New York Debt Collection Lawyer
For many people facing financial hardship, creditors can become more than just a nuisance. At Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, our debt collection lawyer help clients take a stand against unfair debt collection practices and creditor harassment, including verbal abuse and intimidation, incessant phone calls, and false statements about the debt situation. Read on for more information about debt collection and creditor harassment.
Unfair Debt Collection Practices
If you are behind on paying your bills, a debt collector may contact you to obtain payment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. The Act also prohibits debt collectors from contacting you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 PM, unless you agree to it. Debt collectors may not contact your at work if they are told (orally or in writing) that you’re not allowed to receive calls there.
Types of Creditor Harassment
Under the FDCPA, certain practices are off limits for debt collectors and constitute creditor harassment. Some examples of creditor harassment are:
- Repetitious phone calls that are intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone
- Obscene or profane language
- Threats of violence or harm
- Publishing lists of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to a credit reporting agency)
- Calling you without telling you who they are
The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This includes misrepresentations about themselves or your debt, such as claiming you owe more than you do, claiming he or she is an attorney, threatening to take actions that cannot legally be done, or threatening to take actions the creditor has no intention of doing.
When a debt collector contacts you, write down the dates and times of phone calls and conversations. These records can help determine if the debt collector violated the FDCPA. You have the right to sue a debt collector in state or federal court within one year from the date the Act was violated. You can also put an immediate stop to all debt collection activity by filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
Contact Us for Help with Creditor Harassment
If you live in the Hudson Valley area and you believe a debt collector has violated the FDCPA, please contact Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP to schedule a consultation. Our New York debt collection lawyer can help you determine if you have a claim for compensation. Even if you haven’t suffered any actual damages because of the harassment, the debt collector may be required to pay you up to $1,000 along with covering your attorney’s fees and court costs.