Debt Settlement Legal Issues – What Are Your Rights?

Debt settlement legal issues should be considered by any person considering the option of settling his debts with his creditors. The legal issues basically reduce down to these: what are your rights in relation to your creditors, and what are their rights concerning you, the debtor. Some of you who have experienced the harassment a creditor can rain down upon you will be relieved to know there is a big difference between what they can threaten to do, and what they can actually do. If you know your rights, what they can actually do is very little, providing you take the proper course of action. Understanding debt settlement legal issues will help you to do so.

First off, know this: All you have to do to end the harassing phone calls at home, work, or to your relatives (yes, some creditors really are this despicable) is write them, and inform them to not contact you except by mail. If you do this, they are required by law to stop. In other words, they can only harass you if you let them. Unfortunately, most people are unaware that they have this legal right, and so don’t exercise it. Simply ending the harassment will go a long ways towards lowering the stress and anxiety you may be feeling, and allow you to make more rational decisions as to how to manage your financial and debt issues.

Getting further into the legal issues. A debtor is simply anyone that has a credit card, personal loan, store card, auto loan, student loan, or mortgage. While it hasn’t always been this way, most people these days have debt in one form or another. Our economies defining characteristic is borrowing from the future to pay for a better lifestyle today. In moderation, this can be a good thing. Taken to excess, the repercussions are enormous. Misery for millions, as we have in fact witnessed in the current financial collapse.

Debt collectors are the bane of debtors, and usually consist either of the firms themselves. Or collection companies hired by your creditors to try and get you to pay up if you lose your job and fall behind on your payments. Most people will experience a great deal of stress and anxiety when collectors begin contacting them. This stress is completely unnecessary, because, as we have seen. All a person has to do is write to their creditors and tell them to stop. Having even a basic understanding of debt settlement legal issues will empower you to maintain control over your financial life. To this end, you should become familiar with your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, unless you tell them not to, in writing. Debt collectors can call you incessantly between the hours of 8 am to 9 pm. And they will do so. It is not uncommon for those besieged with creditors demanding payment for the phone to start ringing at 8 am and not stop ringing until 9 pm. Debt collectors can also come to your house and harass you in person. Although they can’t legally contact you at work unless you give them permission, many will anyways. Or trick you into giving them permission to do so.

Additionally, it is not uncommon for your creditors to contact your relatives about your debt. This is a despicable and sleazy tactic, and rightfully gives debt collectors the slimy reputation they so richly deserve. However, as with the above tactics, if you write the collectors and insist they no longer contact you. They must stop, or you can sue them for violating your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Debt settlement isn’t a course of action that anyone should take lightly, or under any form of duress. However, understanding debt settlement legal issues will help you gain some control over your financial situation. Mainly by empowering you with the knowledge to be able to stop the harassment and decide what is best for you in a better emotional frame of mind. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights. No one has to be harassed unless they allow themselves to be.