Helpful Tips For Florida Consumers Overwhelmed By Debt

On behalf of Bankruptcy Law Firm of Clare Casas on Friday, April 11, 2014.

A phone call most people dread is one from a debt collector inquiring about an overdue loan payment or outstanding credit card payment. One thing is for sure, though -- it is never a good idea to ignore letters of demand or calls from debt collectors. State regulators, credit counselors and even debt collectors are all in agreement on the matter. They all advise that Florida consumers, as well as those in the rest of the United States, should deal with debt in one of several manners. No matter how overwhelmed by debt individuals might feel, there are certain legal options that consumers have to achieve a fresh financial future.

When it comes to debt, the best option is typically to enter into negotiation as soon as the debtor sees trouble rising. It can definitely be a good option to re-negotiate a manageable payment plan before the debt is sold to a debt collector. However, this option is not always possible. When it is too late and the debt collectors start calling, there are certain things debtors should usually know and do.

Debtors overwhelmed by debt who have to deal with debt collectors can benefit from fully understanding their rights. In the United States, the FTC provides consumers with publications containing clear advice on what is legal and what illegal behavior by debt collectors. It can also be important to be sure to address the situation head-on. Consumers should not simply ignore correspondence regarding debt; instead, communication can be the key.

It is also very important to keep records of everything. This does not only apply to copies of documents, but also to conversations and proof of payments. Furthermore, all mail should be sent certified when possible. It is also important to ensure that debt collectors know if an individual has filed for bankruptcy, or if they have bank accounts which contain funds that are exempt from court-ordered debt payments. Some Florida families who are completely overwhelmed by debt may benefit from bankruptcy protection in order to stop creditor harassment and obtain a new financial start.

Source: Fox Business, "10 Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors, Collection", Fred O. Williams, April 3, 2014

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