This is the next in a series of articles about debt and understanding your rights under Fair Debt Collection laws.
Debt collectors can be so aggressive their acts are illegal, or at the very least stretch the boundaries of the law. It is important for consumer’s to be savvy about their money. This does NOT means that careless abuse of spending money with intent of not paying it back is condoned…not by any stretch.
Debts are often turned over (or sold) by creditors to companies and attorneys to collect from the consumer. If this happens to you, verify this is YOUR debt before you panic. DON’T do anything until you take the following steps!!!! If the debt is yours, determine the age of the debt then check the Statute of Limitations for Collecting Debt by State : http://www.fair-debt-collection.com/SOL-by-State.html to know if the attempt to collect is legal or a well planned trick. Remember Debt Collection is big business!!!! Select the statute for the state in which you currently reside.
This is a helpful tool to determine whether the debt collector has the legal right to attempt collection of the debt in the state in which you reside. Each state is different and varies according to the kind of debt being collected. This does NOT mean the debt is discharged, an attemtp to collect the debt may launched against your estate after your death. The law puts a limit on the time a creditor has the legal right to collect by suing.
IMPORTANT! If a collector has contacted you regarding an old debt past the statute of limitations send them a registered letter (return receipt) informing them to cease and desist ALL communications with you regarding the debt and that your rights under Fair Debt Collection are being violated because the debt is past the statute of limitations for collection. Keep your paperwork organized and stand your ground.
If you pay one penny toward the debt protected by the statute of limitations it will start the clock ticking from the beginning!
Example: In New Mexico the statute of limitations for creditor-debtor transactions is 4 years after accrual of the right to sue. If a debt collectors convinces you to pay $1.00 toward that debt the debt’s statute of limitation starts over for 4 years and they can pursue you for collection legally.
Understanding money, managing it, and planning your personal finance will minimize debt issues, however, things happen in life that may cause a temporary set back. Personal financial literacy is key to minimizing stress and falling prey to illegal debt collection practices.
If YOUR Money Matters to You