***Overwhelming Debt? Here Are A Few Steps To Help!!***

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posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 03:29 PM
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In these hard economic times there are thousands of people being harassed by debt collectors. Many times people will ignore the calls, or letters, or simply get used to it.

This doesn't have to happen if you know what to do. Who they are, and how to make your life easier.

Many people are unaware that this is one of the few things that law is on your side about. When people are hurting financially there are always people out there that look to feed off of you.

One of the simplest things to do, if you dont want to go through the more detailed steps, is let the debt collector know that you can only pay a certain amount. There is room for haggling in this area. There primary objective is to get money... even if its not the full amount.

Ever wonder why you see commercials where the IRS will lower your payments by thousands, well thats because they rather get some.. then none. Its easier to settle the debt, then to go through hours of paperwork.

Now for those that want to fight the charges, then the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act debt VERIFICATION is your friend. Many are unaware that debt collectors have to follow rules, and many of the break them, because they figure you know no better. But come back with valid information, and you can stop them in their tracks!!

You have full rights to dispute your debt. Many collection agencies will add extra charges to your bill, so if you know you owe $100.00 but when they call its $150.00, this is ILLEGAL!!

Many people today are able to get their credit scores easily. If you dont want to do it electronically, you can go to any store, and apply for credit. Of course if you know you have bad credit, they will inform you through the mail why you cannot get it. It will also give you a number or address to get full information.

This is a great starting point. Call or send a letter requesting the info, and its free, and look over all charges. Many of them will surprise you. You may see added charges, or things you dont even remember doing.

If this is the case, you can contact those agencies and dispute the charges, or course do this through certified mail, and in writing. When they receive this letter, and you will know when as it is through certified mail, they can longer call or hound you about it.

This letter can be of full dispute of all charges, partial charges, and of course the most important the "ORIGINAL" creditor's debt, and NOT the debt collector. Again you can give them 30 days in writing, to give you this information.

Here is the bonus, they cannot call you to verify, and they cannot send you a computer printout of the charges! It has to be in writing, and within the 30 days.

If this is NOT sent to you within the allotted time. You have the right to call the credit agency, send them a letter detailing the effort you went through for the validation of the debt, with a copy of the certified letter, and the fact that it has been 30 days or more, and you have not received proper verification.

The agency that originally went through the process can no longer ask for the debt, and they have to remove it from your credit report!! If this does not happen you can let them know that you will then file a complaint with the FCC, and they can be fined for illegal practices.

Here is a sample of the debt verification letter.

Date

Your Name
Address
City, State Zip


Debt Collector’s Name
Address
City, State Zip
Re: Account Number

Dear Debt Collector:
This letter is sent in response to received by you on . I am requesting that you provide validation of this debt.

If you do not comply with this request, I will immediately file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the [your state here] Attorney General’s office. Civil and criminal claims will be pursued.

Sincerely,



Your Name

credit.about.com...

Here are a few links that may help as well.

DISCLAIMER:
I am NOT a lawyer! I am a researcher, as well as you should be concerning the above information!!

Cease and Desist Letter Template For Debt Collectors
credit.about.com...

What's the Statute of Limitations On Debt
credit.about.com...

Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide for Consumers
www.ftc.gov...

Peace, NRE.




posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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I contacted the BBB about ridiculous "interest" charges of $500 on a $150 medical bill I had forgotten existed. 14 days later, I received a letter from the collection company stating that my account with them was closed. So I then paid the hospital and everything was square.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 04:03 PM
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No matter what you choose to do if this applies to you, its still better to know your rights. The biggest complaints is about repeated calls, and threats.

Debt Collection Practices:
When Hardball Tactics Go Too Far

Ask questions and learn specifics. Often the first contact with the debt collector is a telephone call from a representative, a pre-recorded message asking you to call a mysterious toll-free number, or a letter. When a collector calls or you call back, get as much information as possible. Ask for the name of the caller, the collection agency, the creditor, and the address and fax number for sending correspondence. Also ask about the amount the collector claims you owe. In this first call, you should also tell the caller you expect written follow-up if you have not yet received a notice in the mail. For information about how to correspond with a collector or complain to a government agency, see Parts 6 and 7.

