Credit Card Debt Attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Having a credit card is almost a necessity nowadays. It is convenient to use, offers promotions and rewards, gives opportunities to finance purchases over a period of time, and helps build credit history.
Credit cards provide greater purchase protections. You can swipe your card anytime, anywhere. And what’s the best about it? You don’t have to pay them off right away. But that exact reason is also why people are being trapped in serious credit card debt.
Credit card debt accumulates so fast. You’ll wake up one day and realize you can’t pay off your balances anymore. You are buried deep in debt that increases month after month, interest after interest. When your credit card debt becomes too overwhelming, an Oklahoma City credit card debt lawyer at Scott Harris Law can help you explore your options.
Dial our number now and learn how we can help you find ways to break free from your credit card debt!
Why do I need a Credit Card Debt Lawyer in Oklahoma?
Once you realize that you are in heavy credit card debt and can’t pay even the minimum due, do not delay taking action. The longer you delay paying your balances, the more interest it will incur and the deeper you will be in debt. Get in touch with a credible Oklahoma City credit card debt attorney immediately.
Scott Harris Law is a credible credit card debt law firm located in Oklahoma City. Our lawyer has the experience, knowledge, and skills in resolving complex credit card debt problems. He has helped hundreds of clients get debt relief and achieve their goals of new beginnings. We can be your best option to finally overcome your debts and start anew with your life. As your lawyer, we will help you
- Evaluate your financial situation including your income, expenses, and debts
- Provide you with multiple tailored fit options to address your debts
- Build a budget plan that could help you manage your finances – day-to-day expenses, minimum monthly payments to your debts, savings
- Determine which debt relief option is most suitable for you
- Help you negotiate with your credit card companies or debt collection agencies and try to resolve your credit card debt through a payment plan or partial payment
- Represent you in legal proceedings should a lawsuit is filed against you
- Protect your rights and interests, especially against aggressive debt collectors
- Help you make a fresh start and rebuild your finances after getting debt relief
If you are feeling hopeless and do not know what to do, start by dialing our number today. Speak to our lawyer and learn how we can help you get back up!
What is Credit Card Debt?
Credit card companies offer a credit line that you can use without restrictions until you reach your credit limit. It does not require you to pay the total amount consumed in a month. You can continue to use your credit card line as long as you pay the minimum monthly payment on or before the due date. And that is why credit card debts are also categorized as revolving debts.
Credit card debts are charged with monthly interest when you don’t pay off your full balance. Depending on your credit card company, balances carried month to month are charged with interest following your bank’s annual percentage rate. Interest accrues on interest. And the longer you pay off your credit card debt, the higher the amount you owe will be compared to the original amount you charged on your credit card.
Credit card debts are considered unsecured and it is not backed by collateral like any of your properties such as your house or car. Banks have no hold in any of your properties that they can claim and sell the moment you stop making any payments. But it doesn’t mean you can use your credit card irresponsibly. Having credit card debts can have a negative impact on your credit score, creditors can start harassing you in order to collect payment and if you can no longer pay your debts, a lawsuit can be filed against you.
Signs You May be in Credit Card Debt in Oklahoma City
Paying bills can be pressuring especially if you have limited cash. You feel the sudden need to stop spending, budget your money responsibly, and save fearing when your money runs out. But credit card removes this pressure. It gives credit card users ease when they use their cards instead of cash. And it’s easy to get lost in this cycle until users can no longer track their credit card spending.
Here are a few warning signs that can help you indicate if your credit card debt might be building into a debt crisis. You may want to consider asking for legal advice from a credible credit card debt lawyer in Oklahoma City if these signs are pointing at you.
You make minimum payments
Paying the minimum payment can be attractive because they appear to be a flexible way of paying your bills but you are actually digging higher interest rates this way. Paying the minimum due monthly barely covers the interest that can accrue month to month. You will be stuck in a revolving debt every month while the interest rate spikes up.
You maintain one or more credit cards at their limit
If you are maintaining one or more credit cards at their limit, it’s a sign that you are overspending. It means you have an outstanding amount of resolving debts and you are not capable of paying your monthly dues in full monthly. It can also impact your credit score because of the high credit utilization ratio.
You use credit cards to pay for everyday expenses
If you are using your credit card for your daily basic necessities and can’t afford to pay the balance in full monthly, it spells a red flag on your finances.
You have no savings contribution
If you can’t afford to save a portion of your money after paying your credit card bills, it’s a clear indication that your debt is becoming alarming. Savings doesn’t have to be big, what is important is you save money for an emergency or your retirement. But if there’s nothing left to save, you have a credit card problem.
