Consumer Protection and Debt Collection Defense
You have rights, even if you owe money.
When a person or company is trying to collect money from you, they have to follow the laws that protect consumers like you.
The law says debt collectors can’t be abusive or harass you and they can’t lie to you. If the debt collectors don’t follow the law you may have a lawsuit against them. When you sue the debt collector, the tables are turned and you have some leverage to resolve any debt they say you owe. They might even have to pay you money on your claim.
Here are some examples of illegal actions by Debt Collectors:
- Calling you before 8 am or after 9 pm.
- Calling your relatives, friends or other people trying to find you when they already have your address.
- Calling you at work after you have told them your employer doesn’t allow personal phone calls.
- Robocalls to your cell or home phone, or automatically generated text messages.
- Swearing at you, making racist or other discriminatory comments.
- Lying to you about the status of your debt or how much you actually owe.
- Threatening to escalate matters or take you to court (when they don’t plan to) or threatening to harm you or your property.
- Charging fees that aren’t authorized in your contract, like collections fees or convenience fees.
- Claiming you have a legal obligation to pay a debt when the legal period for collection – called the “the statute of limitations” – is over.
Debt collectors do their best to pressure you to get their way. They try to make you feel ashamed and alone. Don’t fall for it. It is estimated that 1/3 of Americans are currently facing some kind of debt collection. Don’t just turn your money over to the debt collectors without getting legal advice first.
Contact my office to set up a no cost consultation. I do my best to set these up within a few days.
If we decide that I will represent you, there are a number of payment options. For instance, if you have a consumer protection claim and you win the case, the debt collector will pay my legal fees. If you don’t have a consumer protection claim, and we decide that I will represent you to defend against the debt collection, we can discuss a number of options for paying for legal services and we’ll see what might work for you.