Several debt collection laws in South Carolina go above and beyond those enacted by the federal government. For example, South Carolina forbids wage garnishment to collect consumer debts, and homestead laws can shield a significant amount of your estate from creditors.
Payday loans are still permitted, although with fewer limitations. Depending on the loan fees that your lender applies, you may be looking at Payday loan rates that go up to 400%.
It's critical to become familiar with state legislation because they can range from being incredibly pro-consumer to letting them effectively fend for themselves.
Even while South Carolinians may not have the highest levels of debt in the nation, the weight of having thousands of dollars in credit card debt is still present. The creditor will probably try to collect if you fall behind on your payments by calling you or writing to you. If they are unsuccessful, they'll probably try to sell the debt to a different debt collector.
You may receive calls from debt collectors both at home and at your workplace. They may also get in touch with your friends, family, and neighbors, but they are not permitted to provide any details to them that might indicate that they are calling regarding a debt. They must respect your request if you ask them to stop talking to you or your employer about your debt. Additionally, according to this rule, they must get in touch with you during "reasonable hours." Unless you specify otherwise, those hours are taken to be from 8 am to 9 pm. Inform the debt collector in writing if you hire legal representation. From that point on, all communications must be made to your lawyer.
You may still lawfully hear from your debt collector even if you've instructed them to stop calling you in a limited number of circumstances. Particularly, you can get a notice that they’re suing you. Do not ignore the summons if this occurs. Even if you don't legally owe the amount, there is a higher likelihood that you will be held accountable if you ignore the summons.
If it is determined that you owe the amount, a number of potential things could occur. First, your bank accounts might be garnished to pay off your debt. There are, however, some sums that creditors and debt collectors are prohibited from accessing under South Carolina debt collection law. The first $5,000 stored in your bank accounts is shielded from debt collectors under South Carolina law unless you're claiming the equity and interest in your house as immune from debt collection and liens, as outlined below.
Protected assets, according to debt collection laws in South Carolina, are as follows:
Other states allow for the garnishment of future wages, which means that they would be sent directly from your employer to the debt collector without ever reaching your bank account. However, South Carolina law prohibits wage garnishment for consumer debt, so that's one less thing to worry about.
The statute of limitations determines how long a creditor or debt collector has to file a lawsuit against you. The debt will become time-barred if they wait any longer than that. Debt collectors cannot contact you to attempt to collect a debt that has expired and become time-barred.
Always exercise caution when committing in writing that you will pay off the debt or while making a payment, no matter how modest. By doing this, the statute of limitations will be restarted, allowing them to reopen the case.
For medical debt, the statute of limitations is three years. It is the same for credit card debt as well. For auto loan debt, it is six years, and for state tax debt, it is ten years. For collecting mortgage debt, your creditors or debt collectors have twenty years.
In comparison to the general population of American consumers, auto debt is the second biggest worry for South Carolinians after student loans.
Be extremely cautious in how you respond to a collection letter. You should consult a lawyer straight away. Regardless of whether you hire the services of a lawyer or not, you should take a couple of basic steps. These steps are as follows:
If you want to get debt free in South Carolina, there are quite a few ways available. Debt consolidation is perhaps the best way to get out of debt. When you consolidate your debt, it's usually because you have consumer debt that you owe to multiple creditors or debt collectors and wish to make your payments easier, lower your interest rate, or lengthen the repayment period on your loans.
A debt consolidation program is a service that involves consolidating several loans into a single payment. The company will accept a single payment from you and distribute it to your creditors.
When you combine your debts with a debt consolidation loan, you borrow a one-time amount to settle them all at once.
Again, the primary distinction between a loan and a program is that a loan results in transferring your debt to a new loan. A program is a service that aids in paying off your debts as they currently stand, and as such, the latter is a far better option.
Recognizing that you have a problem with debt puts you on the correct track no matter how you choose to address it. Educating yourself about what you need to do as a consumer and protective legislation will help you become debt-free as quickly as possible.