Thursday, October 25, 2007

Comment on My "Debtors Beware" Post

A comment in response to my post “Debtors Beware” called for a rather long reply on my part, so I thought I would address it here rather than in the combox. If you’d like to read my reader's full comment, you can go to that post, scroll down, and click on comments.


Thank you for seeking clarification for my readers. No, I didn't mean that if you miss only one credit card payment, you might wake up with no access to your bank funds, and I'm sorry if it could be interpreted that way! I believe the problem was with a collection agency, so I think it would probably only happen if an account went into collection and still wasn’t paid. There are many reasons and adversities why someone's account might possibly go into collection (prolonged job loss, huge medical expenses), and your advice (from Dave Ramsey) to pay something on an account, however little, is excellent advice to share with many of my readers. I hope that is true. I'm sure it's true of most medical providers. While I have had creditors tell me that if I didn’t pay at least a certain amount (specified by them), the account would go into collection, perhaps they were only threatening me.

The following that you said was not true of the person of whom I wrote: 'If someone has changed his phone number and moved to get away from the calls and letters, they shouldn't be surprised when they get sued and attached with "no warning."' This was someone who had been exploited by others and left holding the proverbial bag; but then thought the bill had been paid in full through an escrow, and it apparently hadn’t (but she didn't know that it hadn't until a few days ago). In the meantime, she had moved a couple times, just in the course of life, thinking, as I said, that this bill was paid. I personally don't understand why someone's address can't be tracked down, especially if their account can be, but no, she wasn't informed, not in recent years.

Like you, I didn't think all this was possible, certainly not legal...until I read things like the following on the internet. It does look like you are right that it would have to be court-ordered, yet it doesn’t look like the person necessarily knows beforehand:

I do understand your concern about not scaring people, because it actually sounds like something I might have said myself, if someone else had posted what I posted, and I had read it. This type of thing probably doesn’t happen very often! And it's true that we can't spend our lives worrying about every possible thing that could happen! On the other hand, I think we can always learn from one another’s myriad difficulties. As I said in my post, I wasn’t talking about a creditor taking all one’s money permanently, just putting a temporary freeze on the account. My (almost) final point was the importance of trying to keep some cash on hand, which isn't always easy to do but would be a good thing in various emergencies. I think we would all be less "scared" about any possible economic surprise if we had some cash on hand. Just my opinion.

Thank you for visiting my blog and for sharing your thoughts!

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