Washington Debt Settlement
The state of Washington, with approximately 7.4 million residents, includes the thirteenth highest population within the United States, while covering an area of 71,362 square miles that places it 18th in terms of geographic size. Washington State falls right in the middle when it comes to population density, ranking twenty-fifth nationally.
Approximately 60% of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle Metropolitan area, and Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast, right behind California. Apart from being a leading lumber producer, Washington is the country’s leading producer of apples, pears, sweet cherries and hops, and ranks second only to California in the production of wine.
Other produce including apricots, asparagus and grapes, along with livestock and livestock products make significant contributions to farming revenue, while commercial fishing of salmon and halibut make significant contributions to overall state revenue.
The Washington economy is one of the country’s strongest, generating a gross state product of $569 billion in 2018, placing it tenth in the nation while growing at the fastest rate annually of any state in the union at 5.7%. Important industries for the Washington economy include aircraft, automotive, software development, telecom, biotechnology, lumber, mining and beverages.
As of December 2018, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.3%. Washington’s median household income level of $70,979 (11th highest in the U.S.) is more than 12% higher than the national median household income level of $63,030.
Washington Economic and Debt Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington’s unemployment rate stood at 4.3% as of December 2018, slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.9%.
Washington residents tend to carry higher amounts of credit card debt than do citizens of many other states, checking in at an average level of $8,108 – fifteenth in the nation and 13% less than the national average of indebted households of $9,333.
Meantime, compared with the 2019 nationwide average FICO score of 703, the typical Washington resident’s 2019 FICO score registered somewhat higher at 723, ranking in a four-way tie at 7th-10th in the nation.
According to the St. Louis Fed, as of Q4 2018, the Washington home ownership rate checked in at 64.9%, right in line with the national average, while a recent Experian report shows average mortgage debt level rose to $262,641, an increase of 3.1% compared to 2018, and ranks it as fourth-highest in the country.
The median sales price for a home in Washington during 2019 was $365,240. Regarding student loans, data compiled at the end of 2017 indicates that the state of Washington has the sixth-lowest average student loan debt per student borrower at $22,026, up 23.8% since 2007.
Washington ranked thirteenth lowest (38th in the country) in the percentage of college graduates carrying debt at 51.5%.
Washington Residents and Debt Settlement
If you are a resident of Washington 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.
Washington Consumer Debt Laws
Credit Card companies and other creditors are permitted to contact Washington 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.
Additionally, the Washington State Collection Agency Act prohibits intimidating, threatening or harassing conduct in connection with the collection of a debt. The law is intended to protect consumers while preventing abusive practices by debt collectors.
Under the Act, collection agencies are disallowed from contacting an individual or spouse more than three times per week, communicating at a workplace more than once weekly, and prevented from making threats of criminal prosecution, force, or violence.
While collectors are also prohibited from threatening an impaired credit rating, they are permitted to notify a delinquent debtor that a debt can be reported to credit reporting agencies, resulting in damage to a credit score.
Washington 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 the state of Washington, the statute of limitations on debt collection will vary according to the type of debt involved.
For written contracts and accounts receivable, the statute of limitations is six years. Oral contracts have a statute of limitations of three years. Meantime, recovery of property and judgments can only be pursued in court within a ten year time limit. 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 and Washington State Collection Agency Act.
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.
Time and again, I did not know how to handle my debt
Time and again, I did not know how to handle my debt. Even when I paid my credit cards off, a few months later I was back in the same situation. But this year is different. I contacted United Settlement...
Business debt relief is what I needed when I contacted the United Settlement crew
Business debt relief is what I needed when I contacted the United Settlement crew. They are committed to helping people like me who requires more help with business debt problems. I had several loans out...
Student loan debt was the reason that I reached out to United Settlement
Student loan debt was the reason that I reached out to United Settlement. I had about 200K plus in student loan debt for my business degree. I recognized that I had to do something when I struggled to make...
There is nothing worse than falling ill and then having to deal with super expensive medical bills
There is nothing worse than falling ill and then having to deal with super expensive medical bills that you really do not have the patience or experience to handle. I was pleased with my experience with...
I took out a few personal credit cards to open my boutique
I took out a few personal credit cards to open my boutique. When than money ran out, I went on to take out more loans for my business. However, this quickly turned into a disaster. Today, I now have a mountain...
Who knew that auto loans were so negative for your credit lines
Who knew that auto loans were so negative for your credit lines? Especially, if they are not paid off right away. As a married couple, we had vowed to keep auto loan debt at bay. But, we found ourselves...
I didn’t have a ton of debt when I contacted United Settlement
I didn’t have a ton of debt when I contacted United Settlement, but what I wanted from them was some information about how to handle my debt management. I knew that I needed some more information to get...
Federal student loans were the reason I ended up at United Settlement
Federal student loans were the reason I ended up at United Settlement. I had about $200K to pay back and I was not quite sure where to tackle that debt once I got out of school. But I reached out to that...
Everyone knows how horrible student loans are
Everyone knows how horrible student loans are. For me and my family, they had become more than just an annoying monthly bill. They had taken over our lives. That’s why I decided to take action and find...
I wanted to be more informed about my own personal and business debt
The number one reason I chose to contact United Settlement was I wanted to be more informed about my own personal and business debt. When you have credit card debt, it can be extremely frustrating. Especially...
I cannot believe I was finally able to find a company to actually help me pay off my debt
I cannot believe I was finally able to find a company to actually help me pay off my debt! I thought I would forever be chained to debt. But United Settlement offered me multiple solutions for paying off...
What your money can do for you.
The great reviews that you have thanks.
Dealing with high interest auto loan debt was difficult for me and my wife
Dealing with high interest auto loan debt was difficult for me and my wife. We thought we got a good deal, but it actually was a horrible loan. So, we reached out to United Settlement, and they got to work...
No one really wants to go bankrupt, and neither did my family
No one really wants to go bankrupt, and neither did my family. But fortunately, we did not have to go that route. It was our last resort, but United Settlement helped us figure out a way around bankruptcy...
I had been through about 5 different credit counseling agencies before I found United Settlement
I had been through about 5 different credit counseling agencies before I found United Settlement. I had read through their reviews and made the decision to move forward with them. I also was so impressed...
Save time and money
Just what I needed, already had a company I was working with and I switched because I was able to same some money. Brian and Alfred were really nice and helpful
As a business facing some unwanted financial difficulties
As a business facing some unwanted financial difficulties, we were at a loss for what to do next when our debt started to soar. We took a closer look at our financial situation by contacting United Settlement....
I had no clue how to create a debt management plan
I had no clue how to create a debt management plan and in fact, I didn't even know what a debt management plan was. Fortunately, I reached out to United Settlement before I had too much debt to tackle....
Being burdened by debt is one of the biggest struggles we faced as a family
Being burdened by debt is one of the biggest struggles we faced as a family. But these people at United Settlement were very helpful in deciphering the different debts we had and then coming up with a debt...
Student loan debt was my worst enemy before I ran into United Settlement
Student loan debt was my worst enemy before I ran into United Settlement. I really thought I would just have terrible credit for the rest of my life because I will never get out from underneath it. It was...