Credit Card Debt

Belleville 618.236.7000
Granite City 618.656.7941

There are many reasons why people get in over their heads with credit card debt. Loss of income, unexpected emergencies, and in some cases even mental illnesses and addictions, can be significant contributing factors. Below are examples of ways in which The Bankruptcy Center (TBC) has helped people climb out from under the mountain of debt and interest charges that can quickly accumulate from credit cards. Their names have been changed, but their situations are absolutely real.

Divorce, Foreclosure and Credit Cards:
Thomas was recently divorced, and lost his home to a foreclosure. Despite the fact that he no longer owned the house, Thomas was still responsible for a second mortgage on it. The creditor was threatening to sue him and garnish his wages. In addition to the second mortgage, Thomas had significant credit card debt. The creditor calls were driving him crazy, and his wages of $2400 per month were no longer enough to pay both his debts, which totaled over $40,000, and his day-to-day living expenses.

TBC’s Solution:
Thomas paid $100 to retain TBC, at which point he was able to refer all of his creditors’ calls to our office to handle for him. Since Thomas met the income and expense thresholds established in the bankruptcy laws, he was able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. His total cost for this was $1480, on which he made monthly payments to TBC. A few months after his case was filed, Thomas’ debts of over $40,000 were eliminated, and he can now once again afford his monthly bills.

« Back to Top »

Medical Bills and Credit Cards:
Nathan and Sara had $75,000 in medical bills, credit card debt, student loans, and other bills that were overwhelming them, but they had filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy several years ago, and so were not eligible to file another Chapter 7. They scheduled an appointment with a TBC attorney to learn about their options. What no one knew at the time was that they would soon have difficulty paying for their home as well.

TBC’s Solution:
While Nathan & Sara could not file another Chapter 7, they could file a Chapter 13 to repay just as much as their bankruptcy schedules showed they could afford, and discharge the rest of their debt. For a payment of just $110 per month for three years, they were able to eliminate all but their student loans. (Although student loans are not dischargeable in the bankruptcy, they were deferred for the three years that the bankruptcy was in effect, allowing Nathan & Sara time to get back on their feet financially.) Over the course of the three year Chapter 13 plan, Nathan & Sara spent about $4385 and eliminated $30,000 in debt. In addition, through this process they avoided any additional interest, late fees and penalties which would otherwise have been substantial. Unfortunately, during the course of the bankruptcy, problems arose with their house and with their ability to continue to pay the mortgage. TBC was able to add their house to their Chapter 13 plan, surrendering the house and entirely eliminating the $13,000 deficiency payment that they would have still owed to the bank once the house was gone.

« Back to Top »

Gambling Addiction and Credit Cards:
Jim had a healthy salary in excess of $175,000 annually. Unfortunately, extreme personal hardship, including a gambling addiction, resulted in credit card debts that totaled about $40,000.00. Three credit card companies served him with lawsuits.  Jim knew he would lose those lawsuits, and soon he would have a wage garnishment issued to his employer, and would need to repay not just his current balance, but ongoing interest and the credit card companies' legal fees as well.

TBC’s Solution:
Jim was able to file a Chapter 13 repayment plan, which immediately stopped the lawsuits and the creditor phone calls and letters. The credit card companies were not allowed to add additional interest and penalties to his balance while he was in the Chapter 13. His Chapter 13 plan payment was $750.00 per month for five years, which allowed him to repay his $40,000.00 credit card debt in full, and at a rate he could afford. We are pleased to report that Jim is getting help for his addiction and is now able to move forward with his life.

« Back to Top »

Scam Victim:
Internet scammers had taken advantage of Bob, an elderly gentleman. He had taken out $23,000.00 in cash advances from his credit card to help someone whom he thought was a destitute woman in Africa.

TBC’s Solution:
Bob’s TBC attorney contacted law enforcement officers to report the crime. He then reviewed Bob’s complete financial situation and determined that he could lose his house or car if he filed a Chapter 7, so TBC filed a Chapter 13 for him. Bob was able to repay all of his legitimate debts through the Chapter 13 plan, but did not have to pay any of the charges resulting from the Internet scam.

« Back to Top »

Car and Credit Cards:
Brad had over $20,000.00 in credit card debt, plus a car that he could no longer afford.

TBC’s Solution:
Brad’s TBC attorney found that Brad’s income was within the guidelines for a Chapter 7. For the $1480.00 that Brad spent to file the case, he was able to wipe out the $20,000 in credit card debt, plus the debt on the vehicle that he returned to the creditor.

« Back to Top »

Don't wait until it may be too late to seek protection under the bankruptcy law. Schedule a FREE Consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys and learn how the bankruptcy law applies to your specific situation. Call TBC today at 618-236-7000 (Belleville, IL), 618-656-7941 (Granite City, IL).

Memberships & Associations


Belleville Location

The Bankruptcy Center
5312 West Main Street
Belleville, IL 62226
Tel: 618.236.7000

Granite City Location

The Bankruptcy Center
2021 Johnson Road, Suite 1
Granite City, IL 62040
Tel: 618.656.7941


The Law Office of Ronald A. Buch is a debt relief agency, helping people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.