15 May Stop creditors’ harassment by filing bankruptcy
Q. How can bankruptcy stop the debt collectors’ harassment?
A. As soon as you file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay. This prevents creditors and debt collectors from contacting you, putting a stop to all creditor harassment.
Q. What are the forms of harassment that debt collectors do?
A. The debt collectors’ illegal action such as follows:
- • Need to educate you about the collection process
• Cannot call you or your home continuously
• Are prohibited from calling your home after specified hours
• Cannot call you at work
• Are not allowed to call your neighbors
• Using obscenity, racial slurs or insults
• Sending letters which appear to have come from a court
• Seeking collection fees or interest charges not permitted by your contract or by state law
• Requesting post-dated checks with the intention to prosecute if they bounce
• Filing a lawsuit in courts far from your place of residence
• False representations in association with efforts to collect the debt, including the false claim that the person contacting you is an attorney, falsely claiming to have started a lawsuit, using a false name, or using stationery that is designed to look like an official court or government communication
• Using false claims to collect information about the debtor, such as pretending to be conducting a survey
• Threatening you with arrest if you do not pay the debt
Q. What law protects the consumers from illegal actions of debt collectors?
A. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to sue a debt collector in state or federal court within one year from the date of the violation. If you win, you may recover damages in the amount of any losses you suffered as a result of the violation, plus an additional amount of up to $1,000.00. You may also be able to recover court costs and attorney fees.
If the same debt collector has engaged in unlawful conduct with a number of consumers, it may be possible to find a lawyer who will file a class action lawsuit.