Creditor Harassment

ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM DEBT COLLECTION ABUSE?

Job loss, divorce, illness and death of a loved one are just some of the reasons people end up going into serious debt. They do not take their financial situation lightly; they are simply in a bad way through no fault of their own. As if their situation wasn’t tough enough, they are also dealing with creditors who are repeatedly sending letters, and/or threatening a lawsuit. At times, it just isn’t possible to pay off the creditors. If you have questions about your overall financial health and getting back on track, the Terre Haute bankruptcy attorney at Rowdy Williams Law Firm can examine your situation and make sound recommendations to you, including the possibility of filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. It is a great relief for many people to learn that once you have filed a bankruptcy petition, an “automatic stay” is ordered by the court and sent to your creditors forbidding them from communicating with you about the money you owe them. If you want further information on the details of this process, be sure to consult with any experienced Terre Haute bankruptcy attorney at our law firm.

FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT DEFINED

In 1978, the United States passed what is known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act under Title VIII. The Act, 15 U.S.C §1692 is designed to help protect consumers against the unscrupulous actions that can be taken by creditors and debt buyers in their attempt to collect. Per the Act, any individual or business who is regularly attempting to collect a debt, regardless of whether the collection is done directly or indirectly, can be considered and classified as a debt collector.

So what does the law prohibit collectors from doing? Specifically, the law outlines certain behaviors which are deemed “abusive” or which otherwise overstep the boundaries of the law. This can be contacting consumers at unseemly hours of the night (for example, calling at midnight or at four in the morning), as well as simply calling repeatedly with the clear intentions to harass and / or annoy the debtor. Other actions prohibited under the FDCPA include the following:

  • Communicating with a debtor after having received written notice to cease.
  • Communicating with a debtor at their job, after being requested to stop.
  • Communicating with a debtor after they have retained legal representation.
  • Communicating with a debtor after a request for written verification of the debt.
  • Misrepresenting the debt or the claim in any way (ex: saying they owe more than they do).
  • Publishing the debtor’s information in a public “bad debt” list.
  • Threatening to take legal action or arrest the debtor without intention / ability to do so.
  • Using abusive, profane or obscene language during any communication.
  • Communicating with third parties, such as neighbors, regarding the personal debt.
  • Using “embarrassing” forms of media to communicate with the debtor.
  • Reporting false information regarding the debtor on their credit report.

The act is also very specific on certain things that the collection agency is required to do. For example, in all communications, the debt collector is required to clearly identify themselves, as well as the debt that they represent. If they are a debt buyer, they are required to clarify who is the original creditor, giving both their name and their address should the debtor request it in writing. Should the debtor request to have written verification of the debt, the debt collector is required to get that within 30 days or they must cease all of their attempts to collect. They cannot procrastinate returning this information only to pursue the debt months later. Finally, they are required to alert the debtor to their ability to dispute the debt should they choose.

If you are experiencing any of the above, it is important to have a Terre Haute Bankruptcy Attorney in your corner.

IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH A TERRE HAUTE BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

If you believe that you are suffering from creditor abuse, then it is in your best interests to get the involvement of a knowledgeable Terre Haute bankruptcy attorney that you can trust in at Rowdy Williams Law Firm. Their bankruptcy lawyer in Terre Haute knows the legal protections that are allowed under the law and they know the best ways in which they can help you seek this protection.

If you would like to learn more about how they can help you to protect yourself against the possibility of unscrupulous actions taken by creditors, do not hesitate to contact them. They make it easy. You can schedule your initial case consultation by either calling them to set up a free consultation today with a bankruptcy lawyer in Terre Haute. Either way, you will be taking the first step to protect your rights so do not put it off a moment-contact them today.