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Blog Archives - Fair Debt Collection Help

08 Feb

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Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

February 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

With recent headlines concerning data breaches at major retailers, it seems like not a day goes by that we aren’t hearing about Identity Theft.

While identity theft isn’t a new problem, the number of instances is continuing to grow. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 11,571,900 people annually fall victim to identity fraud. However, many people still don’t understand the fundamentals of the crime, and most importantly how to protect themselves. In today’s technology-driven society personal information is easily accessible and identity theft is more common than ever. Here are just a few ways to keep yourself protected:

Check your Credit – Carefully look over your credit card and bank statements and keep an eye out for any suspicious charges. Track down even the smallest charges you don’t remember making, because there’s a chance your credit information was stolen.

Be Careful About Releasing Information – Don’t give your information out to just anyone. One way that criminals obtain your personal information is through fake WiFi connections and through website data. Only purchase items online from reliable and secure sources and refrain from posting personal information about yourself, like your address and date of birth. Also, NEVER send your social security number or financial information through an email. Identity thieves will send out fake emails that show they’re from your bank (sometimes called “phishing”).  If you’re not sure whether the email is real, call your financial institution.

Military Members Should Take Extra Precautions – Military veterans file more complaints about identity theft than any other group, according to an article in US News. Not only are veterans names most accessible through the internet, but according to the article, their conditioned training has left them more susceptible to identity theft. To help fight the issue, the Federal Trade Commission designated July 17 as Military Consumer Protection Day, to help better educate veterans on the level of danger associated with identity theft.

03 Feb

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How long will negative information stay on my credit report?

February 3, 2014 | By | No Comments

Those reviewing their credit reports for the first might be taken aback by some of the negative information present.

The good news is that most times the information won’t last forever. The bad news: it can be a hassle for the time being.

Most negative information, such as late payments, will remain on your credit report for seven years, but other items will stay for longer. Foreclosures typically remain for seven years, as do collections, although it depends on the age of the debt collected.

If you have an unpaid judgment or lawsuit against you, the information will stay on your report for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out — whichever is longer. There are exceptions, such as unpaid tax liens, which could stay on your credit report indefinitely.

For those who have gone through bankruptcy, the amount if time it remains on your credit report depends on the type. For completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies it generally will show up for seven years, whereas Chapter 7 bankruptcies may remain for up to 10 years. For those with a criminal conviction, it may remain on your credit report indefinitely.

The good news is that positive information, such as the car loan payments you made on time, will stay on your credit history forever. Keep in mind that having more positive than negative information will help strengthen your credit history and should increase your credit score.

30 Jan

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Debt May Be Harmful To Your Health

January 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

Debt is something that we may all have to deal with at some point, and it will never be pleasant. What many don’t know, however is that debt impacts more than your pocket book, it can actually put a huge strain on your mental and physical health.

While researchers have long connected the link between debt and stress, new studies have shown new links between debt and other psychological conditions. Researchers from the University of Southhampton found that conditions like neurosis and depression were significantly more common among those with debt compared to those without. The review of 65 studies, published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, indicated that those who are in debt are three times more likely to face mental health problems, compared to those who aren’t.

The health effects of debt don’t stop there.

A recent study by Northwestern Medicine found that high financial debt is associated with higher blood pressure and poorer self-reported general health. The study was the first to focus on both mental and physical health, focusing on 8,400 young adults, aged 24 to 32.

The study found that young adults with higher debt had a 1.3 percent increase in diastolic blood pressure, which is extremely significant. For example, a 2 percent increase would lead to a 17 percent higher risk of hypertension and a 15 percent higher risk of stroke.

In addition to the effects mentioned, debt is also known to increase levels of anxiety and contribute to outbursts of anger. Many people with debt have reported feelings of worry and stress in other areas of their lives. Debt can put strain on your relationships with others, and most importantly yourself.

Understand that there are many stressors that come along with debt, but the most important thing is how we deal with it.

27 Jan

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If a debt collector calls me at work, are they violating the FDCPA?

January 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

The answer to this question isn’t simple and varies depending on your situation.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from contacting consumers at an inconvenient place. Some workplaces are considered inconvenient by nature, which could include places such as hospitals (if the debtor is a nurse or a doctor), restaurants, retail stores, and schools.  If you’re not comfortable or it’s inconvenient for the debt collector to contact you at work, you must tell them.

According to the FDCPA, debt collectors are also prohibited from calling you at work if they already know your employer forbids this type of communication. Often times employers enact policies which forbid employees from taking calls for personal business. A policy such as this would prohibit an employee from taking a collection call.

For many occupations, the should already know that an employer won’t allow collection calls. An example could be if you are a police officer, a collector should know that you aren’t allowed to take a collection car while you’re at work. In these situations, it’s up to the debt collector to make the right call and avoid contacting you at work.

The FDCPA is a federal law that governs the behavior of debt collectors focused on consumer debts. Despite the regulations listed above, a debt collector may contact you at work if there is a court order allowing such communications or if you’ve given consent.