Going through a divorce. Legal fees have caused me to be unable to pay all credit cards. I'm 90 days late on a few cards totaling about $80K in debt. Wife is trying to cut me out of assets and may leave me with less assets than my share of the debt.
I'm trying to negotiate that I take on the debt (at full value) and then negotiation with the companies later for settlement at 50% value. However the divorce may go on longer (I'll now in a couple weeks if mediation is successful) so then we run the risk of them suing and putting a lien on the home (she most likely will get most of the equity in the home.)
I'm trying to figure out ways to delay the card companies from taking legal action or offering a settlement because then outstanding debt balance will be reduced and I won't have an advantage of taking it on at full balance then negotiating those balances down after the divorce.
I was thinking of starting the process of setting up debt consolidation may delay things, assuming if I stop paying the consolidated payments later, I can still negotiate a settlement?
Problem is, even though debt consolidation reduced the interest rate, the total payments don't go down since they are scheduled to allow for a 5-year payoff. Can I negotiate a longer pay-off period or do other things to minimize the total payment amount?
Other option is to file for bankruptcy. Most of the cards my wife's name is not on the agreement and although technically the companies can sue her too since the debt was accumulated during marriage, I've read they typically don't if she's not on the agreement. Even if they did, she would have to turn around and sue me and she wouldn't as she would know I have little to no assets so it would be a waste of time and money and she just wants to be done with the divorce and move on. (Besides her rich Dad can bail her out like he's done before.)
I know I can negotiate directly with the card companies but when you have 3-months worth of payments accrued, even if they offer paying say one third of the late balance, that's too much for me to afford right now. Would even paying them a very small amount, like 20% of my late balance fend them off for a while longer from taking legal action or trying to settle?