Accumulation of debt has been a growing problem in North Carolina and throughout the United States. In recent years, people have had unexpected medical costs, a reduction in income through fewer work hours or losing their jobs outright and relying on credit to get them through tough times. For many, paying their bills is a daily worry. That can be made worse if debt collectors are constantly calling, sending letters texting and using social media to try and receive payment. Some cross the line into illegality with lies, threats and misrepresentations. It is important for people whose financial issues are escalating to understand how to address it.
So-called “bad actors” face government scrutiny
It was recently announced that the U.S. government will be monitoring and penalizing debt collectors who harass people and break the law. The Consumer Finance and Protection Bureau (CFPB) will look for debt collectors who behave in illegal and unethical ways. Some of the illegal activities include calling dozens of times in one week, claiming to be law enforcement or telling debtors they face jail time if they do not pay – all of which are known violations.
Much of the debt that is being pursued is medical debt. Statistics show that this is the most common reason people accumulate massive debt and need to file for bankruptcy. Medical expenses came to the forefront for many people in the past two-plus years with the ongoing crisis. Even those with insurance coverage found that they had exorbitant bills they could not pay leading to falling behind and debt collector harassment. If this is happening, people must be cognizant of how they can put a stop to it.
Consumers have rights and should seek protection from harassment
While this government intervention might prevent some of the abuses that are occurring, it will take time to go into effect and many debtors do not have that time available. There are a seemingly endless number of ways creditors and debt collectors might commit debt collection and creditor harassment in trying to get paid. Many are violations of the law. To hold them accountable and be protected, it is wise to have professional assistance from professionals with experience in these cases.