Debt Relief Programs in California
Many California residents struggle under a seemingly insurmountable amount of debt, often including loans, credit cards and other burdens. Residents file many thousands of bankruptcy claims in the state’s various bankruptcy courts annually. Bankruptcy and never-ending minimum payments aren’t necessarily the only path forward, though.
California debt relief programs offer residents who struggle with unsecured debts another option. Debt settlement companies in California provide credit card debt relief programs and other debt relief programs.
If you’re tired of struggling under outstanding balances and monthly payments, a California debt settlement program could offer a better way forward toward a debt-reduced future.
What Does California Debt Relief Do?
The California debt relief programs that companies offer help debt-burdened residents in at least two ways. Programs might prioritize lowering monthly payments to make them more manageable, or reducing the total amount of debt outstanding. In some cases, debt relief programs may pursue both goals.
Generally speaking, the debt relief programs that are available can be categorized into two types of programs. There are debt consolidation programs, and there are debt settlement programs.
A debt consolidation program usually doesn’t reduce your total debt burden. Instead, the program is designed to consolidate outstanding debts into a loan that’s more favorable. The new loan might have a reduced annual percentage rate, a reduced monthly payment or both. Both features can help lessen your debt-related stress, but they don’t actually lower how much you owe.
A debt settlement program doesn’t move existing debts to a new loan. This type of program instead negotiates directly with current lenders on your behalf, seeking to settle each debt for less than is owed on it. With this type of program, participants frequently pay only a percentage of the total amount that they owe because of the debt negotiation. At the same time, a debt settlement program can also often readjust monthly payments.
If your primary hope is to pay off your debts while spending the least amount possible, a California debt settlement program might be the right debt resolution option for your situation. Debt settlement programs are available for personal loan debt, credit card debt, and other forms of debt.
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In California is Debt Relief Legitimate?
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With a 95.4% customer satisfaction rating, Century Support Services has settled over $1.3 Billion in debt, across more than 250,000 clients. We have the resources and the expertise to resolve your financial burdens.
California Debt Relief Options
There are several California debt relief options to residents who are overburdened with loans and other debts:
Debt Consolidation: Debt consolidation transfers existing debts to a new loan that can then be paid off over a period of months or years.
Debt Settlement: Debt settlement saves up monthly payments and then, uses the saved-up amount to negotiate debt settlements for less than is owed.
Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy excuses qualifying individuals from paying certain debts, but assets may be sacrificed during bankruptcy and it remains on a credit report for up to 10 years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Debt in California
California generally gives debt collectors a four-year window to sue for past-due debts that are agreed to in writing and governed by Califiornia law. This window isn’t necessarily four years from the original time of the debt, however. The four-year period can restart if a partial payment is made on a past-due debt.
Collections agencies generally have four years from the last payment on an outstanding debt to sue for any remaining balance. They may continue to try to collect on an old (time-barred) debt after this four-year period, though. Even if collectors are outside the time frame to sue, they might still be able to send collections notices, make calls and report the bad debt to credit reporting bureaus.
California residents won’t be jailed for unpaid civil debts, such as medical bills, credit card balances, auto loans or personal loans. If you have any such outstanding debts, you won’t go to jail in California because of them.
Expenses such as child support and taxes aren’t considered civil debts. If these go unpaid, the guilty party may go to jail because of a serious delinquency.
You can stop a wage garnishment in California by filing for bankruptcy. When bankruptcy filings begin, a stay that prevents further garnishment is automatically put in place.
You may be able to also temporarily stall garnishment by fighting the judgement that allows for garnishing your wages. You might be able to fight the judgement on the basis that you weren’t properly notified, or that the issue was a legally recognized mistake or suprise.
California currently doesn’t require debt collectors to be licensed by the state, although they must comply with all federal, state and local laws. A state bill (Debt Collection Licensing Act) that would require this has been passed by both the assembly and senate.
California provides homeowners with a homestead exemption, which is $75,000 for an individual with no dependents who is under 65 years old. Creditors can’t force the sale of a home that’s worth the exemption amount or less, but they can force the sale of a home that’s worth more than a person’s allowed homestead exemption.
Retirement plans also receive some protection from creditors. ERISA retirement plans (e.g. 401(k)s) and private retirement plans (e.g. profit-sharing plans) are fully protected in California. Non-ERISA retirement plans (e.g. IRAs) are protected only up to the “amount necessary for support.”
Debt and Financial Resources for California Residents
Century Can Help Californians Struggling with Debt