Seniors and Credit Card Debt

Seniors face tremendous financial pressure trying to make ends meet living on a fixed income.  They often must revert to credit cards to survive!

Unfortunately, the balances and minimum payments continue to increase to a point where there is just not enough income from their fixed income or modest retirement.

What can they do?


I've been helping seniors deal with too much credit card and other unsecured debts for a long, long time.

Most of my clients found themselves in real financial trouble and had no idea of how to solve the problem.

If you search the internet, most likely you'll find numerous ads from bankruptcy attorneys, offers for loan consolidation and/or poor advice to transfer balances from one card to another.

There are better solutions!

But first....

Debt Collectors and even Law Firms that specialize in debt collection will try to intimidate or scare seniors into making poor decisions!

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act spells out what a collector legally can and cannot do.

Basically, a debt collector cannot:

  • Make threats of garnishing retirement benefits or bank accounts

  • Use inappropriate language or baseless claims

  • Attempt to collect on a debt owed by a deceased spouse (unless you and the deceased spouse where co-signers on the debt or card)

  • Attempt to collect on a debt that has gone beyond the Statute of Limitations (these vary state by state)

  • Make calls to you before 8am or after 9pm in your time zone

  • Threaten with legal action if no legal action is taken

  • Make excessive calls though out the day!

  • Make calls to you if you are on the Do Not Call registry (only the original creditor has the right to call you)

  • Continue to call even after you have sent a Cease and Desist letter 


OK, we've detailed some of the practices a collector CANNOT do, let's see what they CAN DO and what options you have...


Debt Management Programs

(called Consumer Credit Counseling)

A Debt Management Program is for those who are making the minimum payments, but realize the balances are barely going down !

If you qualify, you should see a reduction in interest rates and possibly have over-the-limit or other fees dismissed.

You will be making one monthly payment (roughly equal to the total you are currently making) to a Debt Management Company.

People in a Debt Management Program are usually out of debt in 4-5 years.

If you currently cannot keep up with the required minimum payments, then most likely a  Debt Management Program will not be an option for you.


Debt Settlement Program

Creditors, collectors and Debt purchasing companies will usually accept a reasonable settlement offer for less than the full balance due.

Unfortunately, in the past, there were numerous so called Debt Settlement Companies who were fraudulent and unscrupulous!  

Recent laws in most states have have helped run these types of companies out of business, and yet a few remain.

Before you consider seeking the help of a Debt Settlement Company, you should do your due diligence and check them out!

BBB        A+        Accredited Click here!

A representative will discuss your particular situation and determine a monthly deposit that you can afford.

This monthly withdrawal from your account is deposited and held by a FDIC bank (Wells Fargo, US Bank, etc.)

As the funds in your account increase, settlement negotiations begin.

Once the settlement agreement is negotiated (must be in writing), a lump sum or series of payments are make according to the agreement.

Actual Settlements See what we have  done for our clients! Click here!

Once the agreement has been satisfied, a letter is sent stating something like "the account has a $0 balance and is settled in full".

This will also be reflected on your credit report and over time, your credit score should improve.


If you just cannot keep up with your minimum payments or even cannot afford a Debt Settlement Program, then you might have to consider filing for...


Although "bankruptcy" is a scarry and often misunderstood legal option, in some cases, it is the best option.

You should consult several attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy before making a decision.

A qualified bankruptcy attorney should not charge for the initial consultation.


Being a Senior Citizen and trying to live on a fixed income is very stressful.

If you could use some advice or guidance, let us know.


Personalized  Program Comparison Click here!




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Tags: debt collectors, debt collector harassment, debt settlement help, seniors, seniors and credit cards

How to Stop Illegal Debt Collection Practices

how to stop illegal debt collectionGetting several calls from harassing debt collectors?

Here are a few tips on how to stop illegal debt collection practices:

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using illegal, abusive or deceptive practices to collect money!

You need to know your rights and what to do if you think they have been violated.

The FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Federal Bureau of Consumer Protection.  They have a very helpful website that would be worth your time to visit.

The FDCPA covers all personal or family debts including:

  • Credit Cards
  • Auto loans
  • Medical Bills
  • Mortgages
  • Personal Bank Loans
  • Store Cards
  • Pay Day Loans
  • Private Student Loans

A debt collector CANNOT CALL YOU AT ANY TIME OR PLACE! They can only call between 8am (your time) and 9pm (your time).

Collectors may not contact you at work after they are told (by phone or in writing) that you are not allowed to receive calls at work!

