Are You Being Harassed by Creditors? We Can Help!
If you receive nonstop pestering phone calls, letters and collections notices from creditors, then it is vital that you understand your rights. When it comes to collecting outstanding debt, creditors will stop at nothing to get their hands on it and their methods do not always comply with the law. If you are experiencing severe financial hardship and you are considering filing for bankruptcy, creditors should not be constantly harassing you. In fact, the second you file for bankruptcy creditors will no longer be permitted to contact you or pursue any collection actions against you.
Once you file for bankruptcy, you are then protected under bankruptcy law under section § 362. This section of the law is referred to as the automatic stay- it means that you are protected from any further creditor harassment. Under this injunction, creditors cannot try to obtain or possess any of your property, commence any criminal or civil actions against you, or try to collect or recover a claim arose before they filed for bankruptcy. This means that you can have your privacy and your life back under the protection of the automatic stay. If creditors violate this injunction and do not comply with the terms and conditions, then they could face legal punishment from the court.
What You Can Do About Creditor Harassment
Creditor harassment can make you feel powerless. However, you can take action to regain control. Take the following steps to deal with creditor harassment:
- Know Your Rights – State and federal laws protect you against creditor harassment. Speak with an attorney or read below to learn more about what creditors cannot do to you in trying to collect a debt.
- Make the Creditor Prove Your Debt – When asked, creditors must be able to prove that you owe the amount they claim. They must provide valid documentation of your debt.
- Negotiate a Deal – You may be able to negotiate a lesser amount to pay off your debt with a creditor. However, this process can be complex and an attorney is often able to get a better deal.
- Contact a Lawyer – When creditors are contacting you repeatedly, you should contact an attorney who can deal with the situation on your behalf. Creditors are less likely to harass your legal representative.
What Constitutes Creditor Harassment?
If you are on the verge of bankruptcy and creditors are coming after you for outstanding debt, you should be informed of your legal rights as a debtor and take action to preserve them. If you are confused about what actions constitute creditor harassment, our Charlotte bankruptcy lawyer can inform you of the different illegal activities that creditors utilize in financial recovery. The most common forms of creditor abuse include:
- Repetitive phone calls
- Frequent and pestering contact with you
- Trying to contact your family, friends or neighbors
- Threatening you in any way
- Using offensive and vulgar language with you
- Refusing to identify themselves to you
Creditor laws may vary from state to state, but no matter where you live, creditor harassment is not acceptable behavior in the eyes of the law. If you believe that you are being harassed by your creditors, take legal action today and consult with a Charlotte bankruptcy attorney from our firm.
Debt Collectors Cannot Take Certain Actions
Creditor harassment also involves debt collectors taking action that is illegal. You should know your rights, which also include what you do not have to endure. Some things that creditors cannot do include:
- Asking you to pay more than you owe. Federal law prohibits creditors and debt collection agencies from misrepresenting the amount of money that you owe.
- Adding additional fees. Debt collection agencies are not allowed to add their own fees to debts. They may not ask for more than the original amount, interest rate, and other fees added by the original creditor.
- Using obscene language. Federal laws prohibit debt collectors from using profane language towards you. Abusive language is considered creditor harassment.
- Calling repeatedly or during unreasonable hours. Debt collectors who call repeatedly may be using harassing techniques. Keep track of how often they contact you and inform your attorney. Additionally, they cannot call you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., which are considered reasonable hours.
- Threatening a lawsuit if they don’t actually intend on filing suit. Although creditors may be able to sue you, they cannot use this threat unless they actually intend on doing so. This could be considered creditor harassment.
- Discussing your debt with a third party. Creditors may not discuss the details of your debt with third parties. Exceptions include debt collection agency, your attorney or the attorney of the creditor, your spouse, and a credit reporting agency. If you are a minor, a creditor may be able to discuss your debt with your parents.
If a debt collector, including an original creditor or debt collection agency, takes any of these actions, then they may be violating state and federal laws. You have the rights to protect yourself against creditor harassment. Contact an attorney if you’ve faced these tactics.
Sending a Cease Communication Notice
If you feel creditors are harassing you, you may send them a crease communication notice. This will halt all communication with you, but they may still contact credit bureaus and file a lawsuit. Once a creditor receives a cease communication notice, they may only contact you to tell you that they are stopping debt collection attempts and that they are taking legal action.
Before you send a cease communication notice you should talk to an attorney. Creditor harassment is illegal, and we can take action against those creditors who use illegal actions.
How a Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
Here at the Law Office of Jack G. Lezman, PLLC, we dedicate ourselves to protecting the rights of our clients. We believe that you do not deserve to be harassed and we can help enforce the constraints that creditors must abide by. Any threats or harassment from creditors is not considered legal and they should be held responsible for their actions. The legal team at our firm has helped countless debtors to put an end to creditor harassment and we could do the same for you.
With over 20 years of experience, our attorney has extensive knowledge regarding bankruptcy law and he will work tirelessly to help you achieve your objectives. Our firm handles a wide variety of bankruptcy cases including Chapter 7, Chapter 13, foreclosure defense and debt consolidation. If you are struggling with debt, we can offer you the personalized attention that you need and deserve. We understand the difficulties that you and your family must be going through and can walk you step by step through the bankruptcy process or inform you of bankruptcy alternatives that are available. Let us sit down with you so we can learn your objectives and help you find the best solution to your problem.
Contact Us Today
If you are facing creditor harassment, you deserve to have someone by your side protecting your rights. You don’t have to deal with the illegal and unethical methods of creditors. Instead, call Law Office of Jack G. Lezman for relief. an experienced bankruptcy attorney will listen to your situation and help you find a solution. We will correspond with the creditors on your behalf.