Falling behind on bill payments?

July 25, 2008 3:56:51 PM PDT
According to The Better Business Bureau complaints against debt collectors are up 26-percent since just last year.

But remember, debt collectors are regulated by federal law.

And here are some of the rules they have to abide by.

First they cannot contact you before 8 am or after 9 pm, unless you tell them they can.

Also, they cannot call you at work if you instruct them not to. In fact, they cannot contact you at all if you send them a letter telling them to stop. You'll still owe the money but at least you won't get those annoying phone calls.

And, some debts expire if they're anywhere from 3 to 15 years old. So, find out what the statute of limitations is on the debt you owe.

Finally, If a debt collector contacts you ask for proof of the debt in writing. Debt collectors often contact multiple people who have the same name just hoping one of them will pay up whether they owe the money or not.

And if you do negotiate a payment plan make sure to get that in writing, too.

We've talked a lot recently about how the deposits you have in banks are protected by the F-D-I-C.

But one of our viewers has asked us "What about the money you have in your credit union, is that protected?"

The answer is yes.

The money you have at a credit union is just as safe as the cash you have at the bank.

But instead of the F-D-I-C guarantee, you have the N-C-U-A guarantee. N-C-U-A stands for the National Credit Union Association and it's a federal agency. The limits are similar to the FDIC's. Simply put up to $100,000in an individual account is covered and up to $250,000 in a retirement account. NCUA