You’ve filed bankruptcy and you’re so relieved to know that the debt collectors can’t call you. Everything’s on it’s way to a fresh start and you have peace of mind every time the phone rings.
However, some creditors continue to call you. If you’ve told them verbally and in writing that you have filed bankruptcy and you want them to stop calling you but they continue calling despite your requests to stop, you may be able take legal action against them.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which is a national consumer protection agency, enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from being deceitful in practices to collect from you.
But be aware that when you signed up for credit that if you used a cell phone number to be contacted and state that you may be contacted at specific times outside the standard 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., that you have given creditors permission and they may call you. But when you tell them to stop in writing and verbally on the phone, according to the FDCPA, they have to stop.
The Huffington Post reported a case where a creditor was hired to pursue someone using their social media to track their activities and purchases. They were threatened and there is a lawsuit pending.
It’s not a horrible idea to answer the phone and at least get the details of what the debtor is calling about as it could be a debt you weren’t aware of, which was paid and which you could clarify. But any of the following has occurred you may be able to act legally against creditors:
- Has a debt collector called you before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night?
- Has a collector left you a message without identifying the company or the purpose of the call?
- Has the same debt collector called you multiple times?
- Has the debt collector tried to collect debt discharged in prior bankrutptcy?
- Has the debt collector contacted anyone besides your spouse about your debt?
- Has the debt collector contacted you at work?
- Has the debt collector ever threatened to take legal actions or other actions against you?
How to Inform Creditors Not to Contact You
Write a letter and be sure to keep a copy of your letter. Send the original letter through certified mail to document what the collector received. Once the collector receives your letter, they are not allowed to contact you again except: a collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact, or to let you know that they or the creditor intend to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit against you. Sending such a letter to a debt collector you owe money to does not get rid of the debt, but it should stop the contact. The creditor or the debt collector still can sue you to collect the debt.
The FDCPA act puts restrictions on debt collector call activity. The remedies provided by the act include damages and attorneys’ fees. Find out if you have a legitimate complaint to file against a creditor harassing you, consult with Winter Park Florida attorneys Eric Lanigan and Roddy Lanigan. The Lanigans are bankruptcy, foreclosure and mortgage attorneys who have experience and will handle your case personally.