Many people who have trouble paying bills and face mounting debt, also worry about the possible consequences. They may fear extreme ramifications such as going to jail or losing their home. These types of fears can be paralyzing and result in a failure to act at all which can exacerbate debt problems.
In most cases, these fears are not warranted. If you are experiencing problems with debt, it is important to take steps to regain control over your financial situation. The following are some common fears about the consequences of debt that are often not based in reality.
Wage garnishment could take everything away from me
Wage garnishment happens when a creditor gains the legal authority to take a portion of your paycheck as repayment of debt. While wage garnishment can create financial hardships, it is important to remember that only a set amount of your wages can be garnished.
I could go to jail as a result of not paying my debts
There are only two types of debts that are punishable with jail time—failing to pay your taxes and failing to pay child support. Payments related to taxes and child support are considered nondischargable and must be paid. However, even if you fall behind and accrue tax or child support debt, you may be able to work out a repayment plan.
I should take threats made by debt collectors seriously
If you are receiving threats from debt collectors, it is likely that they are acting in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). It is important that you report such behavior rather than take it seriously.
If you are concerned about overwhelming debt, you don’t have to live in fear. Take action today and speak with an attorney about your options.