My mother has 30k of credit card debt, what does this mean?

I just discovered that she has 25k of debt on one card, and 5k on the other by reading her mail. One credit card is $1500 over the limit and they wrote in the letter they've been trying to contact her for a while but she hasn't responded. My mother has been telling me not to answer the phone for years unless I recognize the number and I assumed she was just paranoid, but now I see she was trying to avoid creditors. I'm just in shock. She hasn't cut back on her spending at all and when I confronted her she said I was upsetting her and continued drinking. She drinks at least a bottle of wine every night. I'm really concerned and I don't know what's going to happen. She doesn't own a house, only two cars. Are the creditors going to file suit against her? Is she going to be declared bankrupt?

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  • KRS
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your mother is in the same boat of many people in today's economy. The fact that she doesn't own a house is neither here nor there as far as bankruptcy is concerned, which by the way, is something she would declare herself if she should decide to do so. Now as far as the credit is concerned, she must have had at one time pretty good credit to get a line of 25K. What this means depends on what kind of interest rate she had. If you are correct about the $1500 over the limit and the creditors trying to contact her, then the interest rate may be pretty high and that could be not good.

    I know most of us are concerned about our parents but it is illegal and unethical to read peoples mail without their consent. Not for nothing, but my mom would tell me that unless I plan to pay her bills then I should mind my own business.

    That being said, hopefully you had her consent to read her mail and the best thing you could do right now is to try to get her to qualify for a promotional lower interest rate with another card. Transfer the balances to the card with the lower rate. Then get rid of the other cards so the vicious cycle doesn't continue. This is just a start to stop the bleeding. If and after you do all of this, Mom has to change her spending habits and this could be the steepest hill to climb. Poor spending habits are often associated with obsessive compulsive behaviors as is drinking too much. A bottle a night every night could be considered excessive. Your mother may benefit by attending a support group such as A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous). It is a twelve step program that addresses the nature of addiction itself (obsessive/compulsive) as well as the issues with alcohol.

    Good Luck and God Bless.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am sorry to be the "DUKE of DOOM" but this is not a good situation for either of you. You might take solice in knowing that your mom is not alone. Credit cards can really wreak havoak when we depend on them as a way to pay for everything. The mindset in my opinion is that a piece of plastic with seemingly no real monitary value is so much easier to spend than as if a person has actual green folding money. At your young age I am sure that you have een in the situation where you have X amount of dollars and want to buy something and if you make that purchase it will mean that you will not be able to join your friends at the Arcade, Movies, Bowling Alley or whatever. This causes you to save your hard earned cash (folding money).. Now imagine that you have been so good at this and now you are at the age as well as the maturity level that the bank (or banks) decide that you deserve to have a credit card with a $500.00 limit on it. WOW!!!! this is great. Well, now not only are you earning money on your own but the bank tells you that you have done so well that you have $500.00 on top.

    It's your Mothers Birthday and you spent your cash on gas and that new top and jeans. You think,"Oh My" Mom's Bday and I messed up. Oh well I have this plastic that I can use to buy her a really nice set of "earrings". I can take care of the payment next month.

    OK next month comes around and; "Oh My" my car needs to be inspected and needs a $475.00 repair. I have the cash but I was going to pay for my Mothers Bday present in full on my credit card. Oh Well.

    Meanwhile, the nice people that gave you the credit card are charging you 20% interest compounded monthly and then daily because you are only making the minimum monthly payments. WOW!!!! Now that pair of earrings that you bought for your Mom on the card now cost you the same amount as if you were to take a month vacation to Venice Italy. Ok I'm exagerating a little but perhaps now you can understand where and how your Mom fell into this trap.

    As far as bankruptcy, this is something that your Mom would have to file for and at times it can save your home.

    I know I am not painting a pretty picture for you and no child deserves to go through this but as of late with the economy the way it is, even the wealthy are unable to keep up.

    There are government agencies that can help. You are deffinately a very smart young lady, might I suggest doing some research on the subject of bankruptcy, credithelp, etc?

    Things are not always as dark as they seem.

  • Sheff
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    They could file a suit, but they rather have the money build up so they can take everything. Really a bad position to be in, tell her shes only making it worse on herself and on you too if they decide to follow you if something happens to your mom and you get her possessions.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Depends on how much she makes. She should offer to cancel the cards and pay back half without interest.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, she's an adult, and there's really nothing you can do about her fiscal irresponsibility. I would enlist some help about her drinking though. Maybe if she gets some help for that, it'll be easier to get her financial life together.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    u need to cut her credit cards up & move to tasmania as credit agents wont travel there because of the tasmanian tigers on the streets of hobart & launceston

    Source(s): saw one get eaten last month.
  • 1 decade ago

    oh dear, i really feel for you., but i assume they will catch up with her sooner or later.

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