Birmingham Creditor Harassment Law Attorney
At our Alabama consumer rights law firm, Dunaway-Attorneys at Law, we have seen a growing problem with illegal creditor harassment.
Attorney Matt Dunaway can help. Contact our firm and arrange a free consultation at our Birmingham office for a discussion of your concerns and creditor harassment law.
If a collection agency or creditor is suing you for money you don’t owe, it is important you answer the Summons, possibly with a countersuit.
The Fair Debt Collection Act (FDCA) is a federal law preventing debt collectors from using deceptive or false means to try to collect a debt.
A “debt collector” is not an employee of the company you owe money to, but someone the company has hired to collect the debt. For example, if you owe BellSouth money, and a BellSouth employee calls you, it is not covered by the FDCA. If BellSouth hires NCO, a collection agency, to collect the debt, and NCO calls you, it is a debt collector and covered by the FDCA.
Even if you owe the money, you still have the protection of federal law. If you feel that the debt collector has used any false or deceptive means to try to collect the debt, you should contact a lawyer at our Birmingham office. We will take steps to make them stop, and possibly collect damages for mental anguish and emotional distress on your behalf. In addition the court may order them to pay us attorneys’ fees.
Bill collectors are forbidden to:
1.Contact you directly after being informed you are represented by a lawyer
2.Contact you at all after you request in writing that contact stop
3.Disguise the caller id to make it look like somebody other than a debt collector
4.Threaten to have you put in jail
5.Contact your neighbors and tell them you owe money (debt collectors call this a “block party”)
6.Call your co-workers and tell them you owe money (an “office party”)
7.Call relatives and ask if they know you owe money
8.Sue you when you don’t owe the debt
9.Sue you when the statute of limitations has expired
10.Sue you on a debt discharged in bankruptcy court
11.Continue to collect on a debt when you have claimed identity theft and have taken steps to correct it, including filing a police report and notifying credit reporting agencies
12.Threaten to garnish your wages if you don’t pay (This is impossible unless a lawsuit has been filed and a judgment entered against you.)
13.Pull your credit report to see if you are worth suing – a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
14.Call you early in the morning, late at night, or at other times they know are inconvenient for you
15.Call you at work or at night multiple times, particularly when you have requested in writing that no calls be made to your house
16.Call or visit you at work if you have told them you are not to get collection calls at work
17.Use profanity to you or your family
18.Threaten to get money out of your elderly parents by suing them for debts that only you are responsible for
If you are a victim of identity theft steps can be taken to correct the records. If a creditor is breaking state and federal laws by incorrectly reporting debt to consumer credit agencies you may be entitled to damages in addition to a correction.
If you owe money that you won’t ever be able to pay or can’t pay on time, our attorneys will explain how Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may help.
Our lawyers charge no fees unless we file a suit on your behalf. If we do need to file a suit against a credit company, creditor harassment law says you are entitled to money damages for emotional distress, and certainly the burdens imposed by creditor harassment are distressing.
The first step in your case is to dispute the validity of the debt (even if you owe the money). This forces them to show proof of the debt. The second step is to show proof of the harassing and misleading phone calls by saving voice mail messages, answering machine messages, and getting the name and employee ID of the person calling, time of call, and record of what was said. Print this sample chart for recording calls. You must file a federal claim within twelve months of the harassing behavior. Contact our attorneys to discuss your options and a possible claim against dishonest debt collectors.
We represent clients throughout Alabama, including Jefferson County, St. Clair County, Blount County, and Shelby County, and the communities of Birmingham, Oneonta, Ashville, Columbiana, Gardendale, Harpersville, Talladega, Fultondale, Hueytown, Bessemer, Vestavia Hills, Trussville, Tarrant City, Hoover, Moody, Leeds, Pelham, Alabaster, Mountain Brook, Pell City, Margaret, Trafford, Lincoln, and Irondale, Alabama.
For bankruptcy information, see our Bankruptcy Information Center and Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy.
Birmingham · Creditor Harassment Law
Attorney Matt Dunaway will explain how to use the law to stop illegal bill collection tactics.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.