Credit cards are a part of life for Missouri consumers, but you may find yourself in a place where you rely on that little plastic rectangle for everything from daily purchases to emergency expenses. Perhaps you lost your job, or maybe you are unable to pay for the things you need outright, and over time, your credit card debt may grow to a point where you can no longer control it. You may be unable to make even minimum payments on the balance.
After a few missed payments, the credit card company may send your account to collections. This can be daunting, because you will notice an increase in the phone calls you are getting and the intensity of the efforts to collect payment. You want it to stop, but how? Thankfully, there are ways you can protect your interests and work toward your future financial security.
What should you know?
No matter how much debt you owe, you still have rights. While having a debt sent to collections can be overwhelming, it will be helpful if you have an understanding of what to expect and your rights regarding debt collection. The following facts may be useful for you:
- On average, creditors will sell debt to collections agencies after about six months, but technically, they can do this at any point after a missed payment.
- A debt collector’s job is to collect money from people, and they have the right to call you to attempt to get payment.
- Debt collectors cannot harass you, threaten you with jail time, use foul language or violate federal laws for debt collection.
- You may be able to work out a payment plan with the collections agency that will relieve some of the pressure you may be feeling.
If you think a debt collector is violating your rights, you do not have to simply endure mistreatment in silence. You have the right to pursue legal recourse and seek to make the harassment stop.
A better solution
Whether your credit card debt is already in collections or you think it may be soon, you have the right to pursue a better financial future. Through bankruptcy, you can deal with certain types of balances once and for all, including credit card debt. When you are under bankruptcy protection, the phone calls and attempts to collect will stop, allowing you to follow the terms of your bankruptcy plan in peace.