Debt Harassment Lawyer Tampa, FL - The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L.

Debt Harassment Lawyer Tampa, FL


How Do I Know if Filing for Bankruptcy is Right for Me?

Debt Harassment Lawyer Tampa, FL

Debt Collector Harassment and Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know  

Debt Collector Harassment and Bankruptcy: Our Tampa, FL Debt Harassment Lawyer Tells You What You Need to Know

If you are working with a creditor to pay back a loan, there may be a chance that you are being contacted by them, whether it is by phone, text, or mail. While they are justified to get their loan paid back in a timely manner, they are not allowed to harass and/or threaten you in any way.

It is important to speak with an experienced Tampa, Florida debt harassment lawyer if you are encountering behavior that could be considered harassment. Regardless of whether you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, have already done so or are interested in exploring alternative debt resolution options, the legal team at The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. can help.

How Am I Protected By Debt Collectors?

There is a federal law designed to protect you; it is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Under this law, there are strict regulations concerning how a creditor contacts and communicates with anyone who owes a debt. If these guidelines are not followed, an experienced Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer may be able to help you respond in a number of significant ways. Within the broader FDCPA, there are guidelines concerning the following:

Harassment and Threats: A debt collector is not allowed to contact you multiple times a day, use threats of violence or intimidation, or threaten to garnish your pay, sell your assets, or send you to jail for not paying the loan back.

Unfair Collection Practices: Our Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer will tell you that a debt collector is prohibited from lying about how much you owe or add additional fees and/or interest that is not stated in the original loan agreement.

Times to Contact: A debt collector can only contact a debtor between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm. A debtor cannot be contacted at their place of employment unless otherwise stated. This is to prevent the debt collector from calling at inopportune and inappropriate times.

When I File for Bankruptcy, Will the Debt Collectors Stop Calling Me?

Yes. When a Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer assists you in filing for bankruptcy, the minute your case is approved, the debt collectors have strict orders to cease contact with you. However, it is possible that creditors will not follow the letter of the law. If this occurs, contact your Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer right away.

Do I Still Have to Pay My Outstanding Debts After I File Bankruptcy?

If you file a discharge in bankruptcy you are not legally required to pay back any outstanding debts affected by the discharge orders. This discharge is a permanent order that requires creditors to not only stop contacting you, but it prevents them from taking any legal action against the debtor. It is important to note that not all debts are dischargeable during bankruptcy, so please clarify your specific debt questions with a Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer.

When Does the Discharge of Bankruptcy Happen?

The timing for the discharge depends on what type of bankruptcy you have filed. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the typical timeframe is around four months after the case is first filed. With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the discharge is usually granted after the current payment plan has been reached.

Legal Guidance Is Available

It can be confusing to keep everything straight when it comes to debt collectors, debt relief and filing for bankruptcy. If you have any questions or require legal help to figure things out, do not hesitate to contact a Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer today. You may have more options available to you than you think!

How Do I Know if Filing for Bankruptcy is Right for Me?

While completely wiping out your debts and starting new with a fresh slate sounds great, there are both pros and cons to filing for bankruptcy. This option still may not guarantee that all of your debts are eradicated. This resource can help you get back on your feet after a severe financial setback, but it can have irreversible consequences for your future. It is important that anyone considering filing for bankruptcy fully understands what they may be getting themselves into.

Here in the article below, a Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer answers several questions related to bankruptcy to help people figure out if this is truly the right decision for them.

Who is able to file for bankruptcy?

A person who files for bankruptcy must have a permanent residence, established a place of business within the United States, or own property. The person filing may also need to go through a financial education counseling course. Not every person who submits paperwork for bankruptcy shall automatically be approved to operate under a bankruptcy chapter or qualify for discharges. However, consulting with a debt harassment lawyer from Tampa, FL can be helpful in determining if you are eligible for bankruptcy. 

What does it mean to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Those who have substantial credit card bills, medical care expenses, or personal loans may be able to wipe out these unpaid expenses through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It can provide relief to know that you may not have to pay into a repayment plan under this chapter. But, the drawback could be that you might have to give up a portion of your property. Chapter 7 does not protect people from having belongings relinquished.

