The amount of debt the average American has been estimated to be close to $8,000! If you get behind on paying your debts, get ready to hear from DEBT COLLECTORS!
You must know your rights!
YOU DON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH DEBT COLLECTION CALLS!
When you get a call or letter from a debt collector, DON'T ADMIT TO THE DEBT, but instead, get the address of the collection agency.
Write a letter demanding that they know longer call you at home or at work.
Mail by certified mail so that you have proof that they received it.
If they continue to call, report them to your state's attorney general.
IF YOUR DEBT IS A FEW YEARS OLD, MAKE THE COLLECTOR VERIFY IT!
The statute of limitations on unsecured credit card debt varies from state to state.
In Oregon, it is 6 years.
This means that if the debt has had no payments and/or activity for over 6 years, it must be removed from the credit report and in deemed "un-collectable".
When you request a verification of the debt, the collector must:
- Stop all collection activities
- Provide proof of original documentation that you indeed owe the debt
Many times a collector has purchased debts and may or may not be able to verify. If this is the case, you may not have to pay.
IF YOU ARE RETIRED AND ONLY RECEIVE INCOME FROM RETIREMENT SOURCES, YOU ARE EXEMPT FROM GARNISHMENT OR LEVY.
Debt collectors love to scare seniors and/or retired persons!
If your income is from a State or Federal Pension System and the benefits are automatically deposited in your bank account, the bank must perform a 2 months "look back" if they receive a garnishment request from a collector.
This law went into effect on May 1, 2011.
Unfortunately, this only applies to DIRECT DEPOSITS and not normal deposits.
If you are retired, and only receive retirement income, sit down with your banking contact and see if they will "FLAG" your account in case of a garnishment request.
If they will not, find another bank!
IF YOU ARE FACING A LOT OF UNSECURED DEBT, A COLLECTOR MAY ACCEPT A SETTLEMENT FOR LESS THAN THE BALANCE.
This is called "DEBT SETTLEMENT", and it is done everyday to help people clear up past debts.
Debt Settlement can be done by anyone, but it takes time, patience and experience to get the best settlements.
If you need help in this area, let us know.