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How to Get Debt Relief in South Dakota

Sarah Edwards | July 21, 2022

Get the debt relief you need

Summary: If you're struggling with debt in South Dakota, SoloSuit can help you find the relief you're looking for.

In today's age of ever-rising inflation and housing costs, it's not surprising that many people are suffering from large amounts of debt. When prices rise, people are often forced to rely on credit to meet their regular living expenses and simply get by.

However, when individuals take on debt, they're often left struggling to meet minimum payments in addition to their regular expenses for housing, food, and transportation. This leads to a hamster wheel of trying to earn money while simultaneously trying to pay off debt and save for their retirement.

If you're suffering from a mountain of debt in South Dakota, you can take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. People living in Rapid City, carry an average of $9,723 in credit card debt. With a cost of living index just below that of the national average, climbing out of debt in South Dakota can be exceedingly difficult.

A low median state wage of $46,810, which is well below the national average of $58,260, doesn't help matters. However, there are national and state rules that help protect individuals who are feeling the effects of credit card debt. There are also programs available to help people get out of the debt they're in.

And we're here to fill you in on everything you should know about finding debt relief in South Dakota.

How does the federal government protect debtors?

The main provision given to debtors under federal law is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Established in 1977, this act was designed to protect debtors from collectors who use harassment or abuse in an attempt to collect overdue payments.

The FDCPA outlines the methods that debt collectors may use when contacting consumers as well as illegal methods they're not allowed to pursue. Some of the specific debt collection tactics the FDCPA protects consumers from include:

  • Calling consumers at odd times, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • Letting the phone ring until someone picks it up.
  • Calling a consumer repeatedly throughout the day with the intent to annoy them.
  • Representing themselves as an officer of the law or an attorney when they're not.
  • Using templates to send out debt collection notices that look like legal documents.

While this is just a small sampling of activities that are prohibited by the FDCPA, there are many others as well. If you feel that a debt collector may be illegally harassing you, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

South Dakota has debt collection laws to protect you.

The main protection offered to consumers by South Dakota is the statute of limitations law. This law prohibits debt collectors from filing a lawsuit against you in an attempt to collect a debt after a certain period of time has passed. In South Dakota, debt collectors must stop legal activities against you after the period designated below:


South Dakota Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Mortgage

6

Medical

6

Credit Card

6

Auto Loan

4

State Tax

3


Source: Findlaw


Once any of these periods have passed, a debt collector can no longer file a lawsuit against you for the debt. However, they may still call or send you letters in the mail. If you respond by validating the debt or making a payment toward it, the statute of limitations starts again from scratch.

What debt relief programs are available?

If paying down your debt seems impossible given your current income and personal situation, it may be time to consider debt relief programs. Available programs include debt consolidation, debt settlement, and bankruptcy. Each has its requirements, and you should consider each carefully before moving forward.

Now, let's break down each method in detail.

Is debt consolidation for me?

Debt consolidation involves working with a debt consolidation lender to obtain financing to pay off all of your outstanding debts. These lenders can often quote you a lower rate of interest than your creditors. Once you've used the funding to pay off the debt, you'll make one single monthly payment to your lender until the loan is paid off.

Obtaining a debt consolidation loan usually requires a credit score of at least 650. Deciding to go through this process protects your credit, as you can pay off your creditors. It also reduces the amount of time that you need to pay off your debt because you will be making one payment to your new lender at a reduced interest rate.

What is debt settlement?

Debt settlement is a process that you can attempt to handle on your own or with the assistance of a debt settlement agency. In most cases, you'll need to stop making payments on your outstanding debt to get your creditors to agree to your settlement offer.

Stopping payments can cause your credit score to drop significantly, so if you choose to go this route, make sure you won't need solid credit for anything in the immediate future.

Oftentimes, debt settlement agencies may be able to reduce the overall value of your debt by up to 50%, but they do charge fees for their services. Expect to pay fees to the settlement agency if you choose to go down this path. Even with the fee, you may end up with tons of savings.

Will bankruptcy erase my debt?

Bankruptcy is an option for those who are struggling and truly see no way out. However, bankruptcy can cause significant damage to your credit history, and it will remain on your credit report for up to ten years.

Before deciding to declare bankruptcy, work with a qualified attorney to determine which type you qualify for and what debts you can expect to eliminate. They can also advise you on how bankruptcy may affect your ability to get credit or qualify for a home loan in the future.

Utilize these South Dakota debt relief programs

If you are struggling with your finances in South Dakota, you may be entitled to state-specific programs as a resident. Check out these South Dakota debt relief programs to see if you are eligible:

  • Community Action Programs: Provide services (weatherization, community transportation, food pantries and emergency services) to low-income South Dakotans.
  • South Dakota TANF: South Dakota's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program offers temporary financial assistance and economic self-sufficiency training for children and families.
  • South Dakota SNAP: South Dakota's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence.
  • South Dakota CHIP: South Dakota's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helps low income families cover the costs of necessary medical expenses such as: hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, nursing home care and other health care needs.
  • Energy and Weatherization Assistance: These programs help South Dakota residents pay their heating bills and overcome the high cost of energy by making their homes more energy efficient.
  • Private Student Loan Relief: Provides a network of financial counselors who link troubled families with trustworthy agencies for financial assistance with private student loans.

Are you being sued for debt in South Dakota?

If you are being sued for debt in South Dakota, the first step to winning in court is to respond to the lawsuit. Use SoloSuit's free Answer form to respond in minutes. Make sure to file your Answer with the court within the deadline, which is 30 days in South Dakota.

Watch this video to learn more about how to respond to a debt lawsuit:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


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