Many people are looking for ways to meet their current financial obligations. As the price of food and gas increases throughout the nation, families are struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes consumers wind up using their credit cards just to put food on the table. As these debts continue to mount, it may be difficult to meet the minimum monthly payments. The debt consolidation Seattle companies can help consumers obtain a single loan and pay off the credit cards that are charging high interest rates.
Choosing a Program to Meet Your Needs
When choosing a debt consolidation Seattle program, there are a couple of options to consider:
- Debt Consolidation Program—A Debt consolidation Seattle company will negotiate with your creditors to reduce or eliminate penalties and interest on your debts. The consumer will then make monthly payments to the debt consolidation Seattle company that will distribute the money among the creditors.
- Debt Consolidation Loan—This is a type of person loan that will be used to pay off your outstanding bills. This allows you to get rid of multiple credit card debts, student loans or payday loans with one single lump sum payment.
A debt consolidation Seattle company can also help by modifying the terms of your home mortgage. In addition, they can help you avoid liens and wage garnishments.
Abusive Tactics Practiced By Collection Agencies
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed by the federal government to eliminate abusive tactics by collection agencies. This Act prohibits using deceptive and abusive conduct when trying to collect on a debt. Behavior that is prohibited include the following:
- Contacting consumers by phone outside the hours of 8 am and 9 pm.
- Agencies must cease communication with the consumers upon written request.
- They cannot lie to the consumer about the actual amount owed.
- Using obscene language, making threats or racist remarks is illegal.
- They are not allowed to garnish your wages or put a lien on your property.
- A third party, such as a neighbor, friend or relative cannot be contacted regarding your debts.
- Making a false statement such as threatening to put you in jail is illegal.
In addition, debt collectors are prohibited from making threats saying they will refer your account to an attorney, unless they actually intend to follow through.
Statute of Limitations on Debts
When people are having a hard time meeting their financial obligations, bill collectors often begin hounding them by repeated phone calls. Debtors should first find out what the statute of limitations is for the particular type of debt. In the State of Washington, these include the following:
- Oral Agreements—3 years
- Written Contracts—6 years
- Promissory Notes—6 years
- Open Accounts—3 years
The debts will not disappear after the statute of limitations has expired. However, this is a legal defense against a creditor if they take legal action to obtain payment.
Check the Reputation of the Company
There are many debt consolidation Seattle companies that will offer a variety of services. If they request large fees upfront before actually working on your case, they may not be a reputable organization. You can start by checking with the Better Business Bureau to determine if there are any complaints against the company.