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Debt Consolidation in Illinois

Falling behind on payments to creditors can be a stressful experience. Adding to the frustration of not being able to pay the bills often is the pressure of being hounded by debt collection agencies. In the state of Illinois, consumers are carrying an average debt of $53,353, with 33.9 percent of that debt having been turned over to collection agencies.

For Illinois residents, consumers who have had their debt turned over for collections have protections from abusive collections practices under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Reports can be made to the Federal Trade Commission or to the Illinois Attorney General's office if consumers find themselves being illegally pursued by debt collection agencies.

Consumers who wish to work toward paying off their debt also can seek the assistance of a consumer credit counseling agency. These agencies can negotiate on behalf of consumers to obtain lower monthly payments, reduce the amount owed and even help with applying for debt consolidation programs if the consumer qualifies.

For those consumers who do not qualify for debt consolidation, bankruptcy is a final option that can be considered. There are two kinds of bankruptcies - Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 - each with its own rules and exemptions. Chapter 13 allows consumers, especially those who are behind on mortgages, to retain their property at the conclusion of the bankruptcy process. Chapter 7 filers have the advantage of eliminating debt without being burdened with paying it back. The down side is that any non-exempt property may be forfeited by the consumer during the bankruptcy process.

 

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Debt Consolidation In The News

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Full loan relief rare for students at for-profit colleges

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