Bill paying when SHTF

Home Forums A Quick Reminder of the Rules Bill paying when SHTF

This topic contains 16 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Devils Advocate 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #20051

    Jim Loyd

    If/when the SHTF, if the electrical grid is down, the banks will probably also be down. People will not be able to have checks processed, pay checks, pension checks, Social Security payments, and other incoming money will not be transmitted. You will not be able to send checks for payment (if the banks are closed) and payment via the Internet will be impossible.

    If only one form of payment is made impossible, then recipient businesses would expect you to use another. However if you cannot send or receive money, you would still have obligations. What is your speculation about what would happen? If businesses want to repossess your property, they would just end up with an impossible array of used vehicles and houses.

  • #20052

    Crow Bar

    If the grid is down, how are they going to know who owes them what, and how much?
    Unless they just so happened to keep a physical copy on hand.

    Even then, are they not supposed to send you notice via mail, from a legal standpoint?
    Is the mail even being delivered? Is it even open?
    Same with the courts?

  • #20053

    Jim Loyd

    That is the bottom line of what I would like to explore. If we know for sure that no one will ever be able to resurrect billing records, then I’d say that all bets are off and that if you have possession of property, you don’t need to be concerned about the bill collectors. But let’s play “let’s pretend” for a minute… what happens in 2 weeks, 2 years, or 20 years if/when society is reconstituted, power is restored, a new form of government is instituted, and old computer records are restored? Will the slate just be wiped clean? Will there be claims against each of us?

  • #20054


    Like every other time pinky…. the banks hold sway overy what they can prove hence get burned…. all government to establish legitimacy take on debt of previous…. on this one who know as it will likely be factor in collapse no way to pay 400 trillion dollars un less in Zimbabwe currency


    Even right now if you get taken to court over mortgage  default asking for original signed documents with clear ownership path to current holder is near impossibe. It is a secret loop hole

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by  namelus.
  • #20056

    John Park

    Great post, I am just wondering if we could move it to the financial section?

  • #20060

    Crow Bar

    I am thinking after only 2 weeks and the grid and computers came back, I think things would resume as they did prior to the event, in the bill paying regard.

    6 months or longer . . . I dunno. Assuming the collapse of the JIT/BAU centralized food system we have, the economy, government and someone claims they are from the bank and you owe them, you might be able to hand them a bag of turnips and declare your property is paid in full.

    I have seen people post of how they will use PMs to pay for their taxes (why they always bring up taxes, I do not know) so they will not be in debt to the government.
    IF there is a collapse, and we are only 9 meals away from chaos and anarchy, and if the estimates are correct and 90% of the population will be dead in the first year, what government are you going to use your PMs to pay your taxes?

    Just like what if during the collapse your house burns down. 2 years later do you get to make the claim to your insurance agency? There is no one to call, no adjuster, no investigator at the time of the fire.

    Are those computers that held that information still workable? The people who knew the passwords still around? Are there people around who have the knowledge to get into the computer to get those files? What about the hard copies? Are they in a air tight safe (please note, I read an article about a guy in CA with a gun safe, the wildfire was so intense, the guns inside were ruined)? Or have they been used as toilet paper, fire lighting material, or ruined due to the elements?

    I agree with John Park, great post!

    @john Park, not sure if I have the power to move the OP to the Finance section. Will research and get back to ya.

  • #20061

    Jim Loyd

    Crow Bar,

    Thanks… this is a real concern that will apply to each of us, but I also think that could a very imaginative movie or TV series.  And thanks for looking into moving the issue to another forum.  I’m unable to do much with this and would be glad for someone to take it and run with it.

  • #20062

    Mouse Wizard

    Kunstler’s World Made by Hand series addresses this, from a standpoint of nothing ever coming back. Basically people could take possession of abandoned properties.

    If the grid came back, it would be sporadic and local at first, so no real internet. If a bank or local government was lucky enough to have its systems housed locally then statements could be generated. Then the calculations about what money is actually available (and worth) would have to be made. Unfortunately, most banking and governmental systems are now maintained as “hosted services” by larger software providers, hence internet and cloud storage. Those organizations won’t be coming back anytime soon, so back to Kunstler’s scenario.


  • #20063

    Crow Bar

    I vaguely remember reading Made by Hand.
    It was, ok, at best.

    I think there are certain assumptions people make.
    The rich, elite, bankers, TPTB will take their private planes to some safe unknown destination, wait out the disaster, come back when it is over and reassert their dominance at pennies on the dollar!
    Was there a mass exodus of those just prior too, or during the Housing Crisis/Great Recession? What about the day before or eve of the 2016 election day?
    Could be argued they will “manufacture” the crisis but that is a bit too tinny for me.
    If there were a massive grid down for a year or so, 90% of the population gone, so are some of those very elite. Their wealth and power just might be gone too.
    The rest of the world, imagine if the USofA was no more due to a EMP/cyber attack, what would the world stage look like in that sudden power vacuum? The ME? SK and NK? China and Taiwan? NATO? Petro-dollar gone. All those T-bills. Stock markets around the world.

    And if someone shows up and says you owe them, say prove it. Or better yet, have your local govenment null and void any and all previous contracts under economic duress. Or paid in full with a bag of turnips.

  • #20068

    Jim Loyd

    Yes, make them prove-up their claim.  Sounds like a situation where the “haves” would create mercenary armies and there would much pillaging/plundering.  Even if a person held 100 lbs of silver and gold, there would be no way to pay a credit card balance due in Delaware or South Dakota.  It would probably be years/decades before big institutions could approach you with a claim…local institutions would the best success in trying to “squeeze” you…. and I think that they would hard-pressed to do so.  We better be able to barter.

