Know Your Rights As A Borrower

October 20, 2011 by  Filed under: Bankruptcy 

Many of us know the pressures of dealing with debt collectors and lenders pursuing collection on delinquent accounts. For someone who is significantly in debt and experiencing financial hardships, this can become overwhelming. Even worse, the number of fraudulent and scam companies have been on the rise victimizing unsuspecting debtors.

Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission has enacted several programs to protect consumers. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created to educate consumers about their rights and provide a way for people to report fraudulent or unprofessional debt collection practices.

Lawsuits Rise

The FTC has seen a sharp increase in the number of complaints against debt collectors and lenders, resulting in an increase in the number of lawsuits filed against these companies. Over 800 lawsuits were filed in September of this year, citing violations of the FDCPA. Of those lawsuits, nearly 700 involved different companies. That means that there are currently 700 difference debt collection companies or lenders being sued for unscrupulous debt collection practices.

Consumer Protection

Consumer protection has long been the mission of the Federal Trade Commission. Just as these lawsuits are going to have these unprofessional companies tied up in court for months, these companies are also likely to face scrutiny and close governance by the FTC for years to come. The FTC has been working diligently to step up regulations of companies engaging in abusive or fraudulent practices, but they also have been focusing on consumer education.

As a consumer it is important to know your rights when it comes to debt collection. First, every consumer needs to know that they have the right to resolve their debts directly with a lender. Although a third party debt collector may insist the debt be repaid through their services, debtors maintain the right to terminate communication with the third party and handle debts directly with a creditor or lender at any time. In fact, submitting a written request to cease communication to the third party collector can halt efforts and, if efforts are not ceased, the debtor then has the right to pursue further action against the debt collector.

Second, consumers should know that they maintain the right to have possession of their account records, including any debt delinquency notifications or settlement agreements. Anyone that is in negotiations to resolve a debt should obtain written copies of the account standing, ledgers of any delinquency fees or charges, as well as an official copy of the settlement agreement. Any lender that tries to hid information or refuses to provide written documentation should be reported to the FTC.

The Lee Law Firms aims to help local residents resolve their debt issues and achieve a financially healthy future. Their mission is to provide high quality legal representation that to assist hard working people lower monthly debt payments, stop wage garnishment, prevent foreclosures, and stop calls from creditors. The Lee Law Firm bankruptcy attorneys have many years of experience in all aspects of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Dallas.

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