Collection Calls and Creditor Harassment

Sina Maghsoudi is committed to reducing the stress in your life brought on by financial distress, including collection calls, intimidating letters, and harassment by creditors contacting your employer or showing up at your workplace.

The Automatic Stay

All attempts at debt collection stop once a bankruptcy is filed. This is called an automatic stay, and it applies to every creditor across the board, from bill collectors to the bank which is trying to foreclose on your home. If a creditor wishes to proceed with a foreclosure or debt collection during a bankruptcy, it must apply to the court for relief from the stay.

Fair Debt Collection

Even outside of bankruptcy, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from certain harassing conduct, such as calls late at night and early in the morning and contact at the workplace. However, the FDCPA has many hoops the consumer must jump through in order to receive protection under the Act. Also, the FDCPA only applies to professional bill collectors and companies that buy delinquent debt; it doesn’t regulate conduct by the original creditor, such as a doctor’s office, retail store, or credit card company.

A bankruptcy filing, on the other hand, puts an immediate stop to all attempts at bill collection, including foreclosure and repossession. Bankruptcy also has the advantage of bringing all the creditors together in one place to be dealt with together, rather than individually. In a Chapter 13 payment plan, for instance, the creditors are forced to comply with an approved plan and receive their payments from the trustee, rather than continuing to harass the consumer for payment.

From Harassment to Litigation

Credit card companies as a rule will never hassle you as long as you are paying some amount each month; they are perfectly happy to let the debt pile up. Even after you stop charging on the card, late fees and penalties, along with interest rates up to 30% or more, combine to quickly escalate the balance far beyond your ability to pay. It is when you stop paying at all that you can expect the harassment to start. Credit card companies have not been known to voluntarily write off debt, and will turn over delinquent accounts to bill collectors or even take cardholders to small claims court for balances in the hundreds or low thousands.

Sina Maghsoudi is knowledgeable and experienced in negotiating debt settlement, putting an end to creditor harassment, and obtaining relief for the consumer through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For immediate assistance in putting a stop to collection calls and creditor harassment, contact us today.