If you are being harassed by creditors there are federal laws that they may be violating. Consumers are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which aims to eliminate abusive actions from creditors who are trying to collect debts. There are numerous practices that the FDCPA regulates, including:
- Calling hours: restricts calling to be done between the hours of 8am and 9pm.
- Requests to cease communication: if a consumer writes a notice asking to halt communication the collector must do so unless it is in litigation, or if they are warning that they will pursue a lawsuit, or if they are no longer wanting to collect.
- Contact at workplace: if the employer informs the collector that is it prohibited to try to communicate while the consumer is at work they cannot call them while they are at work.
- Trying to contact a consumer who is represented by a lawyer.
- Threats of legal action that is not permitted or in question.
- Abusive language in any form of communication.
- Misrepresentation of the debt.
- Giving false information.
- Refusing to provide his or her name.
There are many other actions that this act prohibits in order to ensure that the collectors act in appropriate and fair ways. The FDCPA also requires certain actions when it comes to the relations and actions between consumers and creditors who want to collect debt. Collectors must accurately identify who they are to the consumer every time they contact them. They also have to make it known to the consumer that they have the right to fight against the debt. On top of that there needs to be verification of the debt provided to the consumer if they ask for it. Harassment is not acceptable when it comes to creditors who are trying to collect debt, there are guidelines that need to be followed. If a creditor is harassing you, you can file a lawsuit against them and may be eligible to recover damages. You could be able to receive statutory damages of up to $1,000 and even get your attorney's legal fees paid for if the collector is proven to have violated the FDCPA.
If you are dealing with a creditor who harasses you in any of the ways listed above or in a way you do not think is allowed, contact Smith Ortiz P.C. today. If a collector violates the FDCPA then the law is on your side and you may be able to collect compensation for the harassment. Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys have over 26 years of combined experience dealing with bankruptcies and all types of cases regarding collectors who overstep boundaries and harass consumers. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation; you can ask questions and discuss your case with a skilled bankruptcy lawyer from Smith Ortiz, P.C.