Tennessee’s debt laws and debtors’ rights

Millions of Americans live with credit card debt, but few know how to fully climb out of it. Nashville, like other states, is home to thousands of families who, especially after the 2008 Housing Crisis, struggle to pay for basic necessities such as the montly mortgage, bills and even food — largely because of debt. Of course, there are a number of other ways one can accumulate unpaid credit card bills, but many individuals experience creditor harassment and subsequent legal action for failure to pay off debt.

The stress that can come with creditor harassment and suing can lead to, and even worsen, preexisting debt. Findlaw provides a rundown of the legal process involving creditors’ suing for debt, stating that creditors typically prefer working out a payment plan over than initiate legal action. Most courses of legal action in this regard are highly expensive and can even make matters worse by prolonging payment. Creditors may sue for a variety of reasons, but also generally negotiate with debtors who make a good faith effort to repay the debt. Defense of a debt claim also requires an attorney to sort out legal courses of action.

The Government Revenue Collection Association supplies legal facts regarding Tennessee’s Debt Collection Law. In the case that a creditor harasses or sues a debtor, the GRCA states that a creditor may file a warrant against a debtor upon “sworn account,” which is an affidavit in which the owner of the debt swears to the indebtedness of the defendant. Should further legal proceedings occur, it is important that defendants show up to court. If a defendant fails to appear in court in such situations, they may face a default judgement by the court. 

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