Unfair Debt Collection - Creditor HarassmentCreditor harassment is common. Creditors may be calling you repeatedly, calling you at work, speaking to your employer, speaking to your friends and relatives, calling you at odd hours, calling you when they know you have an attorney, trying to collect even though you have filed bankruptcy. Each of these is common and each of these is illegal.
Many people find that nothing you say or do will stop creditor harassment. Many people find this embarrassing, depressing, and stressful. This is why the creditors harass people. Most collection agents are trained to create a false sense of urgency on your part. Collectors will often do this by making threats, swearing, and otherwise demeaning you.
Our clients have reported that collection companies have threatened to have them thrown in jail, threatened to speak to their boss, threatened to attach social security payments and made countless other threats. Creditors cannot do any of these things and it is illegal for a debt collector to threaten any of these things.
Our clients have reported that credit companies swear, call them "low life scum," "deadbeats," and the like. One client reported that a collection agent called his father, a pastor, "a sorry excuse for a Christian." Each of these are illegal. Each time we have filed suit against the debt collector in federal court and resolved the issue to our client's satisfaction.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) makes harassment by collection agencies and attorneys illegal. The FDCPA allows you to recover all of your damages, plus up to $1,000 in statutory damages, plus your attorney fees and costs. Therefore, we can bring these lawsuits on your behalf with no cost to you.
Both Oregon and Washington also have laws against creditor harassment. These laws provide for you to collect all of your damages plus your attorney fees and costs.
It would be impossible to list every possible violation. However, if you feel you are the victim of creditor harassment you are probably right.
An important part of bringing fair debt collection claims is to help keep collectors from being abusive. Debt collectors often prey on the poor and elderly and those who do not know their rights. Even if you know that the debt collector cannot have you thrown in jail over a debt there are many people who do not know that. By bringing a lawsuit you will make it more costly for a collector to break the law and you will be doing your part to help protect those who are vulnerable.
Debt collection claims also help debt collectors. Our firm has represented several employees of debt collection companies who are being harassed by other creditors. Our debt collector clients often tell us that if they acted like their collector our client would be fired. Those who engage in creditor harassment often get paid before those who follow the law. Therefore, it is a benefit to debt collectors for you to sue those who violate the law.
If you are being harassed by someone who is trying to collect money please begin by calling our office for a free consultation. Also, it is very important that you begin keeping a log of all contacts. Download Creditor Contact Log. It is not necessary for you to tape your phone calls to have a good case. If you choose to tape your phone calls, be advised that there are criminal laws regarding taping telephone calls.
For a free consultation please contact us. For necessary forms see those listed to the right.