An unexpected medical condition, losing your job, or bad financial decisions can all lead to you being late or entirely missing bill payments. And now you are suddenly getting calls from debt collectors - you must learn how to respond to them and what your rights are in the process of debt collection in the state of New Jersey.
The FDCPA is a federal law that regulates what debt collectors can and can't do in their debt collection endeavors. It protects New Jersey consumers from harassment, abuse, and deception regarding debt collection.
The FDCPA governs the behavior of debt collectors using the following guidelines:
There is no need to be intimidated or overwhelmed by collection calls. Knowing your rights lets, you quickly tell when a debt collector is using illegal methods to get money out of you. When a debt collector calls, you can avoid making a mistake that could put you in legal or financial trouble if you know what to do and say.
If you legally owe the debt and are obligated to pay it, the collection agency may be able to negotiate a payment plan with you. Some will settle for less than what you owe, while others will attempt to negotiate payment terms that you can afford.Back To Index
Wage garnishments allow creditors to deduct money directly from your paychecks. It is commonly used to collect delinquent debts, making it harder for you to pay for necessities such as groceries and rent.
Different states have their wage garnishment laws. In New Jersey, creditors are allowed to garnish your wages to collect on a debt, but first, they must file a lawsuit and get a money judgment against you.
After getting a judgment, the creditor must send a 'notice of application' to inform you of the garnishment. They must also send a service certification to the court, proving that they informed you of the wage garnishment.
After being informed through the mail, you have 13 days to object to the wage garnishment and 10 days if you were notified in person. To object to wage garnishment, you first need to provide a "Certification in Objection to Wage Garnishment," which will contain all documents proving why you want to stop or reduce the garnishment. You also need to provide a certification of service confirming that you informed all other parties involved about your objection.
In New Jersey, a creditor can garnish whatever is the lowest amount from the following list -
The amount of time creditors have before they can file a lawsuit against you is known as the statute of limitations. New Jersey statute of limitations ranges from 6 to 4 years, depending on the type of debt. The statute of limitations for credit card, medical, mortgage, and state tax debt is 6 years, and for a car loan debt, it is 4 years.
After the statute of limitations for a particular debt is up, creditors can still contact you but can't sue you anymore. But if you make even one payment towards any debt, the time limit resets, and it is no longer ''time-barred.'' To figure out if one of your debts is time-barred, you can check when the last payment was made towards it and see if it has crossed the statute of limitations for that type of debt.Back To Index
It's tough to keep up with monthly bills and save for an emergency fund, let alone make the minimum monthly credit card payments. Getting out of debt is difficult, especially when living paycheck to paycheck. Luckily there are ways to get out of such a financial situation. Debt consolidation can be a good option if you have multiple high-interest unsecured debts, like payday loans and credit cards. You can also negotiate a debt settlement and pay your debt off for much less than you owe.
There is also the option to refinance your debts to a lower interest rate which can help you pay them off faster and pay less interest over time. Look for opportunities to refinance your car loan, mortgage, student loan, etc. Go through the refinance options and choose the one that best suits your need.Back To Index
Federal and state debt collection laws protect you from being harassed by collectors if your debt goes into collections in New Jersey. Being in debt is stressful, and you must be aware of your rights when debt collectors regularly contact you. The FDCPA regulates debt collection in all states, including New Jersey, so keep its guidelines and the above tips in mind when responding to collectors. Always remember that you have several options to manage your debt, whether you choose to make extra payments towards your debts or consolidate/settle them.Back To Index