When you take out a loan or apply for a credit card, you sign a legal document that states you are responsible for paying back the amount you borrowed or spent plus any interest the lender charged. Major changes in your life can leave you struggling to pay your bills and worrying about your future. Working with an attorney can help you fight back against creditors and get back on your feet again.
Though you might not know it, there is a federal law that regulates what creditors can do. Creditors can legally contact you by phone or mail, but there is a limit as to how many times they can call every day and when they can call. Those attempting to collect a debt also cannot legally discuss your case with anyone else. If a creditor contacts your employer, neighbor or a family member and mentions your debt, you can fight back. You can also work with a lawyer to halt a debt collector who calls you late at night or early in the morning.
Each state has a statue of limitations that refers to how long a debt remains on your credit report. This typically ranges from seven years to 10 years. If you had a hospital bill that you never paid, it should leave your credit report once the statue of limitations passes. Some creditors will file lawsuits against you in court. If the judge issues a default judgment for your creditor, the statue of limitations begins on that date. You can work with an attorney to get those negative marks off your credit report.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Depending on how much debt you have and your ability to pay off those debts, bankruptcy might be your best choice. Student loans, alimony payments, child support payments and other types of payments will remain in effect even after you file. A bankruptcy lets you work out an agreement with your creditors to pay less than you owe, but it can also forgive most or all of your debts. Click here to find out more about filing for bankruptcy and other legal options for those in debt.