What would Visa....Discover....Master Card do if...?

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DH woke up in a sweat and was awake for hours worrying about what to do if we can't make the credit card payments. We have about 5 K debt total on these cards, as is usual for Christmas time with a large family.

These cards mormally get paid off within 3 months or so. Husband wants to know what would happen if the credit companies are functioning normally and he has, say, lost his job due to Y2K (he is an engineer in a Manufacturing company)?

All I am hearing is " We'll lose everything" " and "I can't believe we are going into Y2K with debt." Groan. Trust me, the day is already "shot" when he wakes up like this, and a hefty argument will soon be taking place if there is no relief.

Can anyone help ease his mind? Is there any reason payment would be demanded in full, rather than the usual extortion type rates that are charged for minimum-paid-monthly?


-- he drives me crazy (like no one @else.com), December 23, 1999


They will get a Judgement from a Judge and simply put a Lien against your home. It will remain there until paid, while acruing interest.

It will be on your credit report, which is a blessing, because you will not be able to get anymore credit. So, from then on you can only pay cash. It's the only way to go!!!

If you ever sell your home, the Lien will then be satisfied and the amount you owe taken off before you get yours. There might be even a ten year Statute of limitations and after ten years the Lien will go away. That is the way the IRS Liens are. So, don't sweat it! They won't throw you out in the street for a simple debt!!! Tell Hubby to cool it!

-- bbb (bbb@bbb.com), December 23, 1999.

Nobody forces you to pay credit card interest. Quit bitching , stand tall, and try taking some responsibility for your own life.

-- Earl (eshuholm@tstar.net), December 23, 1999.

They will *NOT* put a lien on your house! A judgement on your credit report is possible (for 7 not 10 years) but that is it. Nothing to worry about at all.

-- BiGG (supersite@acronet.net), December 23, 1999.


Absolutely. That does not even need to be said.

However, this is a done deal and the next few days are going to be hell if my husband does not start feeling some peace about this issue.

He also has a bad case of "what if all of this was for nought?" i.e. prepping. That's what it's really all about. Our house actually belongs to his father, who put up the collateral for it. He would never put us out and has enough money to take the loss, which amts. to about 50 K. We pay the bank, but if we ever had to default, which I don't see happening, his father loses his shares and we owe him.

Husband doesn't read this forum. I do. That's why I don't feel the same way.

Thanks for all responses and hope they keep coming.

-- he drives me crazy (like no one @else.com), December 23, 1999.


Again, my main question: Does anyone see any reason that the credit card companies would suddenly DEMAND payment in full, as long as the minimum payment is kept up each month?


-- he drives me crazy (like no one @else.com), December 23, 1999.

Dump his sorry worry-wart ass. If he's this uptight about a little rollover debt....I can only imagine....

-- Downstreamer (downstream@bigfoot.com), December 23, 1999.

Your husband may understand THIS: Ask him how many credit card accounts there are in his estimation in the U.S. Then ask him to try and imagine half of America being asked to fork over a bunch of bucks or else. Hopefully he will realize that "they" (?) cannot "go after everybody". Else, they are out of business if EVERYONE has "blemished" credit reports. In this case, numbers work in our favor.

I usually try and ask the questions (folks worry about) on the larger scale; another example of this is foreclosure on homes. Picture 1/2 of America being tossed out of their homes...like, where will they stay, and who would there be left to purchase all these repo. homes?????? This would TRASH the entire housing/mortgage/realtor industries.

The more he thinks this through, the calmer he should get. He is by no means alone; always remind him that he will not be singled out for money owed. MOST OF AMERICA IS IN DEBT!

(Also: I've read more than once this year that for every family that files for bankruptcy, there are 10 more that are on the edge(one or two paychecks being missed) of filing. Again, the question is, Who will qualify for credit cards if a huge percentage of Americans are deemed not credit- worthy? And then, what becomes of that entire industry??)

They cannot come after everyone (or almost everyone).

This is one time that there is safety in being a "herd member".


-- (He Who) Rolls with Punches (JoeZi@aol.com), December 23, 1999.

Dump his sorry worry-wart ass. If he's this uptight about a little rollover debt....I can only imagine....

Agreed. Dump him!!

-- (bromide@wetlake.net), December 23, 1999.

I don't know what you mean by "suddenly demand" that you pay off the loan all at once. What do you think, some Visa VP's are going to come to your house with bats looking for payment?

Anyways, why would they DEMAND payment immediately? It is in their interest to just jack up your rate and let you pay $10 a month for life.

Also, if you just stopped paying, they would sue you, you would lose, and have a judgment against you. They COULD put a lien on your property (called executing judgment), and they COULD force a sale of some of your possessions to pay the judgment. How do I know? I do it every day....

FWIW, the process is very slow -- it would likely take a year or so for the bank to even begin legal proceedings.

-- Freethinkr (ima@nut.com), December 23, 1999.

I haven't seen any evidence that would lead me to believe credit card companies would demand payment in full versus the normal monthly payments as quoted on their statements. I HAVE seen evidence that at least Master Card will be in good shape in the year 2000.

[looking at my credit-card statement now]: It looks like the monthly payment is established at about 3% of balance. If you can't come up with the minimum in a given month, the credit card company tacks on an additional late fee. I'm not sure if it's a percentage or a fixed amount.

Credit is an interesting phenomenon in my mind. For years I had only one card and paid off the entire amount each month. I was never solicited for cards by other credit companies. This past year, I've forgotten about the bill a few times and the news got around quickly. I now get offers regularly for pre-approved cards. They make their money off late fees and finance charges. They have no interest in folks who can pay the balance in full each month.

