If you want to keep your debt under control, are worried about mounting debt, are in a deep financial hole, or are just trying to deal with debt collectors, turn to these consumer-friendly websites for options, answers, and information about debt and debt collection.
Nolo's Debt Management & Debt Collection Topic
For comprehensive information on dealing with debt trouble, including what to do if you can't pay your bills, how creditors and collection agencies can collect from you, negotiating with creditors and collectors, creditor lawsuits, rebuilding credit, what bill collectors can and cannot do, your options for dealing with student loan debt, managing credit card debt, and more.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC has FAQs on debt collection and the full text of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You can use the FTC's complaint assistant (www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov) to file an online complaint about a debt collection agency.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
The NFCC website provides information about credit counseling and has a national directory of local member agencies -- nonprofit credit counseling agencies staffed by NFCC-trained, certified counselors. Counselors can provide pre-bankruptcy counseling as well as counseling regarding debt, credit, and foreclosure issues.
U.S. Trustee's Website
The U.S. Trustee website maintains an up-to-date state-by-state list of approved credit counseling agencies and debtor financial management classes.
Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA)
Click on "Find an Agency" for a list of member credit counseling agencies in your state.
Consumer Action, Federal Citizen Information Center
This consumer-friendly website has links to state, county, and local consumer protection offices. It also has a sample complaint letter and email you can customize and send to the appropriate consumer protection office if you believe a debt collector has violated the law.
This website has information about shopping for credit cards, understanding credit card terms, credit card payoff calculators, state guides to credit card laws, and the latest news about credit cards and related legislation.
Medical Billing Advocates of America
On this website, you can search for medical billing advocates by state. (Medical billing advocates are private companies or individuals for hire that work with medical providers on your behalf to get your bills reduced).
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
In the debt collection section of this website, you will find fact sheets and alerts about unfair debt collection practices, along with sample letters to send to debt collectors.
Nolo's Bankruptcy Topic
Comprehensive information about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including whether bankruptcy is the right solution for you, how each type of bankruptcy works, and what happens to your home, car, credit card debt, and more.