Oregon Wage Garnishment...Now What?

If you live in Oregon and receive a notice that your wages are going to be garnished, here's what you need to do:

We get calls almost every day from someone who has just received a notice from their employer that they are going to have their check garnished.

Most of those callers seem surprised by the garnishment, and yet, they should have know it might happen!

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First of all, a wage garnishment cannot "just happen".

Carrying too much debt (specifically, unsecured debt) plagues 7 out of 10 people.

Most of our clients called us because they had experienced a devastating experience in their lives which caused them to turn to the easy access of credit cards for help.

See if this sounds familiar:

You lost your job.  But, you weren't too worried, because you were pretty sure you'd find another one within a couple of months or so.

Well, it just didn't happen.  

So, you burned through what ever little bit of emergency savings you had and now, you had to start using your credit card for things like:

  • Gasoline
  • Groceries
  • And/or for that major appliance repair!

Soon, your were at the limit on your card and had to start using a second card.

You knew you shouldn't, but what else could you do?

As the months went by, and you still could not find a job that at least would pay you as much as your old job, the bills started adding up and up and up!

It wasn't long before you just couldn't keep up with the minimum payments on your credit cards and missed a payment here and there.

Soon, the creditors started sending "nasty" letters threatening this or that.

And if the letters weren't bad enough, the CALLS STARTED! Lots of calls!

Sure, you tried to explain your situation to the agent calling, but they didn't seem to care.  So, you stopped answering the calls. 

BY-THE-WAY...

As long as your account is with the original creditor, you cannot stop the calls.  You agreed to this somewhere in the fine print when you applied for the credit card.

But, after a month or so, the calls stopped and the letters seem to slow down as well.

You were hoping that maybe they would forget about you so you would have more time to find a good job and get caught up.

The good news...

You finally were hired and the salary was even just a little more than before!

The bad news...

 

Your account was charged off by your original creditor and assigned or sold to a DEBT COLLECTION COMPANY.

Now you began to get letters and calls from the debt collector, and you soon realized that they were a less sympathetic than the original agent was!Much less!

So, you stopped answering the phone.  

Even though they left a message, you didn't return it because you knew that it wouldn't do any good.

BY-THE-WAY... 

Now you can put a stop to the collection calls!  Here's how:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

Well, the calls did stop, but the letters kept coming.

Some of the letters had a SETTLEMENT OFFER, and although it was an offer to reduce the amount you owed, you were still digging your way out of the financial hole you were in and just couldn't afford to pay 50%-75% of the balance in a lump sum within 30 days!  

COME ON.....REALLY?

A few more months went by and then one evening, the door bell rings and there's a guy with a registered letter for you.

You sign for it...open it up...and guess what????

YOUR HAVE JUST RECEIVED A SUMMONS!

You start to read the first page and it sounds like you are going to have to go to court to give an "answer" about your debt!

The truth is, that you don't have to go to court (at least not yet).  

The ANSWER is a legally prepared explanation with the proper PROOF that you do not owe this debt that the summons says you owe!

But, since you know you owe the debt, you don't do anything.

Again, THE GOOD NEWS....

You don't hear anything for a couple of more months.

But, THE BAD NEWS...

Since you didn't do anything about the summons, the PLAINTIFF (that's the debt collector and/or original creditor) was awarded a JUDGMENT against you for the full balance at the time of default...plus interest...plus fees... and court costs!

This is also called a DEFAULT JUDGMENT as it was awarded without defense, by default by you, the DEFENDANT.

Up to this point, the creditor/debt collector COULD NOT apply for a garnishment.  

Many people mistakenly think that if they just get behind on their bills that a creditor or debt collector can just "take their money or property".

No, they have to go through the whole legal process first.

But now, AND ONLY NOW, with the DEFAULT JUDGMENT, the Plaintiff can apply for a Writ of Garnishment.

And, now you get a notice from your employer that they received a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT on you.

This means that they have no option but to withhold 25% (the usual amount in most states) from each of your paychecks until the full amount is repaid. 

And oh, by-the-way, each state allows additional interest to be added!  

  • Here in Oregon, it is 9% annually.  
  • In Washington, it's 12%!

Now let's stop for a minute and do some math.