  • #20070


    Selco went through this in Balkan conflict, don’t remember reading anything about it maybe he would comment

  • #20071

    Olivia Green

    If someone claiming to be from a gov’t body and wanted me to pay taxes due, i’d ask where were the ‘services promised’ had been.

  • #20075

    Crow Bar

    I could see paying a “tax” to the local (and I mean very local/community) to pay for a teacher to teach the local children the basics. And that tax would be not in coin, but like food, as they are spending so many hours a day teaching and not gardening or raising livestock.

    A lot of the services we are paying for now, are just plain dumb. Yesterday a county tractor with a sickle bar mower went by, cutting the grass along the side of the road to make it look . . . nicer.

  • #20078

    Jim Loyd

    I think that local organization would come first. You might want to get your locality organized/under control before venturing out, unless food/medicine is too scarce.   Because resources (e.g., fuel, foodstuffs, valuable bartering goods) would be limited/scarce, perhaps baricades would go up in some places.

  • #20080

    Crow Bar


    The question is, what local at that point?
    Currently if you live in the suburbs, your local seat of government might be a 15-20 mile drive.
    If we are assuming a post-SHTF, limited fuel supplies or none at all, local might be defined as within half a days walking distance (half a day there, half a day back).
    New, local communities might form (more for a sense of not only community but security as well) their own local governments.

    Where I am, we have many small “towns,” “villages” around a larger city. You can see how back in the day of horse drawn wagons where these were towns with several miles in between each of them.
    Town might be a small collection of people who occupy a few homes next to each other, surrounded by derelict homes/buildings.

  • #20102


    I worked for a bank 30+ years ago in IT. Banks, and all medium to large companies, are absolutely  going to have backups. Even back in that time there were facilities available where they could jump on a plane with their backup tapes and have the bank computers up and running within 24 hours, or less. Of course, those facilities didn’t have the capacity to host more than 1 or 2 banks at a time.What good would be having a few banks running? Very little.

    Of course these tapes could be stored in a vault for years, if necessary. Could anybody get to them and up and running after a year? Maybe. Depends on how serious TPTB wanted to keep the knowledgeable workers alive and the tapes secure. After 20 years? Not likely!

  • #20856

    Devils Advocate

    If it is simply a financial crash, and does not lead to major infrastructure loss, or war, and there is no major human die-off, then:

    Savings will either be seized by the government either directly, or through emergency banking legislation, or an executive order, in order to stave off the event. Basically everyone that is not an ‘elite’ will lose all their savings that they do not manage to spend first.

    401(k)s (and other types of savings/retirement plans) will most likely be seized the way cash will, or all such accounts will be frozen until the situation is resolved. Which means, if it is not resolved (and probably even if it is), that money will never reach the hands of those that it actually belongs to.

    Banks will close, either due to actual failure, to protect themselves, or by government order. Except, of course, for their collections departments, which will be extremely active in collecting any and all debt owed to them. With bigger banks forcing smaller banks to do so in order to collect the money the smaller banks owe them. There may (or may not) be some limited amounts of withdrawals early on, but they will not last long, and then the banks will be locked up.

    Initially, the government will mandate that whatever current US dollars are in circulation be used, at a set value in relation to various products. Use of gold and silver will be restricted and probably confiscated. When the black markets get out of hand, making US dollars effectively useless, everyone will be required to go with electronic accounting, probably with an initial amount credited to every Social Security card holder, by the government, with things going from their.

    After that, if there is still no war going on, infrastructure failure, or large human die-off, some sort of new currency will be issued, and a more controlled economy will be put into place. Perhaps even a currency based (loosely) on the gold and silver confiscated, and even more likely it being an electronic only currency, with no paper/metal involved at all. Lots of tracking by the government, wage and price controls, limits on how much people can buy of many different items, etc.

    Now, if the infrastructure fails, or civil or foreign war begins in earnest, or there is a large human die-off, then things will be very much different.

    No matter how bad things get, a financial apocalypse or physical one, someone will be by to collect on a person’s debt. Might not be immediately, or even the person that gave the credit, but someone will want to be paid back.

    And while you cannot get blood from a stone or turnip, they can get it from you and/or your family.

    There are more than just one or two ways to pay back a loan or pay rent. They might not want money. And the legalities now, that can be administered in court for redress, on both sides, will not necessarily be available in the future. It could be illegal, immoral, and wrong on several levels, but that will not always stop people from doing nasty things to get what they think is owed to them.

    When it comes to possession and/or occupancy, they might not get monetary compensation, but mostly likely will be able to repossess whatever it is you have, or evict you from your location, among a few other things you do not want to happen.

    Again, this will be in a WROL/PAW situation, where might will often, unfortunately, make right. Depending on people to do what is right, just because, will only lead to disappointment and probably harm.

    This all means that you cannot forget to plan for your financial life in the aftermath of a major event. It could be some time before your regular job, or even regular economic methods and systems will again be up and running in a practical, reliable, and trustworthy way.

    It is very likely that you will need to have a way or ways to generate an income that are not based on what your current employment might be. If you are a farmer, sure. If you are a stock market broker and there is no stock market, you will need another means to earn the currency that is being accepted by those around you, to purchase things that cannot be bartered or traded for, or PMs are not accepted.

    It does not matter what the currency is, you simply need to be able to provide a good, product, or service for which people will give you some of that currency or items with which you can obtain it.

    So says the Devil’s Advocate


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