Being in debt is never a pleasant experience, it in fact, can be one of the most stressful experiences you may ever have. This can be made even worse you have to endure harassment from a debt collector. Unfortunately, many people endure the badgering and bullying of illegal debt collection practices. It is important to know your rights and what is and what is not acceptable.
What are 3 red flags of creditor harassment?
These flags include receiving constant calls for the sole purpose of annoying or abusing you, receiving threats of financial or physical harm and public embarrassment by the disclosure of your financial status to the press or public.
Intimidating a debtor is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Any harassment, oppression or abuse on the part of a debt collector can provide grounds for legal action.
This also includes misrepresentation and deception where collectors give false information on the amount owed to them or actions they can legally take against you. If brought up in a court of law, they may be liable to pay attorney fees as well as damages.
Filing for personal bankruptcy when you are in serious financial debt is a definitive way to halt all collection actions which include phone calls, wage garnishments and even legal action. This result is barring exemptions such as student loans, child support and taxes.
How do I stop a creditor or debt collector from constantly calling me?
Any request made to a debt collector to cease and desist communication must be done in writing. This decision should not be taken lightly as it also prevents you from getting any information from them regarding the status of your debt or negotiating a settlement.
Controlling what you say and keeping a log of all contact made with you (this includes who called, the date and time as well as what was discussed) may be a key factor in alleviating any distress and puts you in a better position to defend yourself should you take legal action on the grounds of harassment.
Can a debt collector or creditor call or come to my place of employment for collection?
The FDCPA prohibits a debt collector or creditor from making your debts and financial status public which includes showing up at your job for the purpose of collecting your debt, calling your place of employment, or publicly reveal who they are and what their business with you actually is.
Is there a set period within which a debt can be collected?
A debt collector or creditor can attempt to recover a debt up to six years after the last payment was made. This period may vary from one state to another and should be confirmed for the state in which you reside.
Can I simply ignore a debt collector or creditor?
Ignoring a debt collector or creditor will not stop them from trying to contact you or pursuing legal action against you. Being honest and upfront can lay the groundwork for an amicable solution.
Your debt is your responsibility and while harassment by debt collectors or creditors is not permitted by law this does not negate your responsibility to pay your debts. Knowing your rights can make the process easier and reduce the risk of abuse and embarrassment.
If you are drowning in debt and experiencing harassment of any type from a creditor, personal bankruptcy may be an option for you. An experienced and reputable bankruptcy attorney will be able to help you navigate your debt relief options and keep the bullying of creditors at bay.
Hines Law is a full-service bankruptcy firm that handles all types of personal debt relief matters and has been helping the residents of Massachusetts for over 15 years! We specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings and will start working to immediately stop collections calls from abusive debt collectors and home foreclosures. Call us for a Free case evaluation and get started on rebuilding your financial future!