If you find yourself dealing with overwhelming debt, you know how this situation can affect multiple areas of your life. One frustrating aspect of owing a significant amount of debt is the phone calls and letters you may get from debt collectors. Creditors have the right to attempt to collect on late balances, but they cannot carry out certain actions.
As a New Jersey consumer dealing with collection efforts and creditors, it is prudent to know your rights and how to identify creditor harassment. Regardless of how much you owe, you do not have to put up with illegal or inappropriate treatment from creditors. One way to make contact with debt collectors stop for good is to file for consumer bankruptcy.
What are the requirements for creditors?
While there are legal ways for creditors to attempt to collect money for owed balances, they cannot harass, threaten or violate certain federal standards. The consumer has rights, and as a person who may be dealing with inappropriate treatment, you may find it useful to know the following:
- Creditors cannot call you at unreasonable hours. They cannot call you at your place of work if you have asked them to stop.
- When calling you, debt collectors must identify themselves and cannot lie to you about who they are or why they are calling.
- They cannot threaten you with arrest or personal harm, nor can they request that you pay an unreasonable amount of money.
- If you file for bankruptcy or have representation from an attorney, creditors cannot continue to contact you.
If you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay will go into effect. This means that all creditor contact must cease. If you continue to receive harassing phone calls or letters after this step or believe you are the victim of unfair collection practices, you have the right to take legal action.
You can make it stop
One of the most effective ways to make harassing and annoying contact from creditors stop is to file for bankruptcy. Not only will this protect you from continued phone calls and letters, it will allow you to deal with your debt once and for all.
Consumer bankruptcy may not be your first choice, but it could be the right step for you. If you believe you could benefit from the protections and opportunities that this legal option provides, you may find it beneficial to first seek a complete evaluation of your case.