Look over any debts your creditors claim you owe, and "make certain the amounts are correct" and that you indeed owe them that amount(s). If there's any doubt whatsoever that the amount(s) stated to you are incorrect, make direct contact with the creditor to resolve your questions.
If you're still in doubt about the amount of the debt owed by you, contact your state or local consumer protection office or state Attorney General. You should ALWAYS first contact your creditors and let them know that you're experiencing hardship in making your payments. Let them know why this is, and that you cannot make payments. Don't forget to mention the reason(s) that you're having trouble. It could be that you recently lost your job or have received some unexpected medical bills.
Do your best to work out "an acceptable payment schedule" with your creditors. Usually, most creditors are usually willing to work with you if you've been up front and honest with them. Creditors appreciate honesty and directness. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Law prohibits a debt collector from (1) revealing what you owe other than to your lawyer (2) threatening or harassing you (3) making false statements (4) providing false information about you to anybody (5) misrepresenting the actual legal status of your debts. Remember that under other federal laws to collect an outstanding debt, creditors cannot seize your assets or personal belongings, and can ONLY garnish a small portion of wages to make good on the debt.
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