In today's economy, many residents of Arizona and across the nation are experiencing financial hardships. Whether the problem began with a job loss, a serious health setback or simply from overspending, there are several solutions to help people become free from their debts.
The newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an agreement that will likely improve Arizona consumers' experience with credit reporting. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three major credit reporting agencies, have agreed to make changes in their practices in areas related to the investigation of complaints and the types of debts and fees that affect credit reports.
If a couple is considering getting married, one thing they may be concerned about is if one of the individuals has filed for bankruptcy or has poor credit. Even though people are generally not required to pay off the debts of their spouse unless the debt is in both of their names, there can still be financial implications if one person's finances are shaky.
Recent statistics about Americans' debt indicates improvement on some indicators and raises concern in some areas. Of particular concern are the figures related to student loan indebtedness and its impact on young people's likelihood of buying a home in Arizona or elsewhere.
Many people try to understand what options there can be that are readily available to them regarding dealing with debt collectors and resolving their debt. There is no blanket solution to the debt problem, and the process of debt negotiation could have case-by-case solutions.
Debtors in Arizona could potentially benefit from understanding more about the differences between debt settlement companies and credit counselors as described by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Debt settlement and credit counselor services are both valuable resources for indebted consumers, but the two are quite dissimilar. Law firms and corporations operating for profit typically provide debt settlement services. In contrast, credit counselors are often provided by non-profit organizations.
An Arizona resident or anyone else dealing with debt collectors may have options to get the contact to stop. One option is to send a letter to the debt collector demanding that contact cease immediately. The debt collector may then only reply to say that no further contact is planned or that legal action may be forthcoming. While the contact may stop, it does not make a valid debt go away.
Many Arizona residents have experience in dealing with various collection agencies. The manner of collection employed often depends on whether the original debt is secured or unsecured in nature. Although many people are aware that a secured creditor may be able to seize property in the event of non-payment, some may not know that unsecured creditors may also attain that option through litigation.
Arizona residents who are sued by creditors or collection agencies over an outstanding debt may wish to fight the matter in court. Once a judgement is awarded, the only way it can be changed is by a court order, and it may be difficult to dispute the amount in question. A judgement also gives creditors additional tools to collect an outstanding debt. The amount of the judgement could also be higher than the debt in question due to the addition of collection costs and legal fees.
When an old debt is not paid in a timely manner, it may be purchased by debt collection companies for pennies on the dollar. However, there are rules that debt collection companies must follow when trying to collect a past due balance. According to a lawsuit by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, the company filed 350,000 lawsuits without checking to see if the person being sued was the one who owed the debt.