blog home Debt Settlement How Creditors Try To Ruin Your Holidays

How Creditors Try To Ruin Your Holidays

By Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney on December 21, 2023

The holiday season should be a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, for many individuals and families, financial struggles can cast a dark shadow over these festivities, including ruthless collection efforts from debt collectors.

Regardless of the season, seeking the legal assistance of a Phoenix debt relief lawyer during financial crises is key to achieving resolution. Your attorney can provide clarity on your available options, rights, and protections, helping you navigate challenging circumstances with confidence.

The Impact on Holiday Celebrations

When financial stress creeps into holiday celebrations and traditions, it can transform the most wonderful time of the year into a challenging ordeal. The pressure to meet heightened financial obligations while preserving the festive atmosphere can be almost impossible. The toll it takes on mental well-being can be significant.

Tactics Employed by Creditors During the Holidays

Creditors’ actions can disrupt holiday plans and traditions, causing emotional distress for individuals and families. The joy of the season may be overshadowed by the looming threat of financial difficulties.

  • Increased communication: Creditors may intensify communication efforts, such as phone calls, emails, or letters, to put additional pressure on debtors.
  • Threats of legal action: Some creditors may use the threat of legal action or the implication of negative consequences to prompt payment.
  • Targeting vulnerable populations: Creditors may focus their efforts on individuals who are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly or those experiencing financial hardship.
  • Repossessing property: In cases where the debt is secured by collateral, such as a car or home, creditors may use the threat of repossession to pressure debtors.

The Timing of Lawsuits

One especially important tactic to know of is that creditors may time the filing of lawsuits during busy periods, including the holiday season, with the hope of obtaining a default judgment. Here’s how this tactic works:

  • Busy court calendars: Courts often experience increased caseloads and backlog during certain times of the year, such as the holiday season, when people may be preoccupied with festivities and celebrations. Creditors may strategically choose to file lawsuits during these busy times, anticipating that debtors might have difficulty responding promptly.
  • Limited response time: When a creditor files a lawsuit, the debtor is typically served with legal documents, which include a summons and a complaint. Debtors are then given a specific period to respond, usually around 20 to 30 days, depending on jurisdiction. Filing during busy times reduces the likelihood that the debtor can dedicate sufficient time and attention to preparing a timely response.
  • Default judgments: If a debtor fails to respond within the specified timeframe, the creditor can request a default judgment from the court. A default judgment is a court decision in favor of the creditor because the debtor did not present a defense. This allows the creditor to pursue various legal means to collect the debt, such as wage garnishment or bank account levies.
  • Limited defense opportunities: Debtors who are caught off guard by a lawsuit during a busy period may find it challenging to mount a proper defense. They may be unable to gather necessary documentation, seek legal advice, or take other actions to dispute the debt in a timely manner.
  • Increased pressure for settlement: The threat of a default judgment can also be used as leverage to pressure the debtor into settling the debt quickly. Debtors may feel compelled to negotiate a settlement to avoid the negative consequences associated with a default judgment.

Legal Protections and Rights for Consumers

As a consumer, you are protected by various laws. These laws are aimed at regulating fair and ethical debt collection practices, including:

  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law in the United States that was enacted to protect consumers from abusive and unfair practices by third-party debt collectors. The FDCPA outlines specific rules and regulations that debt collectors must follow when attempting to collect debts.
  • The automatic stay in bankruptcy: The automatic stay imposed by bankruptcy courts is a key component of bankruptcy law that provides immediate protection to debtors by halting most collection actions, including those carried out by creditors and debt collectors. This stay goes into effect automatically upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition, offering debtors relief from harassment and collection efforts during the bankruptcy process.

It’s essential to address financial challenges promptly to ensure your rights and interests are being protected. An experienced lawyer can provide a solution, preventing garnishments and judgments that may otherwise linger into the new year.

Stay on Track for a Wonderful Holiday with Hilltop Law Firm

Don’t let the stress of creditors ruin your holiday season—contact Hilltop Law Firm to get your financial challenges wrapped up. Phoenix attorney Cy Hainey has over a decade of experience helping people navigate their financial issues, providing each client with personalized assistance and strategic solutions.

Call us at (602) 466-9631 to discuss your situation with a free and confidential consultation.

Posted in: Debt Settlement

“Settled my debt quickly and for less than I could have imagined! I would definitely recommend Cy Hainey!”
- Chelsea