  • Let's say you earned $5,000/month from you new job, and you receive approximately $2,500 every two weeks. 
  • After City, State and Federal taxes are deducted, your net/take-home pay is $1,750 every two weeks.
  • Take $1,750 less 25% for the wage garnishment, and now your take-home pay is only $1,225!  
  • It was tough paying all the bills on $1,750 every two weeks, but now, you are going to have $525 less or a total of $1,050 less each month!
  • $525 is mailed to the Plaintiff, and will be until the full balance from the judgment is satisfied!

How in the world are going to make it now!

You only have a couple of options:

  • DEBT SETTLEMENT
  • BANKRUPTCY

I'm not going to get into all of the details of the two options above in this blog, but if you'd like more information, click below:

OPTIONS FOR STOPPING A WAGE GARNISHMENT

Let me wrap this up...

The time to put a stop to a garnishment, in Oregon or any state, is BEFORE the creditor/debt collector FILES A CLAIM to start the SUMMONS/JUDGMENT process.

Most of the time, a debt collector would much rather accept a SETTLEMENT instead of going through all the time and expense of seeking a judgment.

Even if you have a JUDGMENT AGAINST YOU, there is still an opportunity to STOP THE LEGAL PROCESS.

You should be able to get a STIPULATED AGREEMENT in place that would stop the creditor/debt collector from moving forward with legal action.

If all of this sounds good, but you need some help or advice, let us know.

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Tags: wage garnishment, Bankruptcy, debt collectors, default judgment, Oregon

Wage Garnishment in Oregon...How to Stop!

You're already having a very hard time paying your bills and keeping up the rent!  Now you get the bad news that your wages are going to be garnished!  Now what?

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I"ve been helping people deal with the stress of managing debt for a long time. 

It's one thing to be so tight in your budget that you are barely making ends meet and only able to pay the minimum payments on your credit cards and/or other debts you owe.

Today happens to be a Friday and for a lot of normal, hard working people, they are looking forward to getting their pay check and having a couple of days off from work!

But, when you open your payroll envelope, you get a shock!

After all of the taxes and other deductions are withheld from your check, the net/take home amount was going to barely cover the bills that are due (or over-due)!

Now, 25% (average amount that can be garnished) more is deducted.

OMG!!!

 

What can you do?

OK....take a breath...and let's go back a little while and see what happened.

We get calls almost every week from someone who has either been garnished or has just received a notice that they are going to be garnished.

We often hear,

"I had no idea this could happen!" or....

"I never received anything about this!"  or....

"I thought this bill was paid a long time ago because I haven't received anything in the mail or had any calls for over a year or so."

Well, I realize that is some rare cases, some of the above comments may be true, but most often, it is basically that the person had their 'head-in-the-sand" type of an belief as things were just so bad they didn't want to think about it!

I understand....been there...done that.

Here's what happened and why this garnishment happened:

When an account (just talking about normal, unsecured credit card type accounts) becomes delinquent, a process begins by the original creditor:

STATEMENTS

The next statement you get will show the PAST DUE amount and the "late fee charges" that have now been added to your balance.

Somewhere on the statement it will tell you that you need to get caught up and to call the customer service number if you need help.....or something like that.

Let's say you just cannot make any payment and don't want to talk to them about it.

 

CALLS AND LETTERS

Now you will start getting letters saying something like:

"Your account is SERIOUSLY past due and you need to do...... "

The letter may state that if you don't do "this or that", they may close and send your account to a debt collector or attorney for collection.

Now, 4 or 5 months have gone by and although you get a call and letter from the original creditor now and then, nothing really has happened.

 

DEBT COLLECTOR

When the original creditor is unable to get you to pay on the account, they will usually either "charge off" the account and transfer or sell to a debt collector.

I'm not going to get into how difficult it is to work with some debt collectors in this blog.  I've written numerous articles and blogs about "Dealing with Debt Collectors" that may be very helpful for you. 

The debt collectors job is simple....Get you to pay them money!

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to protect consumers from illegal debt collection tactics.

Everyone should have a general knowledge about your rights, so take some time to check out a very good article:

The Fair Trade Commission, Debt Collectors and your Rights

Now that your account has been turned over to a debt collector, you can put a stop to the annoying and often harassing phone calls:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

But, just because you get them to stop calling doesn't mean that your debt problem has gone away!

If the debt collector cannot get you to pay up, they may decide to file a claim in your local county court.

If this happens, you are going to receive a....

