Debts can destroy dreams as easily as they take away vital assets from people and families. Ohioans have had more than their share of experience with debt, as the loss of industry and the worldwide recession hit the state's middle class hard.
People may feel an amount of desperation if debts get to the point that wages are being garnished to service them. A court may authorize a creditor to claim up to a quarter of a person's post-tax earnings towards a debt that has gone unaddressed for a long period of time.
Payday loans and other financial services that offer a quick fix are not reliable solutions. There are more than 650 businesses in Ohio that offer these dangerous loan products. Often, they do more damage by exacerbating debt or reducing vital cash flow in a difficult time.
Most of these loans have high interest rates, making it harder for people to pay them back in time. This can begin a cycle of high spending and borrowing, especially if unpaid loans are sold or reissued.
The Ohio State Legislature has taken steps to modify short-term loan laws to make this predatory practice more difficult for lenders. However, the law can move slowly, and the best defense is an educated consumer who knows there are better ways out of debt.
If wages are being garnished, it may be time to consult legal help. An attorney may help a debtor keep or reclaim property and stop wage garnishment, either through negotiating with creditors or investigating legal orders for repayment.
Source: Melissa Martin, "Beware of predatory lenders in Appalachia," Portsmouth Daily Times, May 11, 2018