You fall behind on payments
Missing you pay your credit card bill puts you in further debt. Late payment fees and interest charges mean an additional increase in your total credit card balance. One missed payment or late payment can impact not only your overall balance but also your credit score. It’s also clear that your credit card debts are overwhelmingly beyond what you can afford.
You rely on cash advances
A cash advance is one of the worst ways to use a credit card. It has a very high one-time charge, worst payment terms, and high-interest rate. If you need to use a cash advance to pay off other debt that needs to be paid in cash, you are seriously digging bad.
You use balance transfers to stay afloat
Balance transfers are a good idea to pay off credit card debt with lower interest. But it also means that you are not able to maintain paying your card balance in full monthly and you are in a revolving debt cycle.
You are struggling with debt collectors
Do you receive calls every day from credit card collectors? Do you avoid answering unknown phone calls fearing it’s another creditor call? If you have a history of missing your payments or you stopped paying your credit card balance, credit card collectors will be stressing you with phone calls multiple times a day until you settle your balance. They will call your mobile, your home number, and even your office. It can be annoying, stressful, and embarrassing to be bombarded by payment collectors.
You are not aware of your debt problems
Can you still keep track of your credit card spending? Do you know exactly how much your credit card balance is on each of your cards? How long will it take for you to completely pay for everything? If you do not know exactly how much you owe on your cards, you are in a serious credit card problem.
What Happens If I Fall Behind My Credit Card Payments?
If you fall behind on your credit card dues or stop paying your debts, you can face serious financial and legal problems. Late or missed payments are enough for credit card companies to take action against you. Whatever your reason maybe does not matter. They may charge you with late fees, impose higher interest rates, forward your account to collection officers, or worst, serve you with a debt collection lawsuit.
Your credit score will certainly suffer if you do not pay your credit card balance on time.
Late fees and higher interest rate
Your credit card company will tag your payment as “late payment” when you reach thirty days past your due. You will automatically be charged with late fees followed by a penalty interest rate. And the longer you go without settling your debts, the more fees and penalties you may incur. Credit card fees and penalties accumulate, and it may even be more difficult to pay your debts.
Debt collection actions
Your credit card company can send your account to the collections team if you hit 90 days of delinquency. You will receive frequent calls from debt collectors until you pay at least your minimum balance. Your credit limit may decrease and interest rates on your other credit cards may increase.
Your credit card issuer can also sell your account to a debt collection agency. This is also called a charge-off and creates negative marks on your credit report. Debt collection agencies are usually more annoying in collecting money and use scare tactics. They will call, harass, and threaten you every chance possible to get your payment.
Credit card debt lawsuits
If you are not paying your credit card balance, your credit card company or a debt collector agency hired by your credit card company can file a lawsuit to recover the money you owe.
Credit card companies can sue you for breach of contract. When you sign up for a credit card, one of your responsibilities is to pay your dues on time. If your credit card debt reached the debt collection law firm, you would be given the last chance to settle your balance. If the settlement attempt fails, the credit card company lawyer can file a lawsuit against you.
Common Credit Card Debt Collection Defenses in Oklahoma
If your credit card company filed a lawsuit against you in an attempt to collect a payment, there are legal defenses that can help you.
- Improper service – If your credit card company did not serve you with the complaint and summons in accordance with the rules of the court, you can assert this procedural defect as part of your defense
- Lack of proper documentation – If your credit card company does not have the original paperwork that proves that you owe the debt or that indicates the amount of debt you owe, it can be grounds for challenging the lawsuit.
- Lack of standing – If a debt collector agency that filed a lawsuit against you does have the right to sue you, you can counter with a lack of standing. They have to prove in court that they have the legal right to sue you on behalf of the credit card company.
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations – FCCPA is a state law that prohibits debt collectors from engaging in certain abusive and deceptive or misleading debt collection tactics. If a lawsuit has been filed against you, and your debt collectors clearly had FDCPA violations, you can assert your rights and receive compensation damages.
- Payment in part or full – If you cleared off your credit card debt by paying your credit card company without knowing that your account has been sold to a third-party company, the party could only recover your payment from the credit card company.
- Fraudulent credit card charges – If you happen to be a victim of credit card or identity theft, you may be entitled to assert the fraud as a defense.
- Mistaken identity – If you are being sued for a credit card account you do not own, you can sue the issuing bank for negligence.
- Bankruptcy discharge – You are not obliged to pay your credit card debt if you have filed for bankruptcy and it has been completely discharged.
- Statute of limitations – Oklahoma state law allows credit card lawsuits to recover a credit card debt filed within five years. The five-year window covers your last payment or the last time you agreed to a debt collector to send in payment. You may be able to dismiss the lawsuit using the five years statute of limitations if you meet the following:
- You did not make a payment in your credit card debt
- You did not purchase anything using your credit card
- You did not make a promise to pay your debt with your credit card company or any debt collector
On the other hand, if you did any of the above mentioned, your five-year window resets. It is also important to note that the expiration of the statute of limitation does not automatically erase your debt. Debt collectors may still contact you and collect payments from you. The only thing they can’t do is sue you anymore.
