CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

Tips for Handling Creditor Harassment

Take Possessions Creditor Harassment and Bankruptcy

Dealing with a significant amount of debt is difficult enough, but when creditors began hounding you for payment the situation can feel as if it has spiraled out of control.

Despite the limits placed on debt collectors by law, there are still plenty who harass debtors. In some cases, the actions creditors are taking are perfectly legal, but can still feel intimidating and put you in a number of uncomfortable situations.

The good news is you can do something about creditor harassment. If creditors are being abusive with their actions it’s possible to report them and bring an end to the problem. And if they are simply doing their job there are still tools available to help you bring an end to this difficult time.

What are some of the best things you can do if you are dealing with creditor harassment?

Understand Your Rights as a Debtor

It’s true, you might have made mistakes that led to the debt situation you’re in now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. You don’t need to accept debt collector bullying and harassment.

Debtor’s rights protect you from certain actions some debt collectors take.

According to the Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors and creditors are barred from:

  • Contact a debtor repeatedly
  • Contact a debtor at unreasonable hours
  • Contact a debtor’s employer if they’ve been told not to
  • Failing to identify themselves as a debt collector or creditor
  • Contact a debtor’s friends, family, or neighbors without permission
  • Utilize deceptive tactics
  • Make threats related to child custody, arrest, or loss of welfare benefits
  • Make threats of repossession when not authorized by the law
  • Use derogatory, obscene, or insulting words
  • Contact a debtor after they’ve been told not to and to contact a lawyer representing the debtor instead

There are specific limits as to what a debt collector can do.

For instance, they are not permitted to contact a debtor before 8 am or after 9 pm without permission. It’s important that, as the debtor, you make it clear you know the boundaries of debt collection and explain what they can and cannot do. If you don’t want calls at work, tell the collector to never contact you at work. You can also tell them not to contact friends or family.

You even have the power to tell a debt collector to never call you again. This doesn’t mean you’re off the hook regarding the debt, but it does mean you don’t need to deal with phone calls.

Ask for Proof of the Debt

Anyone who is contacted by a debt collector has a right to ask for proof of that debt. It’s important you not pay a debt until you receive proof of the debt and verify it is accurate.

Most people are surprised to learn how often debt is applied to a person inaccurately. Even a debt that was once yours might no longer be accurate or something you legally need to pay.

A debt collector must show documentation of a debt to be legally entitled to payment. If they are unable to produce this proof you cannot be held liable for the debt.

To learn more about creditors providing proof of debt and why it’s an important right for consumers, check out this information from The Balance.

Negotiate a Repayment Arrangement

There are instances in which a creditor will work with you on repayment on a debt. For instance, a creditor might be demanding a lump sum payment but would be willing to accept a few smaller payments over the course of a few weeks or months if you ask. They might even be willing to accept a portion of the total debt if you pay them within a certain period of time.

Keep in mind, if you pay only a portion of a debt owed it will have tax ramifications.

It’s also important to never give a debt collector direct access to your checking or savings account. If you arrangement a payment plan, make sure you are responsible for making that payment manually by the due date, as opposed to arranging an automatic payment or direct withdraw arrangement.

Contact an Attorney

Many times the best option for dealing with creditor harassment is to contact an attorney. An attorney can help negotiate payment arrangement with a debt collector or make it easier to navigate a debt collection lawsuit. And if you choose tofile for bankruptcy to deal with your debts, an attorney can help you with that process.

To discuss your situation or to schedule a consultation, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at (813) 254-5696.

Archive

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit? Not paying your bills affects your credit negatively. And yet problems with credit are one...
Read More

Behind or In Default on Your Student Loan? Here’s What You Should Know

Student Loan Default If you’ve fallen behind on student loan payments or your student loans are in default, you aren’t...
Read More

Will Bankrutcy Affect My Job? Learn How Filing Affects You in the Workplace

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Job? Filing for bankruptcy raises many considerations. One of the most important is whether or not...
Read More

Can Bankruptcy Help Me If I’m Behind on Child Support?

Bankruptcy and Child Support Bankruptcy can help you with a lot of things. It can help you stop calls from...
Read More

Can You File for Bankruptcy When You’re Unemployed?

Bankruptcy and Unemployment Being in debt is bad enough, but if you’ve lost your job recently or accumulated debt because...
Read More

Bankruptcy and Eviction History

Eviction With the rate of evictions on the rise in recent months and the expectations that eviction numbers will grow,...
Read More

What to Expect Once You’ve Decided to File Bankruptcy from Home

File Bankruptcy from Home There are a few things that happen when you file bankruptcy from home. An automatic stay...
Read More

Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Job Search? What You Need to Know about Unemployment and Bankruptcy

Unemployment and Bankruptcy Searching for a job when you are faced with a dire financial situation is difficult. If you’ve...
Read More

Will I Need to Go to Court If I File for Bankruptcy?

File for Bankruptcy from Home One of the most intimidating aspects of filing for bankruptcy is meeting in person with...
Read More

COVID-19 and Debt – 5 Ways the Pandemic is Leading More People to Bankruptcy

COVID-19 Debt If you’re considering bankruptcy you aren’t alone. The last few months of 2020 have brought a great deal...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo comodo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo RG Seal

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions