WHEN YOU CAN'T KEEP PAYING CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS
What is the typical collection process when you can't keep paying? Remember you can and should defend yourself.
POSTED: 2014-03-08 15:16:42
You have one or more credit card accounts which for many years you have used carefully and always paid. You've paid on time; even paid off the balances several times. Then some thing happens. You lose your job. You or a member of your household suffer health problems. You support yourself on credit through some unforeseeable adversity. In spite of your long track record of paying, your debts will be unforgiven and the collection process begins. This may be the start of a circuitous path that may often lead to the courthouse.
At first it will go something like this. The credit card company will call you, call your home and family, call your place of employment. They will call non-stop for about two or three months, trying to get you to pay something over the phone. These callers are rewarded according to the amounts they collect so they have incentive to collect money from you. They do it all day. Sometimes they will say threatening things they will “have to do.” How they are going to ruin you financially unless you pay them.
If you pay nothing, after about three to six months the account will be sold to a debt buyer (sometimes called “junk debt” buyers) and they will repeat these steps. Usually with more aggressive methods than the original creditor used. Many states, Florida being one, have clear and strict laws against the type of abuse described above that some creditors engage in on a daily basis when collecting a credit card debt. Your account may also be passed to a “junk debt” sales event, often held in convention halls in Las Vegas.
Eventually you will hear from a lawyer who is demanding your payment. Beware. If you do pay, even a dollar, or answer their demands to acknowledge the debt, you may reset the statute of limitations. If you do nothing they may obtain a default judgement, obtain court orders and begin to garnish your income or bank accounts.
You may have many defenses to assert. You don't have to let them roll over you. In our upcoming blog entries we'll discuss possible ways to handle these consumer debt collection complaints.