People accumulate debt for all kinds of reasons, whether it’s going back to school, having a baby, or one of life’s unexpected emergencies. Regardless of your circumstances, being in debt can be stressful- it can be made even worse by creditor harassment.
The first step is to try to address the issue before it becomes a problem. Do not ignore the debt and hope it goes away. It will not. Tell the creditor you are unable to pay the bill. You can attempt to settle the debt at a reduced amount or request to be placed on an affordable monthly payment plan. If these options do not work, you can write a letter requesting that the collector stop contacting you all together.
Another option is to sit down with an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation to discuss your financial situation in greater detail. Bankruptcy automatically protects you from further collection activity and is an effective way to stop creditor’s from harassing you.
If you are struggling with debt, know your rights and what debt collectors can and cannot do. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) limits the tactics that debt collectors can take to collect on a debt.
Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, it is illegal for debt collectors to do the following:
- Call you repeatedly
- Contact your employer or neighbors about your debt (they may only contact them to locate you, but may not mention the debt)
- Call you late at night or at unreasonable hours
- Call you at work
- Engage in deceptive conduct
- Calling you without disclosing their identity
- Use obscene, derogatory, or insulting remarks
- Threaten arrest or loss of child custody or welfare benefits
- Publish your name
- Use any communication, language or symbols on envelopes or postcards that indicate that the sender is in the debt collection business
- Threaten repossession without legal right or present intent to do so
If the collection agency has made any of these violations, you may be able to sue them for damages, your attorney fees, plus an additional $1,000.00.
If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.