Texas Debt Settlement
The state of Texas, with approximately 28.3 million residents, possesses the second highest population within the United States, and covering an area of 268,820 square miles, it is also the second largest state in terms of geography. Putting the size of Texas into further perspective, the Lone Star State is 10% bigger than France and almost twice the size of Germany or Japan. The Texas economy, historically driven by the oil and gas industry, has further diversified into healthcare and technology, and boasts a gross state product of $1.6 trillion. This figure ranks Texas second in the United States – and would place it among the eleven highest countries in the world.
Despite the robustness of Texas’ economy, its median household income level of $56,565 checks in at a level that is slightly lower than the national median household income level of $57,617.
In fact, a recent study from early 2017 indicates that approximately 73% of American consumers actually die in debt! Source
If you’ve got a debt problem, don’t take it with you to the grave. There is no better time than the present to start acting upon your debt problem. With proper planning, guidance and dedication, you can find your way out of debt.
Texas Economic and Debt Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Texas stood at 4.0% as of January 2018, slightly lower than the national unemployment rate of 4.1%. Residents of Texas also carry higher amounts of credit card debt than do citizens of most other states, checking in at an average level of $6,948 – thirteenth in the nation and 22% greater than the national average of $5,700.
Meantime, compared with the 2017 nationwide average FICO score of 695, the typical Texas resident’s 2017 FICO score came in considerably lower at 657, ranking 42nd overall in the nation. Furthermore, 18% of Texas citizens demonstrated a declining credit situation in 2017, as evidenced by a credit card bill that was 60 days or more overdue.
In 2017, Texas home ownership rate checked in at 62%, just below the national average, while average mortgage debt level rose to $166,762, an increase of 23.8% compared to 2016. Turning to student loans, data compiled at the end of 2017 indicates that the average level of student loan debt for Texas college graduates stood at $14,600, almost 15% less than the national average of $17,126.
Texas Residents and Debt Settlement
If you are a resident of Texas and are currently burdened by high levels of unsecured debt – including credit card accounts, private student loans and unpaid medical bills – the process of pursuing debt settlement may make sense for you. Debt settlement occurs when a debtor successfully negotiates a payoff amount for less than the total balance owed on a debt.
This lower amount is agreed to by the creditor or collection agency and is fully documented in writing. Ideally, this lower negotiated amount is paid off in one lump sum, but it can be paid off over time. Though creditors are under no legal obligation to accept debt settlement offers, negotiating and paying lower amounts to settle debts is far more common than many people may realize.
Texas Consumer Debt Laws
If you are a resident of Texas and are feeling the pressure that comes with mounting debt levels, you have rights. Credit Card companies and other creditors are permitted to contact Texas residents directly regarding debts, particularly in a situation involving delinquent payments. However, creditors and debt collection agencies are required to comply with the Texas Debt Collection Act, as well as the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and are therefore prohibited from taking certain actions.
Prohibited actions include informing employers about the debt or attempting to collect a fee in excess of any debt owed. Creditors and debt collection agencies are also prohibited from communicating in a manner that simulates a judicial process or gives the appearance of a governmental action. Finally, creditors and debt collection agencies are prohibited from contacting debtors or debtor family members at unusual hours or with a frequency that may be reasonably construed under the law as harassment or abuse.
Texas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection
When enough time passes in a situation in which consumer debts have gone unpaid, a debt collector can lose the legal right to sue for non-payment. In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations for collecting on all debts is four years, and it works in conjunction with the Texas Debt Collection Act. This statute of limitations applies to all debts – written contracts, promissory notes, and open-ended accounts – including credit cards.
The clock on the four-year time period starts ticking from the “date of default,” which is typically thirty days after the last payment was actually made. However, it follows that if your unpaid debts remain unpaid and the full four years have yet to elapse, your creditors maintain legal right to sue you for non-payment and are permitted to engage debt collection agencies who can make persistent attempts at collection while remaining within bounds of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Texas Debt Collection Act.
Debt Settlement - Do It Yourself?
Decide whether you possess the background, wherewithal and fortitude to negotiate directly with creditors yourself – or whether engaging the services of an experienced and reputable debt settlement company will serve your needs best. Remember, the goal is to save the most money and time while minimizing any damage to your credit profile as best as possible.
A reputable debt settlement company will provide a realistic estimate and time frame for making offers to your creditors that can ultimately result in settlements that save you significant amounts of money. At United Settlement, our experienced credit counselors possess relationships with the major credit card lenders – along with a broad understanding of the debt marketplace – and can help you navigate these waters safely and effectively.
Are you in debt? we can help
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