Help! I'm Being Harassed by Creditors
Jan. 25, 2021
According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more than one-in-four consumers (28%) have at least one debt in collections. Debt collectors and creditors are allowed to interact reasonably with consumers to recover debts from them. Unfortunately, some of these creditors use deceptive means and intimidating techniques while trying to recover debts. This is often considered creditor harassment.
If you are going through financial hardship and you're overwhelmed with harassing calls and demanding letters from creditors, consulting with a knowledgeable Virginia creditor calls attorney is crucial to protect your rights. At Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, we're dedicated to offering experienced legal services and comprehensive representation to clients facing creditor harassment. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights, handle any ongoing creditor harassment, and negotiate with creditors to establish a feasible arrangement for your unique financial situation.
We are proud to serve clients throughout Falls Church, Manassas, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, and Washington D.C.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), creditors, debt collectors, and third-party collection agencies are prohibited from attempting to recover debts from consumers using any false, abusive, harassing practices or misleading representation.
What Are Creditors Allowed To Do
When collecting debts, creditors are obligated to comply with specific communication requirements. They are allowed to contact you through calls, emails, letters, or text messages. Unless you agree to it, creditors are not allowed to contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Likewise, they can't contact you at work if you're not allowed to receive calls there. Crossing this line may be considered harassment.
What is Creditor Harassment?
Creditor harassment is a term used to describe the unethical, deceptive, and threatening techniques used by debt collectors and creditors to recover debts from consumers. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors can't harass, oppress, or abuse consumers or anyone else they contact. Some common examples of creditor harassment include:
Repetitive phone calls intended to abuse, annoy, or harass you or anyone who answers the phone
Issuing threats of violence or harm
Using profane or obscene language
Publishing lists of defaulters
Calling you without revealing their identity
However, if you are yet to file for bankruptcy, creditors are allowed to keep calling and sending you letters. Provided this is done at reasonable intervals, it may not be considered creditor harassment.
Will Filing for Bankruptcy Stop Creditor Harassment?
Yes. According to U.S. bankruptcy law, once a debtor files for any bankruptcy option, creditors and debt collectors must cease all kinds of debt collection efforts as soon as possible. Once you've petitioned for bankruptcy, an "automatic stay" order will go into effect. This is a federal court injunction that prevents creditors from contacting consumers after filing for bankruptcy. The injunction clearly states that debt collectors are not allowed to:
Send texts, emails, or demanding letters
Foreclose your home
Repossess your collateral
Place a lien on your property
Continue or file a lawsuit
Furthermore, the automatic stay order will protect the debtor from all forms of creditor harassment, such as continuous phone calls, frequent emails, texts, and demanding letters. In fact, it is now illegal for a creditor to harass you after filing bankruptcy. If a debt collector flouts the automatic stay order and continues calling or harassing you, contact a Virginia bankruptcy attorney immediately to protect your rights and take appropriate legal action.
Do I Need A Bankruptcy Lawyer?
When facing financial adversity, filing for bankruptcy may be one of the possible options to remedy your financial situation and help you get the debt relief you need. However, filing for bankruptcy in Virginia is a critical decision that requires detailed guidance. Although you are well within your rights to file for bankruptcy on your own, it is not advisable to navigate the complex bankruptcy procedures alone. As experienced bankruptcy lawyers, we can:
Review your case to determine the right bankruptcy option for your unique circumstances
Guide you through every step of the filing process
Help you file your forms and required documentation
Negotiate to set up the best possible arrangement for your unique financial condition
Handle any ongoing creditor harassment
Additionally, our team at Vivona Pandurangi, PLC can advise you on how to rebuild your credit, avoid common pitfalls, and take precautionary measures to avoid ending up back where you started. Having a knowledgeable Virginia bankruptcy firm that understands the nuances of bankruptcy law is crucial for proper guidance and to help protect your rights.
Never allow harassing calls and demanding letters from debt collectors to overwhelm you. Contact us at Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, today to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation and receive experienced legal guidance from knowledgeable Virginia bankruptcy attorneys. Our team can fight vigorously to protect your rights and help you handle any ongoing creditor harassment. We proudly serve clients across Falls Church, Manassas, Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County, Virginia.