Stop Creditor Harassment: Bring an End to Unlawful Collection Actions

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Stop Creditor Harassment: Bring an End to Unlawful Collection Actions

Stop Creditor Harassment

Are you struggling with debt and enduring endless calls and letters from debt collectors? Creditor harassment is disruptive and puts unnecessary stress on debtors.

You may have factors beyond your control that have led to your debt, and you may be working hard to pay it off. Constant reminders of what you owe are not helpful or necessary.

You should know that some laws protect you and ways to stop creditor harassment. If you’re tired of debt collectors contacting you day and night, we can help.

Here’s how you can stop debt collection and end creditor harassment.

What Is Creditor Harassment?

In 1977, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Its sole purpose is to protect debtors from creditor harassment.

It is illegal for a creditor to use unfair, abusive, or deceptive practices in an attempt to collect money from you. Including any debt you owe for an automobile loan, mortgage, medical bills, etc.

The act outlines proper conduct for debt collection, including the language they can use and the day they can call. Debt collectors are not supposed to engage in behavior that is harassing or oppressing to anyone while attempting to collect a debt.

Debt collectors may make you feel like you don’t have any options or control over the situation. They may engage in scare tactics and harassment to get you to pay. 

Creditors Violate the Fair Debt Practices Act when they:

  • Ask you to pay more than you owe
  • Add additional fees
  • Threaten or use violence
  • Use profane or obscene language 
  • Verbally abuse you, family, friends, or neighbors
  • Publicize your name or debt information
  • Call repeatedly to abuse or harass you, family, friends, or neighbors
  • Call you at work
  • Threaten to sue if they don’t intend to follow through
  • Disclose your debt to a third party. There are exceptions to this rule.
  • Publish your name or address on “bad debt” listings
  • Refuse to state their name or identify themselves 
  • Pretend to be a police officer or government agent

The FDCPA requires debt collectors to identify themselves and explain that any information a debtor provides, can be used to collect a debt. They should inform you that you have the right to dispute the debt. If you request it, they must verify the debt they’re attempting to collect.

If you’re experiencing creditor harassment, you may feel overwhelmed or uncertain about what to do. You must understand you have rights. You don’t have to put up with creditor harassment, and you can stop it. 

A skilled Philadelphia attorney can help you understand your rights and your options for relief.

Ways to Stop Creditor Harassment

Debt collectors have a variety of avenues they can take if you don’t pay. They can stop doing business with you, contact you by phone, text, email, or letter, or report you to the credit bureau.

They do not have the right to threaten, harass, or disrespect you or your family members.

You can do something to combat any creditor harassment you may be experiencing. Here’s how to stop creditor harassment.

Verify the Collector

Unfortunately, some scammers pretend to be debt collectors. Their goal is to get your financial information and steal your money or identity.

You want to make sure the person calling is a debt collector. Verify the collector’s name, company, company address, and phone number before making a payment.

A scammer will likely stop contacting you if you start questioning them.

Make Them Prove Your Debt

In some cases, creditors pursue payments the debtor isn’t required to pay. If the creditor made a mistake, charged unnecessary fees, or continued to try to collect a debt after you filed for bankruptcy, you may not owe the amount they’re demanding.

Regardless of the reason, you have the right to request they prove your debt. They are required to produce documentation of your debt, and must comply with this request.

Write a Letter

There are various letters you can write regarding a debt collection. The most common is a “cease and desist” letter.

This is a request for the collector to cease all contact with you. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors must follow a written no-contact request.

If they continue to contact you after receiving the letter, they violate federal law. You can report them to the FTC if this occurs.

Remember to keep copies of any communications you write or receive for documentation.

Negotiate a Settlement

It may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the creditor in some cases. Rather than dealing with a debt collector, you can try to reach out to the creditor directly.

You may be able to negotiate a payment plan or lump sum payment to settle your debt.

File for Bankruptcy

If you are in serious debt, bankruptcy is often the best option. Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy puts an automatic stay.

This prevents debt collectors from taking any further action against you. Creditors must freeze all debt collection actions during your bankruptcy process.

Bankruptcy may be the solution if you feel like you’re drowning in debt and don’t know which way to turn. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you as you put the stress of overwhelming debt behind you.

Each of the above options has its benefits and consequences. They can help you end any debt collection harassment you may be experiencing. It’s in your best interest to hire a lawyer as your liaison.  

An experienced attorney is skilled in negotiation and may be able to help you reach a deal that allows you to pay less than what you owe.

Handling Harassing Debt Collection Calls

You should document these calls if a debt collector continues to call or harass you despite knowing the FDCPA debt collection laws. Some things to remember include:

  1. Keep a record of all collection calls, including any calls you make
  2. Note the date, time, and name of the collector and agency
  3. Write down in detail what is said on the phone call 
  4. Get a friend, neighbor, or family member to witness the harassment
  5. Use voice mail or answering machine to screen calls
  6. Reach out to your phone service provider about blocking numbers
  7. Keep copies of any collection notices, letters, or emails you receive

Consult a highly skilled Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney to learn how to stop creditor harassment today.

Debt Collection in Philadelphia

Many good people fall into financial hardship at some point in their lives. You may want to pay your debt and stop debt collection but are unsure how to proceed.

If you’ve been the victim of harassing debt collection calls, you know how scary and frustrating they can be. It’s very stressful to deal with these ongoing phone calls with no resolution in sight.

Some debt collectors follow the rules, but others are relentless in their pursuit of payment. They may try to shame you into paying a bill you can’t afford. Unfortunately, these types of calls usually continue until you take the necessary steps to stop them.

Many victims of collection harassment feel embarrassed and humiliated by these disrespectful calls. If you’re facing this situation, you have rights. You do not have to endure harassing collection calls.

A Philadelphia bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your rights and determine the best options for fighting back. Even if you owe a debt, you deserve to be treated with respect.

You Can Stop Creditor Harassment

Debt collectors do not have the right to threaten, harass, or disrespect you in their attempts to collect a debt. If you’re facing ongoing creditor harassment, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a qualified attorney.

They can review your situation and provide the skilled representation you need to stop creditor harassment. Many options are available for stopping creditor harassment, including filing for bankruptcy.

At Sadek Bankruptcy Law Offices, we specialize in representing the legal needs of our clients in the Philadelphia area. We work diligently to fight for our clients’ rights and offer a path towards a brighter future.

We’d love to talk with you about your situation and determine how we can best serve you. If we take your case, we can take immediate action to end the harassment and give you some peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more.

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