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Repairing your credit so you can have a stronger financial future

Emerging from a difficult financial period is never easy. If you have had a hard time, you understand the hard work and perseverance it takes to put the pieces back together and move forward. Whether you went through bankruptcy or are a victim of other circumstances beyond your control, you can move forward to a better financial future. 

One of the key components of achieving this goal is to rebuild your credit. This is not always easy, and you may not be sure exactly where to start with this process. Many individuals who are looking for a better financial future find that they benefit from seeking experienced guidance as they take certain steps and move forward after a difficult time.

It is possible to negotiate with your creditors

If you are dealing with overdue payments on your credit cards, medical bills or other debts, you may already dread when your phone rings. In fact, like many in Minnesota who are under the same pressure, you may avoid those calls or even block them.

Debt collectors must follow strict rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but even when they abide by those laws, such calls may still be uncomfortable and upsetting experiences. However, you may be able to use those calls to your advantage if you are willing to try negotiating with the debt collectors. After all, many creditors prefer getting something from a borrower to getting nothing at all. Negotiating with creditors is a delicate operation that may take courage, persistence and knowledge of your rights.

What does the law require of debt collectors?

If you owe a significant amount of debt, part of what you may have to deal with is contact from debt collectors. It is legal for creditors to attempt to collect on money owed to them, but there are limits to what they can do and tight restrictions on how they can treat debtors. The Fair Debt Collection Act protects you, and it can be in your interests to learn what this law does.

Debt collectors are often aggressive, but consumers may believe they have to tolerate this behavior because they owe a significant amount of debt. No matter how much you owe, you still have rights. The FDCA offers you protection against certain types of treatment, no matter the details of your individual situation.

Do you know how the repossession process works?

The negative impact of owing a significant amount of debt can affect multiple areas of your life. In addition to a growing balance of debt you cannot manage on your own, you may also have to deal with phone calls, letters and other forms of contact from creditors. In certain situations, a creditor may move to retake possessions bought on credit. 

Repossession is a process that allows a creditor to retake property for which a consumer owes money and is late on payments. This means that if you do not make your car payment, the bank or another type of creditor can initiate the repossession process. However, you still have rights, and there are limits to what a creditor or repossession company can do and how they treat you. 

Looking toward the future: Rebuilding your credit score

When it comes to finances, you've likely had many ups and downs in life, with some months (even years) better than others. Most Minnesota residents would probably report similar experiences. It doesn't take much to throw your financial train off its tracks. If you or a loved one suffered adverse health in recent years, you might still be struggling to pay your medical bills.

The problem is often that once a big chunk of debt sets in, overall debt begins to increase because while you're trying to pay back the initial debt, you run out of money to try to keep up with regular, recurring expenses. If you're credit score took a nosedive during a financial crisis, you might be wondering how to restore it so that you can move toward a stronger financial future.

Critical steps to take after identity theft

You may think it cannot happen to you. Maybe you feel you do not have enough money for anyone to be interested in stealing your identity. However, when you discover that someone has used your personal information to obtain credit or access your financial accounts, it can be a devastating feeling of violation.

With increases in the popularity of online shopping, digital banking and electronic transactions comes the danger of identity theft that can damage your credit and leave you floundering to put your life back in order. Extreme cases result in bankruptcy and ruination. The faster you take the appropriate steps after discovering someone has stolen your identity, the better your chances of avoiding financial devastation.

The law that protects you from unlawful debt collection

In Minnesota and throughout the nation, it's common for people to acquire loans in order to make large ticket item purchases. For instance, while it's possible you are one of the few people who pay cash in full when buying vehicles or homes, it's far more likely that you have taken or plan to take out loans to do so. In fact, you might use credit to pay for any number of expensive services or products, such as medical bills or business expenses.

Although you are obligated to pay back any debt you accrue, you also have rights that protect you against unlawful means of debt collection. If your financial train is currently a bit off its tracks, and you're dealing with non-stop phone calls from people who claim to be trying to collect a debt, you may want to familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It's also a good idea to know where to seek support if your situation escalates and you need some assistance.


The Law Offices of Gonko & Vavreck
401 North Third Street
Suite 640
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Phone: 612-503-9248
Fax: 612-659-9220
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