You may think most people pay their bills and live comfortably or at least get by. The truth, according to a study conducted by the Urban Institute, is that 35% of Americans with a credit file (most people over 18 years old have a credit file) have a bill in collections. What does that mean? Having a bill in collections generally means the debt is more than 180 days past due. Hard working people in Richmond, Antioch and Brentwood are no exception. Think about it, if you do not have a bill in collections then odds are your neighbor to the right or left does. In some cases the delinquent debt is for a medical bill that should have been paid through insurance. In other cases the credit report mistakenly shows a collections account where no such debt exists. Unfortunately the majority of collections are just debts that have gone unpaid, usually for good reason.
In tough financial times people focus on food and shelter, often leaving credit card and medical bills unpaid. When the unpaid bill goes to collections an ugly downward spiral begins. The spiral starts with phone calls and demanding letters but can move to lawsuits, wage garnishments, and even a bank levy. Many people will turn to payday loans as a short term solution but soon find that payday loans – with interest rates often above 300% – only make things worse. Some people will struggle for years carrying debts, always thinking things will get better. For some people things do get better, but for many the late fees, annual fees, and high interest rates make getting out of debt impossible. Personal bankruptcy offers a fresh start for people trapped in debt.
At the Law Office of Michael Primus we have helped hundreds of clients get out of debt, stop wage garnishments, and start fresh through bankruptcy. If you live in Contra Costa County and have debt problems, contact us for a free in-office consultation. We have offices in Walnut Creek, Antioch and Hercules.