No matter what your financial situation is, you don’t deserve to be harassed by creditors and collection agents. In fact, any aggressive or manipulative debt collection practices are illegal, thanks to the 1962 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If you’re struggling to meet debt payments each month, you may begin to see some of the nastier collection practices creditors employ. If you’re experiencing that kind of aggression, remember that it’s illegal and you can protect yourself against it. At Behm Law Group Ltd., we see many clients take action to protect themselves from creditors by finding effective debt assistance in Mankato, MN, and the surrounding area by filing a bankruptcy case.
While there are ways to protect yourself against aggressive creditor action without filing for bankruptcy, the advantage you gain with a bankruptcy petition and the subsequent automatic stay can be extremely impactful. As soon as you file a bankruptcy petition, the court places an automatic stay on the collection actions of your creditors. If they attempt to continue collections, they may be facing legal repercussions and significant punitive, monetary sanctions. With the additional protection of a Behm Law Group attorney, you can be sure you will be safe from creditor harassment for the duration of your bankruptcy case and afterward.
Even if you aren’t filing for bankruptcy, you can still trust in the FDCPA to protect you from creditor misconduct. Under the laws outlined in this act, creditors are prohibited from the following:
- Calling you without identifying themselves as your creditor, a collection agency, or other related party tasked with collecting on your debt.
- Calling you with excessive persistence.
- Calling you during inconvenient hours of the day or any time at night (9 pm to 8 am).
- Call you or otherwise contact you at your workplace if your employer does not allow it.
- Contacting any third parties other than your original creditor (if they are a hired collection agency), credit reporters, and your attorney. The exceptions to this are spouses, co-debtors, and parents of minor-age debtors—all of whom they can call unless you have a written request for them to stop contact.
- Claiming to be an attorney.
- Claiming you owe more money than you do or adding extra interest, fees, and charges that are not legally included in your contract.
- Sending you fake legal documents.
- Threatening you with violence.
- Using profanity or obscene language with you or other parties.
- Telling you that you will go to jail if you don’t pay the debt.
- Telling you that the non-payment of your debt is a criminal offense.
If you are experiencing any of these illegal actions with your creditors or collection agencies, you have the power to stop them. You can ask them directly to stop in a formal letter, which often works. You can also document their illegal actions if you suspect it will be used in court, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and/or sue them in court.