Put it in writing. Send any correspondence, including disputes, to both the collection agency and the creditor by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. When in doubt, send a written confirmation of anything that you may need to prove later (for example, a promise or threat made, a rude or harassing comment received, or an explanation given you that may show improprieties in the handling of your dispute or your payments). See Parts 6 and 7 for tips on corresponding with collectors, government agencies, or collector associations about abusive practices. Also, see the Sample Letters in Attachment B.

www.privacyrights.org...

Peace, NRE.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 04:14 PM
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What about those cases where people are getting put in jail for $300 debts?
How on earth do those cases go to court and then get sentenced by a judge? I could see debts in the thousands. But less than $500? Ugh. I'm glad you posted this so people can learn what rights they do have. I think so many folks get so intimidated and scared. Plus it's depressing. You are already down and out obviously since you can't pay your bills. And then the collection calls start and it's another kick.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 06:48 PM
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I wanted to give this a bump, as this is something that should be shared!!

Peace, NRE.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 03:22 PM
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I thought I would a dd a tidbit of info, to help with the process, especially if you have started it, or are looking to.

How to Use the Statute To Your Advantage

The statute of limitations starts on the last date of activity on the account. (Keep in mind this can be different from the date the account went past due.) Your credit report will include the account's last date of activity.

Even if the statute of limitations has expired, some debt collectors will continue to attempt to collect. They're hoping you don't know about the statute of limitations and you'll pay up if they threaten you enough. They may even file a lawsuit against you. If you are certain the statute of limitations has expired, you can use that fact as justification that you do not have to pay the debt.

Be careful not to restart the statute of limitations. Anytime you take an action with an account, the statute of limitations is restarted. Making a payment, making a promise of payment, entering a payment agreement, or making a charge using the account can restart the statute of limitations on an account. When the clock restarts, it restarts at zero, no matter how much time had elapsed before the activity.

credit.about.com...


Also here is a link to find YOUR Statute of Limitations by State.
State-by-State List of Statute of Limitations on Debt
credit.about.com...

Peace, NRE.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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I am fully aware that this thread is not getting around, but I will keep adding for those that are interested!

How to Attack Zombie Debt

If you've ever watched Night of the Living Dead or 28 Days Later, then you know about zombies. They're nearly impossible to kill and continue to haunt you despite your best efforts to stop them. Shooting them doesn't work, tearing off their limbs doesn't work, blowing them up doesn't work. Zombie debt is sort of like that.
Zombie debt refers to old debt purchased by debt collectors hoping to intimidate consumers into paying the debt. If you're contacted by a collection agency about an old debt, don't give in immediately. You have several tools you can use to fight back.

credit.about.com...

There is a system, one that is legit, and the other that cannot continue to terrorize people with tactics that only work, when you are unaware.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 04:38 PM
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Last post. I will leave this with the templates that you will need in case of any decision made in reference to this.

Here are the following links to them all.

Sample Credit Letters for Creditors and Debt Collectors

You have the right to an accurate credit report. If you see an error on your credit report, for example a delinquent account that doesn't belong to you, send a dispute letter to the bureau who issued that credit report. The credit bureau has to investigate and let you know the result within 30 to 45 days.

credit.about.com...

Sample Cease and Desist Letter

To stop calls from debt collectors, use a cease and desist letter. The letter essentially says you no longer wish to be contacted regarding the debt. You don't have to admit to anything or promise to pay later (you probably shouldn't do either of these anyway), just state that you want contact to cease.

The cease and desist letter only applies to a particular debt collector, so you may have to send another one if a new collector takes over that debt.

credit.about.com...

Sample Debt Validation Letter

Within the first 30 days of being contacted by a debt collector, you can dispute the validity of the debt. Once the debt collector receives your written validation request, they have to cease collection efforts until they've provided you with proof of the debt.

credit.about.com...

Sample Letter for Cancelling a Credit Card

A "pay for delete" is an offer to a creditor or debt collector to remove a negative credit report entry in exchange for payment. These types of offers can also be made over the phone, but a signed letter from the creditor or collector is better proof that an agreement was made. Otherwise, it's your word against theirs.

credit.about.com...

