No one likes being in debt, but it’s especially annoying when you can’t seem to stop creditor harassment. Many collectors will bug you night and day with unpleasant phone calls and threatening letters. Wouldn’t you like to be able to shut them up and cut back on the stress?
Actually, you can, and we can help you with it. You may not be able to stop creditor harassment immediately, but if you put a few tips into action, you won’t have to endure the torture much longer. Some of these steps may be hard for you, but you’ll need to implement them to regain your peace of mind. Our Middletown, Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyers can help you stop creditor harassment and bring you peace of mind. Contact Andrade Law Office LLC today.
You Have Rights Against Creditor Harassment
Some creditors and collectors push the envelope if they think they might be able to bully you into paying. Set limits with them immediately. Tell them not to call your employer, friends, or family members, and to cease all contact if you don’t want to be called. Then send them a certified letter stating the same things, to comply with Federal law requiring all such notices be in written form.
Be sure they tow the legal line precisely. According to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, creditors cannot:
- Call before 8 AM or after 9 PM.
- Publish your name as a debtor.
- Call you repeatedly.
- Call you at work if you’ve told them not to.
- Contact anyone else about your debt (except when looking for you).
- Threaten you with arrest, or loss of benefits or child custody.
- Insult you or use profane or obscene language.
- Refuse to divulge the creditor’s identity.
- Threaten repossession unless allowed by law.
- Contact you rather than your attorney once you’ve informed them you have legal representation.
If they break the rules, call them on it. You can sue them if they violate these laws.
Is the Debt Proven?
Just because someone calls you saying you owe them money doesn’t mean they’re right. If something seems off to you, ask the caller to send you an official notice with proof of debt. If they can’t document that you owe the debt and prove they own it (or are collecting on behalf of the owner), tell them to stop contacting you.
Even if you do owe the creditor, ask for proof to ensure the amount owed is correct, and to protect yourself from fraud. Sometimes grifters will lie about having bought your debt from a creditor. Without proof, they’re out of luck.
Be Honest With Creditors
We all have bad luck. If you can’t pay your bills right then, just tell your creditor you can’t, and tell them why. This may not stop creditor harassment completely, but it may buy you some time. Creditors are people too, and understand how lost jobs, family emergencies, divorces, and sudden expenses can cut into your ability to pay. If you can give them an estimate of when you’ll be able to pay, some of the calls will stop.
Ask If You Can Settle the Debt
Some creditors may be willing to work with you and settle for a smaller amount than you owe. If you owe $500, the collector may be willing to settle for $300 or even less. Just ask them flat out how far down they can go. You may be able to pay your debt off as a lump sum, or work out a payment plan to cover the settlement.
Our Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You Stop Creditor Harassment
It’s depressing enough to be deep in debt. You don’t need people calling you hourly to remind you. If nothing else keeps the creditors from bothering you, seek legal help. A good debt relief lawyer can force the callers to uphold the law and bring you peace of mind. If you’re an Ohio resident, contact the Andrade Law Office LLC online for relief.