Brad Bishop wrote:It depends on what "sniffed" them means.
Actually, I said "stiffed" not "sniffed" (grin).
Brad Bishop wrote:A cursory glance at Chap 13 on Wikipedia suggests that it's a court negotiated payback order.
True, but everything is relative. My ex filed a Chapter 7 in 2005 ... and her creditors came after me. I was handling my own debts just fine until then. And I didn't file a Chapter 13 until 2 of those creditors (not Sears) threatened court action.
Chapter 13 "categorizes" debt into 3 categories - priority debt, secured debt, and unsecured debt. Priority debt is money owed to a government agency (ie., IRS), the filer's attorney, or the court. It's paid first and in full. Then comes secured debt. I had no debt considered secured. Unsecured debt is paid last and only up to a percentage allowed by the court - debt by debt. I had some unsecured debt (like my Sears card charges). But the lion's share of the debt was my ex's ($28k - mostly created over the six month period between when I filed for divorce and the 1st hearing). In my case, the court ordered that only 30% of my unsecured consumer debt was to be paid back. Creditor attorney fees were also listed as unsecured debt as was interest on the debt - but the court didn't pay a penny of those amounts.
The judge was very angry at my ex at how she accumulated such debt (and when) and ordered her to pay her own debts. But his court order was superceded by community property law when she filed Chapter 7 (sigh).
Brad Bishop wrote:I'd also question why you'd want one when you could just get a Visa or MasterCard from just about any bank and use that at Sears or anywhere else but I understand that you may have your reasons.
My Sears charges were service-related (repair to a garage door spring, repair of a microwave oven, etc.). One of the nice things about Sears (and the reason I'd really like a card) is they have agreements with several local contractors who do repair work - and agree to accept a Sears card for payment. Not sure about now but, back then, Sears had a relationship with Budget Rent-a-Car ... and would give discounts if rental charges were put on a Sears card. And, a number of Sears locations maintain auto-service facilities ... and give discounts on repair work charged to a Sears card along with a loaner car (provided by Budget Rent-a-Car at a discount).
The advantage of all that is, in every case I've used them, I was provided with prompt and courteous service I could "trust." With a VISA/MC, I'd not get the discounts - and would have to shop around - possibly ending up with service performed by people I "shouldn't" trust. I suppose I could use VISA/MC at Sears - but not at a discount (unless it was a Sears MasterCard).