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South Carolina credit card debt: Government taking action

South Carolina residents struggling with credit card debt may be relieved to know that the aggressive practices of some debt collectors are beginning to draw the notice of the government. Our August 1 blog posting highlighted consumers facing high levels of credit card debt who are fed up with aggressive debt collection practices and are fighting back. Although consumers continue to struggle with harassment and coercion on the part of certain debt collection agencies, federal lawmakers are now beginning to take up the fight as well.

Debt collectors are helped by lax oversight and outdated laws that harm consumers and allow collection agencies to continue aggressive and unlawful practices. With the current state of the economy, many American consumers find themselves under heavy loads of debt. This can lead to harassment of the consumer and their relatives, threats of arrests, lawsuits and unsettling phone calls.

Federal regulators and lawmakers in several states around the nation are taking notice of these tactics and are beginning to take action. One company in particular has been sued several times by states' attorneys general and by private lawyers for allegations of using false affidavits when pursuing consumers. Such practices hurt consumers and trick them into paying debt that may not even be legitimate.

South Carolina consumers overwhelmed by credit card debt have plenty of financial stress without having to worry about harassment from debt collectors. Until the debt collection industry is fully regulated, many consumers feel that they have no choice but to endure these tactics. However, it is important to remember that filing for personal bankruptcy can effectively stop the collections process and prevent debt collectors from continuing to make contact. Filing for bankruptcy can not only discharge many debts, it can also end the aggressive practices by collection companies and give consumers a fresh financial start.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Aggressive debt collection tactics are drawing federal scrutiny," Jim Puzzanghera, Aug. 20, 2012

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