When you’re facing mounting bills and feel yourself slipping into debt, it may seem like creditor calls are the norm— just another stressful problem to deal with as you try to get back on your feet. But this is exactly when some unscrupulous creditors will take advantage of you. When you’re feeling harassed but think there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s time to consult with a debt harassment lawyer. Debt harassment is against the law.
Some bill collectors will stop at nothing to get the money they’re owed and resort to fraudulent tactics in order to take advantage of your mental stress and lack of consumer law knowledge. The Federal Trade Commission is aware of this, and you have rights.
The Jonesboro debt harassment attorneys recognize these illegal tactics and know how to protect your rights as a consumer. If you believe bill collectors and creditors are harassing you, contact us by filling out our free case evaluation form today.
What Is Debt Harassment?
Creditors have the right to seek money that’s owed to them. However, there is a difference between lawful collection attempts and fraudulent harassing methods. When you come to us, our Jonesboro debt harassment lawyers examine your case and work with you to stop the harassment and, in some cases, take legal action against the guilty bill collectors.
The federal government has enacted several laws to protect consumers like you from being illegally pursued by collectors. Your creditors are certainly allowed to attempt to collect the money you owe them, but they are required to do so within the law.
Are You Receiving Harassing Phone Calls About Debt?
It is common to get behind on your bills. A lost job, reduction in hours, unexpected financial burden,—or just credit cards—can be financially overwhelming.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is legislation that prohibits and punishes debt collectors who abuse or harass you and your family over unpaid bills or debt.
Our attorneys in Jonesboro help you understand how federal law protects you against debt calls and other actions that include:
Unfair debt collection tactics: A debt collector, or debt collection agency, may not contact you at all hours of the day or night. Calls made after 9 p.m., or before 8 a.m. could be considered unreasonable. Making repeated attempts to contact you at work is inappropriate if you have informed them not to contact you at your place of employment. If you are represented by a debt collection attorney in Jonesboro or elsewhere, a debt collector may only contact your attorney.
Harassment and abuse: If you are targeted by a debt collector in Arkansas who uses abuse to threaten or intimidate you, it is illegal. Debt agencies may not threaten violence or imprisonment. They also cannot place harassing phone calls, or inform your associates through advertisement or other means that you owe a debt.
Misrepresentation: When contacted by debt collectors, many people are upset, embarrassed, or frightened by the prospect of legal action. Some debt collectors misrepresent themselves as attorneys, government officials, or even as a creditor.
A creditor is an organization to whom you directly owe money—like a car dealership, or the bank that finances your home loan. Debt collectors often work for an agency that has purchased your debt—even an old, forgotten, or previously paid debt—from a creditor for pennies on the dollar. Some unscrupulous debt collectors try to collect twice on debt, or collect on debt that has already been discharged by a creditor, called zombie debt. If you do not know your rights, and a person shows up at your door telling you that you owe money right now, it is important for you to know how to get help.
Remember the FDCPA exists to protect you from unfair and harassing debt collection efforts. This law does not prevent creditors or debt collectors from legally proceeding with debt collection actions against you for unpaid debt.
Also, the FDCPA protects individuals who owe consumer debt—such as car loans, house payments, medical bills, and charges on credit cards. The FDCPA is not intended for use in commerce for business debt.
Can I Stop Debt Harassment?
You can also take a few steps on your own to halt creditor harassment:
- Document any questionable or illegal behavior (include times and dates);
- Contact the collector in writing and ask them to stop contacting you; and
- Request forms from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a complaint.
Then contact a Jonesboro debt harassment attorney to speak more about your rights and if you have grounds to take legal action.
Let Our Jonesboro Law Firm Help Protect You From Debt Harassment
If collection agencies are bothering you and your family over financial debt, you don’t have to sit back and take the harassment. Fill out our free case evaluation form today to see what our Jonesboro debt harassment attorneys may be able to do for you.