Oregon Wage Garnishment...How to Prevent...How to Stop

A wage garnishment can be financially devastating, taking 25% of you net, take-home paycheck!

Here what you need to know to prevent or how to stop garnishments.

woman_on_floor_with_all_her_bills.jpgA wage garnishment doesn't "just happen".  After years and years of assisting people with debt problems, it still always amazes me when one of our prospects or newer clients that have received a notice from their employer that their pay check is going to be garnished, says something like:

I had no idea that this could happen.  I never received anything about it.

 How did this happen?

OK... Time Out!!!

A wage garnishment (technically called a Writ of Garnishment) can't happen without several steps preceding the order.

Let's start from the start...

You have several credit cards or other unsecured debts and because of something that has happened to you, such as:

  • Divorce
  • Severe illness or disability
  • Death of spouse or loved one
  • Too little fixed income after retirement

...now you just cannot keep up with the minimum payments due and start missing payments or just stop making payments all together.

When this happens, the creditor will start calling and writing letters trying to find out what is going on and to see if something can be done to get you to start making payments again.

If you ignore these calls and/or letters (and many, many people do), then the original creditor has no choice but to charge off, transfer or even sell the account to a debt collector or debt buyer.

Now the calls and letters really start to increase!

The good news is that you can put a stop to these annoying and sometimes harassing calls:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

Just follow the link above, and the calls will stop.

But, that doesn't mean that these debt collectors are going to stop their efforts to get you to pay!

So what should you do?

Let's say that you have several credit cards and because of going through a serious illness or injury, you have not been able to work, your income went down, and now, you are not able to make even the minimum required payments due.

When the creditor or collector calls, you may be able to negotiate a SETTLEMENT.

Again, depending on a number of circumstances, the creditor or collector may accept an amount that is 40% - 60% of the balance.

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

If you don't engage them, then the creditor or collector may decide to FILE A CLAIM against you in the county court where you live.

After the Claim has been filed, a SUMMONS will be issued and you will be SERVED the summons.  This could be at home or even at work!

When you receive the Summons, again, you CAN NOT IGNORE THE SUMMONS!  Even after the summons has issued and served, you should still be able to negotiate either a settlement or a repayment agreement.

But, if you don't, then there will be a court date set, and the creditor/collector will be awarded a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.

Once the judgment has been awarded, the Plaintiff (creditor/collector) can apply for a WRIT OFGARNISHMENT.  This will be sent to your employer and your employer has no choice but to obey the Writ!

Most likely, your state demands that the employer withhold an additions 25% of your net check (after taxes and required deductions have been removed).

This can be devastating!  Here's an example:

  • You earn $36,000/year or $3,000/month.  
  • You are paid every two weeks and that bi-monthly check is $1500.
  • State and Federal taxes equal 30%, so $450 is withheld and your net check is now $1,050.
  • Your employer must withhold an additions 25% or $262.50.
  • That's $525 each month!  You think it was hard to pay bills before...

I'm thinking you are starting to understand, that you cannot just ignore your debts, letters or calls, and especially a summons.

If you did, and now you have a wage garnishment, here's what you can do:

Contact the attorney for the plaintiff (that's the collector or creditor).

Explain you situation and if you have it (most likely you won't) offer a lump sum settlement on a reduced balance.

Usually, they won't take a reduction, but if the offer is large enough, they might.

Most of the time, they will be willing to accept an agreement whereby you pay them, say $200 -$300 a month (instead of, in this example, $525/month).

But, due to your financial hardship, you just can't afford any payment or the garnishment?

In this case, you should seek the services of a bankruptcy attorney.  This may be your only choice to protect yourself from the creditors!

I hope you understand my simple point....

  • A wage garnishment doesn't just happen.
  • If it does, you still have options.
  • The key is to take action!  Don't just "hide your head in the sand"!

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

 

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Tags: stop wage garnishment, dealing with debt collectors, summons, how to prevent wage garnishment, oregon wage garnishment, default judgment

Don't Be Afraid of Debt Collectors!

