Let me start with the bad news – bankruptcy stays on a credit report for up to 10 years. But keep in mind that a credit report is about a lot more than bankruptcy, and when the bankruptcy process clears your debt, it gives you an opportunity to rebuild instead of being stuck with accounts that have a late balance.
While each credit profile is unique, here is what we generally find:
The attorneys at The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, PL have been safeguarding consumer rights when it comes to debt collection attempts for many years. We understand that while debt collectors can be annoying, sometimes they take it a bit too far and can actually break state and/or federal laws. Here are some things that debt collectors cannot do when seeking payments:
Cannot: Contact your employer or co-workers
Debt collectors are not permitted to enter your workplace or contact an employer regarding payments unless they have a judgment. By doing so, it publicizes your debts and lets others know about your personal finances. While a debt collector may call you directly while at work, they cannot reveal their identity to an employer or coworkers (so if left a message with someone at your office to say “tell Bob to return my call at Collection Inc, they would be violating your rights).
Can: Contact you, but not too much
No-one likes to get a collection call, but no all collection calls violate your rights. A simple call every couple of days without any abusive language may comply with the law. But if the debt collect goes overboard with the calls, they might violate your rights. Here are some specific scenarios that are likely violations of the law:
Cannot: Contact Third Parties About Your Debt
Very similarly to the rules for an employer, a debt collector cannot call friends and family about your debt. They are allowed to call 3rd parties to get your contact information if they don’t already have a way to get a hold of you, but they can’t use that exception to reveal to the third party that you owe a debt.
Can: Collection on a Debt that is Past “Statute of Limitations” (sometimes)
Many people are aware that there is a limited time for a company to collect on a debt. The laws for this are called the Statute of Limitations (“SOL”). SOL controls how much time a company has to file a lawsuit, but once the lawsuit has been filed, the SOL no longer prevents collection. If a lawsuit has not been filed, and the collectors are still trying to recover the balance, that may still be lawful, as long they disclose they cannot sue you on the balance. If such disclosure has not been made, the collection would likely be a violation of consumer protection law.
In most instances, we are able to take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning the consumer does not pay anything up front. Under the way the laws are structured, the bad guys pay for our time and out-of-pocket in pursuing the case.
If you are overwhelmed with relentless calls, emails, and letters from a debt collection agency, contact us without hesitation to book an appointment with an attorney. We will do what we can to see that your rights are being protected, and assist in taking legal action if needed. Schedule a no-commitment consultation today to see if your rights have been violated.
Get Help Now!
If you believe that a debt collector has violated collection laws, call us at (727) 538-4188 or fill out the form to the right. Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to accept your case with no cost to you unless we recover from the debt collector. Don’t let yourself be victimized. Contact a Clearwater debt collection defense attorney today from The Law Offices of Michael A. Ziegler, PL about Debt Collection Harassment.