Debt Collection, Debt Relief

How to Work with Debt Collectors When You Are Not Able to Pay

Dealing with debt collectors is stressful, especially when the person owing the debt simply does not have the financial resources to pay. It can be easy to fall behind on bills, and before too long, the consumer will find himself or herself juggling countless collection calls. These calls are not always pleasant. After all, the debt collectors have one job to do and that job is to receive payment on the debt. What is the best way to deal with debt collectors when an individual is not able to come up with the payment?

Stay Calm and Attempt to Work with the Collector

Debt collectors have a reputation of being aggressive when performing their jobs. However, it is important to stay as calm as possible when communicating with a debt collector. If a consumer agrees that he or she owes the debt and does not have the resources to do so, it may still be beneficial to at least attempt to work with the debt collector on paying on the debt. If the person does not have the money but still wants to pay, the collector may mark the consumer down as “refused to pay.” However, do not fear this label. It is essentially meaningless in the collection process. It does not make the collection case against consumer any worse or any better.

Debt Collection

Facing Debt Collection? Know Your Rights.

When someone is facing debt collection, it is important that person knows his or her rights.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers against unfair collection practices, including:

  • Calling you repeatedly to annoy or harass you;
  • Trying to collect more than you owe;
  • Failing to send a written notice of the debt;
  • Threatening violence, using profanity or offensive language;
  • Threatening dire consequences (i.e. – lawsuits, criminal prosecution, wage garnishment, jail time, permanently ruining your credit);
  • Calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.;
  • Revealing debt to third parties (i.e. – family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc.);
  • Contacting you at your work, after you have requested them to stop;
  • Failing to verify disputed debts;
  • Ignoring cease communication requests.
Debt Collection, Debt Relief

Stopping a Wage Garnishment Once It Has Started

When dealing with a collection on a debt, the last thing a consumer wants is to face a garnishment of his or her wages to satisfy the debt. Many times, once the wage garnishment process has started, consumers fear that it is too late to do anything to stop it. It can be stopped, however, with quick action and the right steps taken.

Contact an Attorney.

The laws surrounding how to properly object to a wage garnishment can be complicated, and unless the individual is savvy with the legal system, costly mistakes can be made. Even if the person’s wages have already been garnished, consulting with an attorney is still advisable. The key is to act quickly since the law only allows a short window of time for a person to object to a legal proceeding.

Debt Collection, student loan debt, Student Loans

How the Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Affects Student Loan Debt Collection

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has implications for how student loan debts will be collected.  This week, the court issued a 6-3 ruling that debt collectors collecting on government-owned debts cannot do so by robocalling mobile devices.

The ruling came from Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, a case involving a 1991 law banning the federal government from using robocalls to collect on debts. Specifically, the case was brought after a 2015 revision was made by Congress to the 1991 that allowed a distinct group of creditors to collect on government-owned debts, including defaulted federal student loans.

Debt Collection

Cellphone Robocall Ban Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling this week that upheld a federal ban on robocalls to mobile devices. The ruling issued by the court broadened the ban, eliminating a 2015 exception that previously existed for government-debt collection while keeping the original 1991 robocall ban intact.

The matter came before the court in Barr vs. American Assn. of Political Consultants. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the case was ironically argued remotely via telephone. The ban was originally created by the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which issued fines up to $1,500 for any call or text placed to a mobile phone without prior consent by use of an automatic, robocall dialing or automated voice messaging system. The issue at hand arose after Congress created an exception to the law in 2015, that allowed for automated robocalls to consumers who owed debt to the U.S. government.

Debt Collection, Debt Relief, Medical Debt

How Long Does Medical Debt Remain on a Person’s Credit Report?

After suffering a serious injury or illness, it can be hard to pay the bills that inevitably follow. Considering how many Americans are now facing medical debt in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many wonder the effects this will have on their credit score and how long the debt will remain on their credit report.

After medical debt has been reported to the credit bureaus, it can remain on a consumer’s credit report for up to seven years. However, a person’s medical debt is not immediately reported to that individual’s credit as soon as it is incurred. It will not be reported to a person’s credit so long as that debt remains with the original service provider. Once a person defaults on the debt and it goes to collection, only then will the medical debt begin to show up on a person’s credit report.

Debt Collection

Consumer Groups Dispute Proposed Debt Collection Rule

A new rule is being proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would require debt collectors to notify consumers as to whether they can be legally sued for a debt they are attempting to collect. This rule follows complaints made by consumers regarding debt collectors threatening to collect on debts that they otherwise would not be able to pursue legally.

Every state has statutes of limitation which control how long an individual or entity can bring a legal action. For collection of debt, this timeline in Florida is five years for debts resulting from written contracts, such as personal loans, and four years for oral contracts or revolving accounts, including credit cards. If a creditor contacts a consumer regarding a debt past that deadline, the consumer is not under any legal obligation to pay.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Collection, Debt Relief

How to Continue Paying Debt While Unemployed During COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused countless Americans to lose their jobs. More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the wake of the outbreak. Paying for basic expenses can be difficult enough but paying down debt while unemployed can seem impossible.

However, with proper planning and by taking advantage of opportunities available during this time, it can make things a little easier. The first step is to evaluate all expenses coming out monthly and create a budget to see what payments can be made. Additionally, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) provides some relief, as well, that can make this process easier.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Collection, Debt Relief

What Happens to Unpaid Debt When A Person Dies?

Given the amount of debt consumers carry during their lifetime, it comes as no surprise that for many people this debt will remain unpaid after death.  What happens to that debt when the person who was originally responsible for the debt passes away?

Ultimately, how that debt is handled depends largely on the type of debt owed. After someone dies, anything that person owned at the time of his or her death and anything he or she owed is all a part of the deceased individual’s estate.  Essentially everyone has some type of debt when they die, even if it is just payment for funeral and last medical expenses. All this debt will need to be handled in the person’s estate by the personal representative, either appointed in a Last Will and Testament or appointed by the probate court.