Other people are smarter than me and have better ideas. Here are some of them.
- The “Get out of debt guy” http://getoutofdebt.org/44472/harassed-about-a-debt-you-dont-owe-5-ways-to-fight-back
Five ways to fight back when being harassed about debt you dont owe:
- Sue. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, consumers who receive persistent phone calls regarding debts they do not owe have the right to sue for actual damages, statutory damages and his or her attorney’s fees, Detweiler says. Residents of different states may have additional rights. In California, victims of persistent, erroneous phone calls can also sue the original creditor.
- Fax. Ask the collections agents for their fax number, and fax the company a copy of your phone bill, showing their incoming calls and your name at the top. If the company is legitimate (and not a bunch of scammers), this should prove to them that they are calling the wrong person.
- Ignore. If the callers are scammers and not legitimate debt collection agents, then E.D. can change tactics. The first step is to try to ignore them. Block their calls. Hang up on them. “They are effective because people want to converse about the debt and prove they did not owe a payday loan debt,” says Mark Fullbright, senior fraud investigator with Identity Theft 911. “Do not provide anything to them.”
- Know Your Rights. Consumers have many protections under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Debt collectors are barred from calling early in the morning or late at night. They can’t call you at your workplace if you ask them not to, and they cannot tell friends, neighbors or co-workers about debts. For a full list of protections under the act, see this story by Credit.com.
- Fight. If it’s legal to record a phone conversation in your state without the other party’s consent, do it. If not, take detailed notes of your conversations. Use that to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your state attorney general and the Better Business Bureau. These entities do not have the resources to investigate every complaint. But they do rely on individual reports to track trends and possibly sue large-scale offenders. Also, the next time the collectors call, you can say you’ve already reported them to the authorities, and that you are recording or taking notes on everything they say from now on.
- Claudia Buck writes for The Sacramento Bee: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/07/08/2167300/waiting-to-buy-a-house-has-advantages.html
Waiting to buy a new home has the following advantages:
- You are more likely to perform better on your new job if you are not stressed out about buying a home. Believe me, buying a home is stressful. Demonstrating your capabilities early to your new employer may eliminate or reduce the probation period.
- Lending institutions look at your ability to pay them back, so a longer work history makes them more likely to loan you money for your mortgage.
- You can build a stronger credit history, which may provide a lower mortgage interest rate.
- You will be able to save more for the down payment, which will reduce your mortgage payments and possibly eliminate the need for private mortgage insurance, or PMI. Generally, you must pay for PMI if your down payment is less than 20 percent.
- I’d suggest that you make a budget and try to save as much as you can.