Posts Tagged: ‘debt collectors’

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.

 

Click here to read more on this story.

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.

Click here to read more on the story.

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.

Debt Collectors Calling You? Make sure you know your rights.

March 9, 2015 Posted by kingcade

In honor of National Consumer Protection Week, at the law firm of Kingcade & Garcia we want to take a moment and educate you on your rights as a consumer. There are few things more frustrating than being harassed by a debt collector for a bill you cannot pay. There are federal laws that protect consumers from inappropriate and deceptive debt collection practices.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act defines consumers’ rights when it comes to dealing with debt collection agencies and regulates what debt collectors can and cannot do legally when collecting on a debt. A collection agency has the right to call you at your home or workplace within reasonable hours, unless you specifically ask them not to do so. Within five days of calling you, a collection agency is required to send you a written confirmation stating the amount you owe and the name of the creditor.

If you do not believe you owe the debt, you can send the agency a letter explaining this within 30 days of receiving the notice, according to the Federal Trade Commission. With the letter, include any proof that the debt is not yours. The collection agency must cease contacting you at this time, unless it can send you written verification that the debt is in fact yours.

If the debt is yours and you want the agency to stop contacting you, you can send a letter requesting this. After your letter has been received, there are two instances in which you may still be contacted by the debt collector:

• The collector may contact you to let you know there will be no further contact;
• The collector may contact you to let you know that a specific action will be taken (i.e. – filing a lawsuit against you). If this is the case, it is important that you respond to any court summons you receive, otherwise you forfeit your right to fight a wage garnishment and the debt collection agency can take money directly out of your bank account.

Important Tip: Make sure you keep copies of communication you have had with the debt collection agency. This will be of great importance if legal action occurs.

Debt collectors can also contact third parties (typically only one time) to find out general information about you (i.e. – your address, phone number or place of employment.)

What Debt Collectors Cannot Do:

Contact you at unreasonable hours. Debt collectors cannot contact you during unreasonable hours, before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They also must quit calling you at your place of employment if you notify them in writing or over the phone that you cannot accept calls there.
NO harassment. A debt collector cannot harass you about a debt you owe. Harassment can include threats of violence, obscene language, multiple phone calls or publishing your name publicly because you owe a debt.
NO unfair collection practices. A debt collector may not engage in unfair collection practices (i.e. – trying to collect more than you owe, depositing a post-dated check early or taking your property when they are not legally allowed to do so).
NO double dipping. If a collection agency has more than one of your debts, it cannot apply payments you make to one debt to another. It also cannot apply payments to a debt you say you do not owe.
NO lying. A debt collector cannot lie to you in an attempt to collect on a debt. These lies can include falsely representing him or herself as an attorney, government official or someone else; accusing you of committing a crime; stating you owe more than you do. Debt collectors cannot threaten legal action or wage garnishment will occur if this is not the case. They also cannot give false credit information or lie about the agency they work for.

If you have an attorney representing you, the collection agency has to talk to your attorney, not you. As a general rule, a debt collector cannot discuss your debt with anyone besides you, your spouse and your attorney.

If you have questions regarding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, click here to watch this short video.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing 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.

Related Resources:
http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-basics/debt-collectors-consumer-rights/

Debt Collectors Come under Fire in Recent Lawsuit

September 2, 2014 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed its first lawsuit against Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, a debt-collection firm, based in Marietta, GA. The firm is accused of violating federal consumer protection laws, processing more than 350,000 credit card collection complaints against consumers, some of whom may owe nothing or owed less than was claimed.

These collection practices are widespread. Roughly 77 million Americans have debt in collections, according to a recent study published by Urban Institute. CFPB officials say the regulator may sue law firms if they operate as debt-collection businesses rather than legal advisers.

The vast majority of borrowers sued in these cases do not appear in court and as a result, many of the cases end in a default judgment allowing the collector to garnish wages, freeze bank accounts or put a lien on property. These judgments can be difficult to correct.

CFPB officials are weighing regulations that would impose tougher requirements on debt collectors to establish they have the right to collect on a debt and ensure the amount is accurate. These rules would also impact banks and debt buyers as well.

Legal experts say the suit could signal the regulator’s intent to target similar high-volume law firms, and potentially banks and debt buyers, over allegations that debt collection claims can be out of date, incorrect in their amounts, lacking in documentary support or overlapping with claims filed against the same debtors.

If you are in a 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.

Related Resources:
http://online.wsj.com/articles/regulator-targets-legal-debt-collectors-1407105604