If you’re dealing with significant debt, while there are plenty of financial reasons to hire an attorney, like ZinnLaw of Fort Myers, FL, to help manage your creditors, your emotional health is perhaps the most important reason. Even though it’s against the law, debt collectors will resort to extreme measures to force you to pay. If you don’t have the money or need more time to pay, this constant pressure will cause you extreme stress. When dealing with creditors, you also have to worry if the creditor will take steps to garnish your wages or attempt to seize your property and savings or to file a lawsuit against you. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney to help you reach the best possible outcome for you and your family. Even if you think your situation isn’t urgent, it’s best to get an expert’s opinion. A lawyer can tell you what to expect and take steps to prevent the worst from happening.
Aside from helping you to file for bankruptcy, which is the fastest way to find relief from debt collectors, ZinnLaw can also help you take action against the collector if they are breaking the law and harassing you.
If a debt collector is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can take action against the company by having us file suit in state civil court or small claims court. Together we must prove the debt collector violated the FDCPA. Here are just a few of the ways debt collectors violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
- If you are being harassed by the creditor, that violates the act. In fact, more than 40% of all FDCPA violations reported were for incessant phone calls about the debt.
- If they said they work for a government agency. Debt collectors cannot pretend to work for a consumer reporting agency or any government agency including law enforcement, so if any of your letters or phone calls took this position, they’ve violated the act.
- If they threaten arrest. Collection agencies cannot issue arrest warrants, nor can they claim you’ve committed a crime. However, they can file a lawsuit, so if you do receive a legitimate court order related to your debt, you must show up for the court date.
- If they threaten to make your debt public. Collection agencies are not allowed to publicly shame you into paying money, even if you owe them. In fact, your privacy is so important, they are not even allowed to contact you by postcard, or publish your name, or discuss the debt with anyone other than you, your spouse and your attorney.
If any of the above actions have taken place, you could receive up to $1,000 in statutory damages, and possibly more if you suffered harm from the violations. You can also report the collector to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which oversees the actions of debt collectors. You can also work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB passes consumer complaints to creditors and works with the consumer and creditor to find a solution. Additionally, you can report the violations to your state’s attorney general or consumer protection office. All of these are actions we can help you with at ZinnLaw.
Brian D. Zinn is an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help protect your assets and stop harassment from creditors. Schedule a free consultation today with ZinnLaw online or by calling (239) 418-1529 and learn how we can help put you on the path to financial solvency and peace of mind.