What does Chapter 13 bankruptcy do?

Our Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer will tell you that for those who really want to keep ownership of their vehicles and house may want to apply for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. You can keep your current property, but must make payments for these items in a three- to five-year payment plan. The potential drawback to Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that your total debt cannot surpass maximum secured and unsecured debts. Examples of secured debts are your vehicles and loans for real estate. Examples of unsecured debts could be your utility and credit card bills. Consulting with a debt harassment lawyer that Tampa, FL residents trust can help provide you with a clear understanding of secured and unsecured debts. 

Is there a certain amount of debt I must have to file for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is not necessarily about the amount of debt accumulated. It is more about the amount of debts compared to one’s income, that could result in severe financial distress. Trying to pay off a certain amount of debt could be difficult for one person, but may not be for another. A person who lives paycheck to paycheck may not be able to pay off his or her debts simply due to having no money left over after living expenses.

Regardless of how large or small the debt is, the person is simply unable to make payments to it at all. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, our Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyers want you to think about the following factors when making your decision:

    • Exactly how much total debt do you owe?
    • Will filing for bankruptcy eliminate your debt entirely?
    • Without filing for bankruptcy, how long would it take you to pay off debts?
  • Are you also enduring wage garnishment, a lawsuit or other collection action?

For more information and to discuss what your legal options are, contact a debt harassment lawyer Tampa, FL clients rely on from the Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, PL.

As a Consumer, Be Wary of Debt Collection Harassment

When a consumer applies for a loan or credit card, they are usually well-intentioned and plan on paying the money back. If a consumer falls into unanticipated financial hardships, it may be impossible to keep up on debt payments. A consumer may be more focused on paying bills to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, over debts that have yet to be paid off on a credit card. It may be a good idea to contact the Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. for the legal guidance you many be in need of regarding debt collection, and whether filing for bankruptcy is in your best interest. A consumer may want to learn more about their rights both at the state and federal level from a trusted debt harassment lawyer trusted by Tampa, FL residents, so they know when they are experiencing debt collection harassment. 

What does a debt collector do?

A debt collection agency does exactly what it sounds like, which is to collect debts from consumers who owe a creditor money. In many cases, it is the creditor who forwards a request to the debt collector to hassle the consumer for payments. A consumer who is being pestered by a debt collector may want to try contacting the creditor to see if a resolution can be made. Our Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer will tell you that the original creditor may be more willing to settle things with the consumer, so both parties can benefit. 

Why do debt collectors use harassment to get payments? 

Debt collection agencies are often out for one thing, and that is to make money. A debt collection agency may even go as far as being intimidating and threatening in order to get overdue payments. A debt collector may believe that using shady methods is more successful, than being kind and compassionate. However, a trusted Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer wants you to know that a debt collector may be going too far, even violating the rights of consumers by using scare tactics. 

How do I know whether I am being harassed by the debt collector?

Harassment from a debt collector may be more or less obvious, depending on how aggressive the agency is in their tactics to get consumers to pay. A Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer says that it’s important for consumers to be aware of the ways in which a debt collector may harass you. This is the first step to knowing whether filing a lawsuit is needed. Debt collection harassment and deception can include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • Requesting that you pay more than the total of what you owe
  • Calling repeatedly throughout the day or nonstop
  • Using language that is abusive, profane and/or obscene
  • Calling you before 8:00am or after 9:00pm
  • Calling you during hours that the debt collector should know is disruptive
  • Threatening violence or that you will be arrested if payment is not sent
  • Unlawfully talking with a third party about your financial information
  • Contacting you while at work despite knowing the employer does not approve
  • Failing to send the consumer debt validation notice
  • Disregarding your written request to have the alleged debt verified in order to continue collection
  • Ignoring a cease to communicate notice 

Do I need a Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer to fight off a debt collector?

In some instances, hiring an attorney is needed in order for the debt collection harassment to stop. An agency may finally halt communication after receiving notice of a potential lawsuit. Since a debt collector is out to make money, the last thing they probably want is to have to pay a consumer compensation for the mistreatment. 

Contact The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L. today to speak with our experienced Tampa, FL debt harassment lawyer today!

 

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