Sometimes creditors go too far to collect a debt, crossing the line into harassment. If a creditor is calling you at all hours, making threats, or refuses to provide you with more information, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
At a glance, your rights under the FDCPA prohibits a creditor from:
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contacting you at your place of employment if your employer does not allow it
- Making misleading, deceitful or threatening statements or repeatedly calling to annoy, harass or abuse you
- Using robocall technology without your permission
Under FDCPA, a creditor must:
- Send written information advising you of your rights within the first 5 days of first contacting you
- Provide additional information regarding your debt if requested
Stopping Creditor Harassment
Of course, if you are being harassed by creditors because you have fallen behind on the payment of various bills, you can stop creditor harassment by sending a request in writing. However, even if a creditor stops calling and sending harassing letters does not mean they have given up. Some may go on to file a lawsuit to obtain a civil judgement to collect the debt via wage garnishment, often making a difficult financial situation worse. For many, the best solution is to seek bankruptcy protection in order to not only stop the collection process, but to discharge the debt causing all the problems in the first place.
An automatic stay in bankruptcy prohibits most civil procedures such as lawsuits, garnishments, and creditor harassment, while liquefying debt in a chapter 7 bankruptcy or creating an affordable repayment plan in a chapter 13 bankruptcy. Proactively working to solve a difficult financial problem before it snowballs out of your control can help you avoid legal entanglements with creditors and get you on a path to financial recovery. The best place to start is by discussing your unique circumstances with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can help you decide if bankruptcy protection is the right strategy for you. Contact Illinois bankruptcy attorney Charles E. Covey for a free consultation at 309-674-8125.