22853064975_8c547f714f_m.jpgReceiving a call or letter from a debt collector can be a scary experience. Here's what you need to know and what to do so that you don't have to be afraid:

 

  • Debt collectors (for the most part), are just trying to collect monies owed.  They are not "evil" or "our to get you".  If you follow my advice, you should be able to work with them to resolve your debt problem.
  • Having said that, some (yep, there's always a few) go too far in their debt collection efforts.  I'll show you how to handle this type of collector.
  • No matter how serious you financial and/or debt situation is, there is a solution.  DON'T BE AFRAID!
  • A debt collector can be from an attorney's office.  There are many lawyers that only practice debt collection.  You can work with them as well.
  • Regardless of what a debt collector says, you are not going to jail or have all of your belongings seized or confiscated!

 

You probably already know this, but let me briefly explain the debt collection process:

There are several reason why you find yourself barely able or unable to keep up with your debts.  (For the sake of this article, I'm only dealing with UNSECURED DEBT (credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, etc.) and not SECURED DEBTS (debts secured by the item itself (house, car, etc.)

Having been helping people deal with the stress, frustration and seemingly hopelessness of have too much debt, in about 99% of the time, something like this has cause the financial hardship:

  • Unemployment for a long time
  • Divorce or separation 
  • Trying to make ends meet on a fixed income after retirement
  • Long illness or disability
  • Death of spouse or partner

Using credit cards or credit in general may help in the short term, but when your situation doesn't improve or change over a long period of time, then you get to the point where is is very difficult or impossible to just make the minimum payments!

NOW WHAT?

So when you start missing payments or don't make the required minimum payments due, the calls and letters start!

I'll show you how to put a stop to the calls later, but for now, it is very important that you realize what to DO AND NOT DO, when the original creditor calls or writes.

Unfortunately, the original creditor (Visa, Macy's, Home Depot, etc.) that issued the card or account, has the legal right to call you when you miss payments.  You can do one of two things:

  • Not answer the call (just let all calls go to a recording), or...
  • Answer the call.

While your account is still with the original creditor (and it will be for 3-4 months), you might want to answer at least one call to see "where you are at" with this creditor.

Here's what I mean:

Depending a various circumstances, once you've be delinquent on making payments for a couple of months or more, you may get an offer (usually in the form of a letter), with a reduced payment plan or even a reduced balance settlement that could work for you.  

Let's say that you've been unemployed for about 6 months, used up all (if any) of your savings, and have been using credit cards to make up for the lack of income for things like groceries, gas, or even a cash advance to keep the lights on!

But, GOOD NEWS, you've found a new job and the pay is pretty close to your last job.

One the one hand, this is great!  But, on the other hand, you are so far behind in paying your credit card debt, it looks like there is just "no way" you can catch up!

You really only have a few options:

  • A Debt Management Program
  • A Debt Settlement Program
  • Bankruptcy

Debt Management is a program offered by most creditors, whereby they agree to reduce and/or eliminate interest rates and fees until you get "caught up".  This used to be referred to a Credit Counseling Program.

If you qualify, you will have ONE PAYMENT that is pretty close the total of all the minimum payments that are currently required on all of you cards or accounts.

The problem is that with a Debt Management Program, that payment may be too high for you to be able to qualify.

If you would like to learn more about this and/or see if you qualify, click below:

 

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

If you do not qualify for a Debt Management Program, then you should consider a:

Debt Settlement Program

By now, most or your credit cards and other accounts most likely have been placed with a Debt Collection Agency.

Sometimes the accounts are even sold by the original creditor for "pennies-on-the-dollar" to companies.

Now, these collectors or "debt buyers" will start to contact you by phone and mail.

Whereas before, when your account was still with the original creditor, you could not stop calls, once the account is assigned or sold to a collector, you CAN PUT A STOP TO THESE CALLS! Here's how:

 

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

 

At this point in the collection process, most likely you will get or can negotiate a SETTLEMENT.

The debt collector who has the account (or the debt buyer) can offer to settle the outstanding debt for less than the full amount.

This can be done in a LUMP SUM or even in several, interest-free PAYMENTS.

Check out some actual settlements we have negotiated for our clients:

 

Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

 

Once the account has been settled, not only will you be done with this debt, but your credit report/score will start to improve.  

It won't happen over night, but over a relatively short time (3-4 months after settlement), your scores will increase!

 

Finally, if you cannot qualify for a Debt Management or Debt Settlement Program, you may need to seek BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION from your creditors.

The law allows (in certain situations) for someone to basically "start over with a clean slate" through bankruptcy.

