Louisiana consumers who have experienced bad times may have accumulated debts that they cannot settle. This may be through job loss, medical expenses or other unanticipated circumstances. With unpaid debts come the harassment typically dished out by debt collectors. Although the Federal Trade Commission protects consumers, not many know that filing for bankruptcy can put a stop to creditor action.

It is advisable to talk to debt collectors at least once to find out the details about the debt and see if it can be resolved. A written instruction can be sent to the collections agency to direct them to cease calling, but it will not eliminate the debt. In some instances, lawsuits may follow. The times during which collection agents may make the calls are restricted, and a consumer can ask that no calls be made to them at work.

Collectors may not reveal a consumer’s debt details to anybody else — not even friends or family. Those who are harassed by debt collectors may record the calls, and they can file complaints. An experienced attorney can help with taking action against collection agencies that violate laws and/or regulations.

An experienced Louisiana attorney can also provide information about the protection offered by the Bankruptcy Code. The lawyer will explain the pros and cons of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, one of which is an immediate stay on collection activities entered upon the filing of bankruptcy. Although such a filing also has cons, unsecured debts such as credit card debt and medical debt can be discharged, and the consumer may have an opportunity to have a fresh financial start.

Source: wtvm.com, “Secrets of debt collection agencies”, Andrew Housser, Accessed on Dec. 6, 2016