Garnished wages can we still settle the debt?
October 29, 2008 8:49 PM Subscribe
My Mom’s wages are being garnished by a collection agency. Can we still settle the debt? How much do we offer and where do we get the money?
My mother’s Ford Fiesta bit the dust a month ago and she needed to get a new car. Her hours have recently been cut at her old job and she has just taken a second job for significantly less money ($7.50/hr versus $10.50/hr). After talking with her I came to the realization that she couldn’t afford to even purchase a reasonable beater for a few grand. I decided that I would help her out with a few hundred bucks and an interest free loan on the condition that I could look at her finances and make sure everything checked out. Here is what I found:
Her monthly income is variable but appears to average about $1000/month +/- $200 (her rent is $480/month).
She has one credit card with a balance of about $1100
She owes a collection agency about $13,000 and they have begun garnishing 25% of her wages at her primary job. The debt comes from a credit card where the original balance was about $6000. She settled with the credit card company but then failed to make the payments and the account sat in collections for a couple of years.
Here are my questions:
Now that the collection agency is garnishing her wages is it too late to settle with them?
If we can settle with the collection agency how much should we offer?
If we do offer to settle, how should we raise the money to pay them off? Will banks make loans to me or my Mom for this purpose?
Should my Mom just file for chapter seven bankruptcy?
We are both located in Michigan. My Mom does not have any significant savings or assets other than a 401k. I have only been out of school for a couple of years so I am still trying to get on my feet. I have good credit and some savings, but not enough to pay for this endeavor unless I borrow against my 401k.