You can't make this stuff up. A few weeks ago, the Washington Post ran a story that would be comical, if it wasn't so outrageous. According to the article, the Federal Trade Commission recently shut down a debt collector in California for violating debtor harassment laws. The company is accused of threatening a family pet, as well as digging up a corpse. What?! According to the FTC, a collection agent unlawfully threatened a woman -- who owed money for a funeral bill -- that he would dig up her daughter's body and hang it from a tree if she didn't pay the bill. She was also told he would take her dog and eat it.
Federal laws protect consumers in these outrageous collection situations. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, is a powerful, federal law that prohibits abusive collection practices by third party collectors, including these outlandish threats and actions. The FDCPA does not apply to business debts or to original creditors. Nevertheless, the FDCPA prohibits certain abusive practices including:
* Telephone calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. (your time);
* Requesting payment beyond what is actually owed;
* Using abusive, profane or obscene language;
* Threatening legal action which is not permitted by law (e.g., criminal action);
* Telephone calls at work after being instructed that your employer prohibits phone calls from debt collectors;
* Contacting you directly after being instructed that you are represented by an attorney.
When you hire a Bankruptcy attorney to represent you, the FDCPA provides that a third party collector can no longer contact you directly. Any contact regarding your debt must be made through your attorney. Additionally, the federal Bankruptcy laws prohibit collection actions during
your Bankruptcy case. Any creditor (including original creditors) who violate these Bankruptcy protections can face serious consequences by the Bankruptcy Court.
If you are facing creditor harassment, please call me, Houston Bankruptcy Attorney Nicholas R. Westbrook, at
Law Office of Nicholas R. Westbrook can put an end to this abusive behavior. I offer a FREE consultation to explore all available options. I will show you how the federal and state laws can protect your property, income, and peace of mind. The road to financial freedom starts here.