The Basics Of Debt Collection

March 29, 2012 by  Filed under: Bankruptcy 

With so many people deeper into debt than ever before, the debt collection business is booming. Unfortunately, too many of us know what it is like to deal with debt collectors. Although they do have the right to make collection attempts, you might be surprised to learn that they are bound by some very specific rules and guidelines.

Fair Debt Collection

Despite the fact that so many people know all too well the stresses of debt collections, many have little clue about their rights in the process. The Federal Trade Commission is working to better educate consumers about their rights in debt collection to prevent abuse and unfair debt collection practices. The rules set forth by the FTC and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act outline some specific guidelines about how collectors can contact you, when they can contact you and what they are allowed to collect.

The most commonly violated rule of debt collection is the use of deception or misleading statements. Debt collectors are notorious for their persistent efforts, some of which include lying or making false claims in order to scare you into paying the debt. This is especially true of the elderly, who are often scammed into paying debts they can’t afford out of fear. Debt collectors may also become harassing, making repeated phone calls, call after hours, contact friends or family members and even use abusive language when attempting to collect. All of these practices are prohibited under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Contacting through email, social media sites or by releasing your personal information to the public is also strictly forbidden.

Although these rules are in place, debt collectors violate these rules on a daily basis. The FTC encourages anyone who has experienced violations of fair debt collection practices to report the debt collector right away.

Stop Collections

There are a few ways to stop annoying debt collectors. First, you have the right to negotiate and repay your debts directly to your lender. Even if the creditor has turned over your account to a collection agency, you can resolve your debts directly. By contacting your creditor to arrange a debt resolution plan, you can also request that the collection efforts be terminated. Your creditor is legally required to terminate their interactions with the debt collector upon your request, once you have successfully agreed to a deal.

Also, you can stop credit collections by filing for bankruptcy. Once you file for bankruptcy, all collection efforts must stop immediately. Any further contact by a collector can lead to serious consequences on their part. Further, any communication or correspondence from the debt collector will be mediated by your bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is a great option for dealing with creditors if you cannot afford to repay your debts, are struggling to negotiate with creditors directly, have received a notification of a lawsuit over collections or have assets at risk of liquidation.

As a Texas bankruptcy attorney, Chris has had the opportunity to help thousands of people avoid foreclosure, stop wage garnishment, resolve their debts and gain financial stability. The attorneys at the Lee Law Firm understand the toll that financial hardships can take, which is why they offer compassionate services to walk people through the process when filing bankruptcy.

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