“96,000 consumer debt–collection cases were filed in 2009 in three California counties alone”, according to the Federal Government Accountability office. This is a 20% increase from the previous five years. With the economy in shambles, it us expected that increasingly more individuals will default on a debt. At the same time, it is also becoming more popular for debt collection agencies to take legal action and file suites against individuals in default. These two issues have combined to create even more problems for the already inundated California court system.
Therefore, a few California legal groups are coming together to help individuals who have defaulted or are close, so they do not end up in court. These groups are providing legal clinics to help educate people about debt collection. Currently, most individuals in default do not respond to the legal actions being brought against them, as they do not know how. Collectors count on this so they can then garnish wages and bank accounts. By helping get people informed, legal groups are hoping that they can decrease the number of cases filed. This is both helpful to the individual and to the court system, as both will ultimately save money.
If you live in the Bay Area and are in the need of information regarding debt collection, contact the Bar Association of San Francisco. You can help yourself and help save your state money!