It is scary to reach the point where you are not able to pay your monthly bills. Within a few days of missing a credit card payment, your creditor will likely begin to call you and send you letters demanding payment. It may not take long for your creditor to hire an aggressive debt collection agency or law firm to attempt to collect the debt from you.
Calls from debt collectors can quickly become distressing, but you have the right to be free from creditor harassment and threats. There are laws in place to protect you from being threatened by creditors. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law designed to protect you and stop abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices. The FDCPA only applies to third-party debt collectors, not the original creditor to whom you owe the debt.
Threats of Violence
Debt collectors may not use or threaten the “use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692d.
If a debt collector threatens you with violence you may have a cause of action against them for violating your rights under the FDCPA or other state and federal laws.
Threats to Sue You
Debt collectors may not threaten to “take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692e. They are barred from making false or misleading statements.
The FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from threatening to do something that they do not really intend to do, like file a lawsuit against you. It is difficult to know with certainty whether or not a debt collector intends to sue you. Though, there are a few indicators that signal they may be using unlawful threats.
The debt collector may not intend to sue you if the debt is small, they don’t have an office in your state, they have not retained the services of an attorney in your state, or they threatened to sue you months or years ago and have not taken any action on the threat.
If a debt collector threatens you with taking actions that they cannot legally take or are not actually intending to take, you may have a cause of action against them for violating your rights under the FDCPA.
A Creditor is Threatening Me, What Can I Do?
You can put a stop to collection phone calls. It is your right to demand that the creditor stop calling you. Under the FDCPA, once you notify a collection agency in writing that you do not want to receive phone calls, they cannot legally continue to call you except under specific and limited circumstances.
It is your legal right to stop collection phone calls. If after being notified in writing that you no longer want to receive calls, and they continue to call, they are violating your rights. Their actions may give rise to an FDCPA violation claim against them.
In our article Get Stress Relief: Stop Creditor Calls and Collection Action we share:
- What to do to get the collection calls to stop.
- What to write in the letter to the collection agency.
- Plus some do’s and don’ts when dealing with a collection agency.
It is important to understand that stopping the phone calls is not a solution to your financial problems. The longer you ignore your debt problem, the worse it will get. Come meet with us for a free consultation. Together we’ll explore your options to get you out of debt.
Bankruptcy Stops Debt Collectors and Has The Power To Erase Debts
As soon as you file for bankruptcy protection, your creditors must cease and desist from all collection action against you, including:
- Calling you or sending bills
- Wage garnishments or bank levies
- Suing you for unpaid debts
- Moving forward with pending lawsuits
- Repossessing your car (at least not right away)
- Foreclosing on your home (at least not right away)
Bankruptcy is a powerful financial tool that can erase unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills. Debts that are erased in bankruptcy are gone forever. Once you receive a bankruptcy discharge, you are no longer legally obligated to pay back the discharged debts included in your bankruptcy.
Filing for bankruptcy can help you gain financial freedom and may very well help you make today the first day of the rest of your life. For over 35-years we have proudly served the people in Savannah, GA and surrounding areas. Contact us for a free consultation on how you can end your financial struggle and gain financial freedom.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.