Creditor Harassment in Marietta
One of the most stressful aspects of being in debt has to deal with creditors that habitually attempt to threaten or harass their debtors. Nationwide laws have been enacted to prevent creditors from using abusive means or behavior to obtain payment from debtors.
Regardless of certain statutes, many creditors get away with such conduct because of the level of intimidation they have against their debtors. If you are being harassed by creditors, take the time to educate yourself on your rights, as well as on all relative laws. It could be that the collection agencies you are dealing with are utilizing illegal tactics that should be fought against.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
In 1978, the U.S. government added the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to the United States Code under USC §§1692-1692p. According to §806, it is unlawful for creditors to harass or abuse anyone as means of collecting debt. This includes but is not limited to threats or use of violence, use of obscene or profane language, or withholding the caller’s identity. Also, §808 makes it unlawful for creditors to use unfair practices in order to obtain payment, including but not limited to collecting more than the amount owed and depositing or threatening to deposit a postdated check before the postdate. These are not simply suggestions for creditors, they are the law and they are expected to abide by this mandate. Other prohibited practices under the FDCPA include:
- Phone calls before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. according to the respective time zone
- Repeated phone calls
- Calling after the individual has formally refused payment
- Making false threats of lawsuit or legal punishment
- Misrepresentation of identity
- Attempting to collect more than is owed
In addition to the prohibited practices stated in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are also required by law to do several things upon making a phone call. According to the FDCPA, debt collectors must identify themselves accurately, give the information of the original creditor and notify the consumer of their right to dispute the debt. Furthermore, debt collectors are required to verify the debt if it is requested by the owner of the debt. If a lawsuit is in order, the debt collector must file the suit within the proper location, which is the county where the consumer resides or where they signed the contract.
Automatic Stay Laws
Other laws regarding creditor harassment are found in 11 USC § 362 and are known as “automatic stay” laws. Here it states that, once an individual files for bankruptcy all calls, letters and other forms of collection attempts must cease. It is then their job to get in touch with the appropriate attorney if they need to contact anyone regarding the progress of the bankruptcy process. In the event that creditors do not relent, you could have the evidence to pursue legal recourse.
If you are being harassed by a creditor, do not hesitate to consult with a Marietta bankruptcy lawyer that is educated on this topic immediately so that you can discuss your options. Should you decide to pursue bankruptcy and file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you can find the freedom you deserve from harassing creditors. Allow yourself to get rid of the endless phone calls and threats before it is too late.
Marietta Bankruptcy Lawyer: Protection Against Creditor Harassment and Abuse
Cherney Law Firm LLC can provide the legal representation you need to stop harassing creditors. Having handled thousands of cases since 2006, I understand all relative automatic stay laws and can help you hold your creditor accountable for their unlawful actions.
As mentioned above, if a debt collector violates any of the terms stated in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the consumer is legally entitled to take civil action. The FDCPA is a strict liability law, which means that there is no need for actual damages in order to demand compensation. Under the statute, a consumer whose rights have been violated by abusive collection practices can file a civil lawsuit against the collection agency and receive compensation. If there are no actual damages, a successful suit results in at least $1,000 in compensation plus the payment of all attorney fees. If there are damages, the quantifiable value will be added to the $1,000 award and given to the consumer.
Find relief today by filing for bankruptcy with my counsel and assistance. As a compassionate Marietta creditor harassment lawyer, I understand what you are dealing with and seek to provide you with the help that you truly need. No one should ever have to deal with fear because of their financial circumstances. To learn more, call now or complete the online case evaluation form. Your initial consultation is absolutely free, so contact my office without further delay!