When you’re already dealing with severe financial hardship, creditor harassment can push your mental health to its limits. From confronting you at your workplace to leaving embarrassing and threatening voicemails, creditors can be relentless when it comes to seeking payment – even when it violates the laws set forward by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
At Lam Law Firm, our Myrtle Beach bankruptcy lawyer Huong Lam has made it her mission to help hard-working people find a way back to financial freedom, through the process of filing for bankruptcy. If you’re dealing with creditor harassment because of serious debt, she can help you review all the options available to you. In many cases, bankruptcy can be your best bet for stopping the abuse in its tracks.
When Is Creditor Harassment Illegal?
It’s perfectly legal for creditors to contact you about an existing debt, and they are also allowed to do so with some degree of persistence. However, once their behavior, manner, or strategy becomes unprofessional and abusive, you are fully entitled to report the harassment, as outlined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA can protect you from the abuses of third party collection agencies, which are notorious for disregarding professionalism and privacy to advance their own profit schemes. Under this law, you have rights when it comes to your debt collectors, provided that they are not the original creditor for your loan or debt.
Some of these rights include:
- The right to know who is calling you. If you’re getting vague phone calls at all hours of the night, the debt collector may be in violation of the FDCPA. All third party collection agents are required to clearly announce themselves and offer identification, no matter what form of communication is being used.
- The right to dispute the debt. During your very first interaction with a debt collector, they should state that you retain the right to dispute your debt. Failing to notify you about this right is illegal.
- The right for verification of debt. If you’re being harassed over an outstanding balance, you deserve to know where the debt came from. As a consumer, you can ask for verification of debt within 30 days of receiving your first notice, and this verification should include the amount you owe and the identity of your original creditor.
How to End Creditor Harassment
Once creditor harassment begins, it can be very difficult to stop. Although calling at your workplace, asking you for more money, and threatening violence are all illegal under the FDCPA, unscrupulous creditors use these tactics precisely because they make debtors feel powerless and alone.
In order to get full peace of mind, you should consider hiring a skilled bankruptcy lawyer to represent you. Filing for bankruptcy is the best way to stop debt collectors from harassing you, and collecting on your debts. This is because of the automatic stay that you receive after filing for bankruptcy, which affords you protection under the law. Dealing with creditor harassment can be a daunting task, but your bankruptcy attorney can stand by your side and stop the creditor harassment for good.
Ready to speak with a Myrtle Beach bankruptcy lawyer? Call Attorney Huong Lam at (843) 695-7700 for compassionate counsel today.