Consumer Debt Lawyers
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What is Consumer Debt?
Consumer debt refers to debt incurred by consumers rather than business organizations or government agencies. It generally covers debts created by the unnecessary purchase of retail goods, and often arises due to the mishandling of credit card resources.
One of the main drawbacks of consumer debt is that the debts are incurred for the purchase of items and goods that generally don’t appreciate or increase in value over time. For instance, consumer goods like clothes or electronics don’t usually increase in value over time.
Therefore consumer debt is not the same as other types of debt that can lead to further income due to proper investing (such as taking out a loan for educational purposes to advance in one’s career). Not only is the consumer in debt, but they might not be able to recover what they spent if they try to sell off the items they purchased.
What are Some Legal Issues Related to Consumer Debt?
Consumer debt can lead to a whole host of legal issues and disputes. These may include:
- Breach of contract: Many consumer debts involve a contract of some sorts, such as a repayment contract or a debt cancellation agreement. If the consumer is unable to pay, it may result in a breach of contract. An example of this is where a consumer defaults on a mortgage contract.
- Property liens: In some cases, a credit organization or other lending institution can take hold of the debtor’s personal or real property through a lien. The lien allows the lender to take title of the property in lieu of missed debt payments.
- Bankruptcy: In many cases, consumer debt and overspending is the main or sole cause of personal bankruptcy. For instance, the consumer’s debt may not leave enough room for additional expenses such as emergency medical treatments. Filing for bankruptcy can help cancel certain types of debts.
Finally, consumer debt is also associated with a number of class action lawsuits based on fraud. Due to recent economic restraints, a number of fraudulent “debt management” companies have arisen and taken advantage of persons with consumer debt.
What if I Have a Consumer Debt Dispute?
Here are some tips if you have a consumer debt dispute or are considering a lawsuit regarding the debt:
- Notify the lender if you can’t pay. It’s often the case that the bank or lender has at much at stake in your loan as you do. They may be willing to work out an alternative payment plan to keep you enrolled with them.
- Start gathering important documents like any lending contracts, debt agreements, pay stubs, etc. These may be used as evidence in a lawsuit if one arises
- Obtain advice- you may wish to consult with a professional for advice on what to do. For instance, a credit counselor or a lawyer can help inform you of your rights and obligations as a consumer
Finally, you should consider the fact that every state might have different debt and consumer laws. Keep this in mind if you’ve moved from one area to another and are unfamiliar with the laws in your state. For instance, the filing deadlines for debt claims can be very different in each region. You may wish to consult with a lawyer for advice on these kinds of matters.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Consumer Debt?
Consumer debt can be a problem for any individual, and can often affect entire families or households. You may wish to hire a lawyer for assistance with any consumer debt issues or disputes. Your attorney can research the law for you to determine what kinds of options you have for resolving your debts. A lawyer can also represent you in court if you’re going to file or be involved in a lawsuit.
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Last Modified: 02-11-2015 02:34 PM PST
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