HOW TO HANDLE PHONE CALLS FROM CREDITORS OR COLLECTION AGENCIES
There is a Federal Law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. This law was passed more than twenty years ago and gives a very large amount of protection to people in debt. Many people think that they have to put up with phone calls, letters, and other harassing techniques from creditors. This is simply not true, especially if they have hired an attorney to represent them.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, which is a federal law that governs all of the states in this country, a debt collector cannot use harassing techniques. A debt collector cannot call at inconvenient times. A debt collector cannot call someone at work if the employer does not permit such calls. A debt collector cannot make threats or mislead a debtor.
Once you have hired a lawyer to represent you, all you have to do is tell the debt collector that you are represented by an attorney with respect to this particular matter. If you are going to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or a chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can simply tell the debt collector that you have hired a lawyer to file bankruptcy. That statement alone under the Federal Law is enough to make the debt collector stop calling you or writing you letters. If the debt collector continues after they know that you are represented by an attorney, that debt collector is violating the Federal Law and you might have a lawsuit against the debt collector.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, a Debtor can collect $1,000 per violation of the law. Sometimes it is good to tape record conversations with debt collectors if they are harassing you. Just telling the debt collector that you are taping the conversation, will normally stop the debt collector from saying anything inappropriate, and you will probably find that most of the time he/she will just hang up.
If you are retaining our office to represent you for a bankruptcy, I would suggest that you make a statement such as the following:
"I have hired a lawyer to represent me and I am filing a Chapter 7 (or Chapter 13) Bankruptcy. My lawyer is Seymour Wasserstrum, 205 Landis Avenue, Vineland, New Jersey. His phone number (856) 696-8300. He advised me not make payment on any further bills, and if you have any further questions, please do not call me any more. Please call Mr. Wasserstrum. He told me there is a Federal Law that prevents you from calling me any further once I have given you this information. Thank you."
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call our office. If someone is harassing you, do not be upset. Merely ask that person for his/her full name and telephone number. We can take action against that person if your rights are being violated. Therefore, do not be afraid of debt collectors. Once you know what your rights are, you can be protected by Federal Law.