 

SUMMONS

The summons will state that a "claim" has been filed against you for the debt you owe with "so-in-so" creditor and that you have 20 (or 30) days in which to give an "ANSWER" in court......

NO, YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO COURT!  (unless you want to)

An "answer" is a legal response from you stating and explaining why you do not owe that debt and therefore are not subject to this claim/summons.

It is a legal document and not only will you need to hire an attorney, there is also a fee for filing the "answer", so make sure you can prove that you don't owe the debt first!

Most of the time an "answer" is not necessary, so now the "PLAINTIFF" (the debt collector or the party filing the claim) will wait a while (varies) before taking the next step.

 

DEFAULT JUDGMENT

If you don't respond to the summons, the plaintiff/debt collector may decide to send one of their legal representatives to court in order to awarded a judgment.

This is usually called a "default judgment" since you didn't contest the "claim", the debt collector/plaintiff wins by default.

Now what?

 

WAGE GARNISHMENT, BANK LEVY OR PROPERTY LIEN

OK, now things are serious....

With the default judgment, the plaintiff can now apply for of several options for getting something from you:

  • a writ of wage garnishment
  • a writ of garnishment/levy on your bank account(s)
  • Lien placed on your property (usually your home)

Writ of wage garnishment

A legal document is sent to your employer.  The employer (by law) must withhold an average of 25% of your "after-tax" payroll check until the entire judgment awarded is paid!  There are exemptions, but unless you are making very little income, your in trouble!

 

Writ of garnishment/bank levy

Yes, with that default judgment, the plaintiff can find your bank or bank accounts and send the writ of garnishment/levy to the bank.

The bank is supposed to go back a couple of months and make sure that your account does not have funds that are from "exempt" sources like:

  • Social Security
  • Retirement income
  • Disability income

Again, I'm not going to get into all of the exemptions in this blog, but you might want to check out:

Are Social Security benefits Protected From a Bank Levy?

But for this blog, you are employed (W-2 Income) and so they have the legal right to go after your income, bank account or other property (not exempt).

 

PROPERTY LIEN

Although a plaintiff can apply for a lien against certain property (not exempt), most often they will apply for a lien against your home, paid for or not.

This DOES NOT mean that you have to sell your house to pay the debt/judgment.

It means that when you sell or transfer the property (death or gift), this judgment must be paid!

Sure, this may make the plaintiff many years to collect, but that is an option for them.

 

FINALLY....

I think you can start to see that the best way to put a stop to a wage garnishment is to make every attempt at not letting your delinquent account become a judgment!

There are many OPTIONS that you can take advantage of to stop your account from every becoming a "judgment"!

But, since you have the wage garnishment happening (or about to happen), here's what you (or with help) need to do:

Contact the attorney who filed the writ of garnishment

In most cases, they are usually willing to set up some kind of repayment plan and stop the garnishment.

You will need to be able to show your financial hardship and make a "reasonable" payment each month!

They may want you to sign a "Stipulated Agreement" that will be filed with the court.

It basically says that as long as you make the payments agreed upon, they will not pursue further legal action.

If you have a very large amount of funds available, you may be able to make a SETTLEMENT OFFER to have the judgment satisfied and the writ of garnishment removed.

This offer will most likely need to be much larger than the normal settlements we negotiate for our clients, because they have leverage on you!

 

BANKRUPTCY

If you are unsuccessful at putting a stop to your garnishment (wage or bank), you may be forced to seek protection through bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a legal "tool", so to speak, that allows a person an avenue to get their lives back on track.

Make sure to contact an attorney whose practice deals with all aspects of bankruptcy!

 

It should be obvious that the way to stop a wage garnishment is to not let your accounts/debts ever get to that point!

We can show you various options of how to deal with your specific debt situation.

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Tags: stop wage garnishment, debt collectors, bank levy, Oregon

Stop Oregon Debt Collector Harassment!

If you are being harassed a debt collector?  Good news, under the Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), we have rights that protect us!

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Nothing is more frustrarting and annoying than to not only be dealing with the stress of debt, but then to compound it, now your getting numerous phone calls and letters from aggressive and many times, harassing debt collectors!

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) limits what a debt collector can and cannot do.

Most people are not aware of the limits and boundaries that debt collectors have, so as a result, they will take advantage of people in an effort to collect.

