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Important consumer rights regarding creditor harassment

Virginia consumers who are struggling to make credit card payments might discover that their issuer has sold their debt to another company. For example, earlier in 2017, Credit Shop, Inc. purchased $1.6 billion in Barclaycard account balances. Often these purchases include subprime accounts and those that have become delinquent. To earn income from the acquired debts, credit companies start pressuring customers to make payments.

Usually, a person will be unaware of the transfer of debt ownership until a debt collector calls and demands payment. Legal protections contained in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the CARD Act provide consumers with rights that allow them to push back against aggressive practices. When a consumer requests documentation of the debt within 30 days after the first demand for payment, the company must comply. Until the written details of the debt are provided, collectors must cease telephone calls to the debtor. A person also has the right to ask that all communications take place in writing.

Federal law also requires credit card companies to set payment due dates a minimum of 21 days after the day the bill is mailed. The violation of any of these consumer protection laws by a creditor or collector could give the debtor the ability to file a lawsuit against the company.

Even if a creditor has not broken laws, a person might work with an attorney to develop a debt relief plan. This might include filing for bankruptcy or asking an attorney to negotiate with creditors to reorganize debt into affordable payment plan. An attorney could also provide advice about how to protect property or stop creditor harassment.

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