Creditor Harassment Attorneys
Are debt collectors and creditors harassing you? You have rights. Are you deeply in debt and unable to make timely debt payments and pay off your debts? You still have rights.
Not every collection effort is abusive, unfair or unlawful. However, that does not mean that bill collectors always follow the rules. In pursuit of the almighty dollar, some creditors and collection agencies cross the line and violate the rights of consumers. It is important for you to know what bill collectors can and cannot do. At Minnillo Law Group in Cincinnati and Dayton, we fight for your rights against abusive debt collection.
How do you know when a debt collector goes too far? Here are answers to questions you may have about creditor harassment.
What are unfair collection practices?
Debt collectors’ rights to contact you are restricted by numerous laws, both before and after filing for bankruptcy. The following actions by a debt collector are considered harassment:
Debt collectors can contact you. Under most circumstances, however, they cannot contact your neighbors, your employer or your children to discuss your debt.
Debt collectors are not allowed to swear at you or use profane language. Debt collectors can legally describe some consequences of a debt default to you. They cannot, however, indicate that nonpayment will result in:
- claim the ability to kick you out of your house
- or threaten you with garnishment or foreclosure
if they have no intention of pursuing such measures.
Debt collectors cannot make false claims. For instance, they cannot claim that your case is actionable when it is not, or claim that you’ll be imprisoned.
Debt collectors also cannot legally interfere with your employment or threaten to garnish your wages before they file a claim.
When speaking with a debtor, agencies must provide accurate information and they cannot claim to be another entity.
Once you’ve asked them to stop, collectors cannot keep pursuing you for debt you are not responsible for.
During the debt collection process, agencies must advise you that you have a right to dispute your debt.
Debt collectors cannot make false statements to credit agencies in retaliation for nonpayment of debt.
Once you’ve obtained legal counsel, all communication to you from your creditors must cease.
Debt collectors can only bring a lawsuit against you in the county where you reside or in the county where the debt was created. Many debt collectors sue people in other, more distant counties to try to make it more difficult to defend themselves.
I’ve had it! Will filing for bankruptcy stop debt collectors from contacting me?
Even with legal tactics, collection agencies place a great deal of pressure on an individual, potentially prompting a need to seek relief from debts and protection from creditors. Those who wish to pursue relief may find it helpful to consider the potential benefits of bankruptcy.
One of these benefits is the automatic stay. Upon filing for bankruptcy, the automatic stay may kick in and provide a person with protection, which could stop the phone calls and letters from coming in throughout the process.
Is bankruptcy the only option to stop creditor harassment?
Not necessarily. When dealing with overwhelming amounts of debt, many individuals may begin to wonder if filing for bankruptcy is the only way to obtain protection from creditors. While this might be the best option, it isn’t the only way to protect against creditor harassment.
Those who have yet to decide if bankruptcy is the best available option could benefit from gaining a better understanding of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Can I sue abusive debt collectors?
Possibly. Begin by educating yourself about the types of practices that constitute abusive debt collection. If you succeed in a creditor harassment lawsuit, you may be awarded compensation for:
- actual damages
- attorney’s fees for economic loss
- emotional distress
- other damages
Additionally, under federal law, any debt collector who violates your rights may be ordered to pay you statutory damages of up to $1,000, even if you experienced no actual loss.
Despite clear and comprehensive laws governing debt collection, collectors routinely ignore them. As a result, we handle lawsuits against debt collectors who break the laws that are in place to protect consumers facing financial challenges. We also advise clients that filing for bankruptcy can bring an immediate end to creditor contact.
We have defended the rights of people who have been victimized by abusive debt collection practices. Sometimes, large numbers of people are affected. Minnillo Law Group has experienced debt collection lawyers who handle complex class action litigation to protect people from national debt buyers and unscrupulous debt collectors.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.