According to a new survey by NBC News and GenForward, about 75 percent of American millennials (those between 18 and 34 years old) have some sort of debt. Further, many are postponing major life events like buying a home, getting married and having children because of it.
Debt collection is not illegal, but some of the methods used by debt collectors are. According the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in 2017, consumer complaints about debt collectors were in the thousands; CFPB took about 85,000 complaints alone. Investigations into the complaints revealed numerous violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
If you had to guess what category holds the largest debt for Americans, most of you would probably guess it was mortgage debt. You would be correct. But you may not as easily guess that the second debt category is student loans.
If you are suffering from debt overload, you know what it is like to have creditors calling all hours of the day and night. How many times can you tell them you don't have the money, and then sit and listen to a lecture on how serious the situation is? Creditors are trained to be aggressive and somehow convince you into coming up with the money or pledging a promise to pay. Seldom do they take your personal situation into account.
Are you swimming in medical debt? If you do not have insurance and need any kind of medical treatment, this can quickly become the case. Even if you do have insurance, there are some services that are often billed separately, such as bills from the anesthesiologist, surgeon or a radiologist. You may receive these bills instead of your insurance company, and they may or may not be covered.
Did you know that the National Do Not Call Registry contains more than 229 million phone numbers, and more than 7.1 million complaints to the Federal Trade Commission were received from November 2016 to October 2017? The majority of calls: marketing calls for debt reduction, warranty plans, and vacation and timeshare plans.
Maybe you make the same resolution every year: "Next year, I'm going to shop for Christmas during the year, and then relax as I glide through the holidays worry-free." Then somehow that resolution is forgotten by the time New Year's Day rolls around?
According to State Senator, Jennifer Shilling, Wisconsin, comes in at 10th place across the country for the number of debt-ridden college students. An estimated 67 percent of residents who have graduated from four-year colleges have student loans to pay off. Further, student loans currently hold second place in the nation as the largest consumer debt.
Most people struggling with debt agree that fielding the many collection communications is one of the most distressing aspects of their debt. In truth, constant phone calls, emails and letters can actually shift the debtor's focus away from paying their bills. Instead, as the calls and letters get more and more hostile, most debtors simply want to make those communications stop altogether.
Just as with other important decisions in your life, bankruptcy should never be entered into lightly. If you think of bankruptcy as a quick fix or as a way to simply wipe out your debts without trying to pay them, this solution may not be for you.