Falling behind on payments or deeply into debt has the potential to affect every part of your life. Receiving constant demands for payment or even lawsuits that demand the return of personal property or real estate are serious legal matters. In addition, these events can place great strain on your emotional well-being and the security of your family.
The fact that you are behind on payments does not eliminate your legal options, and you still have the opportunity to renegotiate your debts in ways that often allow you to retain long-term control of property. In other situations, it may be possible to come to an agreement that allows for the surrender of property in exchange for a discharge of future payments. Talking with an Altus banking lawyer today could help you regain control of your finances and form a definitive plan for the future.
Examples of Debts Where Legal Help May be Necessary
It is not uncommon for individuals, couples, and businesses to fall into significant debt. However, as long as they are able to make scheduled payments, this debt is not necessarily a major problem. It is when these payments are no longer possible, or when an asset that is attached to that debt is underwater, that the help of an attorney can be valuable.
Most people and organizations carry some level of unsecured debt, which is debt that is not tied to collateral or a specific asset. Examples include credit card payments and medical bills. In this situation, a creditor may send an account to collections or even file a lawsuit in an attempt to secure payment, but a court cannot order a debtor to surrender a specific asset as a requirement to pay off these debts without the creditor first pursuing proper legal action to obtain a judgment and subsequent execution. By contrast, secured debt is tied to a specific asset or property that is pledged to the lender as collateral. This often includes:
- Mortgages on real estate
- Car payments
- Liens on property connected to repairs or maintenance
- Personal loans where physical items are named as collateral
In these situations, a creditor may attempt to seize or repossess this property as a means to collect on a debt. Parties facing these collection efforts should reach out to an Altus banking attorney who is prepared to identify sources of debt and determine if creditors have the right to seize assets or demand payments.
Providing Concrete Support to Those in Debt
The mere presence of a debt does not mean that a lender can demand the immediate payment of all funds or move to seize attached property. An Altus banking lawyer is dedicated to evaluating the apparent source of non-payment and works towards solutions for borrowers that help them keep their money and property.
The most direct line of defense is to argue that a collection effort is illegal. This could include offering evidence of on-time payments or fighting against allegations of specific property being identified as collateral in a loan agreement. It may also involve disputing whether the time to attempt a collection is appropriate. Oklahoma Statutes Citationized § 12-3-95 places a time limit of five years on most collection efforts on overdue loans. Failures to demand payment within this time limit may invalidate a claim.
Even if the failure to pay is genuine, an attorney can still help achieve a more positive result. Many lenders are willing to settle a debt for a fraction of its full monetary value and a Southwest Oklahoma banking lawyer could take the lead in these negotiations. In addition, if the debt is secured and property is pledged as collateral, we work to renegotiate loan terms that allow you to keep possession of an item that results in a more manageable future payment plan.
Reach Out to an Altus Banking Attorney Immediately
Learning that a lender is attempting to collect on a debt can fill your mind with dread. These lenders have the right to file lawsuits in civil court or use aggressive debt collection techniques to receive what they believe is theirs. Talking with an Altus banking lawyer could help set your mind at ease and allow you to regain control over the situation.
Many attempts to collect on a debt are illegal or improper. One of our highly experienced attorneys works to protect your rights against unfair collection efforts or lawsuits. In other situations, we could help by renegotiating a loan or mortgage that allows you to escape out from under present or future debt. Contact a lawyer now to discuss your unique situation and begin down the path to financial stability.