What if You Max Out Your Credit Card and Then Can’t Pay The Credit Card Debt?
The Boston Globe recently provided some advice in an aptly titled articled called “What to know if you maxed out a credit card and then stopped paying.”
The advice reiterates many of the things that we’ve said here, but it’s certainly worth repeating.
There are tens of thousands of debt-collection lawsuits filed in Massachusetts every year, many related to credit card debt. Some reports say that up to one in four people have a debt in collections. So even if the article doesn’t apply to you, it probably applies to someone you know.
What is some of the advice in the article?
First, if you earn less than $550/week, your income is probably exempt from collection. Also, Social Security, veteran’s benefits, and disability are all exempt from collection.
Second, debt collectors have to treat you fairly and with respect. They cannot call you more than twice a week, or before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They can’t harass you, call you names, or threaten to arrest you.
Third, beware of so-called “debt buyers.” These are companies who purchase debts from credit card companies so that they can collect, and often file debt-collection lawsuits. If you receive notice of a lawsuit, called a “summons,” contact an attorney ASAP.
And fourth, if you think, but aren’t sure, that you might have debts in collections, you should obtain a copy of your credit report. You actually have three credit reports, with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can get them for free by calling 877-322-8228, or you can download them online at www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you’ve been contacted by a debt collector about an account or credit card debt you are not able to pay, contact us to see if we can help. Culik Law is a Boston Massachusetts consumer protection law firm. Our attorneys have dealt with most major debt collectors, and many smaller ones, too. We’ve handled everything from settlement of debts, to defending against collection lawsuits, to suing debt collectors who broke the law.