Debtor & Collections Law
In today’s economy, it’s hard to keep your head above water. It’s even more difficult if you, or someone in your house, have suffered an employment setback or incurred unexpected costs (e.g., a home or automobile repair, medical treatment, or lawsuit). Just because you are having trouble making ends meet doesn’t mean that creditors can harass you. Talk to one of our attorneys about your rights and explore what’s available to help get you back on your feet.
If you have already been sued by a creditor, mortgage company, or debt collector, immediately schedule a consultation with an attorney.
The consultation is free! call us at 877-992-6311 or e-mail: [email protected]
You have options that can possibly save your home and straighten out any delinquency. There are also trending laws in Pennsylvania finding certain mortgages to be fraudulent. If a bank is threatening foreclosure or has already obtain a judgment you should promptly seek a consultation with an attorney. Don’t be another foreclosure statistic and allow the bank to win by default. Fight back, know your rights.
Stop Debt Collectors!
One form of immediate relief available to every consumer is the right to stop collection calls and letters, regardless of how much money you owe or how many payments you are behind. § 805(c) of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Nobody should be subjected to unwanted calls and letters nor do they need to be. If you notify a debt collector (in writing) that either: 1) you refuse to pay a debt or 2) you want the debt collector to cease further communication attempts; that debt collector is required by law to stop all communications with you except to notify inform you if they plan to take any further action (e.g., file a lawsuit or arbitration). § 805(c) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Another layer of protection from debt collectors can be achieved by hiring an attorney. Once a debt collector is notified that you have hired an attorney, that debt collector is forbidden from communicating directly with you again; instead they must now speak with your attorney. § 805(a)(2) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. On that same note, if you advise a debt collector that your employer does not allow you to receive collections communications at your place of work, the debt collector is prohibited from contacting you there. § 805(a)(3) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If a debt collector ignores any of these privacy laws and continues to call you or send you letters, they can held responsible for any damages caused to you (including your attorney’s fees) plus they can be fined up to $1,000 per infraction. Some Courts have even punished violators by eliminating the entire balance of the debt they were trying to recover. It is important to note, stopping debt collectors from contacting you will not by itself eliminate your debt nor improve your credit, it does however provide you with privacy and peace of mind at home and work so that your financial problems do not overtake your life.
Abusive Collection Practices.
The Federal government recognizes that abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy. To combat unfair practices, the government makes it illegal for debt collectors to do certain things. Essentially, a debt collector may not engage in any conduct which harasses, oppresses, or abuses any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Examples of such illegal conduct include the following and carry a potential $1,000 penalty:
· Informing others that you owe a debt
· Communicating by post card
· Indicating on an envelope that mail is from a debt collector
· Communicating directly with a person known to be represented by an attorney
· Telephoning you at inconvenient times (e.g. before 8am or after 9pm)
· Calling your workplace if you had instructed them not to call you there
· Contacting you if you had already stated that you refuse to pay the debt
· Contacting you if you had asked the debt collector to no longer contact you
· Threatening violence, physical harm, harm to reputation, or harm to property
· Using obscene or profane language
· Causing a telephone to ring or engaging a person in telephone conversation repeatedly
· Failing to identify the callers identity
· Making false representations concerning the amount of debt
· Making false representations concerning the legal status of the debt
· Implying that the debt collector is an attorney when they are not
· Implying that the debt collector is with the government when they are not
· Suggesting that you could be arrested or sent to prison