If you’re on the side of a debt in which you owe and you’re being hounded by debt collectors, you might need to bring in some reinforcements. A collection lawyer or a bankruptcy lawyer both have experience and knowledge dealing with these very specific financial situations. Your lawyer can assist you in negotiating a smaller payback amount or can make a counterclaim for you against the creditor. He or she will know when you’re being treated fairly and when you should fight back. The following are some things you should know in the meantime.
You Typically Can’t Be Contacted After Hours
The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from calling you early in the morning or late at night. Unless you have agreed to being contacted during those hours, it’s illegal. This only applies to debt collection agencies, collection lawyers and consumer debt purchasing companies that regularly collect personal, household or family debts. There could be other laws for in-house collections departments, so it’s important you and your lawyer look into that.
You Are Not Required To Speak With a Collector
Even though a collector might contact you incessantly, you are under no legal obligation to speak with him or her. In fact, you can inform the collector in writing that you want to cease all communication. In that case, the collector would not be able to contact you again unless he or she is informing you of the creditor’s intent to bring a lawsuit against you.
You Can File a Counterclaim for Prohibited Behavior
The FDCPA outlines certain behaviors that collectors are not allowed to engage in when trying to get a debt paid. If a collector acts in one or more of these ways, you may have a counterclaim to file, in which you might receive a monetary judgment yourself. This includes:
- Making false statements – A debt collector can’t lie to you about how much debt you owe. He or she can’t claim to work for a company he or she does not work for. If the collector claims to represent the government, that is also a lie.
- Harassing you or your family – While regular phone calls are allowed, annoyingly repetitive phone calls are not. The collector also can’t threaten to hurt you, use profanity or otherwise harass you, your family members or your coworkers.
- Making threatening statements – Collectors are not allowed to threaten you with a consequence if your debts are not paid. They cannot arrest you or threaten an arrest. They also cannot garnish your wages or threaten it.
Working With an Attorney
When you’re faced with a debt collector who is hard to deal with, you have someone on your side. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer, like from Chorches Bankruptcy Law, today to work with a partner who knows how to deal with these issues.