A debt collector CANNOT:

  • Call too early or too late
  • Call many, many times a day
  • Make threatening remarks ("You could go to jail! or You could lose everything!")
  • Misrepresent themselves as government officials
  • Use profane or obscene language
  • Call friends or family and reveal that you are behind on your bills
  • And are prohibited from many other illegal practices!

Here's a great link that spells out how the FDCPA protects us:

Debt Collection Laws in Oregon

The Federal Trade Commission also spells out exactly what a debt collector cannot do as well.

So what do you do if you are being harassed by debt collectors?

The most abused violation of the FDCPA by debt collectors is making many, many, many phone calls all day long!!!!

GOOD NEWS!  

You can put a stop to a debt collector making calls to you by simply writing a letter demanding them to stop calling you.

However, you cannot stop the original creditor from calling.  When you signed that application, buried somewhere in the "fine print" gave the creditor authority to call you regarding your account.  You can't do anything about that.

But as soon as your account is charged off and/or transferred to a debt collector, you can put a stop to the calls!

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

But what if a debt collector violates other restrictions of the FDCPA?

First, start a log of who, when, what time of day and what was said.

If you file or open a complaint with your state's attorney general or department of financial affairs, it is very important that you have a written log!

Let's say that after the 15th call today you finally get "fed up" and answer the phone.

The conversation goes something like this....

This is ..... from XYZ company calling about your ..... account.  Is this (your name)?

You say:

Listen you %*$$#@$, you've been calling me over and over and I'm sick and tired of it!!!!

The debt collector says:

You haven't paid your debts and we've been retained to either collect the balance due or sue you in court!

OK, here's where they start getting themselves in "potential" trouble.

If, according to the FDCPA, a debt collector threatens to bring "legal action" and does not within a reasonable time, they are in violation.

As soon as that agent/representative of XYZ Debt Collection agency makes that threatening statement regarding a potential lawsuit, you need to:

Start writing down notes, and ask the caller:

  • I need your name and ID #
  • What is your contact phone number
  • Are you stating that XYZ Company is going to bring legal action against me?
  • When is this "legal action" going to begin?

If the rep hasn't hung up already, they probably will soon.  

The point is that you need a written log with DATE AND TIME and as much information you can get!

NEXT...

Contact your state's Division of Financial Affairs or the Attorney General office and file a complaint!

Don't let these harassing debt collectors get away with it!

The Division of Financial Affairs or your state's Attorney General's office will contact the debt collector and in most cases, the calls and/or violations will cease.

Need some help?

Debt Relief NW, LLC is a Registered Debt Management Company here in Oregon and we have an A + rating as an Accredited Company of the Better Business Bureau.  

We understand and appreciate the turmoil and stress that being in a financial situation like this brings.  You don't have to go it alone!

Contact us for a FREE consultation with absolutely NO OBLIGATION:

 

 

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Tags: debt collectors, debt, fair debt collection practices, Oregon

Should You Be Afraid of Debt Collectors?

A recent newspaper article in Portland, OR from The Oregonian stated that as many as 33% of all consumers will be dealing with debt collectors!

Although dealing with a debt collector can be frustrating and annoying, there is really no reason to ever fear a debt collector.

Believe me, I certainly understand why most people who find themselves in a financial situation that has caused some or all of their accounts to be turned over to a debt collector are nervous.  The thought that you might lose your home, possessions and/or bank accounts would cause any sane person to be afraid.

fear of debt collectors


Well, the good news is that in most cases, that FEAR is not necessary!

In this blog, I am talking about dealing with unsecured debts (credit cards, store cards, medical bills, etc.) and not secured debts such as a home mortgage or auto loan.

So, here are a few things to remember and tips on how to deal with debt collectors:

It rarely does much good to talk with a debt collector on the phone.

Once your account is 60-90 days past due, you can expect a call from either the RECOVERY DEPARTMENT of the creditor or from a DEBT COLLECTION COMPANY.

While your account is still with the original creditor, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA laws that allow you to put a stop to collection calls do not apply...yet!

Most of the time, when the original creditor's agent calls, they are just trying to find out what your situation is and may offer a plan to help you get back on track.

BE VERY CAREFUL!!!  They may offer what is called a "HARDSHIP PLAN", whereby you agree to allow them to deduct a certain amount of money (usually less than the total amount your last statement DEMANDED) from your checking account for say, 6 months. 

At the end of the 6 months, they promise to "REVIEW" your case and get you started making regular payments again.  But usually, after you have paid the agreed upon amount for 6 months, your have barely made a dent in reducing your balance and are right back to where you started!

