Can You Sue Debt Collectors For Harassment – First, you cannot be arrested for failure to pay debts (except for back child support). And a debt collector or bill collector can’t just seize your tax refund or withdraw money from your bank account (the IRS can seize your accounts for back taxes). If you have a collateral loan, they simply take (repossess) the property.
If you have unpaid debts (such as credit cards), typically, commercial creditors will place your account with a collection agency. If that doesn’t bring the desired results, they will sue you to win a judgment against you.
Can You Sue Debt Collectors For Harassment
When debt collectors are sent collections, they must follow the terms outlined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in all collection efforts. If the FDCPA has been violated, the debtor may sue the collection agency for damages and attorney’s fees as well as the individual debt collector within 12 months. (1)
Things Debt Collectors Are Forbidden To Do
By knowing your rights, you can take several actions to protect yourself from becoming a victim of creditor harassment. Here we will explain the FDCPA and explain those rights.
The purpose of the FDCPA is to protect debtors from abusive, abusive, and unfair practices in collection actions by third party debt collectors,
If the owner of a local dry cleaner calls to collect a debt you owe, that is perfectly legal and not covered by the FDCPA. The reason it is not covered is because the owner is not classified as a debt collector according to the definition set forth by the FDCPA. The rules apply only to debt collection agencies and their employees.
It is very important for you to understand your legal rights as they relate to each of your debts as well as what each creditor’s rights are. You’re likely up against creditors who have more legal resources than you, so James C. Having someone like the professionals at The Law Offices of Shields will benefit you greatly. Contact us today to discuss your situation, get advice on how to protect your rights, and discuss the best course of action. Want to help equip themselves with the tools to understand and manage their finances. Our information is freely available, although the services that appear on this site are provided by companies that may pay us a marketing fee when you click or sign up. These companies may control how and where services appear on the page, but do not affect our editorial decisions, recommendations, or advice. Here is a list of our service providers.
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Home > Credit > Collection Agencies and Your Rights > 13 Ways to Deal with Collections and Agencies
The collections industry generates $11 billion annually from the 70 million Americans who can’t pay their bills.
Collectors get most of their revenue from people who have defaulted on student loans, medical bills, auto loans, credit cards and home mortgages. Some forms — student loans and especially medical — are shooting up so fast that many consumers don’t even realize they’re behind until they get a call from a collection agency.
Collection agencies are often intimidating, demanding and, most of all, persistent, in an attempt to extract the money available to their satisfaction. They can be just as aggressive in trying to collect money you don’t pay, yet some people may still pay, just to avoid further contact with a collection agency.
How To Deal With Debt Collectors When You Cant Pay
Request the information in writing before you discuss anything with the collector over the phone. Collectors are notorious for giving misleading information over the phone. This will guarantee a paper trail documenting the terms.
The Fair Collection Practices Act requires that you send written notice to collectors within five days of first contacting you. The notice should inform you of the name of the transaction, the amount due and your right to dispute.
After you receive written notice, you have a 30-day window to dispute it in writing. A dispute letter does a few things. Most importantly it stops calls and secondly it buys you some time to figure things out. Collectors may not call or contact you unless verified in writing.
In March of 2018, the Federal Trade Commission released a report on consumer complaints and found that consumers complained more about collectors than any other business.
Chicago Creditor Harassment Lawyers
Collectors were responsible for 23% of 2.68 million consumer complaints. That means the FTC received more than 600,000 complaints from people tired of being treated by collection agencies.
If you have a complaint, go to the FTC website, click on Credit and Category, then click on Collection Practices. A form will appear in which you have to fill in the required information.
It is best to be prepared with specific information on the time, place, name of the person and company you are speaking. If possible, have a witness with you during the phone conversation to testify to the validity of your complaint.
The FTC has another page on its website listing more than 100 companies and individuals it has banned because of illegal practices.
Contacted By A Debt Collector? 6 Things To Know About Your Rights
You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the state attorney general in your area, or the Better Business Bureau.
One way to explore before defaulting on payments — and inviting collection agencies to pursue you — is to consider using one of the methods available in a consolidation plan.
There are three types of consolidation plans: management programs; A debt consolidation; and a settlement plan. Each is designed to help consumers cope with the burden of credit card, home, auto and student loans.
The first step for any plans is to contact a credit counseling agency, preferably a non-profit company, that will go over your income and expenses and advise you on whether any plans will work. Enrolling in one of these plans, especially a management program, can be a good solution to trying to deal with collectors.
Debt Collection Harassment — Pittman Law Office
Nowhere is the idea that “knowledge is power” more true than in the field of collections. The less knowledgeable a person is about their consumer rights, the more likely collectors will take advantage of delinquent borrowers to pay off delinquent obligations.
The situation got so bad that the federal government had to step in and pass legislation to protect consumers. The Fair Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) are parts of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which outline acceptable and prohibited behavior by collectors. This law also sets forth the rights and remedies afforded to consumers who are subject to collection efforts. In short, the laws protect consumers — and these are rights that collection agents prefer you don’t know about.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it handled 84,500 collection complaints in 2017. Of those, 39% have included attempts to file a complaint that consumers say they won’t give them credit for. Another 13% was related to communication strategies and recurring phone calls at inconvenient times of the day. It’s unlikely that collection agencies will share any of that with you during their phone call, so here’s a summary of 10 rules they didn’t know you had.
If you don’t want to deal with collectors on the phone, there’s an easy exit door available: Send them a cease-and-desist letter via certified mail that says you no longer want to be contacted by them.
How To Stop Collection Agency Harassment
If they continue to call you after that, they are in violation of the FDCPA, which puts them in trouble with the federal government. Keep a log of all calls and letters from them. Write down the time and date they called and the name of the agency. Keep any voicemails and letters of correspondence you sent them.
If you file a cease-and-desist letter, that doesn’t mean they won’t still try to collect. This means they cannot call you to discuss. They may try to settle it through court so check the mail for a summons or court notice. If you have an attorney, refer all calls and mail to your attorney.
Collection agencies may file a negative report with a consumer reporting agency, which will negatively impact your credit score.
The point is that you don’t need to work with them, including not talking to them.
What Is The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (fdcpa)?
If you want to settle matters with a collection agency, you or your attorney can negotiate an agreement. First, find out how much you can afford to pay and see if the collection agency agrees to that amount. The money can be a lump sum or monthly payments.
If possible, conduct negotiations at the end of the month. Collection agents often have deadlines and monthly goals that they must meet. If they are desperate to reach one of those goals by the end of a month,
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