Stop Creditor Harassment

Struggling with debt is already mentally taxing and with creditor harassment added in it can be downright exhausting. Borrowers struggling to keep up with their payments can face creditor harassment in various ways. Creditors may fill your mailbox with never-ending demand letters, call you at all hours of the day, and even show up at your door with threats to take you to court. The constant pressure alongside already growing financial troubles can hinder borrower’s repayment plans because they’re suffering from relentless harassment.

Fortunately, there exists several state and federal laws that restrict the tactics and behaviors of debt collectors. Borrowers can also file complaints against debt collectors who cross the line into unacceptable behavior. To learn more about how you can stop creditor harassment, we suggest you get in contact with a knowledgeable and skilled Ohio debt collection lawyer as soon as possible. The creditors will be obligated to speak to your lawyer only, so you won’t receive any more barraging phone calls or letters. An attorney can also file a complaint for you and even help you receive damages if there’s strong evidence these creditors violated state or federal laws 

Cincinnati bankruptcy Attorney Explains How to Stop Creditor Harassment in OH

Nobody wants to be in debt and likes to get off schedule with their loan payments. Unfortunately, life events can happen such as losing your job or a family crisis that can put you drastically behind. So far behind in fact, that creditors end up calling you day and night. As the bills pile up, it becomes tempting to ignore the source of stress rather than find ways to tackle your debt and stop the harassment. 

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, get in contact with debt collection attorney Eric Steiden at Steiden Law Offices. Attorney Steiden is committed to providing excellent legal service and transparency with all his clients. He will work tirelessly to help you get on a repayment plan that makes sense and won’t take you down any unnecessary paths. In addition, Eric Steiden understands how tough it can be to manage debts when they get out of control. He ensures every client is treated with the utmost care and compassion no matter their situation. 

Set up your first consultation by calling Steiden Law Offices at . Steiden Law Offices proudly represents individuals throughout Kenton County, Boone County, Campbell County, Gallatin County, Grant County, Pendleton County, along with those who reside in Hamilton County, Butler County, Clermont County, Warren County, Clinton County, Montgomery County, Greene County, Champaign County, Clark County, Brown County, Adams County, Lawrence County, and Scioto County, Ohio.

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What is the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)?

In 1968, the United States developed the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) which was established to protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. The act is composed of several titles which are geared at helping borrowers who may be struggling with persistent creditors. It also includes the Truth in Lending Act, which mandates complete disclosure of terms and conditions of financial charges in transactions.

The CCPA also established a limit for the amount of money a creditor can garnish from your wages. Creditors can only garnish up to 25 percent of your disposable income earnings to anyone who you may owe money. The only way a creditor can do this legally is through a court order signed by a judge. However, for many individuals and families that 25 percent is a significant part of their income. That money may be essential to keep the household running and functional. That is why it’s important you secure experienced legal representation if your wages are being garnished. A skillful bankruptcy attorney will examine your case and provide you with the next best steps on how to stop your wage garnishments.

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What is Considered Harassment by a Creditor?

Harassment can be defined in various ways under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), which provides protections for consumers with excessive collection attempts and harassment. The act establishes that it’s illegal for creditors to use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from borrowers. Listed below are actions taken by creditors that the FDCPA would define as abusive, unfair or deceptive.

  • Calling before 8 AM or after 9 PM;
  • Contacting the borrower with knowledge they are being represented by a lawyer;
  • Reveal any of the borrower’s information to a third party;
  • Use abusive or profane language in an attempt to collect;
  • Continues to contact the borrower after receiving notice stating the borrower refuses to pay the debt or is requesting to end all communication;
  • Repeatedly calling over and over again;
  • Threaten you with an arrest or a type of legal action that is not permitted;
  • Continue to try and contact you after you’ve filed for bankruptcy;
  • Attempt to contact you through inappropriate mediums;
  • Publish your name or address on a “bad debt” list;
  • Pretend or attempt to impose a government agent or law enforcement officer;
  • Threaten property seizures or garnishments that were not permitted by the law;
  • Lying to the borrower about the amount of money owed;
  • Communicating any information via postcard;
  • Provide false information to financial institutions, employers or credit rating agencies;
  • Deposit checks before the dates written on them; and
  • Apply payments to debts other than those specified by the borrower

In addition, the FDCPA requires debt collectors to always state who they are every time they attempt to contact you and explain any information gained from you can be used to collect debt. FDCPA also states borrowers have the right to dispute their debts in part or full with a debt collector by asking for verification of the debt. 

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Can You Sue Bill Collectors for Harassment?

If a creditor or bill collector has violated the FDCPA, then you can file a suit against them to collect actual and statutory damages from them. The actual damages you will receive if you are successful with your suit are likely to be limited. Aside from emotional distress, most debt collectors who harass borrowers are simply a nuisance and rarely cause economic damage. 

However, Congress allows for $1,000 of statutory damages each time a bill collector or creditor violates FDCPA. So, if the creditor has relentlessly harassed the borrower, then they could be forced to pay thousands of dollars for their multiple violations. This money of course can help you pay off your debt and give bill collectors more of a reason to respect your privacy and time.

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What Do I Say to Creditors to Stop Them from Calling?

The best way to stop creditors and bill collectors in their tracks is to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy with a skilled and experienced attorney on your side. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will take effect immediately. Creditors must then stop any and all communication with you which includes phone calls, letters, emails or text messages.

Any contact after they’ve received notice you are filing for bankruptcy is illegal. Should a creditor contact you after filing bankruptcy, then they could face penalties and outstanding court fines. Some collection actions, however, cannot be stopped with an automatic stay. These actions include audits by the IRS, collection of alimony from a former spouse, any kind of criminal proceeding, or the withholding of money to repay loans from pensions.

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Additional Resources 

Consumer Credit Protection Act – Visit the official website for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to read the CCPA. Access the laws to learn important definitions for legal terms, what is considered an exempted transaction and the guidelines for disclosure. 

Fair Debt Collections Practices Act – Visit the official website for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to read up on the laws for the FDCPA. Access the site to learn what is considered an unfair creditor action, the penalties for violating the act, and what’s exempt from the act.

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Ohio Creditor Harassment Attorney in Cincinnati

Bill collectors or creditors do not have the right to get away with abusive or illegal behavior. If you’ve been harassed and it’s taken a toll on your emotional wellbeing, we suggest you contact Cincinnati creditor harassment lawyer Eric Steiden at Steiden Law Offices. He’s well-versed in both CCPA and FDCPA laws whilst having years of experience representing clients in bankruptcy proceedings. 

If you have been exhausted by creditor harassment and are looking for ways to stop it, call Steiden Law Offices now at . We can set up a consultation where bankruptcy lawyer Eric Steiden will review your finances and begin charting out a plan to stop the harassment. Steiden Law Offices represents clients throughout the greater Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky area including Forest Park, Norwood, Covington, Erlanger and Florence.

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