Sunday, November 29th, 2015

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3 Debt Tips from a Debt Collector

With the holiday shopping season well underway, the spirit of giving to family, friends and just causes comes with a high cost. According to creditcards.com, the total U.S. consumer debt stands at $2.43 trillion for 2011, and falling into debt during the holidays is a reality for many. In fact, the National Retail Federation found that Americans spent $52 billion on Black Friday shopping this year.

As a leading consumer advocate (www.stopthesecriminals.com), well-respected debt collector and bestselling author (Out of Control: Cases of Debt-Collection Abuse in America & What We Can Do About It), Bill Bartmann is available to help you avoid holiday spending mishaps.

Beware of the phony debt collector…
These days, falling behind on some bills is the new normal since so many people are juggling unemployment checks or part time salaries. But that opens the door for fake collectors to scam people out of credit card numbers and bank account information. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector cannot threaten arrest, call you after 9 p.m., at your place of work or contact others regarding your debt. If so, that person may very well be a scam artist.

Don’t be ‘naughty’ with your credit cards…
Credit cards can be useful tools for consumers, but you have to be careful not to abuse them during the holiday season. They can spell a quick slide into unmanageable debt if misused. Creditcards.com reported that the average credit card debt per household was $15,799 and the average annual percentage rate on credit card with a balance on it was 13.10 percent, as of May 2011.

Have no fear; help is on the way…
Not paying off debt can have other consequences besides having to dole out extra cash due to a high interest rate. A lowered credit score can affect your ability to snag a great deal on your next car, appliance, home or other purchases – or may prevent you from obtaining future credit altogether. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 70% of consumers surveyed say they have noticed new credit card disclosures on their bills. But fewer than one-third say this caused them to make bigger payments or stop charging up their cards.

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