In a robust economy (such as that of the economic boom during the 1990s and early 2000s), credit comes easy and consumers often respond by over-indulging in purchases and loans. Many consumers ultimately find themselves overextended in both available credit and outstanding debt. However, when credit tightens, or personal circumstances in the life of a consumer-debtor change, there can be a domino effect spreading from individual debtors all the way to the national economy.
During rough financial times, there is often nothing as difficult as picking up the telephone and informing a creditor that a payment will be late or not coming at all. However, this is precisely what needs to be done. Creditors often have as much at stake in a defaulting account as the debtor. Therefore, it is to the benefit of both parties to attempt a solution short of formal proceedings.
In order to fairly accomplish this, debtors should be acquainted with their rights and the various laws, remedies, and procedures available to both them and their creditors.