One frequently cited reason why people seek advice about bankruptcy and other debt relief options is to avoid ongoing harassment from creditors. Whether a client needs to stop repossession of a vehicle or fight foreclosure on a primary residence, a bankruptcy attorney can explain the many legal options available.
As important as legal advice from a debt relief lawyer can ultimately be for a creditor, a few common sense tips can help those who are experiencing debt collection harassment:
- Understand the basic legal rights of consumers under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the protections provided by the Federal Trade Commission and other state and federal government agencies
- Keep a close record of all conversations and correspondence with debt collectors to document abusive or unacceptable practices, and request a written statement that details the alleged debt
- Demand the address of debt collectors who call repeatedly, and send a certified cease-and-desist letter to request that the calls stop
Private collection agencies often pick up debt from banks and credit card companies for pennies on the dollar and have everything to gain by hounding debtors. For that same reason, they can be amenable to settlements if the person who owes them takes a strong negotiating stance.
Most important of all, consumers should never depend on a harassing caller for honest information about their rights and obligations. A consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer can provide immediate insights into everything from debt settlement negotiations to the immediate relief provided by the automatic stay under U.S. and Arizona bankruptcy laws.