Living under the burden of too much debt is hard enough without the constant phone calls from debt collectors. When a consumer files for bankruptcy protection under the Bankruptcy Code, the “automatic stay” goes into effect and creditors must stop making harassing phone calls. The automatic stay is a court order that stops all collection activity, including phone calls and letters. If they continue to try to collect the debt, the debt collectors are violating the automatic stay and can be sanctioned by the bankruptcy court. An experienced attorney can file a motion for sanctions for the willful violation of the automatic stay.
There are other legal protections against creditor contacts in addition to bankruptcy. Before the case is filed, legal action can be taken against debt collectors who make harassing phone calls if they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or the California Fair Debt Buying Practices Act.
These laws, especially the FDCPA, outline what the creditors are allowed to say and do when they are attempting to collect a debt, whether it be over the phone, by letters, in person, or via a law suit. Some of the most egregious examples are when the debt collectors call friends, family, or even the consumer’s workplace. The debt collection agencies have also been known to use intimidation tactics to scare and coerce consumers to make payments. Many times they even threaten jail time for not paying a debt. Fortunately, this is America and a consumer cannot be put in jail just for not paying a credit card or medical bill.
Although these protections provided by the FDCPA can be very useful to reduce stress by stopping the creditor contacts, they are not always the best solution to the debt woes. It’s important to be aware of the debts and debt collection actions that creditors are taking.
Whether the debt collector activities are violating the bankruptcy automatic stay or the FDCPA, it is really very difficult to hold them accountable without a consumer attorney well versed in these practice areas.
If a consumer is proactive with their debt problems, they can be solved and then those problems can be avoided in the future. One of the very best ways to quickly get rid of that debt and stop the phone calls at the same time to call a bankruptcy lawyer and get a bankruptcy on file.
A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing will do much more than a simple FDCPA lawsuit. It can stop the phone calls AND get rid of the unsecured debt that is making life so difficult. When financial security is so incredibly important to Sacramento families, and it can be so difficult to come by, bankruptcy is often really the only true way to feel in control of your future. Although it often seems like there is no end to money problems, the truth is that there can be an end in sight. All you have to do is make the decision and get the proper assistance.