These credit card collection defenses can be helpful especially if there’s a legal lawsuit filed against you. But they can also be highly technical and confusing. In order to arrive at a strong legal defense and favorable court decision, assistance from a reliable Oklahoma City credit card debt attorney is a necessity.
When Should You Seek For A Credit Card Debt Relief in Oklahoma City?
Having credit card debt does not mean you already qualify to seek credit card debt relief. You may experience temporary issues paying your balance in full. But if you can still manage to pay more than the minimum, you can continue repaying your debts until you settle them in full. However, you may want to consider seeking credit card debt relief if you qualify for one of these conditions:
- You are not capable of repaying your credit card debts within five years even if you cut back on spending
- Your credit card debts are equal to 50% or more of your gross income
If you meet one or both of these conditions, it is recommended that you consult with a reliable Oklahoma City, OK credit card debt attorney to start evaluating your credit card debt relief options.
Options to Eliminate Credit Card Debts in Oklahoma City
If you are struggling with the unending cycle of your credit card debt and you want to start anew, there are different options you can evaluate. In order to make the best-informed decision, seek legal advice from a trusted Oklahoma City credit card lawyer to help you evaluate and explore your options. Our lawyer from Scott Harris Law can assist you in figuring out which debt relief options are most suitable for you.
Getting rid of your credit card debt can be done by paying off the entire balance in full. But your bill may have become too overwhelming to pay in full. And if you can only afford to pay the minimum amount, it may take you decades to pay them off completely. If you are in this situation, you can explore these debt relief options with your credit card debt attorney in Oklahoma.
Credit Card Debt Relief Through Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help to manage credit card debt. It can help to wipe out your debts only with a few exceptions. The bankruptcy law also prioritizes debt namely general unsecured debt, priority unsecured debt, and secured debt. Credit card debts are general unsecured debt and are the least priority when paying off creditors.
The automatic stay provision in the bankruptcy code will take effect after you filed for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This provision temporarily prevents your creditors including credit card collectors from pursuing money from you. Filing for bankruptcy will temporarily protect you from creditor harassment and any legal actions to collect payment from you.
To help you identify which bankruptcy type will work best in your situation, you can consult a qualified credit card debt attorney in Oklahoma. It is crucial to know the benefits and disadvantages of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy before you make a decision.
Credit Card Debt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will erase most or all of your non-priority and unsecured debt, including your credit card debt. Chapter 7 is considered a liquidation bankruptcy. That means your personal assets that are nonexempted under the bankruptcy code will be sold by the court trustee. The proceeds from the liquidation of your assets will be distributed to your creditors.
As credit card debts are usually one of the least priorities of the bankruptcy court when repaying your creditors, they may or may not receive money from the proceeds of selling your assets. However, whether they receive payment or not, your credit card debt will be wiped out once the discharge decision has been released for your bankruptcy case.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on record and affects your credit score for 10 years from the date of filing.
Will Chapter 7 Erase All Your Credit Card Debts?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge all of your credit card debts but there are a few exceptions. The bankruptcy court trustee or your credit card company can object to erasing your credit card debts. Here are common situations when a trustee or creditor objects credit card debt discharge.
- You purchased luxury goods and services – you charged your credit card for the purchase of any luxury items within 90 days of the bankruptcy filing
- You took out a large amount of cash advance – you availed of a huge cash advance from a creditor within 70 days of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- You obtained your credit card fraudulently – you provided false information on your credit card application to deceive the credit card company into issuing you a card
- You used your credit card to pay your tax debt, alimony, or child support – Chapter 7 can eliminate your credit card debt but not those debts incurred by paying alimony, child support, or taxes. They will remain as nondischargeable debts if your creditor objects to wiping them out.
- You used a credit card to purchase a property where the creditor has secured interest – if you purchased jewelry, high-end appliance, or furniture, they could be considered as secured debts. These items can be considered
Credit Card Debt in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Often called reorganization bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to repay your creditors whether in full or in part by creating a repayment plan. This plan can last for three to five years and it only provides payment for a portion of your unsecured debts like credit card debts.
The majority of Chapter 13 debtors do not pay a huge amount in their credit card debt at the end of the repayment period. Chapter 13 only requires the debtor to pay whatever they can afford. Credit card companies only receive a percentage of what is owed to them depending on the leftover amount after paying secured and priority debts. The remaining credit card balance gets wiped out after the bankruptcy completion.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 7 years from the date you filed your bankruptcy petition.
