Finance Law area

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Legal Tip of the Week

Bill collector and creditor problems -- Stop abuse

By Susan Merk  [November 4th, 2017]

Although bill collectors can be persistent, many are careful to follow the law when contacting you. Unfortunately, some are not. If a bill collector oversteps the bounds of the law, you can take action. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits certain debt collectors from engaging in abusive behavior. It covers debt collectors that work for collection agencies. It does not cover debt collectors that are employed by the original creditor (the business or person who first extended you credit or loaned you money). If a debt collector that works for a collection agency breaks the law, you can take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.


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Your most common questions answered:

Will filing for bankruptcy stop bill collectors from harassing me?
[November 21st 2013]
When you file for bankruptcy, an "automatic stay" goes into effect. The automatic stay prohibits virtually all creditors from taking any action to collect, unless the bankruptcy court lifts the stay and lets the creditor proceed with collections."
What happens to my property while I'm in bankruptcy?
[April 13th 2010]
Generally, after a debtor files for bankruptcy, a creditor may not attempt to collect the debts outside of the bankruptcy proceedings. Similarly, once a piece of property becomes subject to the bankruptcy proceeding, the debtor may not transfer it. In fact, some transfers, liens, or secured interests that occur prior to the proceedings may also be declared invalid.
Do I need a lawyer to declare bankruptcy?
[March 13th 2009]
A lawyer is not absolutely required, but since bankruptcy is a serious matter that will have an impact on your financial future for years, hiring a lawyer is strongly recommended. You can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer simply by going to the clerk of your local federal bankruptcy court and asking for the appropriate forms.