According to Matt Stoller, the United States is moving back towards a “creditor state.” Less than a decade ago, only 7% of our population was being pursued by debt collectors but today that number has doubled to 14%. Besides that troubling fact, creditors have been lobbying the government and getting real results from their hard work – laws passed that favor creditors considerably. For instance, did you know that you now have to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? That means a fresh start bankruptcy is no longer available to everyone. Creditors, especially unsecured creditors, love this because it forces debtors into Chapter 13, where you end up paying back as much of your debt as possible over 5 years. This means you could pay it all back in full. Not much of a financial reprieve, is it?
An even scarier scenario described in this article is the return of essentially the debtor’s prison. In an increasing amount of states, those debtors out there burying their head in the sand over their debt, not showing up into court when they receive a summons, and using only hope as a strategy that the debt collection agencies will magically forget that you owe them thousands of dollars may end up in jail. Eek! This ties into a common theme within this blog – hope is not a strategy. Financial problems don’t magically disappear. They only get worse because interest and late fees continue to accrue, lawsuit judgments get awarded and wages will get garnished.
So pull your head out of the sand and call a reputable debt settlement attorney. Unlike dealing with a telemarketer at a debt settlement company where you’re likely told only the good so they can make a sale, an attorney has a duty to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is an important distinction. Because although you may want to only hear the good, you really need to know and prepare for the bad before it gets ugly. Only a seasoned debt settlement attorney can do that for you.