Donner Applewhite, Attorneys at Law
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Consumer law protections can help those facing financial issues

Finances are one of the biggest concerns for St. Louis residents and for those across Missouri. Having financial problems can impact every aspect of a person's life and cause issues for an extended period of time. When facing financial struggles, many consumers are unaware of where to turn for guidance and help. Overwhelmed by their increasing debt and with collectors harassing them at every turn, they might not know that there are laws in place to protect them.

Often, it is not the debt itself that is the most worrisome factor, but the constant demands from aggressive debt collectors. There can be phone calls, letters and other methods of contact that are attempts not just to collect the debt, but to anger and frustrate the debtor. With the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debtors should understand that there are certain tactics that the creditors and debt collectors are legally barred from using.

Another worry for debtors is if their credit report has errors on it. This can negatively affect a person's ability to get a loan and cause their interest rates to rise, among other negatives. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a law that will make certain that errors are not in the credit report and will be removed if they are there. For people who have been victimized by fraud when dealing with a company, the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act can help them file a fraud claim.

Finally, when there is such significant debt that people think bankruptcy is the only alternative, they should be cognizant that there could be options to avoid bankruptcy and the aftermath. For example, consolidation, negotiating a reduction or even an elimination of certain debts can be possible. This can be more efficient and less costly than bankruptcy.

With these and other financial issues, having legal help could be very beneficial. A law firm that assists clients with their consumer law needs may be able to help a person determine what steps to take to address their financial issues. By having a clear picture of their legal options, a person can make informed decisions.

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