The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy. Business closures and widespread unemployment have left hundreds of thousands of people unable to pay their debts. As a result, more people than ever are facing debt collection notices and lawsuits from debt collection agencies. Below are some tips for dealing with debt collectors if you have fallen behind on your financial obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic, For additional information or assistance, contact our experienced debt collection lawsuit defense attorney.
Contact your lender before you miss a payment
The best time to deal with a debt collector is before you miss a payment. If you anticipate missing a payment, you should contact your lender and explain your situation. Some companies and lenders have hardship programs in place to assist customers who can’t make their payments. In addition, some lenders may be more likely to grant leeway to customers as a result of COVID-19.
Consider using a credit counselor
A credit counseling agency may be able to help you formulate a plan to manage your debts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit counselors assist debtors with a multitude of financial issues, including:
- General budgeting
- Debt management
- Bankruptcy counseling
- Student loan counseling
- Housing counseling
Be cautious when considering debt relief
There are many companies that offer debt relief services to customers. However, some of these companies are less than forthcoming about what “debt relief” entails. Therefore, before you hire a debt relief company, you should ensure that you fully understand the services being offered. In addition, as discussed below, you must make sure that any debt relief company you consider working with is legitimate.
Beware of scams
Scammers are notorious for taking advantage of people in distress. Therefore, it’s no surprise that there has been an increase in fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic. You should avoid any debt settlement or relief organization that:
- Guarantees to make your debt go away
- Fails to clearly explain how its programs work
- Charges upfront fees
- Claims that it will help you take advantage of government programs
- Won’t send you information unless you first provide personal financial information
Hire an attorney
Finally, if you’ve received a debt collection notice or have been sued by a debt collector, you should contact a debt collection lawsuit defense attorney as soon as possible. At the Fullman Firm, we have over 40 years of combined debt collection lawsuit defense experience. When you choose us to represent you in your California debt collection lawsuit case, we can explore all available options and work with you to develop the most effective legal strategy possible. If you’re ready to fight back and take control of your financial situation, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.