If you have credit card debt, you are not alone. But what may seem like a normal amount of debt to you may actually be a signal that you are in trouble, even if debt collectors have not started contacting you yet.
At the time the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was first enacted in 1977, Facebook and other social media services were a distant dream. Today, unscrupulous debt collectors are no longer limited to the mail and telephone as tools to harass, intimidate and misinform their targets. Anyone who has profiles on social media, or knows someone who does, can become a victim.
Filing for bankruptcy is one way to stop harassing phone calls and letters from debt collectors, but it is not the only solution. Bankruptcy is not a good fit for everybody with debt problems. Perhaps your debts are not large enough to justify going through bankruptcy, or you would rather try to other options to try to protect your credit rating.
If you are living in Los Angeles and struggling with credit card debt, you are not alone. In fact, millions of people nationwide find themselves carrying a balance on their credit cards from month to month. But L.A. is among the cities with the highest individual debt, on average, according to TheStreet.
For consumers, dealing with debt can be an extremely stressful task. This is particularly the case when creditors are aggressively pursuing payments. Under both federal and state law, there are protections in place for consumers to address the problem, but sometimes creditors fly under the radar, at least for a time. Debt collection companies are notorious for this.
Here is one sign that the economy is improving: credit card debt is going up again. This could mean that more people will soon find themselves in trouble with their credit card bills.
Nearly everyone who has been in credit card debt knows how stressful it can be. Of course, overly aggressive and law-breaking debt collectors don’t help, but even when that is not a factor, having this hanging over your head can put a pall over your entire life.
We have spoken before in this blog about the limits state and federal law put on the tactics debt collection agencies may use when trying to get money out of a person who allegedly owes a bill. For instance, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act forbids phone calls to alleged debtors before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
Credit card debt is a huge burden for many people in Los Angeles. For some, a sudden job loss or medical emergency drained their savings, forcing them to charge needed expenses. Others simply got in over their heads, and need help getting a handle on their debt.
Debt collection agencies can be relentless in their pursuit of your money. Their ability to call and write to you is regulated by law, but they still retain broad rights to contact individuals they believe owe them a debt.