While I believe you should try to either take care of your debts through Debt Management or Settlement, if you just cannot do either, then seek the help of a Bankruptcy Attorney!

The attorney will offer you a FREE, Initial Consultation and he/she will explain your options.

As you can see, when dealing with the stressful situation of having too much debt and too little income, you don't have to fear the debt collection process.

But, you just can't "put your head in the sand" and ignore the problem.

There are answers and freedom waiting for you:

FREE  Debt Elimination Summary

 

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Tags: dealing with debt collectors, alternatives to bankruptcy, Credit Card Debt Negotiation, Oregon debt collection

Here's How to Put a Stop the Collection Calls

Calls from debt collectors can be very annoying. For some, the calls are so bothersome that phone numbers have to be changed or disconnected to stop debt collection calls.

When Can Debt Collectors Call

Don't Worry

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the Federal law that states what debt collectors can and can't do. For starters, they aren't to call you about a debt that you don't owe. When a debt collector first contacts you about a debt, you have the right to request them to verify the debt is yours. If the debt collector can't come back with proof that you owe the debt, they're not allowed to contact you anymore. DEBT VALIDATION

Even without sending a validation request, debt collectors have certain rules they must follow when it comes to contacting you over the phone. For example, they can't call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. your local time. They can't call you repeatedly, and they can't call you at anytime you've previously stated is inconvenient. For specific situations timing of debt collector calls check out.

Stop Debt Collection Calls

There's no law that says you have to communicate with a debt collector by phone. If you hang up on a debt collector there is nothing they can do about it. But, if the collector continues to call you repeatedly even after you have hung up on them, they are in violation of the FDCPA.

All you have to do to stop debt collectors from calling you is tell them that you prefer to communicate with them in writing. Written communication works in your favor because it gives you a record of everything that is said. If the debt collector violates the FDCPA, you have hard evidence that could lead to a lawsuit in your favor. Keep in mind that, by law, the debt collector does not have to honor this request.

The surest way to stop debt collectors from calling you is by sending what is known as a cease and desist letter. In the letter, state that the collector should cease and desist further communication with you. Note that the cease and desist letter only applies to debt collectors, not the original creditor.

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

Can Debt Collectors Contacting You About Someone Else's Debt?

People who've recently changed their phone numbers are often plagued with calls from collectors trying to reach that number's previous owner. You might have this problem even if you've had the same number for years. Unfortunately, telling the debt collector that they have the wrong number may not be enough to stop the calls for good.  If calls persist after the cease and desist letter, report the collector to your state Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.

Debt collectors might also contact you trying to locate another person, like a friend or relative. Somehow in their background check, your contact information has been liked to the debtor. The law does allow debt collectors to contact a third-party to get a phone number, address, and employment information, but the collector can only contact a specific third-party once and they can't reveal any information about the debt. A debt collector is violating the law if they continue to contact you for contact information even after you've told them what you know.

What Happens After the Cease and Desist

Once the collection agency receives your cease and desist letter they can communicate with you once more, via mail, letting you know one of three things:

  • that further efforts to collect the debt are terminated,
  • that certain actions may be taken by the debt collector, or
  • that the debt collector is definitely going to take certain actions.

When you send the cease and desist letter to the debt collector, send it via certified mail with return receipt requested. This will provide proof that the letter was sent and received. If the debt collector communicates with you beyond the single instance allowed by law, this evidence will allow you to seek punitive action against the debt collector.

Summary:

Debt collectors earn their money from getting you to pay...period.  If you think they want to play fairly or show sympathy for your situation, well, as the saying goes...WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!

You do not have to put up with Debt Collector Abuse, so  take action.

Finally, get help!  You don't have to "go-it-alone"!

 

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/kitby/4883787012/

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, debt collection harassment, how to stop collection calls, dealing with debt collectors, debt, debt collection in oregon

Put a Stop to Debt Collection Calls!

Annoyed with debt collector calls? 

Here is how to Put a Stop to Debt Collection Calls

Anyone that has had financial troubles and fallen behind in there payments to creditors understands just how frustrating and annoying those calls from debt collectors can be.

Not only are they annoying, but embarrassing as well!

Who wants to hear, "Dad, some guy calling about your credit card bill!"

help-stop-debt-collector-callsDebt collectors are paid to get you to pay up.

