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A 53-year-old professional drummer was having the time of his life before the hard economic times hit throughout the nation and in Florida. In 2008, his world came crashing down when he no longer received calls for work, a lull that lasted months. Due to daily expenses, he continued to spend money relying on the help of credit cards.

Before long, he had accumulated a total of $50,000 in debts with no way of repaying these debts. To make matters worse, his credit card debt was increasing exponentially as a result of late fees and compound interest, while his interest-only mortgage was ballooning out of control. Then the phone started ringing from debt collectors.

The debt collectors were relentless, urging him to make minimum payments on his three overdue credit cards. In fact, the drummer estimated that he was receiving between 40 and 50 phone calls every day between the three banks he owed credit card debt to.

The phone calls are meant to drive consumers to the point of making a minimum payment, even though the overwhelming debt would take years, if not decades to pay off outside of bankruptcy. So what options does a person have in that situation?

One option is to settle with the creditors. This is what the drummer chose. Instead of making minimum payments, which would only prolong his dire financial situation, he settled. Another option would have been to file for bankruptcy protection which can stop creditor harassment during a bankruptcy proceeding.

Being harassed by debt collectors can be frustrating and overwhelming during an already stressful time. It can be beneficial to speak with someone who knows how to put a stop to collections calls and get a consumer back on his or her feet financially.

Source: Huffington Post, “One Man’s Escape From Debt-Collection Hell (Excerpt),” Michael Casey, June 11, 2012