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What Rights as a Debtor do I have when Filing for Bankruptcy?

Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLLC || 4-Sep-2013

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One of the reasons why debtors seek bankruptcy protection is to stop harassing collection attempts from creditors. While anyone should not be subject to such abusive measures, debtors have rights you need to know in order to protect yourself, even before you decide to file for legal protection. There are a number of debt collection agencies over the last few years that have been investigated and even shut down by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for unethical collection practices. Such actions occur when rules and regulations related to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act have been violated.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act helps protect consumers from abusive practices of debt collectors. Yet, many consumers are unaware of what is considered an abusive collection practice or how to go about reporting such acts. A collector working to collect a debt must communicate to the debtor that their interaction is indeed from a debt collector, while stating information they collect from you will be used toward collection of the debt.

A debt collector is required to provide certain information to the debtor such as the amount of the outstanding debt, the original creditor or who the debt is owed to, the right for you to dispute the debt within 30 days if the debt is not considered valid, and the debt collector should provide verification of the debt in question if you dispute the debt.

There are a number of actions a debt collector may engage in that are considered abusive, such as making inappropriate threats of legal action, use of foul language, making phone calls at work when your employer doesn't allow them, seeking payment more than the amount of debt is owed, phone calls at inappropriate times of the day (after 9:00 PM or before 8:00 AM), or making false threats of criminal action.

Debt collectors are prohibited from contacting debtors once they file bankruptcy protection. Even prior to you filing bankruptcy debtors have relief under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). An experienced Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney can help you review available options while stopping harassing collection attempts.

Categories: Bankruptcy
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