Falling into debt or missing critical payments on loans, credit card bills, and the like can be stressful for obvious reasons. But the situation is often exacerbated by creditors who do everything they can to pester debtors into paying up. For many people, creditor harassment is actually the worst part of financial struggles and stopping it becomes the number one priority.
No matter what a creditor tries to claim about your rights and power against them, the truth is preventing creditor harassment can be simple: just tell them to stop calling you and retain a bankruptcy lawyer. With the assistance of your attorney, you can both request verbally for the creditor contacts to stop and put your request in writing. The more thorough you are in your language and preparation of copies, the better. You will want to mention that the creditor is no longer allowed to contact you, that you refuse to pay the debt, and that you are being represented by counsel. If that does not stop them in their tracks, you may be able to counter further with legal action.
Automatic Stays with Bankruptcy Filings
You can also shut the door on creditor harassment by filing for bankruptcy. If you choose to file for bankruptcy protection, all of your creditors will be notified via mail and the phone calls must stop. Creditors are legally barred from taking collection actions of any kind, including phone calls, text messages, and traditional mail, once you have filed bankruptcy due to the creation of an automatic stay.
In addition to using an automatic stay to protect yourself from creditor harassment, collection agencies are regulated with strict guidelines on how and when they can contact you under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). They are not allowed to call you between the hours of 9:00 PM and 7:00 AM, they cannot give you misleading information or threaten criminal action, nor can they contact your employers and neighbors to discuss your debts. In addition, telemarketers and creditors are not allowed to call you once you have revoked authorization to do so. Revoking consent to call under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is as simple as stating so over the phone, as we mentioned before.
You must be ready for stubborn creditors that think they can skirt the law and get away with it. If they continue to call you after you have revoked authorization, they can be fined up to $1,500 per phone call, if it can be proved. Work with our Northwest Georgia bankruptcy attorneys by your side, you can shut down creditor harassment and discover how to report their unlawful transgressions. Contact our team at Bournakis and Mitchell, P.C. to learn more about your rights and legal options.