Are you receiving calls or letters from Debt Collectors?
Who is a Debt Collector?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act describes the permissible and impermissible conduct of a “debt collector.” A debt collector is someone whose principal business is the collection of debts or who regularly collects debts.
What can a Debt Collector properly do under law?
Debt collectors may contact you by telephone between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00pm (local time) for the purpose of demanding payment of debts that you owe. They must identify themselves as debt collectors and notify you in every communication that they are debt collectors and that any information you give them will be used to collect a debt. Debt collectors may call your friends, co-workers, and neighbors to obtain information to reach you.
What Debt Collectors may not do?
Debt collectors may not use profane or abusive language when communicating with you. Debt collectors may not misrepresent the debt owed or use deception in collecting the debt. They may not misrepresent that they are law enforcement officials. They may not attempt to collect more than the debt owed under contract. Debt collectors may not contact you at your place of employment after being advised that it is unacceptable or prohibited by your employer.
What can you do?
You may notify the debt collector that he or she may not contact you at work. You may also request to verify the debt. Communications to a debt collector should be in writing. You may try to negotiate with the debt collector assuming that you can afford to pay the debt.
How can Bankruptcy Help?
Your credit card debts are most likely in collection because you have defaulted on your credit card agreement and have missed monthly payments. At this point the original credit card has transferred your case to a debt collector and reported your default to a credit reporting service. If most of your debts are in collection, bankruptcy may be a great alternative in dealing with the situation. Once filed, a bankruptcy will automatically prevent any collection from debt collectors. Bankruptcy law bars any act to collect a claim against the debtor, which claim arising prior to commencement of the case.
Keith F. Carr is an attorney practicing Bankruptcy, Divorce, and Estate Planning. Attorney Keith F. Carr has over 30 years experience. Founder of Law Offices of Keith F. Carr, located in San Francisco, San Jose, and Palo Alto, Ca.