Dear Dave,
Iíve been living in a rental house for some time now. I was just told by the owners that the house is being foreclosed on next week. Iíve tried to call and email them, but havenít heard anything back. Should I go ahead and pay rent for this month?
ó John

Dear John,
I wouldnít. The bottom line in a situation like this is: Youíre giving†them money and theyíre not paying the bills. I wouldnít give the owners another dime until they return your phone calls or talk to you in person and let you know the details as to whatís going on with the house youíre living in.

In the meantime, Iíd advise speaking with an attorney and a real estate professional in your area to find out exactly what your rights are at this point. Many places require a 30-day notice before renters†are required to vacate a property.

Good luck, John.
óDave

Threaten to garnish
Dear Dave,
I got a call from a debt collector regarding $2,000 I owe in medical bills. Iím trying to get my finances in order and pay this off, but Iím afraid theyíll follow through on their threat to garnish my wages. Can you give me some advice?
ó Mike

Dear Mike,
First, I want you to take a deep breath and calm down. Debt collectors†like to play on your emotions because they think youíll give in and do something you canít really afford to do. Most of them donít care about you or your situation as long as they get some money.

They wonít garnish your wages because they canít. They would have to go through the formal, legal procedure†of first suing you and then winning the case. They broke federal law by saying they would garnish your wages but hadnít sued you. If Iím in your shoes, Iíd be filing a complaint against these bozos with the Federal Trade Commission.

Donít react with fear and panic in the face of debt collector threats. Talk to them and explain your situation. See if you can work out a compromise. If they get nasty or break federal law again, let them know youíll be filing another complaint with the FTC. Youíd be surprised how reasonable these people can be when faced with the possibility of government intervention.

In the meantime, do everything you can to scrape up as much cash as possible. Have a big garage sale and sell everything in your attic or basement you donít need. Then, when you get this mess cleaned up, pay off the rest of your debts ó if you have any ó and start living on a written monthly budget.
óDave

ó Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.