If you take the call from the original creditor, be very calm and simply say something like:

"I realize I've fallen behind on my bill and fully intend to get caught up soon. But, at this time, there is nothing I can do, so please stop calling me."

Yes, I know I just said that they have the legal right (at this point) to call, but they may honor your request and leave you alone for a month or so.


If the recovery department of the original creditor is unsuccessful in getting your to start making payments, the account most likely will be charged off and sold or transferred to a debt collector after about 120 days.

You most likely will get a letter from the debt collector and no doubt will start getting phone calls!

A Debt Collector's job is to get you to pay...period!  Although there are plenty of "decent" debt collectors who actually may show some empathy for you, there are many that are just the opposite.

These debt collectors will use all kinds of tactics to get you to pay up!  Although most debt collectors follow the laws and/or guidelines of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, there are always a few "bad apples".

Don't get into a dialog with a debt collector!

While I think it's OK to have one short conversation with the original creditor, it's usually a whole different story now that your account has been turned over to a debt collector!

If they have sent you a letter demanding payment, etc., get the address of the debt collector and write them a letter demanding that they cease calling you at home.

Here is a sample letter you can use:

STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter

If the calls don't stop (it will take a week or so) then you can file a complaint with your state's attorney general's office.

Usually, the debt collector will stop calling as they can be fined very severely!

NOW WHAT?

After a reasonable period of time (varies with each debt collector), if the debt collector is unsuccessful in getting you to start paying , the original creditor may:

  • Recall the account and turn it over to another debt collector and the process will start again.  Yes, you will have to send another letter to the new debt collector to stop the calls!
  • Turn the account over to a Law Firm that only practices debt collection.

 

If your account is placed with a Law Firm that practices debt collection, you will get the same letters and calls, but now, you need to be careful.

If the Law Firm decides to FILE A CLAIM for the debt you owe on behalf of the original creditor or the debt collector, you will get a SUMMONS.

I've written several blog articles over the years on what to do if you receive a summons, but in short:

  • DON'T IGNORE THE SUMMONS
  • DON'T PANIC!

Most people think that a debt collector and/or debt collection law firm can just garnish your income, levy your bank account and/or put a levy on your home or other property.

While it's true that they can AFTER they are awarded a judgment, they cannot do anything until then.  That's why it is so important to take action if you receive a summons!

In most cases, you can prevent the CLAIM from moving on to a JUDGMENT by contacting the attorney's office and working something out.

Most "judgments" are awarded to the creditor/debt collector/plaintiff because the debtor didn't take any pro-active steps.

If you are employed and receive regular W-2 income, then you can't let

If you...

  • Are retired, with only Social Security and/or Retirement Income, or
  • Disabled and receiving Disability Income only, or
  • Are unemployed and receiving unemployment income, or
  • Receive child support or alimony payments, then...

These sources of income are exempt from garnishment. Notice, I didn't say exempt from state or federal taxes you may owe, but from garnishment for unsecured debts.

The best way to put an end with dealing with debt collectors is to NEGOTIATE A SETTLEMENT of your account. That is, if you have some funds available to make an offer of 40%-60% of the balance. 

If not, you can still usually negotiate a settlement by agreeing to make monthly payments rather than a lump sum payment, but you may have to pay a little larger settlement.

Click here for some very useful information on how to negotiate a settlement:

FREE EBook Debt Settlement  Basics

One final thought...

If your financial circumstances are such that you have no ability to offer a settlement, either in a lump sum or payments, then you may need to consult a bankruptcy attorney.

Bankruptcy is a way to help those who qualify to put and end to debt collectors and get a fresh start.

If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, we can help:



 


 

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Tags: debt collection, fair debt collection practices act, credit card debt, debt settlement, Bankruptcy, debt, credit cards, Oregon, PORTLAND

Find Debt Relief in Portland, Oregon

Looking for Debt Relief in Portland, Oregon?

Dealing with the stress of too much debt can be overwhelming.  

But, GOOD NEWS, YOU HAVE OPTIONS that can help you become DEBT FREE once again!

