You do not have to endure collection calls. If you are losing sleep because of aggressive debt collectors, there is hope. You can even stop wage garnishments.
If you are being pursued by a collection agency or other debt collector, you should consider getting help from a lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark A. Zimmerman. We provide confidential and compassionate counsel to help people in Visalia, Hanford and Delano, California, get out of debt. You can contact our firm directly by calling 559-702-6995. You may also reach us online.
Understanding The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Debt collection companies will go to great lengths to recover money that is owed. Collection efforts take many forms, including harassment. Some collection companies will resort to illegal tactics. You can fight back. The best defense is to understand your rights.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that restricts the way debt collectors may pursue the recovery of money that is owed. Under the FDCPA, a debt collector may not do the following to collect a debt:
- Call before or after hours – Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without your express permission.
- Call you at work – Debt collectors must stop calling you at work once you have told them to stop.
- Creditors make harassing phone calls – Repeated calling may be harassment. If a creditor is calling you over and over again, let them know they are harassing you and that you will pursue legal action if they do not stop.
- Creditors misrepresent themselves – Debt collectors may not misrepresent who they are by claiming that they work for the government, own or work for a credit reporting company, or are attorneys. They also may not conceal their own identity by using a fake company name.
- Creditors misrepresent collection documents – Sometimes debt collection companies send legal-looking documents in an attempt to collect a debt. Debt collection companies may not claim that documents are legal papers if they are not. They cannot send you anything that appears to be from a court if it is not.
- Use threats – Debt collectors may not threaten you with jail by claiming you have committed a crime or make violent threats against you. They also may not use profanity or offensive language to intimidate you. Finally, debt collectors cannot threaten to take your possessions by garnishment or other means unless they have a legal right to do it.
These are just a few of the restrictions under the FDCPA. If a debt collector does any of these things, get their name, telephone number, the name of the collection company they represent, whom they are collecting for, and the date and time of the call. Tell the debt collector that they are attempting to collect a debt in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and you will take action.
Keep in mind, not all collection efforts violate the FDCPA. The FDCPA applies to debt collectors, not creditors. If you signed a credit card agreement or agreement to pay for medical treatment, there is likely a clause in there that says that you agree to be legally responsible for paying the balance owed. This means that a creditor may take collection efforts, including suing you for a money judgment and pursuing garnishment of your wages.
If you believe a debt collector is violating the FDCPA, get help from an attorney right away.
How To Stop Wage Garnishment
If your wages are being garnished or you have received a notice that your wages are about to be garnished, it is time to call a bankruptcy attorney. A bankruptcy attorney can review your options with you, including filing bankruptcy.
Filing bankruptcy is the one action you can take to stop garnishments immediately. Once it has been filed, an automatic stay goes into effect preventing creditors from garnishing you further by power of law.
Stop Creditor Harassment. Call An Attorney Today.
Have you had enough of creditor harassment? Get help from an attorney at the Law Offices of Mark A. Zimmerman. Call our Visalia office today at 559-702-6995 or reach us online. We also have offices in Delano and Hanford.
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