They are (for the most part) trained professionals who will use every trick in the book to get you to pay.

Most abide by the law spelled out in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but many do not.

First, it is important for you to know the basics of what a debt collector can and cannot do:

A debt collector cannot call you at all hours of the day.  They cannot call before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM.

They cannot call you at work if they are told by phone or in writing not to call you there!

A debt collector can call family or friends to inquire about your whereabouts, but the are prohibited from discussing your debts.

What debt collectors CAN'T do:

OK, so you want to put a STOP TO COLLECTION CALLS:

You will need to write a short, legible letter that demands that the debt collector stop calling you immediately.

Although you want to be authoritative, you don't want to be rude or use language you may regret latter.

Remember, most likely, you owe the debt and would like to SETTLE THE DEBT, one of these days.

Located in Portland, Oregon, we have been helping clients stop receiving debt collection calls for over 10 years.

To receive a copy of the letter we use, click below:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

Once you have the letter written, you should send it by CERTIFIED MAIL with a RETURN RECEIPT.

This way, you have proof that not only did you mail the letter, but they received it.

WHAT IF Debt Collectors KEEP CALLING????

If the calls don't stop, write down the date, time and try to get name of the person calling.

You will need this later to file a complaint.

You have the right to sue a debt collector in a state or federal court.  You can contact your state's attorney general's office to file a complaint. If successful, you may be awarded up to $1,000 per violation!

To file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, click here.

Each state has it's own site, and/or method to file a complaint.

For example, if you live in Oregon, click here to file a complaint.


That should do it, but if you would like more information about how to Stop Debt Collectors or would like to know how a debt settlement program could help you, click below:

FREE EBook Debt Settlement  Basics


Tags: debt collection, fair debt collection practices act, federal trade commission, debt settlement, how to stop collection calls, dealing with debt collectors, debt settlement in oregon, debt relief in Portland Oregon

The Importance of Debt Validation

Debt relief programs are rapidly increasing in popularity. When creditors are breathing down your back, you need someone to help you take care of the problem.  However, you want to make sure that you actually owe those debts before you pay them. This is when the process of Debt Validation becomes extremely important. Debt validation, in simple terms, is the process where a debt collector proves that you owe the debt they are trying to collect.

When a creditor is unable to collect the money owed to them, they will usually hire a collection agency to collect the money for them.  Often, the debt is actually sold to agencies and is considered “junk debt.” Junk debt is purchased by third parties for pennies on the dollar. These collectors often do not have the correct documentation to prove that the debt is really owed. This is why debt validation is important.

If these collection agencies cannot prove that you owe the debt, then you don't have to pay it.  You may have already paid off the debt, but the orriginal creditor did not notify the collection agency. Other times, the orriginal creditor has simply charged the debt off.

To complete a validation, you must ask a debt collector for proof of debt. This is done after a collector informs you of the debt. You have 30 days to request proof of the debt or the collection agency will assume that it is valid and continue in their collection efforts.  However, you can request a validation of the debt at any time. This process is designed to keep honesty in the debt collection industry.

Before you pay a debt that you are unsure of, complete the debt validation proccess. If the collection agency cannot provide proof that the debt is yours, you will not have to pay it! 

The proccess of Debt Validation is simple, and you can definitely do it yourself.  Use our FREE GUIDE to DIY Debt Validation by clicking on the link below, and get started today!

FREE GUIDE to

 

Tags: debt relief programs, debt validation, dealing with debt collectors

Know your rights when Dealing with Debt Collectors

dealing with debt collectors

Getting behind on bills is a scary position to be in. Dealing with debt collectors is never fun, but the good news is that even if you owe money to a creditor, you still have rights. 

The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA)

It doesn’t matter if the collector works for a collection agency, a corporate collections department, a third party, or is an attorney. The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act covers personal debt such as medical bills, car loans, mortgages, and money owed on credit cards—but it doesn’t cover business debts.

When a debt collector starts the collections process, they need to know where you live, your phone number, and where you work, for instance. They might call a relative or a business, like a utility company, to get the scoop on you. An important rule that’s often violated is that debt collectors may not discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse, or your attorney

You may be surprised to know that a debt collector can’t just ring you up any time they feel like it. They can’t call you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm in your time zone. They can’t call you at work if you notify them that you’re not allowed to take calls there. And if you have an attorney who is representing you about your debt, a collector must speak to them, not to you.

