Debt collector harassment always happens at the wrong time. Just when you're sitting down to dinner; just when you're trying to celebrate a special event; or just when you're getting into the swing of things at the office, a debt collection agency calls and tells you how much money you owe.
It doesn't stop with a simple informational reminder either. Debt collectors can use uncouth tactics, threats of litigation and they won't stop at harassing you. They'll also harass your family members, your co-workers and anyone else they think has a connection to you.
Fortunately, if you're suffering from debt problems, you don't have to put up with creditor harassment forever. You can put this unconscionable behavior to a stop right now by filing for bankruptcy.
The debt collection rules creditors must follow
Federal laws govern the way creditors and owners of debt can seek to get paid back the money they owe. For example, creditors trying to collect on their debts must:
- Call you at unreasonable hours;
- Identify who they are;
- Provide proof of your debt;
- Advise you of your ability to dispute the debt; and
- Adhere to other rules and regulations.
How bankruptcy can stop creditor harassment
In addition to following the above guidelines, creditors also need to stop contacting you and attempting to collect debts after you have filed for bankruptcy protection. Part of the protection you receive from bankruptcy involves an "automatic stay," which prevents creditors from attempting to collect on their debts from you directly.
During your bankruptcy process, creditors who hold debt covered by your bankruptcy proceedings must contact the court in their attempts to collect on the money you owe them. Depending on the results of your bankruptcy process, the creditor may receive some payment or compensation for the money you owe and any remaining amount will be dissolved upon the conclusion of the legal proceedings.
Creditors that ignore an automatic stay will be liable
If a creditor fails to follow the terms of an automatic stay associated with a bankruptcy and continues to harass you, the creditor could be financially liable to you for the continued creditor harassment. The creditor may also need to pay federal fines for violating a court order.