What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)?

It’s a federal law that protects consumers from harassment or threats made by creditors and prohibits creditors from making false statements. This law also prohibits a debt collector from disclosing what you owe to anyone but your attorney.

What is a judgment?

A judgment is a decision issued by the court at the end of a lawsuit. If you are sued and either don’t file papers or file papers but eventually lose the case, the person who sued you will get a judgment. Most creditors need a court judgment to attach your wages or put a lien on your property.

What is a “charge off?” If my debt has been “charged off,” can a creditor pursue collection?

When an account is considered uncollectable, a creditor will write it off as a bad debt or “charge off.” Depending on each creditor’s policy, a “charge off” will occur between 90 to 180 days after you become delinquent. However, a creditor can still pursue collection of the debt after a “charge off” and it will also be reported to the credit bureaus.

My wages have been attached. What does that mean?

When your wages are attached or garnished, a sum of money is deducted from your paycheck and sent to the creditor. Wage attachments are a common method used to collect a court judgment or back owed child support.

My car was repossessed and resold. Am I liable for the difference between what the car sold for and what was owed?

Yes. If not paid, the creditor may initiate legal action for the difference between the sale price of the car and what you owed.

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