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Collection agency harassment leads many to seek debt relief

When a California consumer experiences financial difficulties, managing the monthly budget becomes a difficult balancing act requiring the ability to judge which bills must be paid now and which can wait another month. In many cases, errors are made and a check is written for which the account holder has insufficient funds. Bouncing a check is stressful, especially when high fees and overdraft penalties pile on top of the original amount of the check. The aftereffects of such a mistake leave many in desperate need of immediate debt relief.

Once a check has been returned to one's financial institution, a series of events can be put into motion. The consumer will often receive a series of mailed correspondence from the party to whom the check was written, their bank and one or more debt collectors. In some cases, debt collection letters appear to come directly from a California district attorney's office, and threaten arrest if the balance due remains unpaid. In one case, that balance totaled $333.51 for a bounced check in the amount of $91. The difference was for a financial accountability class that was 'voluntary.' When the consumer investigated, she discovered that the letter had actually been sent by a collections agency.

When the consumer tried to contact the collections company, she received no response. The letters, however, continued to come threatening legal action. As it turns out, the collection agency is contracted by a California DA's office to collect these debts, and the practice of using letterhead suggesting that the correspondence is coming directly from the DA is perfectly legal.

For California consumers facing this level of creditor harassment, the best response is often to seek lasting and expeditious debt relief. Filing for personal bankruptcy will not only lead to the elimination of many forms of consumer debt, but also stop debt collection practices. While no one anticipates the need for such a move, personal bankruptcy can provide an individual with the chance to rebuild financial stability from the ground up, free from harassing collection tactics.

Source: laweekly.com, "How Debt Collectors Get Away With Terrorizing Consumers -- With the Blessing of Public Officials," Denise Grollmus, Jan. 24, 2013

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