A debt collector cannot “harass” you.  Now, harassment can take many forms, but specifically, a debt collector is prohibited from:

  • Using threats of violence or harm
  • Using obscene or profane language
  • Making many, many calls per day (if you are getting several calls, keep a log for future reference)
  • Making false statements:
    • Claiming to be attorneys if they are not
    • Claiming to be a government representative
    • Claim that you will go to jail
    • Claim that they are going to pursue legal action (if in fact they do not)
    • Make false claims of the amount you owe
    • Threaten to garnish your wages or sell property to pay your debt

The first time a collector or creditor calls, talk with them.  Don't get angry or yell at them, but be strong and don't act weak.  Simply explain your situation and ask them to give you some time.  

To stop future calls, send a letter that states that you intend to repay the debt, but cannot at this time due to (reason for hardship).  Request that they stop calling you immediately or that you will file a complaint with your state’s attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.

Send the letter by registered mail and keep the receipt that they received it.

The calls should stop, and if they don’t, follow through with your report of collection abuse! The worst thing you can do when you are behind on your payments is to ignore them.

You may be able to Settle Your Debts

If your debts are behind 3,4 or 5 months or more, you may be able to negotiate a settlement for less than you owe!

For example let's say that you have a delinquent credit card with a balance of $5,000.  Unfortunately, you are unemployed or have some other financial hardship, so you just can't keep up with the minimum payments.

  • It may be possible to negotiate a one-time settlement of 50% or less of what you owe.
  • If the collector or creditor agrees, GET THE AGREEMENT IN WRITING before making a payment!
  • If you do not have a lump sum (most people don’t), you may be able to negotiate a settlement paid over several months.

We arranged term payment settlements all the time, some as long as 24 months!

If all of this just sounds like too much for you to handle, let us help.

how to stop illegal debt collection


Tags: fair debt collection practices act, fdcpa, how to stop collection calls, debt collector harassment

How to Stop Debt Collector Harassment

stop debt collection harrassmentDebt collector harassment can be stopped!

A consumer is protected from debt collector harassment by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Here are some FAQs about Debt Collector Harassment:

Here are just a few of the unlawful practices that are prohibited by the FDCPA:

A debt collector may not:
  • Call before 8am or after 9pm (your time zone)
  • Call you at work if you have told them you are not allowed to receive calls at work
  • Threaten any type of violence
  • use obscene or profane language
  • call many times a day
  • Disclose any information about your debt to a third party such as family or friends

A debt collector may not make false statements such as:

  • They cannot claim to be attorneys
  • They cannot pretend to represent the government
  • They cannot claim that have committed a crime by not paying or that  you could be arrested unless you pay

A debt collector cannot make threats such as:

  • they are going to seize your property or
  • garnish your wages unless they intend to take action or follow through with legal action

If you feel that a debt collector has violated the FDCPA, you can contact your state's attorney general's office and file a complaint.

For example, in Oregon, CLICK HERE.

You can also contact an attorney. The FDCPA states that if the debt collector has been found guilty, the debt collector has to pay your attorney fees

This means that an attorney can help end the harassing and unlawful conduct at no cost to you! 

The FDCPA also prohibits the debt collector from calling you again when you are represented by a lawyer.  The FDCPA also states that you may be entitled to up to $1000 in damages as a penalty for the debt collector’s violation of the law. 

If you feel like you are being harassed by your creditors, we can help you to eliminate that debt and get them off your back.  Give us a call at 1-877-492-4109 or click the link below for FREE information.

how to stop debt collector harassment



Tags: fdcpa, debt collection harassment, debt collector harassment

Debt Collector Harassment: Can anything be done to stop them?

debt collector harrassment callsCan anything be done about debt collector harassment?



A consumer is protected from debt collector harassment by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Here are some FAQs about Debt Collector Harassment:


NO, they are prohibited from calling before 8am or after 9pm (your time zone).  They may not call you at work if they are told that you are not allowed to get calls.


Yes and No... A debt collector may contact a third party, but only to inquire how to get in touch with you.  They ARE NOT permitted to disclose any information about your debt.


A debt collector may not:

  • make threats of violence
  • use obscene language
  • call many, many times a day

A debt collector may not make false statements such as:

  • claiming to be attorneys
  • claiming to be a government official or representative
  • claim that by failing to pay the debt you have committed a crime
  • claim that you could be arrested unless you pay

A debt collector cannot make threats such as:

  • you will go to jail if you don't pay
  • they are going to seize your property or garnish your wages unless they intend to take action or follow through with legal action


These are just a few of the actions and practices that are forbidden to debt collectors.  Unfortunately, debt collectors habitually violate the FDCPA!


If you think your rights have been violated, contact your state's attorney general's office and file a complaint.

For example, in Oregon, CLICK HERE.

Bottom have rights as a consumer and do not have to put up with debt collector harassment!  If you would like help, our Debt Solutions Specialists can answer your questions.

debt collector harassment

photo by: chmeredith


Tags: fdcpa, debt collectors, debt collector harassment

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