When you reach the financial point where filing for bankruptcy becomes a very real option, your relationships with debt collectors often start to change. When your creditors and debt collectors handle your missed payments on file, they start getting more aggressive. However, for debt collectors in particular, there are laws to prevent harassment, illegal contact, and a number of other unpleasant activities. These laws are designed to protect you, and with the help of Behm Law Group, Ltd. and our experienced bankruptcy attorneys in Pipestone, MN, you can also be protected during the process of filing for bankruptcy.
While your creditors are usually not subject to these laws, debt collectors from any agency are legally bound to collect under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)
Debt collectors are any entities whose professional purpose is to collect debts on behalf of a creditor that a debtor owes to that creditor. They are third parties involved in collecting debt for a creditor. A creditor, on the other hand, is an entity collecting debts directly from those who owe it. The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from illegal action against the debtor.
Though the fair collections laws apply primarily to debt collectors, there are times when they also apply to creditors. This can happen when creditors are debt buyers, when they use fake names to collect, or when they use flat rate collection companies.
Illegal Collections Practices
The FDCPA makes the following illegal for debt collectors:
- Calling if you have revealed that you are represented by an attorney
- Calling you at a place you have stated is inconvenient
- Calling outside of the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM or calling at any other times you have stated as inconvenient
- Not identifying themselves when they call or attempting to mislead you about their identity
- Using predial or autodial tactics to contact you (this also applies to text messages)
- Revealing your debt situations to others
- Contacting your family, friends, or acquaintances about your debt
- Mailing you debt collections papers with no envelope (i.e. postcards)
- Leaving you voicemails talking about your debt
- Contacting you after you request for them to stop
- Not informing credit recording agencies when you dispute a debt
- Not informing you of your right to request a debt collector to verify the legitimacy of the debt in question
- Threatening or harassing you in any other way
- Threatening you with going to jail
If you are overwhelmed by debt, you may want to consider the actions of your debt collectors and creditors. In many cases, those struggling with financial difficulties should also consider their options with bankruptcy. Behm Law Group, Ltd. can provide the assistance you need throughout the process of filing for bankruptcy with our bankruptcy attorneys in Pipestone, MN. For more information, contact us at (507) 387-7200 today.