Debt Collection Attorney Fort Lauderdale
Debt collection agents can contact you if you fall behind on your bills, fail to pay your credit cards, fail to pay utilities or internet services, miss a car payment, or fall behind in any debt you have. In this case, a debt collector will likely try to contact you to get you to pay a bill. Debt collectors can be aggressive, and sometimes will send you repeated collection letters and call you at different times during the day. Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protect you in the event you experience harassment from debt collectors. Organizations that may contact you to get you to pay a debt include:
- The original company or organization or bank to whom you owe the debt
- Collection agencies
- Companies that buy delinquent debts
What should you do if you find yourself receiving frequent calls from collection agencies, lawyers, or these companies that buy delinquent debts?
Understand your rights. The law protects you from unfair or harassing collection practices. Collectors are only allowed to call you within certain reasonable hours. For instance, a collector cannot call you before eight a.m. and 9 p.m. and, if you tell a collector to stop calling you at work, the collector must stop calling. Additionally, you have the right to ask a debt collector, in writing, to stop contacting you. You’ll need to send the collection agency a letter (make a copy for your records) through certified mail. This way, you’ll have documentation that the agency received your letter. You’ll still owe money on the debt and the collector can still contact you if the agency decides to sue, but the letter can put an end to frequent harassment and calls.
Debt Collector’s Responsibilities to You. After contacting you, a debt collector is required to validate your debt within five days after making contact (written proof of any debt owed). Debt collectors are also not allowed to use threats, use obscene language, or call you repeatedly to annoy you into paying the debt. Debt collectors also may not lie to you in order to collect a debt, nor may they make false claims about their identity. They cannot falsely accuse you of criminal activity, nor misrepresent the amount you owe. Debt collectors have a responsibility to accurately represent what actions they can legally take against you. Remember that it is illegal for a debt collector to claim that you’ll be arrested for not paying a debt. If a debt collector violates the law, you have the right to sue a collector. The law can require the debt collector to pay you $1,000. If a debt collector violates the law in trying to contact you, you have the right to contact the Federal Trade Commission or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to report the violation.
If you’re facing debt collectors, phone calls, and letters, it is important to understand that the law provides individuals certain protections, including bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is one method that can legally clear you of debt and get debt collection agencies to leave you alone. Glerum Law has years of experience helping individuals fight debt collection agencies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Contact us today to learn more about your rights. Fighting debt collectors alone can be a challenging process. You need a bankruptcy lawyer who can help you fight and win against debt collectors.
What Should I Do When Contacted by Debt Collectors?
Receiving phone calls and letters from a debt collection agency can be a humiliating and stressful situation. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to protect your rights:
- Don’t ignore the calls. Answer the phone and politely ask the collection agency to send you a letter validating the debt. You have a right to verify the debt in writing.
- Do not provide the collection agency with your credit card or bank information before receiving validation through the mail. Additionally, don’t pay any amount until you receive a validation. In some cases, collection agencies try to collect on “zombie debt,” debt which has passed the statute of limitations on collections.
- If you receive a debt validation, contact a lawyer or attorney to help you find solutions.
While there are actions you can take on your own to protect yourself from debt collection harassment, a Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy lawyer can help relieve you of the legal obligation to pay a debt. Through bankruptcy, you can get a fresh start. Glerum Law offers skilled and experienced bankruptcy representation to individuals facing debt collection practices.
Creditor Harassment: An Increasing Problem
Unfortunately, in recent years, there have been more reports of debt collectors using unfair collection practices. Creditors are not allowed to call you repeatedly within a short period of time, call you at odd hours of the morning or night, threaten you with violence, use profanity, make false representations of any kind, claim to take legal action if they cannot or will not do so, claim that you’ll be arrested for not paying a debt, misrepresent themselves as lawyers if they are not lawyers, or make false statements to credit reporting agencies. Furthermore, debt collection agencies are prohibited from contacting you if you provide a written cease and desist letter.
You have the right to take legal action if a company engages in unfair debt collection tactics. If you’re being contacted by debt collectors, Glerum Law understands your rights and the debt collection agencies responsibility to you. If you believe you may be a victim of unfair debt collection practices, you need a bankruptcy lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who can review the details of your case and determine the best course of action.
Know your rights. Do not accept harassment. Seek qualified legal counsel if you find yourself facing debt collectors and harassment. Contact Glerum Law today. We can help you fight debt collection agencies when they break the law, and we can help you file for bankruptcy, if this is the best course of action.