There are many consequences that come with owing a significant amount of credit card debt. One of the things you may find yourself dealing with is constant contact from creditors and debt collectors. They may call at all hours, demanding payments. Sometimes, their efforts can become hostile, and you may not be sure what to do next.
One thing that a creditor or debt collector may threaten you with is jail time. This can be frightening and stressful, especially if you are already facing debt you cannot manage on your own. It's in your interests to know your rights, know how to protect yourself and know what options are available to you that will allow you to address your debt problem. You have rights, no matter how much debt you owe.
Will you really go to jail?
In the past, debtors could end up in jail, but this practice ended hundreds of years ago. It is actually against the law for a debt collector or creditor to tell you that you could go to jail if you do not pay. This is an example of unacceptable debt collection practices. In 1977, the United States government passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which made certain types of collection practices illegal. Some of the things collectors and creditors are allowed to do include:
- Contact you and ask for payment
- Sue you for payment
- Turn your account over to debt collection agency
If there is a lawsuit against you for unpaid credit card debt, you may not go to jail, but there are other consequences you will face. This could result in the garnishment of your wages, levies on your bank account or the potential loss of your personal property. The consequences of unpaid debt are severe, and you would be wise not to ignore them.
What can you do?
There are certain steps you can take that will allow you to deal with your credit card debt once and for all. Filing for consumer bankruptcy not only provides you with an organized way to discharge or pay back some of your debt, it also enacts the automatic stay. This immediately halts all contact, threats and harassment from creditors and debt collectors.
If you think bankruptcy could be the right way for you to deal with your credit card debt, you may want to speak with an experienced Virginia attorney regarding your options. An assessment of your case can help you understand how bankruptcy could provide you with a clear path to a better financial future.