Credit Card Debt Relief Through Debt Settlement
If filing for bankruptcy is not an option to clear off your credit card debts, you can try the debt settlement option. You can pay your debts in less than the full amount by speaking with your credit card company and making an offer. If your creditor accepts your offer, you need to pay your debt settlement amount in full.
Debt settlement has pros and cons. Before you speak with the credit card company, it’s important to consult a credit card debt attorney in Oklahoma City to give you a clear picture of this option.
Benefits of Credit Card Debt Settlement
- You will pay a lesser amount than your overall credit card debt in a much shorter time. Clearing off your debt right away means no more interest rates and charges. And you can settle your debt by paying even less than what you owe.
- Debt settlement is less harmful to your credit score than filing for bankruptcy.
Disadvantages of Credit Card Debt Settlement
- Debt settlement is risky if you stopped paying your credit card debt in order to save up amount money to offer a settlement amount. Your creditors can continue to harass you to make payments or worst, file a lawsuit against you.
- If you availed services from a debt settlement company, it could even be riskier. There are plenty of debt settlement scams and you can fall prey to them if you badly want to pay off your credit card debt by lump sum settlement. Instead of paying your debt, they can run away with your money leaving you with more debts than you actually owe.
- If your credit card company agreed to a debt settlement, it might be perceived as income on your end. You may have to pay taxes if the difference between your original balance and the settlement amount is considered taxable. Debt settlement becomes an income tax liability to you unless you qualify for an exception or exclusion.
Credit Card Debt Relief Through Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation means combining all of your credit card debt and paying them using a consolidation loan, a new credit card, or a debt management company. You can take a personal loan or avail balance transfer that offers low interest in order to pay off those credit card debts with higher interest rates. The drawback of debt consolidation is qualifying for loans can be difficult. Or securing loan approval outside the low-interest rate promotional period.
The debt consolidation procedure can also make repayment of your credit card debt easier by having one monthly payment to keep track of.
Tips on How To Get Out of Credit Card Debt in Oklahoma
Getting out of credit card debt is not easy. It will require effective planning, strong discipline, determination, and a positive mindset. It will take time and it is possible. You may fail in the beginning but what matters is you will keep trying to make it work. Find what debt management plan suits you and be consistent. Here are a few steps which can help you start your journey.
Evaluate your finances
The first step towards a credit card debt-free life is to assess your finances. Create a list of all your credit card debts and other monthly bills. Compare your debts and expenses with your income. You may want to prioritize paying off those debts with the highest interest rates.
Prioritize your spending
Start with setting aside your basic expenses – food, housing, and clothing. Prioritize paying at least minimum dues on your secured debts followed by your credit card debts. You may want to create a repayment plan which includes your pay-off timeframe and expected monthly payment.
While dealing with your credit card debts, do use your card for other purchases. Pay using cash. Do not add more debts while you are trying to get rid of your previous debts. It will just be a revolving cycle at the end.
Create a budget
Establish a budget and follow it. This will help you track your spending and handle your finances better. Your credit card debt will shrink before you know it.
Free up money
After adjusting your expenses depending on your budget, start freeing up more money. Evaluate ways you can lessen your expenses by canceling the memberships you no longer need. And try to look for options to generate more money. If you have extra time, you can get a part-time job or start a small craft business.
Set a strategy
Strategize how you can pay off your credit card debt more efficiently and effectively. There are three strategies you can consider – avalanche, snowball, and blizzard methods.
Avalanche involved paying off your credit card balance with the highest interest rate first. Snowball is paying off the credit card dues with the smallest amount first. Lastly, the blizzard combines the avalanche and snowball methods. It is paying off both the highest-interest balance and smallest balance together first.
If you are still having issues managing your credit card debts, you need to seek help from reliable professionals. You can consider attending a credit counseling session from an Oklahoma City accredited credit counseling agency.
Another option is to seek legal advice from a reputable Oklahoma City credit card debt attorney to guide you in assessing which debt relief options best suit your situation.
Work on your financial habits
You will fall into the debt trap repeatedly if you are not responsible for your finances. It will be challenging, but you need to address your spending habits and start living a healthy financial life
Call our Experienced Oklahoma City Credit Card Debt Lawyers Now!
Getting out of credit card debt is harder than getting trapped in the revolving cycle of late payment fees and high-interest rates. It does not happen overnight but it is feasible. And you can start with small steps.
Dealing with mountain-high credit card debts can be overwhelming but Scott Harris Law can make the process bearable for you. Our Oklahoma city credit card debt lawyers believe that your life shouldn’t get stuck just because of unmanageable credit card debt.
Life doesn’t have to stop. You can move forward and we will help you move forward by achieving credit card debt relief. What are you waiting for? Call us now and let’s start conquering your credit card debt!