Military members frequent victims of aggressive debt collecting

Managing finances is a challenging aspect for many people living in Illinois. They must meet their living needs while also trying to save money for a rainy day. Unfortunately, if they have a car loan, mortgage, kids to take care of and student debt, any unexpected emergency could topple the fragile financial structure of their lives. Additionally, this debt is often turned over to debt collectors who use threats and intimidation as a way to get the money.

This can be extremely problematic for people who are serving in the military. Their issue may not rise from an accident, illness or job loss, but from their location change. For example, some people find out that they can’t take their car with them if they are being transferred to another country. This is not due to any military rules but to the loan contract they signed, which contained the provision.

Financial savviness is something that many people in the military have yet to build due to their younger age. This can lead them to make decisions that can financially put them into trouble. With often little notice, they can switch locations and fail to make sure their creditors are made aware of the change. As such, they then fall victims to aggressive debt collectors who threaten to report them to the military, thus jeopardizing their chances for being promoted, remaining on active duty or even keeping a security clearance. In fact, it is estimated that debt collection complaints are “twice as likely” to come from people who have served or are serving their country.

Thankfully, people with financial difficulties do have several options available to them. Therefore, they may want to talk to an attorney about their situation and learn what choices they have.

Source: CBS News, “When debt collectors after soldiers,” Aimee Picchi, March 25, 2016

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