Do you receive phone calls at all hours from aggressive debt collection companies at home and work? Do you have past due notices clogging your mailbox? Receiving hostile letters about unpaid financial obligations? Have you been visited by an unwelcome collections representative?
Debt collectors make more than a billion contacts with consumers each year, according to ACA International, the debt collection trade group. Unfortunately, in some of those contacts, rogue debt collectors step way over the legal line.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Debt collectors are required to abide by a Federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). When a debt collector first contacts you about a debt, you have the right to request them to verify the debt is yours. If the debt collector can’t come back with proof that you owe the debt, they’re not allowed to contact you anymore.
If the debt is proven to be yours, collectors can’t call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. your local time. They can’t call you repeatedly, and they can’t call you at anytime you’ve previously stated is inconvenient. You do not need to endure the constant stress of hostile telephone calls, written correspondence and collector visits. There are actions you can take to stop the harassment.
Filing bankruptcy provides for an “automatic stay” which would forbid this creditor harassment by federal law. Debt collection companies are required to cease activity on your accounts immediately once a bankruptcy petition has been filed. Creditors and debt collectors who fail to end their efforts against you place themselves in danger of legal action.
When should I contact a lawyer?
If debt collection companies commit any of the following acts:
- Dishonestly misrepresent that they are law enforcement officers
- Make misrepresentations about the true amount of your debt
- Reveal information about your debt to your employer
- Call you late at night or early in the morning
- Use profanity, obscenity or abusive language when speaking with you
- Use threats of arrest or incarceration for your failure to repay debts
Our experts can help protect and assert your legal rights. Contact our office for an initial consultation at no charge and protect yourself from debt collection companies. Anne Penachio and Frank Malara will work tirelessly to protect your legal rights and stop debt collection companies from breaking the law. Since 1991, the firm’s overriding goal has been to safeguard the rights of clients by using every tool and technique available under the law to stop debt collection.