What Might Happen to You If You Don’t Pay Your Debts? [2022]

One of life’s most undesirable circumstances might be discovering that you can’t pay off a lot of debt, especially now that inflation has made everything more costly. Perhaps you have aged parents who require pricey care, a roommate who isn’t contributing fairly, or your child is counting on you to pay for a Taylor Swift concert. Constantly spending money while struggling with a prior debt makes it difficult to reconcile life’s present costs with past expenses.

If you find it difficult to pay off a debt, how concerned should you be? It depends on whether you’re behind on your credit card debt or your mortgage, which might be quite unpleasant (not quite as bad).

It helps to know the distinctions between secured and unsecured debt in situations like these.

Just keep in mind that the worst-case scenario you’re imagining is probably not what will happen if you have debts and are under stress. But knowing what lies ahead is always helpful. What occurs if you don’t repay your debt? What to anticipate is as follows:

Possibility to happen If You Don’t Pay Your Debts?

Debt tied to an asset is referred to as secured debt. You risk losing your home or automobile if you don’t keep up with your secured debt payments. It’s probably far less dangerous if you fall behind on unsecured costs like college loans and medical expenses.

We need to start saving early because as we age, we will find it difficult to work hard and make ends meet. If the environment and nature offer you any indications that it’s time to retire (8 Signs That You’re Ready to Retire [2022]), be on the lookout and prepare financially. So alert and make plain for financial security

Your Debt Will Be Collected by a Company

Let’s start by discussing this situation. Fortunately, it won’t occur immediately.

Lyle Solomon, a consumer finance lawyer and the founding member of the Oak View Law Group in Auburn, California, says that if you are more than 30 days behind on a payment, your creditor will probably get in touch with you via phone, letter, or email.

When you start to fall behind on your payments after 60 days, Solomon explains that lenders usually increase your interest rate. “Your account will probably be canceled if you miss a third payment, and you will be obligated to pay the whole sum. Most debt collectors will buy your debt from your creditors.

After your account is 31 days overdue, a creditor is legally permitted to transfer it to a collection agency. Still, it’s unlikely that will happen. According to Solomon, it often doesn’t occur until the second or third month.

The business that is being paid the money has engaged the debt collection agency. The money you give the debt collector will eventually find its way back to the party that is due the money, but not before the debt collector has taken a large commission, typically between 25% and 45%.

Debt collectors who have been trying to collect money from you for a while may occasionally sell the debt they purchased to another debt collector who is more certain that they will succeed in getting you to pay. In any event, if a debt collector is in possession of the bill you owe, they will contact you.

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You’ll hear from debt collectors

In an effort to encourage you to pay, the phone will start ringing and the letters will start arriving. Your debt issue will go pretty soon if you can pay the amount or work out a deal with the debt collector. If you’re unable to, you can notice an increase in tension, particularly if you have secured debt.

If you own a home, you could be receiving warnings regarding the foreclosure of your property. You could be receiving letters or phone calls informing you that your automobile will be repossessed if you own one. You shouldn’t disregard these calls. If your home or vehicle is in jeopardy, you should make every effort to come to a payment arrangement so you don’t lose them.

To make matters worse, if you own a car, you can find yourself having to have it taken away even though you may still owe money on it if the automobile is worth less than what you owe.

Your credit history and score will suffer

You most likely aren’t surprised by this. Your credit score starts to suffer greatly after your debt is sent into the collection.

Debt collectors submit accounts to credit bureaus, which Solomon claims may have a long-term effect on your credit score. Your credit score will have already been damaged by the time a collection account is opened due to late payments and subsequent charge-offs, which are normally done before a collection account.

How big of a dip can you anticipate in your credit score?

Typically, one late payment can lower a good credit score by 100 points. It won’t hurt as much if your credit score was already in poor condition or unstable, to begin with, and it’s absolutely hard to predict how much it will decline. But it will fall.

In terms of how it is handled once it reaches collections, medical debt has lately undergone a transformation.

Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three major credit bureaus, jointly announced that as of July 1, 2022, unpaid bills will only be reported if they have remained unpaid for at least 12 months, and as of July 1, 2023, if a medical bill is unpaid.

This was done in response to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report published in March 2022 that revealed that medical bills were the most likely item to be on someone’s credit report and were appearing on 43 million credit reports.

Read – How to Reduce Winter Gas and Electricity Costs This Winter [2022]

You can be plagued by debt for years

What occurs if you don’t pay off collections? perhaps nothing.

Remember that there is a huge disparity between, say, a $70 debt and a $7,000 debt. You might not be bothered or haunted by a $70 debt that hasn’t been paid. If you don’t pay it, nothing happens—maybe just a few hundred calls that finally stop—aside from your credit score dropping temporarily.

There is no assurance of that, though. You can face legal action for a $7 or a $70 debt. It’s simply unlikely. However, if your debt is $7,000 you should expect some pushback from your creditor.

George Simons, co-founder, and CEO of SoloSuit.com, a website that assists users in defending against debt collection lawsuits, asserts that if you are repeatedly late with a debt payment, you may eventually be sued.

According to Simons, you typically have between 20 days (rarely fewer) and 30 days to reply after being sued. It goes without saying that you forfeit the case if you fail to appear.

“After losing the lawsuit, the consumer’s wages will now be withheld at a rate of 25% from each paycheck. Their house or vehicle may also be subject to a lien “Simon claims. Additionally, you should be aware that your payment will not be garnished for more than 25% of your salary. It is typically 25% under federal legislation.

All of this does not improve your credit score, Simon continues. Remember that debts can persist after a person’s death and can cause issues for their heirs. For instance, if you leave behind both an inheritance and outstanding debt to your family when you pass away, it may be necessary to settle the debts before your descendants may benefit from your hard work.

Not paying debt is a good solution?

Lifestyle

An important aspect of your financial health is your credit report. Defaults, collections, and bankruptcies destroy your credit score, which can have a significant negative impact on your future.

According to Bossler, you might no longer be able to obtain favorable interest rates or insurance premiums. “It might have an impact on housing, employment, and more.”

Avoiding payment also gives your creditors the right to file a lawsuit for unpaid debt. In some states, you risk having your assets seized or having your wages garnished. Even if you’re not making direct payments, you’re still covering your debt.

  • Poor credit
  • Difficulty borrowing money in the future
  • Harassment from creditors and collection agencies
  • Lawsuits
  • The increased cost of borrowing money in the future

Alternatives to bankruptcy

Make use of the opportunity to avoid bankruptcy if you have one. Here are some substitutes to take into account:

  • Ask for help: Speak with your creditors and lenders to see if you can lower your interest rate, monthly payment, or both. With forbearance or deferment for student loans, you might be eligible for short-term relief. Find out what assistance is available from your lender or credit card company for other types of debt. If you have the resources, ask your friends and family for assistance.
  • Obtain expert assistance: Call a non-profit credit counseling organization to help you create a debt management strategy. You will make a predetermined monthly payment to the agency for each of your debts. The organization attempts to reduce your bill or interest rate on your behalf and, in some circumstances, may be able to get your debt forgiven.
  • Increase your income: Do whatever it takes to begin repaying your debt right away. If you can, ask for a wage increase at work or take a position that pays more. start a side business. Start selling pricey items like furniture or designer jewelry to pay off the debt.
  • Take out a debt consolidation loan: If you have a variety of debts, research your choices for consolidation. By consolidating all of your debt into one payment, you can organize your finances and maybe end up saving money on interest over time.

The Bottom Line

It may be alluring to look into debt relief strategies that let you avoid paying back what you owe to creditors. However, the potential long-term negative effects that are frequently associated with these techniques may outweigh the short-term advantages.

Before deciding how to proceed, spend some time weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each strategy. You’ll frequently discover that paying off your debts early can actually be more detrimental to your long-term financial health.

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