If the lender forces you to sign a promissory note, then sign it and never make a payment. It takes time for the lender to move your file out of the collections system. This will last for anywhere from one month to six months.
The rest of this post is simply my opinion. It is not legal advice. I am just telling you what I would do if I was in this situation. Simply tell the debt collectors that you are trying to avoid bankruptcy. Do not give them any more information. Don’t dispute that you owe them money.
And definitely don’t agree to pay them anything, or tell them that you might be able to pay them. In my opinion, you are better off just hanging up on any collector that calls you. Anything you say can and will be used against you. This is why you are better off not saying anything. After a while the phone calls and mail will stop. Hopefully you will never hear from your lender again.
In order for the lender to get you to pay, they will have to garnish your wages or your bank account. That isn’t easy to do. There are many legal defenses you can use to stop them from garnishing your wages. One of our short sale clients had an unpaid credit card that was trying to garnish her wages. Here is what she told me that she did to stop the garnishment. She was in Florida and Florida law stipulates that if someone has children living in their home, then a creditor cannot garnish their wages.
She had a daughter that lived with her, found the rule, and stopped the garnishment. There are many other strategies you can use to stop garnishments. Talk to a lawyer as they will know the different ways you can stop a garnishment under your state’s laws. Now for one last strategy to stop a garnishment: Protesting. Yes, that’s right. Stand out in front of the local bank branch. Hold up a sign telling your story. Just make sure your sign appeals to most people driving past.
In most cases, the lender will stop the garnishment. They don’t want the bad publicity.