Knowledgeable Attorneys Helping You Achieve The Best Debt Collection Defense In Crossville
Finding yourself in debt can be a scary prospect, especially if you are being harassed and hounded by debt collectors. It is crucial that you seek legal advice if you find yourself in this situation; many debt collectors will be intimidated by the presence of a legal professional advocating on your behalf, and this can offer you some relief from harassment.
What Forms Might Harassment Take?
Debt collectors attempting to claim their cash can use a number of techniques in an attempt to recover the outstanding balance. Many of these are technically violations of the law, and an experienced attorney can help you to address this without delay. Some common techniques employed by debt collectors include:
- Ongoing Harassment: So-called ‘harassing conduct’; can include examples such as numerous daily phone calls to debtors and their family members and friends, and repeated telephone calls with no messages, or hanging up when the debtor answers. Debt collectors may also use social media platforms such as Facebook to make contact, or use robo-dialers as a form of intimidation. The nature of the communication is also important; they may spread lies and misinformation, speak in a threatening or belittling manner, or be embarrassing, rude, or argumentative.
- Collecting Debts Not Owed: Debt collectors may only seek to recover the balance owed on the debt; no other costs may be included. This includes late fees, penalties, increased interest rates, costs of attorneys and legal fees, and any other costs.
- Threats: Many debt collectors will resort to making threats in an effort to retrieve outstanding sums, including threats of arrest or criminal prosecution, claiming that the debtor will be incarcerated, or that their property may be repossessed, including homes, cars, and furniture. This behavior is illegal.
- Contacting The Debtor’s Workplace: Creditors making phone calls to the debtor’s place of work is illegal, and this includes speaking to employers or colleagues, using a work telephone number to make contact or leave messages, or using direct work to reach the debtor.
- Contacting A Third Party: Any outstanding debt is a matter to be discussed between the creditor and the named debtor, and the former should not speak to any third party about a debt without the express permission of the latter. Creditors may only contact a third party in an attempt to locate the debtor, but must not disclose details.
All of these are technical violations, and should be reported to and discussed with your attorney as soon as possible. Remember to keep any texts, emails, or correspondence you receive.
Do Creditors Have Any Legal Obligations?
There are certain legal obligations which debt collectors must meet while pursuing payment; failure to adhere to these requirements could be illegal, and your attorney will be able to advise you on the best course of action in this case.
- They Must Provide Proof Of Debt: All debt collectors are required to provide proof of any debt, and this includes the amount owed and the name of the creditor. If a consumer disputes a debt, the collector will be given 30 days from the date of the letter. In this time, they must obtain written proof and verification of the debt and the name of the creditor it is owed to. This will need to be mailed to the debtor, along with any supporting documents, and the collector is prohibited from making further contact until this document has been received.
- They Must Provide Written Notice: Debtors must receive a full notice from collectors, which clearly states the total amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and an instruction that the debtor has 30 days to dispute the debt in writing. The debt collector is also required to make their identity, job, and purpose clearly known in the initial communication with the debtor.
- They Must Acknowledgement Representation: As soon as the collector is informed that the debtor is being represented by an attorney, they must immediately direct all connection and communication through the legal team, not the individual debtor. Similarly, in the event that a debt collector receives a ‘cease and desist’ letter, they must immediately terminate all contact with the debtor.
How Long Do Debt Collectors Have?
According to the Tennessee statute of limitations, collectors will have six years from the date of contact to pursue debt on the account. This can be flexible; if a period of five years and three hundred and sixty four days has passed, but you then use a credit card, the statute of limitations could reset to another six years.
How Can We Help?
Here at Davis Law Firm, we have worked hard to aid and assist individuals across the Crossville area who may have been affected by debt collection.
Call us at (865) 354-3333. We can offer the advice you need to take the next steps to break free from debt and seek relief from harassment and ongoing perusal by debt collectors.