But, that doesn't mean that you don't have some rights as a debt holder. Anyone who has ever fallen behind to debtors know exactly how intimidating debt collectors can be. They'll threaten wage garnishing, taking you to court, and in some unscrupulous cases, even worse.
Even (or especially!) if you are in a tough spot that is not allowing you to pay off debts as quickly as you'd like, inform yourself about what rights you have as debt holder and educate yourself on how best to achieve as few penalties as possible.
Federal law typically requires credit bureaus to drop negative information after seven years. The clock usually starts ticking 180 days after the account first goes delinquent (in other words, when you miss your first payment). There are exceptions: Bankruptcies can remain on your credit reports for up to 10 years, and some debts, such as unpaid tax liens, can stay on your reports indefinitely.You can read the rest of that article at MSN Money. And here are a few other online resources to read to inform yourself about The Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights Act of 2009, how to handle harassment from debt collectors and more. See below:
The other curb on debt collection is the statute of limitations, which gives creditors a certain time period -- in most states, three to six years -- in which to sue you over a debt.
In either case, you'll still owe the money, unless the debt has been forgiven or discharged in bankruptcy court. Lenders can try to collect it forever -- and probably will -- but they can't sue once the statute of limitations period has passed.
- New Rules for the Credit Card Industry
- Credit Card Bill of Rights: These are your rights as of February 22nd, 2010
- What the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Means for You
- Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide for Consumers
- Debt collectors calling? Know your rights
- What are my rights as a consumer with debts in collection?