Debt Collection Defense Attorneys Helping You Regain Control In Kingston
Getting into debt is easier than you may think, and once you have become overwhelmed, it can be very difficult to extract yourself and regain solid control of your finances. Debt is an issue which can affect both private individuals and businesses, and things can quickly get out of hand, leaving you stressed, anxious, and frightened to engage.
What Issues Can Arise From Debt Collection?
Debt collectors want to get their hands on their money; this is their primary goal, and they will employ a number of techniques to achieve it. This can result in the debtor being harassed by the debt collector, and it can cause distress and fear to those involved. Some debt collectors will take advantage of clients who do not cover themselves with adequate legal protection; for this reason, engaging a qualified, experienced attorney is essential.
How Can Hiring An Attorney Help?
There are a number of steps involved in getting creditors to stop harassing debtors, and without the proper advice, it is easy for an inexperienced individual to miss a step. When this happens, it means that they are doomed to keep suffering harassment. Hiring an attorney places a barrier between you and the debt collector; they will need to contact your legal representation instead of you, and this can offer serious relief.
An attorney can help take steps to stop the harassment, including:
- Sending letters demanding that all communication from the creditor to the debtor cease
- Request validation and accurate, up-to-date calculations of the debt owed
- Sending letters to creditors to contest the debt where appropriate
- File a lawsuit in the event that the harassment does not stop. This includes reviewing all contact and correspondence, including phone calls, voicemails and texts, using private investigators to find out about the collector, and reviewing current cases involving the collector
What Must Creditors Do?
Creditors have a wide range of legal obligations, and these include:
- Providing Written Notice: Debt collectors are required to send a debtor a full written notice, clearly stating the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and clear notification that the debtor has 30 days to dispute the debt in writing. In the initial communication made with the debtor, the debt collector is required to make their identity, job, and purpose clearly known.
- Proof Of Debt: In the event that a consumer disputes a debt, a collector has 30 days from the date of the letter to obtain written validation and verification of the debt and the name of the creditor. This proof, along with supporting documents to verify the claim, must be mailed to the debtor, and the collector may not attempt to make contact with the debtor until this confirmation has been received.
- Acknowledgement of A Cease And Desist Or Attorney Representation: If a debt collector receives a ‘cease and desist’ letter, they must immediately terminate all contact with the debtor. Similarly, once the collector is clearly notified that the debtor is now being represented by an attorney, they are required to make all contact with the legal professional; there may be no further communications about the debt made directly with the debtor.
What May Creditors Not Do?
As well as adhering to specific legal requirements, there are also certain actions which must not be undertaken by a debt collector. Violation of these restrictions are illegal, and will be dealt with by your attorney. Examples include:
- Pursuing Debtors For Debts Not Owed: Debt collectors are only permitted to take action to recover the balance owed on the debt; no other costs may be included. Creditors may not chase for late fees when the payment has been on time, penalties, increased interest rates, costs of attorneys and legal fees, and any other costs.
- Ongoing Harassment: Any harassing conduct is illegal, and this can include actions such as repeated telephone calls to debtors, their friends, or their family members. This may also include making repeated telephone calls with no messages left, or the collector hanging up when the debtor answers.Debt collectors are also prohibited from using social media platforms such as Facebook to make contact with debtors. The nature of the communication must also be logged; collectors may not spread lies and misinformation, speak in a threatening or belittling manner, or be embarrassing, rude, or argumentative.
- Making Threats: Debt collectors may not resort to making threats in an effort to retrieve outstanding sums. This includes making threats of arrest or pending criminal prosecution, making claims that the debtor will be incarcerated, or that their property may be repossessed, including homes, cars, and furniture.
- Contacting A Third Party, or Debtors Workplace: Any debt should only be discussed between the creditor and the named debtor. Collectors should not speak to any third party about a debt without the express permission of the debtor, and may only make contact with a third party in an attempt to locate the debtor, and must not disclose details of the debt. In addition, creditors may not make phone calls to the debtor’s place of work. This includes speaking to employers or colleagues, using a work telephone number to make contact or leave messages, or using a direct work line to reach the debtor.
How Can We Help You?
Here at Davis Law Firm, our team of experienced attorneys have the skills and tools you need to take the first steps towards financial freedom and take action against harassment from unscrupulous debt collectors. We want to help our neighbors in Kingston and throughout Tennessee.
Get in touch today at (865) 354-3333 and let us help you take your first steps to freedom from harassment.