Can I File Bankruptcy on Old Debts?


Question: I am writing in to see if I can file bankruptcy on old debts. I have old debt that goes back something like 20 years and I want to make sure I never have to pay on it. It’s from when I was in college and I took out loans and got a few credit cards. I basically needed some of the money to buy books and I admit I used the rest to party and cut a demo with my country rock band; we thought we’d be the next Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet or maybe The Charlie Daniels band. Now I’m worried that they can sue me or garnish my wages. So I think that I should possibly file bankruptcy.

My cousin went bankrupt and she said she got a fresh start and it was her best move ever. She got out of almost $50,000, and I think she said you were her lawyers and did a great job. So now I’m worried about some of this old debt because I got a letter in the mail from some debt collection attorneys in Atlanta who said I owe them almost $25,000. That’s a lot of money and I want to get rid of them, particularly because they said they were going to bring a lawsuit.

I’ve heard of old debt coming back and biting you, and I don’t want to be one of those people who gets blindsided by the debt collectors because I didn’t take the right action.

Basically I partied too much in college at the University of Georgia and I failed out, but I got my act together, got drug treatment, and went to Kennesaw State University and graduated. I really like that school. My band’s demo went nowhere but I still write songs with this guy in Nashville who’s got talent and maybe we’ll hit it big.

So I’m just writing to see if you can help me get rid of old debt that I really don’t want to pay. What started out as owing like $1,500 is now far more money and I need a Roswell bankruptcy lawyer.

G.K. in Roswell, GA

Answer: A bankruptcy filing eliminates debts. Even if the debt is many years old, it is discharged in bankruptcy. Many people are worried that they can’t get rid of old debt. Usually, that’s not the case, and we can get rid of debt of any age through either a chapter 7 or a chapter 13.

The most important thing to remember is you should not wait to file bankruptcy. After we file, creditors can’t harass you, garnish your wages, sue you, levy a bank account or put liens on your house. So it’s important to file as soon as possible to make sure the protections of bankruptcy help you to the maximum extent.

In fact, we have helped people eliminate debts like loans, medical bills, and credit cards that go back decades. Of course, the debt only increases if you wait to file. And when you add in the high interest rates that companies charge and the late fees, a small debt can easily balloon into something far, far larger.

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