What Can I Do About A Debt Collect Harassment?

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What Can I Do About A Debt Collect Harassment?

Post  Admin on Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:21 am

Whether or not you are currently in bankruptcy, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires that debt collectors treat you fairly by prohibiting certain methods of debt collection. Personal, family and household debts are all covered under the FDCPA. This includes auto loans, medical care bills and charge accounts. However, business loans are not covered by this law. Paying bills on time is generally the best way to avoid creditor harassment. However, sometimes people fall into financial circumstances that prevent them from being able to honor the debt and they fall behind on the payments.

Most creditors and collection agencies follow the law when attempting to collect a debt. But some don’t, and many times, an abusive creditor is the reason why debtors may feel forced to file for bankruptcy protection—to get the creditor to stop harassing them. You should never allow an abusive bill collector to force you into bankruptcy. However, if your circumstances prevent you from any other action, you still do have legal rights. Once you file for bankruptcy protection, creditors are formally notified you are in bankruptcy, and collection attempts must immediately cease until your case has been discharged or has otherwise decided upon by the courts.

If you have filed for bankruptcy and a debt collector calls, politely tell them that you are in bankruptcy and give them your case number. This usually gets them to stop calling or otherwise attempting to contact you. Some debt collectors persist by asking if you want to re-affirm the debt and they may also make a lot of promises to you if you agree to re-affirm the debt. Beware of any promises, they make. Debt collectors are paid to collect debts, and they will try any means to get you to pay, including making promises the creditor has no intentions of keeping. The best thing to do is to politely but firmly tell them you do not want to re-affirm the debt. If the creditor persists in trying to collect from you, even after you’ve told him or her that you are in bankruptcy and that you are not interested in re-affirming the debt, contact an attorney immediately for legal advice on your next course of action.

If you believe you have been unfairly treated, you have the right to sue the collection agency in a state or federal court within one year from the date your rights were violated. You could potentially recover money for any damages you may have suffered as well as court costs and attorney's fees You should also report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state's Attorney General's office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Contact a LawInfo Lead Counsel qualified bankruptcy lawyer for more information about state and federal debt collection laws and for any legal advice or assistance in your claim.

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