People in Ohio who find that they have debts that they cannot repay sometimes feel that they are alone with this problem. What they don't realize is that high debt loads and difficult repayments can come to people from all walks of life for many reasons. In fact, they may be interested to learn about a once wealthy Wall Street executive who recently filed for a personal bankruptcy, though it is unclear if it was a Chapter 7, 13 or another from the code.
Sources say that nearly 15 percent of all American households had at least one debt in some stage of the collections process at the end of 2012. That statistic represents those households that have fallen delinquent on a loan, or are in default. The statistics reveal that a great many households continue to suffer from some level of financial stress.
The debt collection industry is big business. Anyone in the Cincinnati area who has fallen behind on a single debt may realize that bill collectors can be persistent. For those who are struggling with many debts, it can seem hard to keep track of who may currently own the debt after a bill has been sold to debt collection companies.
Can a bill collector turn to Facebook and pose as a friend to attempt to collect on a debt?
Debt collectors have a number of avenues to legally seek repayment under our laws. Creditor lawsuits are often filed against a debtor to obtain a judgment. The court order can be used to later garnish wages under Ohio law, or seize funds in a bank account. On certain types of transactions, the lender can seek return of property, such as a foreclosure action on a home, or through repossession of an automobile.
A group of people identified as an offshoot of the Occupy movement recently held a gathering on the East Coast to raise money to eliminate personal debts of unsuspecting beneficiaries. The soiree included name tags for attendees, who were asked to identify themselves on the tags by their outstanding personal debt balance.
The economic recession has created financial stress on countless people in Ohio and the rest of the nation. Some of the people hit hardest by the recession were recent graduates, who, after accumulating loads of student loans, found that they could not secure jobs that seemed so promising when they entered school.
Three United States Senators, including Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look into medical debt collection and reporting practices. The Senators sent a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray earlier this month asking the federal agency to address issues in medical debt collection practices and how medical debt issues are scored on consumer credit reports.
In the last post, this blog began a discussion about a recent trend in using warrants for failure to appear in court for debt collection lawsuits that some collection agencies appear to be using to lock up debtors across the country. One woman, highlighted in an NPR story spent four days in jail before her father could amass the $500 dollars to secure her release from a warrant.
The idea of "debtor's prison" was abolished in the United States generations ago. The federal government abolished the concept back in 1833, and Ohio abolished debtor's prisons before the feds. NPR recently ran a disturbing story about a recent trend in the debt collection industry that seems to skirt the ban on debtor's prison.