When you get behind in your bills and the debt collectors are calling, it can be stressful and sometimes embarrassing. Getting a call from a debt collector can also be annoying and frustrating. Knowing your consumer rights can prevent you from being taken advantage of. Filing bankruptcy can also get the debt collectors to stop calling.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The FDCPA is a federal law that was passed to give consumer rights when it comes to collection attempts. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act created new laws such as debt collector rights, unfair practices, and debt collector legal actions. Before the law was enacted, lenders and third-party collectors acting on their behalf used harassment, threatening language, and lies to get the consumer to pay the Debt.
Verify it’s your Debt
You may be surprised to know how many people pay on debts that are not legally theirs. Errors, past the statute of limitations, or outright fraud are some of the reasons a debt may not be yours. Always ask for written proof you owe on a debt when collection agencies are contacting you for payment. If they are unable to show written documents, they will have no case, and you will not owe on the Debt.
Statute of Limitations
Each state is different in how long a debt collection agency has to collect on a debt. When a debt has passed the statute of limitations, it is known as a time-barred debt. When a debt has passed the statute of limitations, you may still owe on the debt, but you can not be taken to court and be sued for a judgment to force you to pay on the debt.
Negotiate the Debt
When you are contacted regarding your debt, the person you are speaking to may have the ability to eliminate some of the debt. Sometimes you can get as much as 50% wiped away if you make a payment or two immediately. If possible, get this in writing so you will not be surprised later with the rest of the debt.
If you are receiving calls from debt collectors and do not know how you will pay your bills, contact a Dallas bankruptcy attorney to find out how you can stop the calls and get financial relief.