What should you do when creditor harassment crosses the line?
With unpaid debts come phone calls, letters and other types of collection efforts by collection agents and creditors. This is a normal thing to experience if you have a significant amount of debt, but there are times when these efforts cross the line. Fortunately, you do not have to suffer through these things alone and unsure of your options.
You may believe that you do not have any right to fight back against these types of activities because you owe a lot of money. Regardless of your current financial situation, no one has to put up with unfair practices and mistreatment from debt collectors and collections agents.
What type of behavior is off limits for debt collectors?
While it is within the rights of a Florida company or collection agency to attempt to collect on an outstanding balance, there are limits to what they can do, how they can contact you and what they can say. Examples of inappropriate and illegal behavior can include:
- Harassment or threats of physical harm
- Threatening to release private information to the public
- Making false statements
- Giving false credit information about you to anyone else
- Threatening arrest if you do not pay
- Using a false name or false company name
These are just some of the ways that a debt collector may try to deceive, trick or manipulate you. If you have questions or concerns about the way a creditor is treating you, you do not have to sit in silence. No matter how much you owe or the state of your finances, you always have the right to protect yourself from mistreatment and various types of harassment.
Making creditor harassment stop for good
If you are overwhelmed by debt, experiencing collections efforts is not unusual. You do, however, have a legal way by which you can make this stop altogether. When you file for bankruptcy, you not only effectively deal with certain types of debt once and for all, but you will also initiate the automatic stay.
The automatic stay means that creditors, companies and other parties cannot move to collect on your debts while you are under the protection of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy shields you from these actions while you are navigating the process and meeting the requirements of your bankruptcy plan. A lawyer can help you determine if you are experiencing illegal harassment from creditors, how you can make it stop for good and which chapter of consumer bankruptcy may be right for you.