Creditor Harassment Attorney
When it comes to harassment by creditors or other debt collectors, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the main federal law governing debt collection practices that prohibits debt collection companies from using any abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect debts. The FDCPA relates to the collection of mortgages, credit cards, medical debts, and many other debts that mainly apply to personal, family, or household purposes, and you should speak to a creditor harassment attorney if you are the victim of repeated creditor harassment.
Most people in the United States are carrying some amount of debt, and many individuals are currently behind on payments or struggling to make the payments. Repeated phone calls and other communications about debts can cause significant stress for such people, and not all creditors treat individuals with the common courtesy that is otherwise required in these interactions.
The FDCPA was enacted in 1978 and was designed to eliminate abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices. It only applies to the collection of debt incurred by a consumer primarily for personal, family, or household purposes but not to the collection of corporate debt or debt owed for business or agricultural purposes.
Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is any party who is regularly collecting or attempting to collect the debts of consumers for another person or institution or using a name besides its own while collecting its own consumer debts. An institution will not be considered a debt collector under the FDCPA when it involves officers or employees of an institution collecting debts owed to the institution in the institution’s name or legal-process servers, and also when it collects:
- Another institution’s debts in certain instances
- Its own debts under its own name
- Debts the collector originated and then sold but continue to service
- Debts not in default when they were originally obtained
- Debts obtained as security for a commercial credit transaction
- Debts incidental to bona fide fiduciary relationships or escrow arrangements
- Debts, regularly, for other institutions to which they are related by common ownership or corporate control
A debt collector cannot communicate with a consumer at any unusual time, which generally means any time before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone or any place that will be inconvenient to a consumer unless the consumer or a court of competent jurisdiction permits such contacts. A debt collector cannot contact a consumer at their place of employment when a debt collector is aware the employer prohibits such communications, such as when a consumer states that such calls are prohibited.
People need to understand that the FDCPA is the main federal law relating to debt collection, but many other states have their own state laws that also relate to debt collection. Most states have laws similar to the FDCPA that cover the original creditor, while others do not, and states may also have other laws applying to debt collection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Creditor Harassment
What types of debts will be covered under the FDCPA?
Student loans, credit card debt, medical bills, auto loans, mortgages, and many other household debts will be covered under the FDCPA, while business debts are not included.
How can a debt collector contact me?
Debt collectors are allowed to call you by phone or send letters, emails, or text messages when collecting a debt.
Can a debt collector contact anybody else about my debt?
Debt collectors generally cannot discuss your debt with anyone but you or your spouse. When you have an attorney representing you and you have told the collector about your legal representation, the debt collector will have to contact the attorney. A debt collector may contact other people to find out your address, home phone number, and place of employment, but typically cannot contact them more than once and also cannot tell them you owe a debt.
What must a debt collector to tell me about my debt?
The debt collector must give you validation information about the debt, either during their first phone call or in writing within five days after first contacting you. A debt collector must tell you the amount of money you owe, the name of the creditor that you owe it to, how you can get the name of the original creditor, and what to do if you do not think it is your debt.
What can debt collectors not do?
Debt collectors are forbidden from harassing you, meaning they cannot threaten to hurt you, cannot use obscene or profane language, and cannot repeatedly use the phone to annoy or harass you. They also cannot lie, so debt collectors cannot tell you that you owe a different amount than what you actually owe, cannot pretend to be an attorney or from the government, and cannot tell you are facing arrest, or claim they will take legal action against when it is not true. Debt collectors also cannot treat you unfairly, meaning they cannot try to collect fees, interest, or other charges on top of an amount you owe, unless an original contract or law says they can, cannot deposit a post-dated check early, and cannot publicly reveal your debts, including by sending postcards or putting information on envelopes.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Creditor Harassment Attorney
Are you dealing with a ridiculous level of creditor harassment? The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. represents clients in California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
Our firm will be able to conduct an independent investigation and make sure a creditor is held accountable for any violations of state or federal law. Call (818) 646-5690 or contact us online to set up a free consultation that will allow us to review your case and help discuss what you can do moving forward.
Taking Actions Against Creditors Nationwide
Creditors and debt collectors are bullies. Like any bullies, once they are punched in the nose, they will usually back off and find another target. If you are being subjected to creditor harassment, the best thing you can do is stand up for yourself and let them know you are not going to take it anymore.
How can you stand up to a creditor? The most effective method is to hire an experienced consumer rights lawyer to show you mean business. At the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman in Woodland Hills, we have the skills and resources to protect consumers and put creditors in their place.
Once confronted with the fact that a lawyer is representing the debtor, most creditors will immediately stop the harassing calls to avoid further risking violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). One of the first actions we will take on your behalf is to send a letter to the creditor notifying them of our attorney-client relationship.
If the creditor harassment continues, we can pursue a lawsuit to collect compensation under the FDCPA and to put a stop to the harassment.
Are you ready to make the harassment stop and get back to living your life?
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with our nationwide harassment attorney. We’ll take it from there.