Anyone who’s been in debt before knows how tremendous this weight can feel. Sometimes things just don’t seem to work. And with a deadly pandemic hitting the economy, it’s gotten worse, especially for people owing debts.
When you owe money to a creditor, it’s not long before that creditor starts harassing you. You begin getting annoying phone calls in the odd hours of the night with people using threatening language. If creditors are breathing down your neck, constantly demanding repayment to the point of harassing you, you might have to fight back. And there’s no better way to do that than contracting family law attorneys in Kingston who have specialized in defense against debt harassment and debt collection.
What Are the Signs of Debt Collector and Creditor Harassment?
Creditors and debt collectors are required to adhere to specific guidelines. But they sometimes flaunt these laws.
Some signs that you are being harassed because of a debt owed include events where:
You get phone calls from your creditor at any hour of the day or night (outside of the stipulated time – between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm)
- You get multiple demand letters compelling you to pay up
- They threaten you with arrests or jail time if you don’t pay
- They repeatedly call you just to annoy you
- You are receiving threats of car or property repossession
- The creditor is threatening to inform your employer about your debts
- They are calling you at work and home
- They are using profane and obscene language when talking to you
- They publish names of people who’ve refused to pay (and they are not a credit bureau)
- They call you even if they know an attorney is representing you
How Do I Stop Harassment Through Calls?
If you cannot pay the bill, and of course that’s the reason the creditor is harassing you, call the creditor and inform them you can’t pay the bill. Then, give them a rough estimate of when you will be able to do so. Hopefully, this step will stop the creditor from forwarding your name to debt collectors, who are even worse culprits.
If the creditor goes ahead and surrenders your name to debt collectors who are harassing you, you have the option of writing a letter to them asking them to stop the harassments and that you know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself in case nothing changes. If they don’t honor your letter, have your debt collection defense attorney in Kingston send it for you.
What If They Harass Me at My Workplace?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act forbids creditors or debt collectors from calling you at work or talking to your employer about your debt. If they go against this law, you have a right to sue them.
What Are the Standards for Debt Collectors in Tennessee?
Tennessee follows the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), which protects all Americans. This act reduces the power of debt collectors over you and prohibits them from engaging in activities that would be considered harassment.
Besides the FDCPA, Tennessee has its own Tennessee Collection Services Act, which regulates parties involved in collection activities. The standards in this Tennessee act address things like the acquisition of location information from third parties, unfair practices, and communications with debt collectors in regards to harassment and abuse.
Can Bankruptcy Stop Harassment?
One of the surefire ways to stop collector harassment in Kingston, TN, is through bankruptcy. Despite the financial challenges you may be experiencing, the benefits of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you stop debt collectors from harassing you at your home or work. However, we do understand that bankruptcy can’t be the solution for every resident in Kingston. We’ll still have to evaluate your case during your first free consultation and advise you accordingly.
Bankruptcy is a law that’s on your side. Once you file for bankruptcy in Tennessee, the automatic stay immediately comes into play. This is a legal injunction to stops them from calling and writing you and even stops any legal action they might have been planning against you. When they call you after filing your bankruptcy case, you should just tell them to talk to your Kingston bankruptcy attorney about your debts.
How Does Bankruptcy Stop the Creditors?
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy claims in Tennessee will lead to an automatic stay and stop the collector calls and harassment. Each has its pros and cons, but we can advise you on which suits your unique circumstances. Generally, here’s how bankruptcy will stop harassment:
- During filing, your Kingston bankruptcy attorney will submit the full list of all your creditors to the bankruptcy court clerk
- Each creditor receives a letter, and they should stop contacting you at this point
- If they contact you before receiving the letter, you should give them your case number and the number of your attorney
- That marks the end of the calls and they now have to deal with your debt collection defense attorney in Kingston
What Legal Actions Can I Take Against Creditors?
If a creditor often uses profane language, threatens you with violence and sends harassing texts, you can choose to take legal action against them.
- First write them a letter as previously mentioned, asking them to stop calling you. Keep a copy of the letter too.
- Document all illegal behavior like having a witness, or recording the conversations with them without telling them (you’re allowed in Tennessee)
- Report the company to the Federal Trade Commission if they continue with the harassment
- File a complaint with the Tennessee Collection Services Board
- Consider suing the collection agency for harassment
Trustworthy Law Firm Helping You Get the Peace of Mind
If you want to stop creditor and collector harassment, act now. Waiting will only make things worse, leading to severe consequences like repossessions, foreclosures, wage garnishment, etc. You need to discuss your options with your spouse in the presence of a bankruptcy attorney who will help you put the automatic stay into effect.
Stop collector harassment today by retaining a Kingston debt collection defense attorney at Davis Law Firm. We will help you eliminate the stress and anxiety created by creditors, take action against them if need be, and pursue bankruptcy debt relief options in Kingston and throughout Tennessee. Call (865) 354-3333 to book a free initial case evaluation.