If you're concerned about job loss, try and set aside enough for the minimum payment for as many months as you think your husband COULD be out of work, and perhaps hide the card so you won't be tempted to use it so easily?

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.com), December 23, 1999.

he drives me crazy

Tell your husband that I wish I had his biggest concern about what might happen after Y2K. I sure would'nt be losing sleep over it.

-- ~***~ (~***~@earth.ebe), December 23, 1999.

How about this one?

"I appreciate all you've done to take care of and protect your family, dear. This is a unique situation and you've worked hard to insure us against a disastrous outcome. No one could have known exactly how to prepare for it. It probably won't be serious, but if it is, we're as ready as anyone could be. If it isn't, we'll all celebrate. If it's just the economy -- and your job -- going down, we'll all pitch in, and we'll get by. But, again, I will always be grateful for your efforts to care for and protect us."

In your own words. You'll all sleep better.

I think any posters who dis this guy should identify whether they are the parents of small children or not. Get it?

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), December 23, 1999.

Read the fine print on the back of your credit card statement. There may be something there to ease his mind. If you keep the disclosures they send with your statment every few months (I don't), check that too.

-- ds (ds@deepsouth.com), December 23, 1999.


They can try to grab the stuff that you bought with the card, they cannot put a lien on your house. A lot of people here may think that is what you are saying.

-- BiGG (supersite@acronet.net), December 23, 1999.

Over the past several months I have bought 200 lbs. of rice and beans, four cases of Dinty Moore Stew, soups, oatmeal, canned milk, 2 500 gal. water containers, flour, oil, coleman stove, 2 cases of propane, too numerous to count 1 gal. water containers all for my DGI neighbors and all on credit. I hate incurring credit card debt. Thank God I have good credit and a large credit balance on my card. As far as I can see the worse that can happen is I'll ruin my credit. I get piece of mind knowing that at least some of my neighbors won't be starving or dying of thirst. I've had to do all of this behind my semi-DGI husband's back as he would freak out knowing I was getting us in debt. Oh well - such is life.

-- Deborah (idoyoga@earthlink.net), December 23, 1999.

There is life after bad credit! Secured card offers right away and then more cards! To ruin your life worrying about this is certainly not why we are meant to be here!

-- life (afterbad@credit.com), December 23, 1999.


Good. Exactly my thoughts.


THANKS. Again, my thoughts/argument.


Thanks. Good thoughts here. BTW, this IS a rarity and is caused by a combo of Y2K AND Christmas. Credit cards are usually paid off every month.

jor-el -

You "get" it. 6 children here....one wage earner...big responsibility.


I'm with ya, I hear ya, I'm THERE! No more hiding though...every once in a while, he asks "how much do we owe?" (That was this morning.) He hates debt with a passion. I take care of all the bills and yes to all, he KNOWS he should keep closer track.

To the two "dump his ass" posters-

Geez, you guys are HARSH! Y2K is a tension-producing time, plus the usual work stuff. We've been married almost 20 years and seen much worse. I want to reassure him and his "cold feet" because I love him. He is a great husband and provider...just having some angst. Dump him? Surely you were kidding?

Thanks to all who responded and God Bless.

-- he drives me crazy (like no one@else.com), December 23, 1999.

I have two years supply of food, fuel, lighting, water, let's just say the basics and I paid cash for everything. On top of paying cash for everything, I have no credit card debt and the only debt I have is my mortgage payment. How did I do all of this? I paid as I went for the past two years by clipping coupons and using them at discount food stores. I shopped out of the discount baskets, and if I had a coupon it was a double bonus. I never paid full price for anything and I compared supermarket sales. I also shopped at garage sales and flea markets. I kept my everyday living expenses to a minimum, did not eat out at fast foods or fancy restaurants. I sleep very well at night knowing that I can live simply and not above my means. And, if my husband loses his job, we can live off of our preps with no problem or worry. I know there are some here who have cashed in their 401K and IRAs to fund their Y2K preps, and if the IRS stays around, there's big time taxes that will have to be paid on those accounts.

Now for some advice on that credit card debt. Get your scissors out and cut up the cards and get use to paying cash for everything. Double your credit card payment on the lowest balanced credit card you have immediately. Concentrate on paying the lowest one off first. You must lower your principal, because your principal is what you are paying interest on. Keep paying the minimum on the other credit cards, and if you have some extra cash available, pay it on the first credit card. Look for ways to cut corners in your monthly spending. If your husband is anticipating losing his job, increase your savings to hold you over until he can find another job. A good rule of thumb is to have at least a 3-month salary in savings.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), December 23, 1999.


Thanks for your concern.

Some points:

We have never had trouble with credit card debt.

Husband makes avery good salary and is only worried about his job due to Y2K.

I shop like you describe all the time. Expenses are higher now because in addition to Christmas, there has been a lot of prepping. We are the only GIs in the family on both sides...I come from a VERY large family.

As long as we can pay off the cards the way we do, I won't cut them up. If I see a problem, I will. Ahhh, you say, but don't you have a problem NOW? No I don't. My DH does and it's called cold feet. The money we have in *ahem* savings is enough to pay off the cards. We don't want to use that until it becomes apparent that we won't need money on hand.DH is worried that if credit card companies have trouble, for some reason they will try to collect amount in full. The whole reason for posting this thread was to get some reassurance for my husband. Living a double life, so to speak, is wearing him down. He is being asked to make budget requests and all kinds of projections for next year, while trying to prep for anywhere from a 7-9. It is getting hard.

Thanks for all the great answers.

And Bardou, I DO appreciate your advice.

-- he drives me crazy (like no one @else.com), December 23, 1999.

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