Five Tips for Dealing with Harassing Creditors

Creditors can be one of the most stressful parts of bankruptcy proceedings. They call at odd times, often multiple times a day, and can sometimes be rude, disrespectful, and confrontational. While taking legal action will stop them (if you are represented by an attorney, creditors must go through the attorney regarding any debts you might owe), there are also steps you can take yourself to prepare yourself.

Credit collection agencies are guided by a series of rules that prohibit unfair practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an agency designed to prevent these unfair practices, and the ones who set the rules on what creditors can and cannot do to consumers. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), creditors are prohibited by law from doing the following:

  • Using abusive or obscene language

  • Making threats about arresting you

  • Discussing your debts with anyone but you and your attorney, if you are represented by one

  • Using symbols or language in mailed correspondence that indicate that they are a debt collection agency

  • Collecting charges in addition to debt that are illegal by state laws

  • Depositing any post-dated checks you supply early

  • Pretending to be an attorney if they are not

  • Making repeated harassing phone calls.

If you are experiencing any of these abusive tactics, you may be entitled to a lawsuit against the agency seeking attorney’s fees or other compensation.

In order to deal with these calls, there are certain steps that you can take to make sure that they are treating you fairly, and also to ensure that you have proper documentation if you ever feel the need to sue the agency.

  • Get it in writing. Any credit collection agency is required to follow up calls with written statements within five days.

  • Question Amounts. If they are claiming that you owe more than you actually do, look into filing a dispute with the collection agency. Make sure this is done in writing as well.

  • Keep Records. Keep track of when and how often the creditor calls, what was said, and who called. This might be helpful in later dispute issues, or in a possible lawsuit.

  • Don’t Talk Too Much. Don’t give out any information about where you work, your income, or any other debt you may have. The less information they have, the better.

  • Negotiate. You might be able to negotiate a settlement on your debt for a reduced amount, or one that eliminates interest fees. Speak to your attorney if you have one for more information.

Bankruptcy can be a stressful situation, but we are here to make it as easy as possible for you to get back on your feet. Call us today at (951) 304-3431 or email us at to get the process going. We are here to help you as best we can.

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