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What Should I Know When I Have A Debt Collector Contacting Me?
Are you the victim of unethical debt collection? Or have you ever been pursued by a debt collector? If you answered yes, do you know what they can and cannot do to you?
If you have a past-due obligation, a debt collector or collection agency will be hired to recover the money you owe your creditor. They will use any available contacting medium in order to remind you and give you notice of the debt that you have not paid. Have you, on the other hand, been hounded by a debt collector who sent you a slew of emails in less than an hour? If this is the case, you should be aware of what debt collectors can do to you that can be reported as harassment and is forbidden by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
If something like this happens to you, you must seek the assistance of a debt relief lawyer in Towson.
Who are debt collectors and what do they do?
A debt collector is frequently present when a person has a delinquent debt.
Individuals or entities engaged with collecting delinquent debts from debtors are referred to as debt collectors. They are referred by a collection agency, a third party, or a middleman. Debt collectors are often compensated according to the agreements of the creditor and collection agency. They may charge a flat fee or a percentage of the total amount of debt collected.
In most circumstances, creditors would seek the assistance of debt collectors since their fees are reasonable and they have the necessary resources to recover debts.
Some debt collectors or collection agencies are also known as debt buyers. They acquire loans from the original creditor for a fraction of the original amount, then seek collection at the original price.
Are my creditors allowed to garnish wage or salary?
It will depend on the situation. Wage garnishment is only allowed when there is a court judgment.
If your creditor obtains a secured judgment from the court, they can garnish your salary; but if they do not and still insist on garnishing your income, you will need to seek the assistance of a debt relief lawyer.
What are the statute for limitations in terms of debt collection lawsuits?
Debt collectors or creditors have a specific time frame where they can only file a debt collection lawsuit against you. It varies depending on the state and the sort of debt you owe. A debt collector or creditor can usually file within 3-6 years.
The statute of limitations in Maryland varies depending on the sort of debt you owe. For credit card debt and medical expenses, the statute of limitations is three years. Whereas, it’s four years for vehicle loans.
It is critical that, if your creditor brings a case after the three-year period has passed, you tell the court that the statute of limitations has already expired.
Moreover, this does not still give you a way out for the debt you owed. Even if the statute of limitations has expired, they may still contact you to collect payment or disclose your debt status to credit rating agencies. The only difference is that they can no longer sue you in court.
Do I have rights as a debtor?
Even if you are a debtor, the answer is YES. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects debtors’ rights (FDCPA).
This Act applies solely to debt collection entities and other third-party debt collectors. This implies that if someone from your local grocery shop contacts you about a delinquent debt, they are not necessarily considered debt collectors under this statute.
Before the passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in 1977, there were numerous cases of borrowers being harassed and subjected to various abusive practices. As a result, the FDCPA was enacted to address these abuses.
This Act protects debtors against threats, coercion, exposing debt-related information to others, unwelcome contact, and other forms of harassment. It also outlined the mechanisms that a debtor might use to seek redress when their rights are infringed.
When a debt collector comes to collect a debt from you, keep the following points in mind:
It is illegal to harass or threaten you.
In certain circumstances, debt collectors will use different harassing techniques to get you to pay them. However, under the FDCPA, this is legally prohibited. Despite the fact that you owe them money, they do not have the authority to harass you in any manner.
Furthermore, if they threaten you with exposing you, seizing your property, or garnishing your salary if you do not pay them, you should consult with a lawyer. Threatening you into paying is illegal and punishable under the law.
Debt collectors are not permitted to contact you at inconvenient times.
Your debt collector may only contact you between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If they contact you outside of that time frame, you have the option to report them.
Also, debt collectors can contact you outside of the specified time range in rare cases, such as when you specifically notified them that they could contact you at any time outside of the permissible hours. To make this work, you and your debt collector must reach an agreement. So, if you did not ask or agree with them to speak to you outside of the permissible hours, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Debt collectors are not permitted to use deception to collect a debt.
It’s important to remember that it’s unlawful for a debt collector to deceive you into paying your bills. For example, when they misrepresent themselves, claiming to be a member of the government or posing as an attorney. Such actions are against the law, and you can file a complaint against them.
Divulging debt-related information to others.
Debt collectors are not permitted to go about telling others that you owe them money. It is prohibited for them to divulge any debt-related information to anyone who is not engaged in your financial situation in any way.
As an example, suppose your debt collector sends you a written letter. The letter should be completely sealed in a plain envelope. It is against the law for a debt collector to print anything outside the envelope indicating that it is a debt collection notification. A postcard is an example of blatantly illegal behavior under the FDCPA.
Debt collectors cannot talk to your neighbors or friends unless they only ask whether they’ve seen you or if they will ask for any personal information. They can’t, however, tell them why they’re asking for you.
Have an attorney by your side on your debt case!
We understand that you are afraid to seek legal assistance since you are already in debt, but we formed our law business on the concept that legal services should be available to all families. For typical bankruptcies and debt cases, we offer a fixed fee. You will know how much you will need to pay for our services before we begin. If you have experienced the circumstances mentioned above, then it is time for you to seek help from our lawyers at The Grafton Firm. We look forward to hearing from you.