 

debt relief portland oregon

DEBT MANAGEMENT

If you have accumulated too much credit card debt or other unsecured debts such as:

 

  • STORE CARDS
  • PERSONAL BANK LOAN
  • PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS
  • REPOSSION DEFICITE JUDGMENT
  • MEDICAL BILLS

In a Debt Management Program, a Debt Management Company will contact each of your creditors and set up agreements to repay your entire balance. In most cases, your interest rate will be lowered or eliminated and late fees and over-the-limit fees will be stopped or forgiven.

You will have ONE MONTHLY PAYMENT which will be distributed to  each creditor according to the agreements.  This payment is approximately 2.5% - 2.7% of the total balances of all of your accounts.

For example, let's say you have a total of $20,000 of unsecured debts.  Your monthly payment in a Debt Management Program would be approximately $500 - $540.  This includes the monthly Debt Management Program fee.

Not everyone can handle this payment.  If this is your case, them you should check out and investigate a:

 

DEBT SETTLEMENT PROGRAM

Debt Settlement is for people who have had a serious financial setback due to a number of factors including:

  • UNEMPLOYMENT
  • ILLNESS
  • DISABILITY
  • DIVORCE
  • DEATH OF SPOUSE OR PARTNER

There are several factors to consider before enrolling in a Debt Settlement Program, but see if some of these describes you:

  • Missing or unable to make all of the minimum monthly payments required by your creditor.
  • Taking cash advances to be able to pay basic monthly bills.
  • Some or all of your accounts are 60 -90 days past due.
  • Some or all of your accounts have been charged off and placed with Debt Collectors.
  • You are getting numerous DEBT COLLECTION CALLS!
  • You have received a SUMMONS.
STOP Collection Calls Free Sample Letter
In a Debt Settlement Program, you will have:
  • ONE MONTHLY PAYMENT THAT FITS YOUR BUDGET
  • EACH OF YOUR ACCOUNTS WILL BE NEGOTIATED AT AN AVERAGE  OF 50% OF THE BALANCE
  • ONCE ALL OF YOUR ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN SETTLED, YOUR CREDIT SCORE WILL BEGING TO GREATLY IMPROVE!
Recent Settlements See what we have  done for our clients!

BANKRUPTCY

Unfortunately, you may find yourself in such a financial situation that you cannot qualify for either a Debt Management Program or a Debt Settlement Program.  If that is the case, then Bankruptcy may be you best and/or only option.
There are varying opions about Bankruptcy, but it allows someone who has tried everything possible to keep up or pay back their debts, a SECOND CHANCE!
Most likely, you will qualify for a CHAPTER 13 Bankruptcy.  A qualified BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY will explain all of your options and prepare a "PLAN" to present to the Bankruptcy Court Clerk.
You will be making monthly payments to the bankruptcy court clerk for approximately 3 -5  years (depending on your Chapter 13 plan).
A portion of the payment will go to the attorney and a portion will go to the creditors, according to your plan.
Once your bankruptcy plan is completed, your credit scores will start to improve.
Regardless of which option is best for you, there is a way to get out of debt and become DEBT FREE ONCE AGAIN!

 

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Tags: debt settlement, Bankruptcy, debt, debt management, credit cards, Oregon, PORTLAND

5 Things to Look for in an Oregon Debt Settlement Company

oregon deb settlement companyIf you are looking for a debt settlement company in Oregon or anywhere else in the country for that matter, there are 5 things to look for:

5 Things to Look for in an Oregon Debt Settlement Company

#1 Visit the Debt Settlement Companie's Website

Does the website offer in depth information, or is it just a landing page to capture your contact information?

A quality site will provide:

  • Detailed information about your choices when faced with debt
  • A blog that contains all kinds of vital information on a variety of topics
  • Free downloads to useful tools
  • Free consultation with a debt specialist

#2 Check their BBB Rating

What is the companies Better Business Bureau rating?  It is not essential that the company be "accredited" with the BBB.

In fact, the BBB is a private company that makes it's money from providing information about other companies for profit. To be "accredited", a company must pay an annual fee.

Focus on their BBB rating and complaint history!

# 3 Check to see if the company is registered with the state?

For example, any company that offers Debt Management, Debt Settlement or basically anything having to do with finance, must be registered with the Oregon Division of Finance.

There was an interesting article in the Oregonian today about an out-of-state debt settlement company that was fined for financially abusing elderly customers, so be careful and do your homework.

# 4  Go with Your Gut.

When you call the Debt Settlement Company do you feel like it is trying to help you or just trying to get you to sign up?  Having too much debt is very stressful and the last thing you need is to have someone try to give you a "one size fits all" approach to your problem.

