Bankruptcy Stops Creditor Harassment
If you have ever been a victim of creditor harassment, you know how aggravating and frustrating creditor calls can be. Their persistent and abusive calls can be intimidating and unsettling. Creditors will threaten you, call you names, and just plain harass you to the collect money from you. Probably money you don’t have because otherwise you would pay it and they wouldn’t be calling. Not all creditors are harassing but that is usually the exception and not the norm. Creditors are required to abide by “The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.” The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires that debt collectors treat you fairly and prohibits certain methods of debt collection. Debt collection practices in Texas have to comply with both Texas Debt Collection Law and the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This of course doesn’t always happen.
When you can't pay all your bills timely, and the harassing creditor calls at home and at work have gotten out of control, contact The Law Offices of R.J.Atkinson for a free bankruptcy evaluation. We can explain your options to stop creditor harassment and get rid of your debt, or reorganize it through bankruptcy. When bill collectors cross the credit line and violate the Texas or Federal debt collection laws, you can sue them, and we can help you. Don’t let creditors harass you, call Texas Bankruptcy Attorney R.J.Atkinson.
Bill collectors will relentlessly harass you to get you to pay them. If you owe money in Texas, it isn’t a crime, but sometimes creditors will treat you like a criminal. When creditors call you every hour of the day, at dinner time, or even at work, it can be very quite upsetting, and potentially a violation of the law. If a creditor violates The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or any of the Texas Debt Collection laws, we may be able to file suit against them for you.
As a Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer, having helped thousands eliminate millions of dollars in debt, I have heard of all kinds of bill collection tactics from my clients which range from the illegal to the just plain wrong. Believe it or not, there some bill third party bill collectors and collection agencies making harassing phone calls, that aren’t really allowed by Texas law to collect debts in Texas. A third party bill collector or credit bureau has to have a surety bond and file it with the Secretary of State before they can make collections in Texas.
According to the law, (Texas Finance Code. 392.101.) third-party debt collectors or credit bureaus cannot engage in any debt collection activities within the State of Texas unless they have obtained a qualified surety bond in the sum of $10,000.00 and file it with the Secretary of State. A "third-party debt collector" includes a debt collector as defined under Federal law 15 U.S.C. Section 1692a(6), as well as an attorney collecting a debt as an attorney on behalf of and in the name of a client if the attorney has nonlawyer employees who are regularly engaged to solicit debts for collection; or regularly make contact with debtors for the purpose of collection or adjustment of debts. (Texas Finance Code 392.001(7).)
Besides having to have a surety bond, third party collectors or any bill collector for that matter must abide by the law and not engage in prohibited behaviors which include harassment, false statements, and other unfair practices. Debt collectors must contact you at the appropriate time as outlined by law.
- Creditor Harassment
Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, debt collectors may not:
- use threats of violence or harm
- publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay their debts (except to a credit bureau)
- use obscene or profane language
- repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone
- False Statements by Creditors
Debt collectors may not use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt. For example, debt collectors may not:
- falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives
- falsely imply that you have committed a crime
- falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau
- misrepresent the amount of your debt
- indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not
- indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are
- Debt collectors also may not state that:
- you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt
- they will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditor intends to do so, and it is legal to do so
- actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you, when such action legally may not be taken, or when they do not intend to take such action
- Further, debt collectors may not:
- give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit bureau
- send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not
- use a false name
- Unfair Practices By Debt Collectors
Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, collectors may not:
- collect any amount greater than your debt, unless your state law permits such a charge
- deposit a post-dated check prematurely
- use deception to make you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams
- take or threaten to take your property unless this can be done legally
- contact you by postcard
- Debt Collector contact
A collector can contact you in person, by mail, telephone, telegram, or fax. However, a debt collector cannot contact you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., unless you agree. A debt collector also may not contact you at work if the collector knows that your employer disapproves of such contacts.
Don’t Let Creditors Harass you. Stop Creditor Harassment
Filing for bankruptcy will immediately get bill collectors to stop harassing you. Even if you plan to file for bankruptcy in the near future, once you retain our office, you can refer all collection calls to us. The bill collectors must stop contacting you directly so you won’t be subjected to their scare tactics and harassment. A bill collector’s harassing phone calls day in and day out can make you afraid to not only answer your phone, but sometimes to fear for the loss of your job when they call at work.
If you do file for bankruptcy, once your bankruptcy case is filed, the bill collectors have to stop any and all communication to with you. By filing bankruptcy, whether it is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the bill collectors have to contact us, not you. In fact, after you file for bankruptcy, it is illegal for a bill collector to continue any collection efforts whatsoever. If they do contact you trying to collect after your case has been filed, it can be a violation of the automatic stay which may have both civil and criminal penalties.
Stopping Bill Collectors, Stopping Collection Calls, Stopping Creditor Harassment, and Starting to get back in control of your finances are benefits of filing for bankruptcy. After you file your bankruptcy case, you just refer all collection calls to us. So when a creditor calls you tell them you filed for bankruptcy, give them our number, and then hang up. Bill Collectors get quite upset when you file for bankruptcy because it not only forces them to deal with the Texas Bankruptcy Attorneys at The Law Offices of R.J.Atkinson who know the law, but it puts you in control of your finances. Once you file for bankruptcy, bill collectors, credit card companies, or anyone else you may owe money to won’t be harassing you anymore.
If you live in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco, Garland, Plano, Victoria, Irving, or most anywhere in the State of Texas contact the Texas Bankruptcy Lawyers at The Law Offices Of R.J.Atkinson. An experienced Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is the best option for you to get rid of your debt, significantly reduce your debt, or reorganize your debt.
Stop Harassing Collection Calls — Stop Creditor Harassment — Stop Creditor Phone Calls