Can a bill collector demand payment of a bill if my wife and I collect Social Security only?
Can bill collector demand payment of bill if my wife and myself only collect social security. We are retired with small income? How do I back them down. Thank you!
The fact that you and your wife are retired and collecting Social Security would not prevent a debt collector from contacting you and asking you to pay an outstanding debt. The fact that you are on a fixed income would only be an issue if the creditor forward the account to an attorney in your state to file a lawsuit against you to attempt to collect on the debt. Many retired people are what creditors call "judgment proof," meaning that they have no major assets and have no garnishable income, so even if a creditor obtains a judgment against them, the judgment is nearly impossible to enforce. I do not know enough about your personal financial situation to tell you whether or not you would fall into this "judgment proof" category; while a judgment creditor would likely not be able to garnish your wages, if you own a home or other property, the creditor may be able to place a lien on the property. If you are being contacted by debt collectors, I encourage you to contact an attorney in your area to discuss the potential impact of a judgment against you; an attorney should also be able to recommend the best course of action in regard to this debt based on your current financial situation.
If you find that you are "judgment proof," or if you simply do not have the money to repay the debts these collectors are calling you about, you may want to send a cease communication letter to the collection agencies that are calling you. Bills.com offers sample cease and desist letters.
Under federal law, if you notify a third party collector, such as a collection agency, in writing that you no longer wish to receive telephone calls from them, they are required to stop calling you. Sending this letter should stop the phone calls you have been receiving, but it will make the debt go away. For this reason, it is important that you consult with an attorney to find out the best way to resolve these debts. To find an attorney in your area, you should contact your county or state Bar Association's attorney referral service. If you explain your legal problem, they should be able to refer you to an attorney in your area with experience in the area on consumer rights law.
I invite you to visit the Bills.com Debt Help page where we offer a wealth of information about the various debt relief options available to consumers struggling with debt.
I wish you the best of luck in resolving your debts, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.
Did you know?
If you are struggling with debt, you are not alone. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Quarter Q2 2022 was $16.15 trillion. Student loan debt was $1.59 trillion and credit card debt was $0.89 trillion.
A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.
Collection and delinquency rates vary by state. For example, in Wyoming, 12% have student loan debt. Of those holding student loan debt, 7% are in default. Auto/retail loan delinquency rate is 3%.
Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.