Your rights & options regarding debt relief

Facing a mountain of credit card or other forms of debt is not uncommon. Statistics show the average US household credit card debt stands at $15,252, while the average mortgage debt is $152,209, and the average student loan debt rests at $32,986.

But once you reach the conclusion that you cannot realistically pay back your debt by the traditional method, the question remains: what is your best option for debt relief? The answer varies as there are several choices for how to resolve your debt and regain your financial security.

One option is to talk with your creditors and discuss if they can work out a modified payment plan. Another choice is to partner with a credit counseling service that can help you and your creditors develop a debt repayment plan. These plans require that you deposit money regularly with the counseling services which then works with creditors to pay off your debt.

Consolidating your debt by taking out a second mortgage or home equity line of credit is another remedy. However, the Federal Trade Commission cautions that these options generally require your home as collateral and may not always be the best option. Bankruptcy may also be the final alternative if no other options are possible. There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. Each type of bankruptcy must be filed in federal bankruptcy court.

A qualified Nashville debt relief attorney can assist you in deciding which debt relief choice is best for you and your family. Experienced debt attorneys access your debt, discuss your options and work with you in starting your debt relief process. A also can inform you of all relevant laws and regulations that pertain to your credit and ensure creditors are fairly handling your situation.

When confronting substantial debt, it’s also imperative that you know your rights as a consumer. Debt collectors must adhere to strict federal rules about when they can contact you. For instance, a debt collector may not contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., or while you’re at work if the collector knows that your employer doesn’t approve of the calls. Collectors may not harass you, lie or use unfair practices when they attempt to collect debts. And they must honor a written request from you to stop further contact.

Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act states that consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information in your credit file. As a consumer, you also have the right to dispute any information in your file and the consumer reporting agency must investigate your concerns.