If you are being harassed by a debt collector, you know how overwhelming and even frightening the experience can be. Fortunately, consumers have legal rights, and debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in certain behaviors. Here is how hiring a bankruptcy lawyer can put an immediate stop to abusive debt collections.
Incessant Phone Calls
The first sign of abusive and illegal debt collection practices is usually incessant phone calls from a debt collection agency. According to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector is legally forbidden from calling you before eight in the morning or after nine at night. A debt collector also may not contact you at work.
Debt collectors frequently employ threatening language to forcibly compel consumers to pay debts they either owe or have been mistakenly reported as owing. In Illinois, debt collectors are prohibited from threatening consumers, including sending repeated mailed notices. If you have asked the debt collector to stop calling, draft a letter to the organization requesting that they cease contact and pay for a return receipt to prove that it has been received. If your debt collector still contacts you after that, contact a lawyer.
Debt collectors are often guilty of insufficient or improper disclosure. According to the law, each debt collector must send you a written validation notice telling you how much you owe within five days of their first contact. The debt collector must disclose the name of the creditor, how much money you are said to owe, and how you should proceed if you believe the notice is in error. Debt collectors are also not allowed to send materials regarding the debt collection that indicate the purpose of the correspondence on the outside envelope.