Q What Laws Protect Me Against Creditor Harassment?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) dictates how a creditor may and may not go about collecting a debt. The FDCPA prohibits abusive debt collection practices, and is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Several states also have additional protections.
In addition, creditors must abide by federal bankruptcy laws, particularly the automatic stay provision, which prohibits creditors from continuing communications and collections activity after you file bankruptcy.
Should a creditor engage in harassing behavior, you have several ways to fight back.
- You can hire an attorney. Once you have retained legal counsel, a creditor may not continue to contact you.
- You can file a complaint against the creditor with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your state attorney general’s office, the Better Business Bureau, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, or the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
- In some instances, such as with bankruptcy, you may be able to recover damages and sue the creditor in federal court. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code protects all bankruptcy filers with an automatic stay. The automatic stay is designed to stop all collection activities and lawsuits. Any creditor who tries to illegally collect on a debt can be fined by the court and forced to give back any property or money taken.
If you need help putting an end to creditor harassment, wage garnishment, lawsuits, or foreclosure, our bankruptcy attorneys in Kansas City can help. Contact us to get started right away at 816-842-6200. Or, you can email us to schedule your free appointment.