How to Stop Creditor Harassment
Mean-spirited phone calls are almost pleasant examples of how nasty creditor harassment can get. Debtors who have dealt with bill collectors know that the harassment can range from outrageously rude to downright illegal. Debtors, however, often feel guilty or nervous about their unpaid debts, and the harassment only adds to their psychological trauma. Ongoing creditor harassment of a debtor who literally cannot pay back his or her debts can become a nearly abusive situation. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, bad behavior is prohibited.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission
One way to stop this kind of aggressive harassment is to report the harassing agency to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The harassment you are receiving is officially illegal if they:
- Threaten jail time
- Threaten physical violence or deportation
- Use profanity on the phone with you
- Say they have the power to make you lose custody over your child
- Call you before 8am or after 9am
- Continue to call you at work after you asked them to stop
- Continue to call you after you've written them or have hired an attorney
However, you should be aware that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act only applies to third-party debt collectors. When it comes to in-house collection departments at banks, hospitals, retailers, etc., these same laws do not apply.
Filing for a Florida Bankruptcy
Even if you contact the FTC, there's no guarantee that the harassment will actually stop. Abusive debt collection has been a long-standing complaint with the FTC, and yet the abusive practices continue.
A surefire way to stop the harassment, though, is to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy may be a possible solution, if you aren't making enough money to pay the minimum payment on your credit card debt or other debt. As soon as you file the bankruptcy paperwork, collectors and creditors alike must immediately stop any collection or foreclosure proceedings against you. This is called an "automatic stay". After hiring one of our bankruptcy lawyers, your creditors must contact you through your lawyer. This takes the pressure off you, and you finally get a chance to breathe.
Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, contact our office at (561) 625-8400 to speak to an experienced attorney. At LaBovick Law Group, our West Palm Beach lawyers are devoted to assisting you in working through this complicated area of Florida bankruptcy laws and the bankruptcy process. We are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to discuss your personal matter at (561) 625-8400. Don't feel discouraged. Many people are experiencing the same situation. You are not alone. Contact us for a free consultation. You can fill out the form to the left for an assessment of your personal matter.