A professional, quality debt settlement company will spend a lot of time discussing and counseling with you to determine what your best options are.

If you contact a debt settlement company and all they offer is debt settlement, HANG UP!

Your situation is unique and the answer could be one of several options including:

  • Debt Management
  • Debt Settlement
  • Bankruptcy
  • Credit Report Errors of Correction

# 5 Trust your Debt Solutions Specialist

You should feel like the person you are speaking with is knowledgeable, patient, thorough, and experienced.  If not, then trust your feelings and keep looking!

Tags: debt settlement in oregon, debt relief in Portland Oregon, your debt relief options, Oregon

Can Anything Be Done to STOP COLLECTION CALLS?

stop collection calls

If you are behind on your payments to creditors, you can count on getting collections calls.  Can anything be done to stop the collection calls? YES

How to STOP COLLECTION CALLS:

1. Know your rights

The Federal Trade Commission is an agency whose job is to protect consumers from unscrupulous and illegal activity by debt collectors.

You should download a copy of "Facts for Consumers".

2.  Keep a call log

If you are employed, and getting calls at work, most states authorize you to verbally request that the creditor cease calling you at work.  However, you need to keep a log of calls and your "cease and desist" request for future proof if needed.

3.  Get the collection company's name and address

If you have been getting many calls (some creditors call using an auto-dialer/computer), then you know how annoying it can be.

By getting the name of the company and the address, you can write a letter stating that even though you cannot make payments at this time, you intend to repay this debt.

For Example:

"I have been getting several calls daily from your company about my accountAlthough I cannot make any payments at this time, I fully intend to repay this debt as soon as my financial circumstances turn around."

"According the the FDCPA, I am requesting that you cease all calls to my home and/or cell phone."

"If these calls do not cease, I will be reporting your company to my state's Attorney General to begin legal action."

4.  Keep copies and use Certified Mail

Once you have written your letter, make a copy to keep for your records and mail it by CERTIFIED MAIL.  This way, you will have proof that they received the letter.

Most creditors will abide by your CEASE CALLING LETTER, but if you continue to get calls, you may want to go to your state's Attorney General's website and file a complaint.

For example, in Oregon, you would go to: OREGON CONSUMER COMPLAINT.

At DRNW, Inc., we have years of experience in helping our clients with issues like this. Click link below for a FREE Debt Elimination Analysis or simply give us a call at 877-492-4109.  Our debt solutions specialist can work with you to find the best solution for your unique situation.

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, stop creditor calls, Oregon

Stop Wage Garnishment in Oregon: 3 Things You Should Know

ways to stop wage garnishment in oregonWe all know that "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees", right?  When we work hard all week long, we want to be able to see the fruits of our labor.  When creditors garnish your wages, it can be devastating.

Is there anything you can do to stop a wage garnishment?

Yes you can.  Here are 3 things you should know to stop wage garnishment:

1.  Your wages can't be garnished if you take home less than your state's minimum.

Usually, when your employer receives a NOTICE OF WAGE GARNISHMENT, it usually has your state's formula for determining how much or if, your income is subject to garnishment.

If you are employed for example in Oregon, and our NET AFTER TAX or TAKE HOME IS $218 or less, then your wages are exempt from garnishment!

 

2.  If your income is subject to garnishment, you may be able to work out a repayment plan with your creditor that is less than what the garnishment would be.

If your income is greater than $218/week, then 25% of your NET INCOME would be withheld by your employer and sent to the creditor per the Writ of Garnishment.

You should contact the attorney for the creditor (it is on the summons or writ of garnishment you received) and see if you could negotiate an amount for less. Some creditors may be willing to work with you.

We have had great success in the past helping people with wage garnishments, and working out a STIPULATTED AGREEMENTS in lieu of garnishment.

3.  Your income may be EXEMPT FROM GARNISHEMENT if it comes from one of the following sources:

  • Social Security
  • Retirement Income
  • Unemployment
  • Disability Benefits
  • Worker's compensation
  • Spousal Support or child support
  • Elderly rental assistance (ORS 310.6355)

If you are not sure if your income is exempt, we may be able to help.  Give us a call today at   1-877-492-4109 or simply click on the link below for more information!



 

Tags: wage garnishment in oregon, can social security checks be garnished, Oregon