Many of us are familiar with the annoying question from a retail store cashier: “Would you like to save 20% by applying for a credit card today?” A lot of us live life at a fast pace. It’s easy to make quick decisions when you’re under a time crunch, and we agree to things that we might not even remember a few days, weeks or months later. You may even agree to sign up for that credit card to get the savings today only to forget about it down the road.
It might not happen often, but there are instances in which we agree to the terms of an account, and then forget or don’t realize that we’ve entered into a repayment contract. Even worse, with the proliferation of third-party debt buyers, our credit card debts could be sold off to these companies without us realizing it. When this happens, we might not recognize the company’s name on the envelope and unknowingly throw away statements or collections notices as if they are trash.
Pay attention to your statements to avoid collections
It’s important that you operate with integrity when dealing with creditors. If you owe money from a written or oral agreement on an open account, you have a responsibility to pay. However, if your debt continues to be sold and resold to debt buyers, you may default on your payments without even knowing about it.
Thankfully, there is some protection offered to Wisconsin debtors. If it has been more than six years since your last payment, Wisconsin’s statute of limitations on debt collection comes into play. At that point, creditors can no longer seek to collect the debt through garnishments or litigation. If it’s been less than six years since your last payment, you may have other options available to you such as negotiating for a lower payoff amount. Understanding your rights as a consumer can protect you from predatory lenders and dubious third-party debt buyers.