Debt collection companies are notorious for using harassing and other questionable tactics in order to collect payment. If you are experiencing abuse from debt collectors, you may be afraid to check the mail or answer your phone. Additionally, you may be sued or have negative marks on your credit report if you avoid debt collectors for long enough. If you are dealing with abusive debt collectors, a Missouri bankruptcy attorney may be able to help you.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) watches out for questionable practices by debt collectors, including the following:
- Trying to collect additional charges, fees, or interest that are unlawful or were not expressly authorized in the original debt agreement.
- Misrepresenting themselves as attorneys or government affiliates.
- Misrepresenting the amount, status, or character of the debt.
- Misrepresenting whether the status of the debt would be reported to a credit reporting bureau.
- Revealing information about you or your debt to other parties without consent, such as your family members or employer.
- Attempting to garnish wages or take your property without the proper legal authority.
- Threaten you with a lawsuit, arrest, imprisonment, or prosecution when the collector has no legal right to pursue any of those courses of action.
- Stating the debt collection agency would forgive a debt if you agree to pay a settlement amount and then failing to forgive once you have paid.
- Failing to credit your account with payments that you made, charging you late fees when your payment was on time, or failing to report to the credit bureaus that you have paid the debt.
Despite the laws against the above actions, debt collection companies continue to engage in questionable, abusive, and unlawful practices to try to intimidate you into paying more than you should.
Luckily, there is a way to make debt collection attempts stop. If you are overwhelmed by debt and collectors and you decide to file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect. An automatic stay prohibits any further collection attempts and can give you peace of mind as the bankruptcy process begins.
Contact a Missouri bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation
If you are dealing with abusive collectors and believe bankruptcy may be a solution for you, do not hesitate to call the Law Office of Kenneth P. Carp today at 636-947-3600 to schedule a free consultation.