How to Dispute a Debt with a Debt Collector

After a debt collector makes initial contact with you, they have to send you a written “validation notice” about your debt within five days. The notice should include the name of the creditor and the amount they believe you owe. If you don’t agree that you owe some or all of the debt, take these four steps to dispute it:

  1. Tell the collector over the phone that you believe there’s an error and ask them to stop contacting you.
  2. Send a letter to the collector, within 30 days after you receive their validation notice, stating that you believe they’re mistaken and to stop contacting you. 
  3. Make a copy of the letter for your files.
  4. Send the original letter by certified mail and pay for a return receipt so you have proof that it was received. 

After they receive your dispute letter, a collector can only contact you to confirm that they won’t be contacting you anymore, or to inform you about a legal action that they’re going to take.

If the debt collector sends you back a written verification of the debt, such as a copy of a credit card bill that you haven’t paid or a promissory note that you signed, then the process starts over and they can contact you again.

Debt collectors are prohibited from harassing you or lying to you.

The following are some examples of what’s not allowed:

  • Calling you repeatedly
  • Threatening to harm you or using profane language
  • Publishing your name as someone who hasn’t paid a debt (except to a credit reporting agency)
  • Misrepresenting their identity, company name, or the amount you owe
  • Telling you that legal action will be taken against you if they don’t intend to do it or if doing so would be illegal
  • Sending you anything that looks like an official government document if it isn’t
  • Depositing a post-dated check early
  • Mailing you a collection notice by postcard 

You can report a debt collector who violates The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act to your state Attorney General’s office and to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also sue a debt collector within one year of a violation. If you win, they’re liable for damages that you can prove, such as lost wages. You could also be reimbursed for your attorney’s fees and court costs. However, winning a case against a collector who violated the law doesn’t erase your debt if you still owe it.

I certainly recommend that you pay all your bills on time. But if you can’t, try to get help before the collectors come calling by communicating directly and honestly with your creditors. They’re more likely to give you favorable treatment when you take the initiative to let them know you’re having a temporary financial setback but that you still plan to pay your debt.

dealing with collectors

Tags: fdcpa, how to stop collection calls, dealing with debt collectors

What to Do to Stop a Wage Garnishment

stop a wage garnishmentIn most states, a wage garnishment for non-payment of debt is approximately 25% of your net, after-tax income.

For most people, this would be FINANCIALLY DEVESTATING!

First, you need to understand how wage garnishment works:

  • Your debts become delinquent because of non-payment.
  • The calls and letters start.
  • If repayment agreement cannot be arranged, the account is charged-off and placed with a collection agency and/or lawfirm/collection agency.
  • More calls and letters.
  • Again, if a repayment agreement cannot be arranged, the creditor may instruct the collector/law firm to FILE A COMPLAINT.
  • Once the file is processed, you will receive a SUMMONS.  It states that you have 20-30 days to ANSWER or give cause why you do not owe the debt.
  • Again, if a repayment agreement cannot be arranged, then a court date is set, the creditor or PLAINTIFF wins a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.
  • Once the JUDGEMENT has been awarded to the PLAINTIFF, they can apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT to your employer.
  • Your employer has no choice but to comply with the WRIT OF GARNISHMENT or will face a fine from the court!
  • You get your paycheck with an additional 25% reduction!
stop a wage garnishment 

What can you do to stop a Wage Garnishment?

At this point, you need to contact the attorey for the plaintiff and try to negotiate a repayment agreement called a STIPULATED AGREEMENT.

A Stipulated Agreement is an agreement between you and the attorney/plaintiff/creditor that you will pay so much per month until the balance of the debt is repaid.

You may need to give the attorney financial proof that you are unable to pay, but most likely, they will agree to a plan whereby the monthly payment is something your budget can handle.

If you cannot come to an agreement, then you may be forced to contact a BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY and seek BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION.

We have helped hundreds of clients, just like you, not only avoid wage garnishment, but also settle debts at a substantial reduction!

1-877-492-4109

stop a wage garnishment

Tags: debt collection, wage garnishment, dealing with debt collectors, how to stop a wage garnishment