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  • Feb 5, 2007, 11:59 AM
    Credit card debt settlement overseas

    I recently joined a debt settlement program that has good customer feedback on forums and favorable ratings from the BBB... however, I am worried that I will be sued before my debts are settled ($38000 over 24 months). And it is complicated by the fact that I took a job overseas for an overseas company in switzerland but maintained a PO box in California to have a US mailing address for a US bank account. My question is this: if debt negotiation/settlement fails, can the collections agencies/creditors sue me if I don't have a US residence? If they can, and they get a judgement against me, will they be able to garnish wages from a foreign company?

    Thanks for any help!
  • Feb 7, 2007, 10:54 PM
    Sorry to hear that. I learned the hard way that there are NO such thing as "good" debt settlement programs. You're better off working the stuff out yourself. Most creditors are pretty level headed. They loan you money and they want it paid back. If you say, "hey man, I'm drowning in debt, but dont' want to file for bankruptcy, what can we work out to keep me from doing that".

    He he... well, that gets their attention and they think, "hmm, we don't want you to do that either... wow, let me see what we can work out".

    All in all, you should know by now that in America... anyONE can sue anyBODY for anyTHING. So, yes, you can be sued... even for making your coffee hot, like it's supposed to be (Lord knows someone may spill it in their lap)

    I tried the whole credit counseling... it's crap. They just want your money like every other greedy bastard out there. After all is said and done I'm still over $15,000 in the hole, but had you beat a few years ago with over $40,000...

    Pay what you can (preferably all your bills), but if you can't, call 'em. Find out who's nice and who is the pricks. The ones that are willing to work with you, I'd make sure they get paid. They're most likely to let you dispute late payments, etc. on your credit report without putting up a fight to keep the negative stuff on there.

    The ones that are credit Nazi's, I don't recommend threatening bankruptcy, but make sure that you mention, "as much as I would hate to do it, I really may need to consider bankruptcy." You want those wheels spining in their heads when they consider whether to show you a little mercy or not.

    Worse comes to worse, you just flat out don't pay some of the bills you can't keep up with for UNsecured debt. Make sure the house and car payments are made (the things that creditors hold a title or deed for - geez man, they'll came take that stuff if you don't pay for it).

    However, credit card debt is all UNsecured debt. They really can't do much to you other than threaten to sue you or harm your credit. It sucks but it happens. When they sue you, you go through the motions... they file a "complaint" that initiates the lawsuit against you, when the court notifies you, you're being sued, you file your "answer" to their complaint and they'll either drop the suit at that point or you may need to go one step further and file a "motion to dismiss" (letter asking the judge to throw the lawsuit out).

    You'll quickly learn that the only folks that the scavengers will actually take the time to sue are those that are gullible/dumb enough to send them all the documentation they need to PROVE in court that you DO owe money. Keep this in mind and NEVER give up documents that can be used against you in court. They'll try to trick you into sending all kinds of stuff. The original creditor is the only one that can really PROVE this and they don't waste time with lawsuits.

    It's only the scavengers that bring the lawsuits and it's just in hopes that you won't file an "answer" to their 'complaint' so that they can win a default judgement and then try to garnish your wages.

    If you make any attempt to "hit back" when they throw the first punch, like the high school bully that's really a little wimp, they'll run away and pick on someone less willing to fight back.

    Good luck! They'll have a harder time trying to garnish wages overseas, but don't let it get that far. File an "answer" to their complaint (even if it's from freakin' Iraq)... just send it in the mail. If you can't 'appear' in court, at least send a letter explaining this and ask the judge to dismiss the suit. :)

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