apparently there was a fly or bug or something flying around his room, and he couldn’t sleep. (It’s interesting that when the problem is a bug that needs to be killed my son wakes me up, but when one of my boys has a bad dream and they need comforting, they wake Mom up).
I went up to his room, and we searched for the bug.
I couldn’t find it.
So my son wouldn’t go to sleep.
Finally, as I left his room I saw something move, so I smacked the wall with the fly swatter. I’m not sure if I hit the bug or not, but my son was satisfied. In his mind, the problem was solved.
He had closure, and he was fast asleep in about one minute.
When dealing with problems, we want closure. We want a plan. That’s what we do here at Hoyes, Michalos & Associates. We review your situation, and explain your debt relief options. Once you understand your options, you pick the one that best deals with your debt problems, and you get closure.