Posts Tagged: ‘debt collectors’

What to do When Debt Collectors Call

August 12, 2016 Posted by kingcade

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), collectors have reached out to one-third of all consumers over the past year in an attempt to recover a debt. Although there are many laws in place to protect consumers, the CFPB reported that approximately 25 percent of all grievances the agency has received are complaints about debt collection practices. The CFPB recently proposed new rules to better protect consumers against illegal or unethical debt collection practices.

The CFPB recommends these four measures you need to take when debt collectors call:

  1. Know your rights. Familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), this will help you better understand your rights as a consumers and how you are protected by the CFPB. When a debt collector contacts you, make sure you tell them you are aware of your rights under the FDCPA.
  2. Verify everything. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are legally require to follow up their call with a written notice detailing your debt. Make sure you ask for that information while you have them on the phone. You also need to verify the debt and the collector. Sometimes debt collectors try to collect “zombie debt” that is past the statute of limitations in your state.
  3. Take detailed notes. Write down every time the collector makes contact with you. In your notes include: the agency’s name, the number they called from or the email address used, the time of the call and the name of the representative you spoke with. Also write down any threats that are made or unethical tactics the collector used to get you to pay the debt.
  4. Complain to the CFPB. If you know your rights and you are aware that a debt collector has violated the FDCPA to try to collect debts, report the encounters to the CFPB.

 

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If you 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, P.A. 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

8 Things Debt Collectors Won’t Tell You

August 8, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Debt collectors often use extreme and dishonest measures to try to collect on debts. However, there are a number of things that they are not likely to tell you, and knowing these things can make all the difference in resolving your debts.

Below are eight things debt collectors are not telling you:

  1. Some of their threats carry no weight. Oftentimes, debt collectors use empty threats such as, “We are going to inform your creditor that you are refusing to pay this bill.” However, your creditor already knows you are not paying the bill, which is why the bill was sent to a collection agency.
  2. If you tell them not to call during work hours, they must comply. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors cannot continue to call you while you are at work, if you tell them not to. However, the 2011 Annual Report to Congress about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act complaints proved that 17,008 complaints were filed in 2010 related to debt collection calls to consumers at work. This number is up from 11,991 complaints the previous year.
  3. They cannot talk about your debts to others. Debt collectors are only allowed to discuss your debt with you, a co-signer, your spouse or your attorney. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors can only contact “third parties” to locate you.
  4. Your debt may be stale. Each state has its own statute of limitations that makes debt of certain ages not collectible. However, some debt collectors continue to target borrowers to collect on old debts.
  5. Debt collectors are under pressure to collect, just like you are to pay. Most collectors work on sliding scale commissions. This means that the quicker they collect money from debtors, the higher their commission.
  6. They cannot go after your possessions unless they sue you. Debt collectors must sue you before they can go after your property, including money in your bank account. Even threatening to sue you to collect a debt may be illegal if the collector has no intention of doing so.
  7. Paying off this debt will not boost your credit ratings. When a debt is sent to collections, it will remain on your credit report for seven and a half years from the date you fell behind with the original creditor. Collectors will often tell you they will “update your credit report to paid in full status.” However, the change will not likely affect your credit report.
  8. You probably do not have to pay your deceased relative’s debt. You are generally not responsible for the debts of relatives who have died unless you were a co-signer of the debt or the debt belonged to your spouse who died.

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If you 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, P.A. 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

5 New Rules Can Protect You From Extreme Debt Collection Practices

August 4, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken many steps to protect borrowers from illegal debt collection practices. However, debt collectors continue to use extreme measures to try to collect on debt. The Director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray said, “We continue to hear about serious problems with debt collection – debiting accounts without authorization, calling at all hours of the day or night, threats of arrest or criminal prosecution or threats of physical harm to consumers and even their pets.”

As a result, the CFPB has proposed a new set of rules that will further monitor debt collectors’ practices and prohibit them from harassing and tricking consumers. Below are five of the new rules that will protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices.

