Missouri Debt Settlement
Missouri, with 6,137,428 residents, ranks 18th in population within the United States while covering an area of 69,715 square miles that places it 21st in terms of geographic size. The state’s largest urban areas are found in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, and these contribute to a population density of 87.1 residents per square mile, ranking Missouri 30th nationally.
Among its virtues, the state is known for barbeque (Kansas City-style and St. Louis-Style) and beer brewing, with Anheuser-Busch, the largest producer in the world, headquartered in St. Louis. Known unofficially as the “Show Me State,” Missouri has an economy grounded in aerospace, transportation equipment, food processing, agriculture, electrical equipment, light manufacturing, financial services, chemicals and beer.
Strength in agriculture derives from beef products, dairy products, cotton, corn, pork, poultry and rice. Missouri ranks sixth in the nation in hog production, seventh nationally in cattle production, fifth in soybean production and fourth in rice production. The state’s natural resources include vast quantities of lead (Missouri tops all states in lead production), limestone and coal.
Missouri also has a strong presence in science and biotechnology, with biotech giant Monsanto headquartered in St. Louis. Other major companies that call Missouri home include Express Scripts, Cerner, Wells Fargo Advisors, Edward Jones and H&R Block.
According to the St. Louis Fed, Total Gross State Product for Missouri in 2019 came in at $332.1 billion, ranking the state 22nd in the nation. Tourism, services and the retail sector contributed significantly to this figure, with tourism benefiting from a network of state parks that include the Gateway Arch national park in St. Louis and the Ozark Scenic Riverways national park in Ellsinore.
Also known as “The Cave State,” Missouri attracts tourists to a vast network of caves that include the Meramec Caverns. Missouri is also home to over 100,000 farms that blanket two-thirds of the state’s total land acreage, ranking second in the nation behind Texas and helping the state’s agricultural industry to account for greater than 11% of Total Gross State Product.
Missouri is also the only state to have two Federal Reserve Banks – one each in St. Louis and Kansas City. However, Missouri’s 2018 median household income level of $54,478 checked in 12% lower than the national median household income level of $61,937.
Missouri Economic and Debt Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Missouri’s unemployment rate stood at 3.5% as of February 2020, right in line with the national average of 3.5%. Missouri residents rank 41st nationally in the amount of household credit card debt held, checking in at an average level of $6,491, 30.4% less than the national average of indebted households of $9,333. In terms of FICO scores, compared with the 2019 nationwide average FICO score of 703, the typical Missouri resident’s 2019 FICO score of 701 is slightly lower, and places the state tied for eighteenth nationwide.
According to the St. Louis Fed, as of Q4 2018, the Missouri home ownership rate checked in at 69.1%, notably higher than the national rate of 64.8%. Meantime, a recent Experian report shows average mortgage debt level of $139,320, representing an increase of 2.2% compared to 2018, but still placing it 38th in the nation. Meantime, the median sales price of a home in Missouri during 2019 was $170,700. Regarding student loans, data compiled in 2019 by Experian indicates that average student loan debt for Missouri borrowers is $33,607, 4.9% lower than the national average of $35,359, 5.8% higher than in 2018 and 25.2% higher than in 2014.
Missouri Residents and Debt Settlement
If you are a resident of Missouri and are currently burdened by high levels of unsecured debt – including credit card accounts, private student loans, unpaid medical bills and personal loans – the process of pursuing debt settlement may make sense for you.
Debt settlement occurs
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 realize.
Missouri Consumer Debt Laws
Credit Card companies and other creditors are permitted to contact Missouri residents directly regarding debts, particularly in a situation involving delinquent payments. However, debt collection agencies are required to comply with the the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and are therefore prohibited from taking certain actions. Under the FDCPA, collection agencies are prohibited from informing employers about a debt or attempting to collect a fee in excess of any debt owed.
Debt collection agencies are also prohibited from communicating in a manner that simulates a judicial process or gives the appearance of a governmental action. Additionally, 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.
Unfortunately, unlike many other states, Missouri does not have its own state law governing debt collection tactics, leaving its residents somewhat vulnerable to predatory practices that may be beyond the scope of the FDCPA.
Although Missouri law does require debt collectors to pay a fee and obtain a license, its residents are unlikely to successfully pursue a lawsuit in the event a collector fails to do so. Missouri residents will receive the most consumer protection from harassing and potentially abusive debt collection methods under the FDCPA.
Missouri Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection
When sufficient 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 Missouri, the statute of limitations on debt collection is five years for open credit card accounts, five years for oral contracts, ten years for written contracts, and ten years for promissory notes.
For any time period, the clock begins ticking from the “date of default,” which is typically thirty days after the last payment was actually made. When debts remain unpaid prior to the statute time period elapsing in full, 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 – provided they remain within the bounds of the FDCPA.
Debt Settlement - Do It Yourself?
Getting out of debt is never an easy process. If debt settlement is the right avenue for you to pursue, be honest with yourself. Decide whether you possess the background, strength and fortitude to negotiate directly with creditors yourself – or whether engaging the services of an experienced and reputable debt settlement
Remember, the goal is to save the greatest amount of money and time while minimizing any ensuing damage to your credit score and profile. A reputable debt settlement
Contact us here at United Settlement, where our experienced credit counselors possess relationships with the major credit card lenders and a broad understanding of the debt marketplace. We can help you navigate these waters successfully.
About The Author: Steven Brachman
Steven Brachman is the lead content provider for UnitedSettlement.com. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics, Steven spent several years as a registered representative in the securities industry before moving on to equity research and trading. He is also an experienced test-prep professional and admissions consultant to aspiring graduate business school students. In his spare time, Steven enjoys writing, reading, travel, music and fantasy sports.
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