Graham & Associates Law Offices, LLC | Serving all of Northeast Ohio

August 2014 Archives

Verification of debts

For Ohio residents who are being contacted about credit card debt, it is vital to understand personal rights when it comes to paying debt. However, a person who is being pressured to pay a debt, especially one he or she believes may be incorrect, does have some recourse. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act specifies that a person who is being asked to pay a debt may request verification of the debt in writing if he or she needs proof. If this request is made within 30 days of the collection agency's first contact about the balance, then the agency is obligated legally to stop contacting the person until the debt has been verified.

Times it might be okay to have high credit card debt

As a general rule of good financial responsibility, a person should focus on minimizing their debt. This is especially true of high-interest balances, including credit card debt. There are times, however, when an Ohio resident may consider carrying a high balance near the maximum credit limit on their cards. It is important to realize that there is strategy and reasoning behind a decision to have a high balance.

Ohio debt discharge through consumer bankruptcy

While bankruptcy can stay on one's credit report for between seven and 10 years, it can be a powerful tool for eliminating excessive debt and escaping harassing tactics of creditors. It is important to understand that not all debt can be discharged through bankruptcy, but many types of unsecured loans can be eliminated. Tax debt, student loan debt and other government debts are examples of obligations that are not discharged by a personal bankruptcy. However, those debts that are eligible for discharge can be eradicated within approximately four months of the filing in a Chapter 7 case.

Paying down debt quickly

Ohio residents might be interested in learning more about how to pay off debt quickly. A reader of a national column on personal finances recently asked for advice on the fastest way to pay down credit card debt. They had incurred $50,000 in debt, with a 24 percent interest rate. They did this by transferring balances from one card to another and using credit line accounts, and the column assumed that the consumer was taking advantage of teaser introductory interest rates on credit cards.