You may be pleased with your debt settlement agreement awarding you a low negotiated price you were seeking. Unfortunately, if you are a woman, getting it in writing is not enough. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one third of debt collectors receive what they are owed, and almost one-quarter receive none. Statistics for student loans are unavailable, but  payments are probably just as hard to come by as credit cards.

So what’s a person to do? You can take advantage of the law. Each state is required by federal law to have an office of debt collection, and they can act when payments are delinquent or non-existent. They can garnish wages, withhold tax refunds, place a lien on cars and real estate owned by the non-paying ex-spouse and seize the non-payor’s property. They can get the delinquent parent’s passport revoked and notify credit bureaus. These actions and more can be undertaken by the state to help with collection.

Credit cards are harder. You will have to take the credit card company to court for violating the court order to make payments. The judge can take the same actions, but collecting can be more difficult. You can help yourself by keeping accurate records of everything associated with the delinquent payments. If you are claiming poverty, check on it. Look at Facebook, and other settlements websites, such as, or hire an investigator. If he brags about the new boat he bought but says he can’t pay alimony, you almost certainly have a case with a debt settlement lawyer in Monroe.