You might think that, once you have filed for bankruptcy for your business, you are giving up many rights. However, this is not the case and you actually have many rights under something that is known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you are protected from abusive and harassing practices that debt collectors tend to engage in. Today we want to talk about some of your rights and how you should deal with collection agencies.
Bad Times to Call: A debt collector isn’t permitted to call you in the early morning or late at night unless you ask them to call at these times. They might still contact you through phone, letter, email, or text, however.
No Calls at Work: If you have told a debt collector that they should not call you at work, they are required to stop. Perhaps your employer does not allow personal calls, and you are afforded this right. You should make it clear to the collector as soon as possible.
No Repeated Calls: Debt collectors are not permitted to call you numerous times a day about an unpaid debt. This is considered to be harassment.
Verbal Abuse Off-Limits: The debt collector who is speaking with you is never supposed to use threats or profane language when speaking with you about your debts. They are also not allowed to imply that you have possibly committed a crime by not paying the debt. If a debt collector calls you names, this is also off-limits.
Keeping it Private: The debt collection agency is not allowed to tell your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family members about your debt. The collector might have gotten in touch with your loved ones but they are never allowed to tell them that you owe any amount of money.
No Collecting Larger Debt: The debt collector is not allowed to demand any money from you that you don’t owe. A letter must claim the specific amount that you owe and they are not allowed to threaten you with more.
Threats: If a debt collector makes any threat of violence against you or tells you that they will have you arrested for not paying your debt, they have done so illegally.
Written Notice of Debts: You must receive a statement in an email about the specifics of your debt in collections. The statements should explain what actions you can take if you don’t agree with it.
Honoring Written Requests: If you send a letter requesting that the debt collector release contact from you, they must honor this request. Even if the calls stop, however, the debt might not go away.
Verification of Disputes: If you dispute a debt because you believe that the collection agency is incorrect, the debt collector must cease contact with you until the investigation is complete.
Filing for Bankruptcy
When the debts seem to pile up against you, you might have started speaking with an attorney so that you can find out what options you have as far as bankruptcy is concerned. You want to get all the facts when you are speaking with debt collectors and dispute any debts you believe you might not owe when you are working with collections before you decide to take the last step and engage in bankruptcy.
At M.J. Watson & Associates, our specialized bankruptcy attorneys are here to help you through one of the most difficult things you might have ever faced. You have many rights in the event of bankruptcy that you should be aware of as you move forward with this process. Please do not hesitate to contact us for the help you deserve at 817-877-2861.