  1. According to the CFPB, approximately one-third of all consumers who are contacted by debt collectors said the attempt to collect was for the wrong amount. This occurs because debts are often sold to debt collectors with limited and inaccurate or incomplete information about the consumers and their debts. However, new proposed rules would force debt collectors to “scrub” their files and make sure they have the correct consumer and debt information before contacting the borrower.
  2. The CFPB’s new proposal would also prohibit debt collectors from contacting consumers more than six times per week. Some debt collectors contact consumers multiple times per day, causing a major disruption to their daily lives. The new limits would also give consumers the right to tell collectors not to call on a particular phone line or at a particular time of the day, such as during work hours.
  3. Another new rule would force debt collectors to disclose more information to consumers regarding their debt. This rule gives consumers the opportunity to defend themselves against illegal practices and enable them to spot a debt collection scam. The same rule would also force collectors to tell consumers if their debt is too old to initiate legal action.
  4. Debt collectors would also be forced to provide consumers with a debt report if they disputed a debt via written notice. Until the debt report is provided to the consumer the collectors would not be permitted to actively pursue debt collection.
  5. Finally, the new rules would also prevent debt collectors from transferring debt without responding to debt disputes. If the debt is transferred before the dispute, the next collector would not be able to pursue the debt until a response is submitted.

 

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If you 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, P.A. 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Student Loan Debt Collector

July 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Balboa Student Loan Trust for harassing former Everest College students for repayment of their student loans. The harassment came as a shock to former students whose debt had been previously forgiven by the U.S. Department of Education after it was determined that the institution was misleading students. Balboa Student Loan Trust, the company that purchased a portion of Everest College debts, has ignored the findings and has reportedly called students up to five times per day to collect on the student loan debts.

Everest College is owned and operated by Corinthian Colleges. The U.S. Department of Education fined Corinthian Colleges $30 million in April of last year for misrepresenting their job replacement rates. Later that month, Corinthian Colleges filed for bankruptcy and has since lost its accreditation. The colleges were also offering loans through a student loan program called Genesis, which was later found to be a scam by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when nearly 60 percent of the students defaulted on their loans due to outrageous repayment rates. Balboa Student Loan Trust later purchased these loans and promised to forgive 40 percent of the debt and stop harassing students to repay their loans. However, the consumer class action suit claims the debt collector has violated the terms that were agreed upon with the federal government.

“These private lenders are victimizing these students a second time by continuing to try and collect on debt that was incurred through fraud and deceit,” Anne Richardson said. Richardson is an attorney with Public Counsel, one of the law firms that filed the class action suit.

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For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all 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, P.A. 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

6 Steps to Defeat Student Loan Debt Collectors

March 27, 2015 Posted by kingcade

President Obama has promised to take action against abusive student loan debt collectors. Through his Student Aid Bill of Rights, his goal is to ensure consumer protections for student loan borrowers. More than 70 percent of college graduates have student loan debt, the second largest source of debt in America.

In the first quarter of 2015 more than twelve percent of student loan debts were in default, according to the National Student Loan Data System. Analysts predict the number of borrowers in default will continue to increase unless something is done.

Below are six steps you can take to help better manage your student loan debt:

1. Contact your lender. Lenders often sell loans, therefore several agencies may be involved in the collection of your  debt. The first thing you must do is contact your lender to make sure you have information on any and all balances you have outstanding. You will need to make a list of all of your debts along with the specific lenders and account numbers.
2. Check your credit report. Oftentimes, collection agencies will report student loans multiple times and will report a separate line per semester with different account numbers. Make sure there are no duplicate loans on your credit report.
3. Apply for the rehabilitation program. Contact the collection agency that now has your student loan and explain that you wish to apply for the loan rehabilitation program with more affordable payments. The benefits of rehabilitation include: bringing your loan out of default, repairing the damage on your credit report, and after five months in the program, you can stop any garnishments being taken out of your paycheck or tax refund.
4. Make your payments on time. If you successfully make nine payments on time, your loan will be taken out of collections. In addition, the default status will be removed.
5. Ask the collection agency for a letter to confirm that your loan has been removed from the default status. You will need to request letters from every collection agency that you have been paying.
6. Contact the three major credit bureaus. Once you receive the confirmation letters, contact all three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and forward a copy to each of them.

Click here to read more on the 6 steps to defeat student loan debt collectors.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you 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, P.A. 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 website at http://www.miamibankruptcy.com.