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Should I Pay Off and Close My Credit Card Accounts?

Should I Pay Off My Old Debts from Over 10 Years Ago?

Jim, As a Christian I feel that I should go back and pay my creditors that were included in my bankruptcy from ten years ago.  What do you think and how should I go about it?

Practically speaking, this may not be as easy to do as you might think.  First, if these were large corporations that you owed money to, they may not even have any record of the debt at this point.  Secondly, they may have already written off the debt on their taxes and may not want to deal with the accounting that would be involved.

If, on the other hand, the money was owed to an individual, they may want to be paid and this could be a chance to be a Christian witness by repaying the money.  Be careful and seek the advice of an attorney prior to doing this.  When you make a payment on an old debt, you may end up with more than you are bargaining for.  The original creditor may claim that you owe them for late penalties, interest, and other damages which may translate into an amount far more than what you expected.  An attorney would likely suggest that you have the person sign an agreement accepting your money as payment in full.  This would resolve things with you and that person once and for all. 

In many states, once you make a payment on an old debt you start the statute of limitations all over again.  So, be very careful when paying old creditors (even if they were included in your bankruptcy).  Most will appreciate your willingness to do the right thing, but some will try and take you to the cleaners.

Agree or disagree, click on comments below.

Helping you make the most of God’s money!

James L. Paris
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