A lot of Arizonans are in the same boat these days; a bad economy and a bad job market have caused hard times and put a lot of people behind on their bills. Waiting for the bill collectors to start calling can be a nerve-wracking experience, and dealing with the calls once they do come adds a lot of stress to an already stressful situation.
Understanding what is going on behind the scenes can give you the facts you need to make a clear decision about your future once financial troubles begin. In this series we will look at the life cycle of a bad debt to give you some insight into what to expect next and how to deal with it.
Your debt goes to collections – from 60-180 days
Once sixty days have passed without a payment from you, most creditors will pass your debt off to an in-house or third-party collection agency. These collectors are required by Arizona law to be licensed through the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions and must follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.
You will likely be barraged with letters and phone calls about the debt along with an official letter from the agency validating the debt. This is where most people make their second mistake. They refuse to talk to the collectors and start screening their phone calls. But ignoring debt collectors will not make the debt go away.
After about 180 days from the date the bill was due, the creditor will charge off the debt as noncollectable. This will put a black mark on your credit report that stays there for seven years.
What can you do? Debt collectors will try to get the full amount of the debt from you, but they are able – and these days more willing – to negotiate a partial payment to satisfy the debt. If you are able to negotiate a lower payoff, now is the time to do it. Just be sure to get the promise to clear the debt n writing.
At The Pew Law Center, PLLC, we believe that your life shouldn’t be defined by debt. We have helped hundreds of people just like you find the relief they deserve from harassing bill collectors, paycheck garnishment, foreclosures proceedings, and – most importantly – the constant worry about money and what to do about your debts.
We are a dedicated debt relief law firm. We help people from Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Tempe and throughout Arizona file for bankruptcy or work through tough tax problems every day. We can help stop the debt cycle and give you relief from your overwhelming, burdensome, and crushing debt. Please don’t wait another moment. Call us right away – our attorneys will help get you the fresh start you deserve.