While there is no direct financial help from the government, you will find that there are a lot of programs in place that will help consumers get out of debt easily. One thing that you need to understand is that your debt continues to be your responsibility. Despite the shaky economy that contributed to your debt problems, amassing so much debt remains to be your doing.
So what can you expect from the government? Well first of all, they have put into place various laws that will protect consumers from any abusive practices. Two of the most prominent are the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).
The FDCPA targets credit card companies and collection agencies. This act lists how creditors and collectors should conduct their collection efforts. If you know the rules involved in this, you will understand your rights as a consumer. You will know that you should not be threatened, harassed early in the morning or late in the evening and be told lies just to get you to pay your debts. Some collection practices are very abusive and you need to know that this is not legal. In fact, you can report them the the authorities - specifically the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the State Attorney General.
Another act that you need to be aware of is the TSR. This targets the practices of debt relief companies. If you want to get out of debt, you will naturally look for a program that will help you achieve that. This act is applicable for the debt relief options that involve third party companies.
When people all over the country started to lose their jobs, debt problems started to rise. That resulted in people getting desperate to achieve freedom from debt. Unfortunately, that also resulted in several debt scams. As people became desperate, other took advantage and offered debt solutions that did nothing but to put the debtor further in debt.
This is where the TSR can help. It tells both consumers and legitimate companies how they should act. You need to be aware of this rule so you can differentiate the scam from the not.
These are only are few of the debt relief laws that consumers can benefit from. You should also be aware of the financial aid that low income individuals and household can avail - that can certainly help families provide for their basic necessities while paying off their debts.
Ultimately, knowledge will help you get out of debt. Regardless of the debt relief option that you will choose, this will be your best defense against getting scammed.