If you are considering bankruptcy, it may be because you are consistently receiving harassing phone calls regarding your debts from collectors or creditors. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy due to your debts, you should know that you have legal options to stop the harassment and calls from creditors. Learn more about your legal rights below.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits the ability of debt collectors to collect on debts and makes any kind of abusive, deceptive or unfair practices punishable under the law. Specifically, the FDCPA covers and affects debt collectors and creditors that have debts such as medical debts, mortgages, credit cards, and other unsecured debts.
Requirements Under the FDCPA
A debt collector must always identify themselves to a creditor and provide the following information:
- The name of the creditor
- The amount owed
- That a debtor has the legal right to request the name and address of the original creditor
- That a debtor has the legal right to dispute the debt
A debt collector must provide this information to you when they contact you, or by a written notice within five days of that first original contact. While you have the legal right to consider visiting simply to determine and ensure that the debt is a valid one, make sure to carefully consider whether or not you want to share any additional personal information to a debt collector.
Restrictions Under the FDCPA
The following are the restrictions placed on debt collectors attempting to collect a debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
- Time and Place. A debt collector may never attempt to contact you at an unusual time or place, or before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Harassment. No type of harassment is allowed under any circumstances
- Legal Representation. If you tell a debt collector you have legal representation, they must cease all contact with you immediately.
- Truth. Debt collectors may not misrepresent the debt, lie about the fact they are a debt collector, or make false claims regarding the debt. They may also not engage in any unfair or illegal practices such as attempting to collect illegal fees or interest.
Enforcing Your Legal Rights
Debt collectors must stop contacting you if you request that they do so. If you make a statement to a debt collector indicating that they need to stop contacting you, they must legally stop all contact except to tell you that there will be no further contact or that there may be a specific legal action regarding the debt, such as a lawsuit in process.
Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering bankruptcy due to the fact that you are dealing with harassing debt collectors, contact the experienced bankruptcy law attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law to help you determine how best to proceed with your bankruptcy to provide you with proper legal guidance regarding a financial fresh start.