Debt collectors and creditors often go too far when trying to get money from a debtor. There are even plenty of stories of debt collectors hounding people for a debt that they don’t even owe!
If you are in the same sort of situation, and you are counting the minutes until creditors and debt collectors stop bugging you, then you need to know that you can stand up to them. Don’t just block unknown numbers on your cell phone. Make them play by the rules. Debt collectors need to follow strict state and federal laws, including the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), when seeking payments. Breaking these rules is unlawful and could lead to your debt being dismissed or give you the right to sue the debt collector. Life is hectic enough with pandemic lockdowns, remote schooling, and unemployment. Don’t let debt collectors add to your stress. Depending on the harassment you are enduring or the circumstances of your case, you could even be the one who gets paid by the debt collector instead of the other way around.
Three Worst Forms of Creditor Harassment
The FDCPA offers a variety of protections for consumers who are in debt to a lender, creditor, or financial institution. Any behavior that violates these protections could constitute harassment.
Three of the worst and most common forms of debt collector harassment are:
- Too Many Calls: Debt collectors can only call you during regular hours of the day. Calling you at unusual hours, multiple times in a day, or at work are all unacceptable communications that should be stopped immediately. Tell the debt collector when it is convenient for YOU to receive calls – not the other way around!
- Telling Lies: Any information the debt collector tells you must be entirely accurate and truthful. Falsifying information is inexcusable and illegal. Even saying that you owe the wrong amount is considered unlawful communication.
- Threatening you: Only courteous communications are allowed from debt collectors. Threats, credible or not, are completely illegal. They also cannot use profanities when speaking with you as this can be interpreted as a form of intimidation.
Standing Up to Creditors
When you have decided it is time to stand up to debt collectors and creditors, you need to let them know you are serious about it. Otherwise, they will keep trying to walk all over you. Once you set the boundaries and tell them WHEN they can call you, any further calls are illegal. Contact and retain one of the experienced attorneys at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC. Once you have hired a lawyer, we will work together to inform the creditor by letter sent by certified mail return receipt requested that you have hired one of our attorneys and that they need to speak with us from then on. Give them our contact information and remind them that it is unlawful to contact you directly once they have our information and express instructions to go through us for any future communications.
We can also send a cease-and-desist letter on your behalf. Our West Virginia debt defense attorneys can use certified mail with a return receipt request to ensure the letter reaches its intended destination and is understood. Again, contacting you after getting this cease-and-desist letter is unlawful.
Our legal team should also know as much about the creditor who is calling you, including:
- Name of creditor and the debt collector contracted by them
- Address, phone number, and email of all involved agencies
- How many times they have called
- How many letters have they sent, and what those letters said
- How much money they think you owe
- Why they think you owe that amount
If we can find an inconsistency in their information or story, then it might be the first weak spot in their case that we can exploit. Thanks to our impressive skills and legal insight, it only takes one problem to unwrap a creditor’s entire argument, effectively defeating the debt then and there.
What Can You Get If Your Case Succeeds?
Suing a debt collector for harassment can bring numerous enjoyable benefits. The first thing you will enjoy is the knowledge that you can’t be harassed by that debt collector or the creditor who hired them ever again – unless they want to get sued twice and penalized even further. The next benefit is that you could be correcting their behavior so that they also stop harassing other people. Good deeds are always good to do.
However, you might appreciate the financial benefit of a successful case the most. Succeeding in your case against a harassing creditor or debt collector can result in the court ruling that your debt cannot be collected due to an error. But the court can also order the creditor or debt collector to pay you statutory damages or penalties. For example, if the debt collector or creditor called you 100 times in a month in violation of the law, you could be getting that flat amount times 100.
Your Lawyers – Your Voice℠
Katz Kantor Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC and our West Virginia debt collection lawyers are here to help you stand up to creditors and seek the best possible outcome for your creditor harassment case. With our decades of legal experience, you can be confident that we have seen just about every sort of creditor harassment and tactic in the book. Let us hear what is happening to you, so we can figure out the right way to end it. Depending on the situation, we might be able to land you some compensation as well. Call (304) 713-2014 or contact us online now to start your case.