Credit Card Debt for Native American/Alaska Native Victims of Sexual Violence
Economic justice for American Indian/Alaska Native victims of sexual Violence is an often over-looked component to the victim's long term recovery. Whether through medical bills, counseling bills, or missing work, victims of sexual assault often incur a great amount of post-trauma expenses. This additional economic hardship may make it impossible for the victim to stay current on her bills and expenses, including her consumer loans and credit card debts.
There is help for victims who have accrued credit card debt incurred as a result of sexual violence. If a victim is struggling to make her payments, she (or her civil legal services provider or victim advocate) can place a call directly to the credit card company to request relief.
Furthermore, the credit card company can settle the victim’s credit card debt for significantly less money than she owes. Because credit card debt is an unsecured debt, it is possible that the entirety of the victim’s credit card debt can be forgiven through bankruptcy. Victims can also seek restitution in criminal, civil and protection order proceedings for expenses incurred as a result of the sexual violence. Federal and state victim compensation funds can also be accessed for approved expenses charged to the victim’s credit cards.
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*NICCSA is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy (www.swclap.org) This project is supported by Grant No. 2017-SA-AX-K001, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.