Bankruptcy and other financial issues can be serious. Nobody wants to face mounting levels of debt or the bad credit that follows a process like bankruptcy. In some cases, debt relief is not necessarily as simple as filing for bankruptcy, especially when creditors don't get the message.
Creditors and debt collectors want money now, and their tactics can be stressful. Collectors stop at nothing to receive money they perceive as theirs, and you may need to take extra steps to prevent their harassment.
What Is Debt Collector Harassment?
Debt collection harassment typically includes inflammatory or profane language, but it does not have to. Sometimes threats can appear vaguer. For instance, threats of having you arrested may constitute harassment because debt collectors are not authorized police officers.
Multiple calls throughout the day is considered harassment. Debt collectors, no matter if they believe you are lying, are not allowed to contact you more than once. If they do, you should keep track of times and take screenshots of the call log.
Additionally, debt collectors must disclose their identity. They may not lie about their company or what their goal is. If a debt collector makes any attempt to conceal his or her identity, take notice of this. It may be illegal.
Harassment may include calling after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m. in your time zone. This means that collectors may not call you early or late when you might otherwise be sleeping.
What Should You Do if Creditors Harass You?
If creditors are harassing you, you should first begin taking note of calls. Notify individuals that you revoke their permission to call you and that you are unable to take calls at work, if relevant.
The help of a lawyer can also prevent creditors from harassing you. Once you have an attorney communicating on your behalf, the collectors will not be able to use the same tactics they sometimes revert to.
Does Bankruptcy Stop Harassment?
If you choose to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a stay is placed on your accounts. Creditors will not be able to contact you legally, but this does not always mean they abide by the rules.
Creditors can be relentless. Only consumer debts are handled by the regulations. The regulations do not cover business debts or fines and tickets. As is such, you may still owe money to some organizations.
What Can Debt Collectors Do?
Debt collectors have the right to call individuals who may be related to you in some way, but only once. They can also only call for the purpose of seeking your location. They are not allowed to tell another individual that you owe a debt.
Debt collectors are only allowed to make threats of action involving steps they intend to take. Collection agencies cannot seize or garnish your wages or assets. Additionally, the law prevents them from threatening to do so.
Collectors may not mislead you or lie to you by suggesting you have committed a crime or making you think that they work for the government. They may also not overstate the amount of debt you owe.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Once you hire an attorney to handle your case, creditors who have been notified of this may not call you again. Additionally, your attorney can send a letter demanding the end of debtor communication or request validation of the debt.
Reynolds Law Firm understands the intricacies of debt and bankruptcy. Whether you choose to file for bankruptcy or pursue other financial decisions, you need effective legal counsel on your side. Call today to set up a consultation.