Sample Expired Statute of Limitations Letter

The statute of limitations doesn't relieve your obligation to pay a debt and it doesn't stop collectors from trying to get you to pay. You can customize this sample credit letter and send it to debt collectors who continue to attempt collections on a debt that has an expired statute of limitations.

credit.about.com...

Sample Billing Error Dispute Letter

Many people instinctively call their credit card issuer when they spot a billing error. But, a written billing error dispute letter is necessary if you want the card issuer to abide by the Fair Credit Billing Act. The law requires creditors to investigate your dispute as long as your letter is sent within a specific timeframe.

credit.about.com...

Sample Interest Rate Increase Opt-Out Letter

Credit card issuers have to give a 45-day advance notice before they raise your interest rate. You can opt-out, but you must do it in writing within the opt-out period. Here's a sample letter you can use to reject a new interest rate.

credit.about.com...

Tips for Sending Sample Credit Letters

Letters are a powerful tool to use in communicating with creditors, debt collectors, and other businesses. Keep in mind that thousands or even millions of people may be using the same letter templates are you. Customize sample credit letters when necessary to fit your circumstances.

credit.about.com...

I hope that the above, can help some of you out there. These are some really tough times, and we need to arm ourselves with the knowledge to fight back.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 04:45 PM
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I just wnat to add that if you are in so much debt, with little prospects of ever paying it back. then you should consider filing bankruptcy. You can keep your cars, home, etc, as long as you are able to keep paying those bills. It is nothing anyone would be proud to do, but many people need fresh starts and this can provide it.



posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 05:24 PM
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Due to lots of additional information added, I would like to bump this.

I know that there are many things that we come across here on ATS, this just so happens to be something to use for both knowledge, and resource. If you have no need for it, or dont think that you can use it, there are thousands of people out there that are currently being overwhelmed with debt, I am sure they could use this.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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Another bump!
I really appreciate your information. And it is something that people need to know to fight back! I hear so many horror stories about debt collectors. Pretty much everyone I know is being harassed by at least 1. I feel like with the way the economy is, more and more debt collectors are going to come out of the woodwork.



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by PassedKarma
 


As I understand it, with out knowing what to say or do, can cause even more problems with collectors. They actually make threats, and are very rude to those who dont know what to say, or do.

With the above templates, you can avoid contracting with a company that already bought your original debt.

That's why I added the templates. Its pretty self explanatory, as long as you are one step ahead, this can be quite helpful, and even if YOU are not personally affected hundreds of thousands of others are.

Peace, NRE.



posted on Jun, 26 2012 @ 11:49 PM
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Just wanted to bump this.

I disagree with you about the law being on your side.
A lot depends on where you live. Some states have decent statue of limitations on credit card and other unsecured debt. Some have HORRENDOUS limitations and then 20 year or more limits on judgement, and they vulture debt collectors use the court system to force people into bankruptcy or else the unsecured debt can become secured via the judgement placing a lien on your real property.

Where I live, the judges always side with anyone that brings a suit. I guess the judges make 150k a year and don't know what it's like to even have their jobs threatened. I dunno. Next county over, it's just the opposite - the judges always seem to be fair.

I got to looking at this stuff when I found out that Greece paid MOST of their last bailout to a vulture debt collector.(Dart Management). I know Ron Paul always says we have to be able to liquidate debt.

Ok, how can that be done - really - with the 3rd party debt buyers using US courts to keep it on the books? IE Like Argentina? Then I start seeing it works the same way for the little guy. Of course, the little guy has the statue of limitations laws to help him - but that's measured in years, but the companies are moving fast lately on the judgement. I know someone that works in the county clerk's office, she says they come in with stacks every week. So they are suing people quick, and extending that time to 20 years.

From an economic and political standpoint -would love to hear thoughts on this.



posted on Jun, 26 2012 @ 11:56 PM
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reply to post by hadriana
 


Thanks for bumping this.

The law being on your side is a two way street. They just have more knowledge about the loopholes then most, and what we are told is not the same as what they are told.

