Dr. Debt Answers Your Questions

Question: I am getting sued over an amount of $600 by a creditor. Ive just lost my job and had a baby. I cant afford to pay anything, what can I do?

Answer: You need to attend the hearing in court on the date and time listed in the complaint you received. You can explain your situation to the creditor and the judge to see if you can work out a payment plan. If you dont owe the $600 to that creditor, you need to explain why not to the creditor and the judge.

Question: I have an account with major credit card near maximum. I pay a little more than minimum payment each month. About a year ago I had to use the cash advance feature in emergency that had a very high interest rate. Now, none of my monthly payments is being applied to the cash advance balance. The balance on the cash advance is ballooning. Is there anyway to pay on the cash advance balance without paying off the regular balance first?

Answer: Your credit card agreement will determine how your payments are applied to the balance on the card. Youll need to pay off the balance in the order specified in the agreement. You could try to transfer the entire balance to a different low interest credit card so you arent incurring higher interest on the cash advance balance.

Question: A civil judgment in Tennessee which is 8 years old is keeping me from buying a house. What can I do about it?

Answer: Civil judgments can be reported to consumer reporting agencies for 7 years or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever amount of time is longer. In Tennessee the statute of limitations for civil judgments is 10 years so the judgment can be reported for 2 more years. The party to whom you owe the judgment may be able to renew the judgment once the 10 years expires, extending the reporting period. In order to resolve the judgment, you should contact the party to whom it is owed and try to work out a payment plan. If you dont pay the judgment and are eventually able to buy a house, the person who holds the judgment could get a lien against your house.