For decades, life in the state known as the ‘Heart of Dixie’ has been relatively affordable. Alabamians enjoy amazing year-round weather, spectacular gulf coast beaches, and vibrant southern culture, as well as some of the most successful college football programs in the NCAA’s history. The Alabama-Auburn rivalry isn’t just one of the best in the SEC – it’s one of the best in sports, period.
Despite everything Alabama has to offer, the state’s cost of living is regularly ranked amongst the lowest in the country. The annual living wage for a family of four in Alabama is $80,777, compared to well over $100,000 in places like New York and California. The flip side to this is that wages in the state remain low and poverty remains high – $80,777 is more than twice the average salary for workers in transportation, sales, or office administration.
Alabama’s median household income is actually just $52,035, with 14.9% of the state living in poverty. The math between living wage income and actual income is significant, and many workers are turning to credit card debt to bridge the gap. On average, Alabama households have $5,672 in outstanding credit card debt. This is roughly middle of the pack for the country, but considering the state’s high poverty rates, it is cause for concern. Thousands of people are looking for Alabama debt relief.
Alabama debt relief doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you break free from monthly minimum payments, there are several great options for getting back on your feet.
Debt relief can come in numerous ways for Alabama state residents. Alabama residents have more options for help getting out of debt than filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13. the most common types of debt relief an individual can pursue are debt settlement programs and debt consolidation with a consolidation loan or line of credit. Other ways to seek debt relief include debt counseling, refinance loans,
Alabama residents can choose from a variety of debt relief programs. The most common debt relief options in Alabama include:
Debt settlement is a process where debt is negotiated for less than the amount owed. This can be done by the debtor or a company on behalf of the debtor.
Credit Counseling, sometimes known as, Debt Management, is a process where a lower interest rate and monthly payment is negotiated but the full amount of debt is repaid. This is usually debt through a non-profit credit counseling agency.
Debt consolidation is a process where a loan is taken out with a lower interest rate than what the debtor is currently paying. This is done through a bank or other lender. To qualify for a personal loan, a good credit rating is usually required.
Many people think bankruptcy is the fastest and easiest way to escape an overwhelming debt hardship. However, bankruptcy costs like lawyer and courts fees can quickly add up. Bankruptcy should be a last resort effort after all other debt relief options have been explored.
Different debt relief programs will affect your credit in different ways. Debt settlement will drop your score temporarily because you need to close credit card accounts in order to negotiate with creditors. Credit counseling will have little to no effect on your score as your accounts remain open as you negotiate lower interest rates (not overall debt). Debt consolidation can have some effect on your score depending on the accounts you close during the consolidation process.
Every debt relief company is different and some are more trustworthy than others. It’s best to read real customer reviews and also learn what type of fees they charge before agreeing to a debt relief program.
Whether or not a Alamba debt relief program is a good idea depends on a few factors. Not all companies offering debt relief programs are legit, so you’ll have to research their credentials before signing up for a program. Legitimate companies will have proper accreditations and usually good customer reviews.
Be sure to compare what Alabama debt relief companies have to offer before doing business with them. Any company demanding upfront fees should raise a red flag so be cautious moving forward.
It depends on what type of program you’re enrolled in. Most programs offered through companies and non-profit organizations do allow you to cancel. However, some if not all of the process you made during the program might be forfeited in the process. It’s best to contact the institution you’re working with directly to see what affects canceling your program might have.
Debt collection is when a person fails to pay their credit card debts in the state of Alabama – credit card companies and/or banks will eventually close the account(s) after several months of non-received payments. At this point the bank may turn the account over to a debt collection agency to try to recoup the debts owed.
The State of Alabama functions under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) enforced by the FTC. In addition, they have their state law, the Ala. Code §40-12-80, that debt collectors must abide by. It says collectors should file for a special license that will allow them to collect debts from consumers. This includes payment of a license tax based on where they practice their business. “Debt collectors”, as specified under this law is based on the definition provided by the FDCPA.
Any debtor or consumer who feels that the creditor and/or collection agency is not following the law can file a complaint. They can contact the Alabama State Attorney General through the Consumer Affairs Division (334) 242-7300 or (800) 392-5658.
In Alabama, the statute of limitations provided under Code Section 6-2-34 is six (6) years. An action must be taken within three (3) years for an open account or unliquidated account. After this period of time has expired without the creditor taking legal action, they will no longer be able to file a legal claim in an attempt to collect the debt.
Debt collectors must follow Alabama Code §40-12-80 which forces debt collections to obtain a special license to try to recoup debt from consumers. Debt collection policies operate under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act that is enforced by the FTC.
If you feel like a debt collector is acting outside the legal limitations set up with the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, you can file a complaint against the agency or creditor by contacting the Alabama State Attorney General’s office.
Depending on the type of debt relief program a creditor chooses will determine the affect on their credit score.
For instance, debt management plans work with creditors usually through credit counselors to pay back debt in full which helps preserve a good credit score.
While bankruptcies will have a devastating affect on a credit score and will take many years to recover.
Debt Settlement plans work by negotiating a lower payback amount with the creditor. Through this process all accounts are closed with the creditor which will have a negative affect on a credit rating but once the plan is completed, credit scores can improve quickly as credit is rebuilt.
Get debt relief options in the state of Alabama and live debt free.