Some people in Texas might be among the millions of Americas who are struggling with debt, but they have rights when they talk to debt collectors. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 2010, there are only certain hours when debt collectors can call people and a certain number of times they can make the calls. Consumers may be able to file a complaint or a lawsuit if these rules are violated.
Consumers should also make sure that they keep documentation. They should check their records to see what their original contract with the creditor says. They can also request that the collector verify that the debt is authentic within 30 days of contact. They should get written confirmation of any payments, keep emails exchanged and document phone calls. While it can be tempting to ignore letters and calls about debt, it is important to deal with them as promptly as possible.
Debtors should never give banking information to debt collectors. This can result in money being regularly removed from the account. They may be able to negotiate a settlement, and this could even keep the debt from credit reports.
People who are struggling with debt might want to talk to an attorney about their rights and how to proceed. For example, some settlement offers may not be the best option. If the person is considering bankruptcy, the attorney may be able to explain what debts cannot be discharged, such as taxes and child support, and what assets, such as retirement accounts, may be exempt. The attorney may also be able to explain whether the person is eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In the latter case, the person might be able to keep a home or other significant assets after working out a payment plan.