There are many reasons for an individual or family falling into serious debt problems, many of them not of their own making. Illness, job loss, market fluctuations, and more can all have debtors scrambling to find reasonable solutions that will not cause them to lose their home and any hope of restoring their credit rating. However, there are predators that seek to prey on these people, causing both federal and state legislatures to enact laws protecting debtors from unreasonable collection measures. The two primary laws are the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In addition, while any individual can read and take advantage of these laws to protect themselves, those in serious situations may want to contact an attorney to help solve their collection or harassment struggles.
Minnesota relies heavily on federal statutes to protect its citizens from unfair debt collection practices. However, they have written their own state statutes in support of, and often extending, those laws. If violations occur, victims may contact the office of the Minnesota Attorney General or the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Certain debts have a statute of limitations period before creditors and collections companies no longer have the legal right to lien on a given debt, which ultimately makes the debt invalid. Depending on the nature of debt obligation, there are different periods of statute of limitations for debts created in the state of Minnesota including:
Minnesota maintains a number of statutes reinforcing and expanding upon the federal debt collection laws and practices, including the requirement that all collection agencies and debt collectors be licensed by the state in order to collect debts for others.
It is illegal in the state of Minnesota to harass or unreasonably inconvenience a debtor in order to collect a debt.
There are many debt consolidation companies and debt settlement agents that wish to take advantage of those facing unmanageable debts today. Some may be helpful, while others may be scams preying on the unwary, often charging high fees and showing low success rates. It is important for debtors to use reliable services and conduct thorough research before entering such agreements. It may also be wise to consult an attorney. However, the most common options include:
While it may seem illogical to incur the expense of a lawyer when one is already suffering financial hardship, the alternatives can be much more costly and have long-term consequences. A reliable debt settlement attorney can provide the help needed now and in the future to clear out-of-control debt and repair a credit score for the future.