We have the same exact loopholes,and this is a start. I wrote another thread about a year ago about sovereignty and no one wanted to hear about it, but for me it was the most research into finding what is mine, and what is NOT!!

I think that with all the protesters out there complaining about wall street read up on this, and go into it, we can shut down the monetary system in a few days. (shut down the monetary system in terms of getting back our rights).

Peace, NRE.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 12:04 AM
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An important bit of legal advice: Do not say anything that sounds like a promise to pay if you are not positively ready and willing to pay.

Sometime collection agencies will bother you about debts that are unenforceable, such as debts so old that legally they are extinct .... but if you say anything that sounds like a promise to pay, even if you said it just to get them off the phone, that can constitute a new and enforceable commitment to pay a debt that (otherwise) you wouldn't have to pay at all. So prepare a non-committal response that does not promise anything. Saying, "I won't do anything until I discuss it with my lawyer, so send me the paperwork." seems OK.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 12:06 AM
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Do you have a link to the thread, I'd like to read it.

I'm not a democrat, but I really think that democrats, and occupy, should highlight the vulture debt buying practices. Vulture capitalism - IMO - is a perversion of capitalism.

I just know that RP makes a lot of sense to me when he says that the debt has to be liquidated so we can move forward. For my family -my husband worked in housing all his life - the economy went bad in 2007 - that's when we started seeing no bonuses, then salary cuts, then eventually, unemployment.

It is 2012. This has went on a long time for us. We're making it, but I am learning a lot of things I would rather never have learned. For the average working person, it just isn't possible, IMO, to really know what's going on. We maybe trusted for too long.



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 12:16 AM
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reply to post by hadriana
 


Here is one of my favs, it didnt get much attention, but worth the read.

What if I told you that..... www.abovetopsecret.com...

Peace, NRE.

Here is a must have book even if just for reference www.natural-person.ca... she also has videos discussing this as well.

I hope you enjoy them


BTW, the further down the rabbit hole you go with this, you start to see that money, democrats, republicans , presidents etc,. are actually irrelevant and its about financial slavery and bondage.
edit on 27-6-2012 by NoRegretsEver because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by NoRegretsEver
 


I must caution you from following the information contained in this post - it is inaccurate and I can not advise you on what you should do but I noticed several flaws -
never agree to pay any set amount -
if you can not pay a debt - you can not pay the debt -

I recommend you pay something on your debt monthly no matter how much, even if it is 1$. if you negoitate any amount and fail to meet your word that is looked upon as bad faith and will be used against you. if you pay even $1 a month you can not be held in bad faith as you are making an effort to pay -
if you receive harrassing phone calls from creditors - simple ask them to call you only at 5;15pm on Friday.
if they call you at any other time - the court will look at that as well and you could also ask them to never call you - only send you certified mail or registered mail which cost them extra money.
you can also, call them as many times as you like asking what your current account balance is. and when is my next payment due - and log those calls as you are keeping in contact with your creditors - that also cost them money. and cost you bearly anything - go on the offense with every intent in making good your debts -

do not run from your debts - that is what they want you to do - so they can write it off and reduce your availabilty to credit -



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 12:26 AM
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i guess that's like soverign citizen stuff? That's not really what I meant.

I meant..how are countries ever going to get out of their binds if vulture debt collectors keep them paying?
IE Greece's almost entire last bailout went to one - dart management - down in the Caymans.

----------------------------
and it's the same on the little guys....

I sure would like to know what the numbers are on civil suits and how much they've went up. If all the debt collectors are headquartered in NYC, for example, I'd like to see how much wealth gets funneled out of local economies. I have this mind picture of the large financial centers sucking wealth out of the rest of the US with a big straw like it is Nestle Quick.

Funny how we don't get any real news on stuff like that - good quantifiable information. Maybe it is me. I am just SO unhappy with the quality of information I can get.
edit on 27-6-2012 by hadriana because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2012 @ 12:27 AM
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reply to post by 1BornPatriot
 


Did you click on any of the links that I presented? If you haven't then maybe you should, how can you advise on something you haven't read yourself, most of these links are funded and linked to the BBB, or the government for people that are being harassed and to know their rights with things like zombie debt.





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