One of the most inconvenient and overwhelming aspects of owing a significant amount of debt is effort made by debt collectors to contact you. If you fall behind on your payments, you will start getting phone calls and letters from creditors demanding payments. You may also receive notice of certain extreme measures, such as wage garnishment or repossession of your property. This is a stressful situation to find yourself in, and you may feel like there is no way out.
Collection efforts are an inevitable part of owing a significant amount of debt. However, there are limits to what creditors can do. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have protection from certain types of collection efforts and unfair practices. No matter how much you owe or how far behind you are, you still have rights.
Limits to creditors’ actions
A creditor has the right to pursue payment on unpaid balances. However, the FDCPA shields you from certain actions that may be unfair, unreasonable and invasive. You also have the right to privacy regarding your debt and finances. The following facts may help you understand this federal law:
- Creditors should not be calling you late at night or very early in the morning asking for payment.
- Debt collectors should not call you at your place of work if you have asked them to stop.
- If you have secured the services of an attorney, debt collectors should not continue to call you.
- Creditors cannot speak to others about your debt, and they cannot bother your family.
- If you asked a debt collector to stop contacting you in writing, he or she must do so.
An attorney can be a helpful ally if you think a debt collector or creditor is violating your personal rights. He or she can explain your rights and what you should do to protect yourself and your financial interests.
A long-term solution
The FDCPA provides you with certain protections, but it will not make your debt problem go away. If you are struggling with unpaid balances and are falling farther behind with each missed or minimum payment, you may want to consider the benefits of bankruptcy. This process may offer Louisiana consumers a way to deal with their debt in an organized and reasonable manner. Upon filing for bankruptcy, all contact with creditors must halt immediately.