A public information resource sponsored by the Law Office of David W. Martin - (800) 229-0546


Debt collectors often make harassing phone calls and inundate debtors with mail. The stress of being over-your-head in debt is can be exhausting. If you feel that you are being harassed by debt collectors, see our Fair Debt Collection Practices page.

If your debt is primarily from credit cards, medical bills, or other unsecured lenders, you can take one of several options if you can’t make payments:

Do Nothing

For many, this is the best option. Your credit is bad and you are not going to get new credit, so why pay? The credit card companies will often just write-off the debt you owe them after a certain period of time, and nothing will come of it.

The risk you take when you do not act is that, if the creditors do come after you in a court action, they will try to get huge fees and high interest wrapped-up into their judgment. This risk is offset, however, by the fact that you may be able to file for bankruptcy if they do start a court action.

Negotiate a Settlement

There are many companies that offer to negotiate on your behalf to reduce your credit-card debt – many of them are SCAMS! They will charge you fees and get the same results you could get yourself.

Moreover, these companies often give bad advice.

If your credit is already in disrepair, you can call your credit card companies and let them know that you want to negotiate a settlement, but you can’t afford the entire amount. They will usually give you a 20-50% discount that you have to pay within a few months (be careful, because the discount may be taxable).

The problem with this strategy is that your credit will be hurt, and you had to pay a lot of the money back. For many, bankruptcy is a better alternative.

File for Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy will immediately stop the calls and letters from your creditors. Bankruptcy is workable solution for many, but it does have drawbacks – primarily the effect it has on your credit.

For more information, visit our Bankruptcy page.