Wage garnishment: how a debt-relief attorney can help

Many Texas residents and persons living elsewhere across the country believe that things are getting better for the nation financially, following years of struggle that have challenged millions of Americans during the so-called Great Recession.

And, indeed, things do seem to be improving for many people nationally, with statistics across a broad range of considerations -- for example, housing starts and employment -- indicating positive momentum.

Notwithstanding that betterment, though, improved fortunes are hardly the reality for all Americans. Indeed, and as reported in a recent debt-related article authored by National Public Radio, increasing numbers of people across the country are continuing to stagger under crushing debt loads.

Foreclosure: a focus on some government assistance programs

Helping people in Texas and nationally avoid foreclosure when doing so seems a viable possibility promotes the interests of far more than those immediate homeowners alone.

In fact, foreclosure avoidance is broadly beneficial to myriad groups of people and special interests across the country, a fact that is distinctly recognized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (commonly known as HUD). That agency addresses the foreclosure crisis and national need to provide remedies to effectively combat it in a HUD “Avoiding Foreclosure” page on its website.

That page makes a prominent reference to the Obama administration’s “broad strategy to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country’s housing market, and improve the nation’s economy.”

Not gonna take it: one consumer's battle with harassing collector

We mentioned in a prior blog post the sheer frustration -- often accompanied by fear -- that consumers in Texas and across the country feel when they are suddenly confronted by aggressive debt collectors.

The tactics engaged in by individuals and firms within that massive industry, as well as the overwhelmed feeling often experienced on the receiving end of harassing communications by beleaguered consumers, were alluded to in our August 5 post entry.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: what it is, what it provides for

Sometimes distressed consumers -- through no fault of their own -- cannot even see one of the sources of financial challenges confronting them.

That challenge is posed by adverse information appearing in their credit reports, which can work in insidious and unknown fashion to undermine their credibility with landlords, lenders and even employers.

For obvious reasons, it is essential for any consumer in Texas or elsewhere in the country to be fully and routinely appraised of all the material information residing in his or her credit report and to be able to quickly effect repairs to erroneous data.

Bankruptcy: a powerful and often underutilized consumer tool

It is perhaps apt imagery to refer to the slippery slope of debt when discussing the financial difficulties that over time ensnare many Americans and introduce material instability into their lives.

Although the details vary from case to case, it is not uncommon for debt problems to first emerge for individuals and families after an unexpected expense arises relating to an unforeseen circumstance.

Many people nodding in agreement with that above sentence might likely point to a troublesome catalyst in their lives, such as medical debt, which is a common precursor of financial difficulty and a leading cause of bankruptcy filings in Texas and throughout the United States.

Acknowledged: the singular nature of medical debt

Media pundits and a host of other commentators who focus closely upon debt relief matters in the United States have long noted that medical costs are flatly a different animal when compared with other forms of consumer debt.

Any person in Texas or elsewhere who is saddled with a painfully high level of medical debt certainly agrees with that assessment and can readily explain why such is the case.

So, too, can executives with FICO, an American public company that provides the credit scores relied upon by millions of service providers -- banks, car companies, mortgage lenders, apartment owners and more -- seeking information on would-be customers’ past history of dealing with debt.

Debt collectors: things a harassed consumer needs to know

Based on a wide number of media reports, as well as on the high volume of phone calls and letters received by state and federal offices, consumers dealing with debt collection companies are often at a total loss as to how to proceed.

Put another way: Many persons in Texas and nationally seeking debt relief feel stressed and often overwhelmed by their dealings with aggressive debt collectors. They feel that they must simply suffer the harassment and abuse that is forthcoming from such parties, lacking any viable resources or tools to deal promptly and purposely with such behavior.

The difficulty in reducing student loan debt

It is extremely unfortunate that filing for bankruptcy has such a negative connotation to it, as it is an important tool for debt relief. There are people throughout San Antonio who find themselves overwhelmed by financial problems of one kind or another. They turn to a bankruptcy attorney to discuss their options and, many times, ultimately file for bankruptcy. Though bankruptcy may not discharge all of their debts, it is still a fresh start.

One big category of debt that is largely untouched by bankruptcy is student loan debt. Unfortunately, most student loans will remain after someone files for bankruptcy, and while that may be a majority of a person's debt, having little other debt will certainly help to relieve some of the pressure and stress of financial problems.

Debt-settlement industry: persistently under fire

Talk about a business niche that has an unrelenting image problem.

Once again, the debt-settlement industry is making media waves for the adverse repercussions visited on consumers across the country who solicit the “assistance” of companies that pledge debt relief and simply don’t deliver on their promises.

As many of our readers in Texas and elsewhere likely already know from having heard stories or personally being involved with such companies, negative news concerning these business entities is far from singular or surprising.

Regarding nation's debt crisis, are we digging out or digging in?

So, are we doing better or not? Has the national economy at least stopped snarling at the middle class sufficiently enough over the past couple years to enable most challenged debtors to regain their financial footing?

These questions certainly seem reasonable enough to ask, and at this time. After all, the monstrous housing collapse and attendant credit crisis -- the so-called Great Recession -- that was visited upon Texas and the rest of the country is commonly gauged by economists to have mushroomed in 2007. That was long enough ago to enable some perspective now and to seemingly allow millions of beleaguered consumers time to claw back from troublesome debt levels toward renewed financial stability.

Then again, maybe not. A financial writer in a recent Wall Street Journal article argues that, while high numbers of middle-class consumers have in fact been able to pare down high debt levels in recent years, that debt relief is now being undercut by new borrowing.

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