Solutions to Handle Debts
Many consumers are struggling to put make ends meet due to soaring gas and food prices. When the economy is tough and the unemployment rate continues to rise, consumers end up using credit cards just to buy groceries. Sometimes they get in over their head and wind up with large amounts of unsecured debts. The debt consolidation Las Vegas companies can help consumers obtain one loan so that they can pay off their high-interest credit cards.
How to Choose a Program
When choosing a debt consolidation Las Vegas program, there are several options to consider:
- Consolidation Loan—A debt consolidation Las Vegas loan can help consumers pay off all of their smaller bills. Homeowners may be able to use the equity in their home as collateral. By consolidating unsecured debts, more money will be available each month due to a lower interest rate. Consumers may also qualify for a tax deduction.
- Debt Counseling—Some consumers may benefit debt counseling services that provides information about how to manage their financial obligations and keeping future debts under control.
- Obtain a Personal Loan—Banks may be willing to lend a small amount of money for a personal loan. Consumers who have good credit can obtain enough to pay off some of their bills. Local credit unions sometimes offer their regular customers an unsecured loan.
Once the credit cards are paid off, consumers should not be tempted to run the up the balances again.
Common Collection Agency Tactics
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. This federal legislation is aimed at eliminating abusive practices used by collection agencies. There are certain guidelines that must be followed by companies when attempting to collect a debt. All debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in any of the tactics listed below:
- Harassment—They cannot threaten to harm consumers or put them in jail for not paying a debt.
- False Statements—Creditors cannot make false statements to get consumers to pay up.
- Amount Owed—Lying to consumers about the amount they actually owe is illegal.
- Language—They are not allowed to use obscene language or racist remarks.
- Third Parties—They are prohibited from talking to a third party about the consumer’s debts, including employers, neighbors and relatives.
- Impersonation—Pretending to be someone else in order to obtain personal information is not allowed.
- Garnish Wages—They cannot garnish a person’s wages or property.
- Phone Calls—Consumers cannot be contacted at work once they have told the debt collector the employer does not allow it. They are also prohibited from calling people at home before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm.
In addition to the above, debt collectors cannot make threats about referring the consumer’s account to an attorney unless they actually intend to do so. Collections agencies that violate the FDCPA can be hit with severe penalties and fines.
Statute of Limitations on Debts
While considering a debt consolidation Las Vegas program, find out if the debts have expired. The law limits the amount of time a debt is valid. Once the statute of limitations has run out, the consumer is no longer required to pay the obligation. The statute of limitations regarding debts in Nevada is as follows:
- Written Contracts—Six years
- Oral Agreements—Four years
- Open Ended Accounts—Four years
- Promissory Notes—Three years
Creditors can no longer sue a consumer once a debt has expired.
Check the Company’s Reputation
There are many debt consolidation Las Vegas services that will offer to stop the harassing phone calls from collection agencies. Any company that requires large fees up front for their services may be running a scam. Begin by checking with the Better Business Bureau to find out if the debt consolidation Las Vegas company is reputable.