No matter how much money you owe to your creditors, you still have debtors’ rights in The Woodlands, TX. Creditors have some leeway in collecting their debt, but they’re more limited than you might think.
Whether you’re considering filing for bankruptcy or are just having trouble getting one debt paid off, you should know your rights. You’re entitled to fair debt collection in The Woodlands, TX—read on to learn more about your rights, and if you have questions, consult with an experienced attorney like James R. Jones, Attorney at Law.
The Fair Debt Collection Act
When your debts are turned over to a collection agency, you can expect your phone to ring off the hook until they start seeing their money, or until you take a different kind of action. You may also be contacted by email, text, snail mail, fax and even in person. They are legally allowed to do this, but within reason: they can’t call you early in the morning or late at night, for example.
The Fair Debt Collection Act offers some protections for consumers. Collection agencies are strictly prohibited from harassing creditors. Some of the prohibited behaviors include threatening you (whether physically or otherwise), publicly publishing your name as a debtor, using profane or obscene language and using the telephone “for annoyance purposes.”
Collection agencies are also forbidden from making false statements to debtors, including implying that they’re from the government or a credit bureau, saying whether a case is being filed against you, saying you’ve committed a crime, threatening arrest, garnishment or seizure of property and lying about the amount of debt you owe.
They’re also prevented from giving out false information about you, sending you postcards (due to privacy issues), threatening to or taking property (unless they are legally allowed), collecting more money than they’re owed and other deceptive practices.
While the government values the rights of creditors to be repaid, given that you entered into a legally binding agreement with them, the Fair Debt Collection Act is a way to protect citizens of The Woodlands, TX and throughout the country from predatory lenders. Should you feel that you have been the victim of shady collection agency practices, you can sue in state and federal court. Other options include filing a complaint with your state attorney general and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
What should I do if a collection agency is harassing me?
Understanding your rights as a debtor is key to making sure you know your options, and don’t end up paying for debts you’re not obligated to repay. In many cases, the best course of action is to talk to an attorney. They can help determine whether you’re being unfairly targeted and harassed, which will guide your actions in handling the debt.
Attorneys can also help you determine whether filing for bankruptcy can help get collection agencies off your back permanently. For help understanding debtors’ rights and fair debt collection in The Woodlands, TX, call James R. Jones, Attorney at Law for a consultation.