Creditors can be overzealous in their debt collection practices. Fortunately for consumers, state and federal laws, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, regulate many of these creditors' aggressive tactics. Yet, creditors often overstep their bounds, leading to harassment. Unfortunately, the debt collection industry is looking to increase its access to consumers by pushing for laws that allow for text and email communications.
Many Texas residents are struggling financially to make ends meet, and, as a result, they may not be able to make their credit card payments every month. Once you fall behind on your payments, it can be difficult to catch up. Meanwhile, you may have creditors bombarding you with phone calls, letters and e-mails. Creditor harassment is against the law, but that doesn't stop many creditors from going to extremes to get their money.
Many families put a lot of extra charges on their credit cards during the holiday season, and it may be difficult for them to pay their credit card bill when the time comes. If you fail to make your credit card payments, the credit card company may eventually sell your account to a collection agency.
When struggling with debt and past due bills, it is important to be familiar with what creditors can do and what they cannot do. Though creditors have rights, it is important for struggling consumers to be aware that creditor harassment is illegal, that they also have important rights and to be familiar with the remedies available to them if they are suffering with creditor harassment.
Tyler residents approaching their golden years would like to be able to look forward to a well-deserved retirement. This time in one's life is meant to be spent enjoying each day as it comes, spending time with family -- perhaps children and grandchildren -- and appreciating a slower, simpler lifestyle. Unfortunately, as many are still carrying significant debt later in life, the question arises as to whether one's Social Security retirement benefits could be garnished by a collection agency.
Tyler residents are fortunate to enjoy the protection of robust laws protecting against unscrupulous efforts to collect debts. When it seems that creditors' rights take precedence over just about any other concern, it is important to understand just what these protections entail, whether at the state level - as we reviewed previously - or at the federal level.
Tyler residents struggling to manage their debt are likely familiar with the types of tactics employed by collection agencies. On the one hand, creditors' rights do include attempting to contact the debtor (within certain limits) and perhaps even selling one's debt to a third-party company to collect. But both state and federal laws regulate the practice of collecting debt. Let's take a look at these two levels of legal protection -- as a general background on the subject only, not specific legal advice.
Texas debtors who are facing a litany of issues due to financial struggles might feel overwhelmed. Once their debts have reached the juncture at which they can no longer pay them, it is inevitable that the collection calls will begin. This only compounds the fear that a debtor will need to address in addition to the financial woes. Fortunately, there are alternatives to put a stop to these calls and get back on better financial footing.
Some Tyler residents struggle with debt for most of their lives. Some may even pass away with significant debt, especially in the case of medical bills incurred late in life. The prospect leaves many wondering what happens to one's debt after death.
Filing for bankruptcy, as we discussed previously on our Tyler Texas bankruptcy law blog, provides consumers with protection against their creditors' efforts to collect on their debts. This protection is known as the automatic stay. While it's a powerful benefit, its protection is not absolute. Let's look at some situations where the automatic stay does not trump your creditors' rights.