By law, a creditor is only allowed to contact you in specific circumstances. If they’re calling you day and night at insane hours, you can sue. You should contact an attorney immediately.
But when is the time creditors “can” call you?
The times are between 8 AM and 9 PM, Monday-Saturday. If they do not follow these laws, you have grounds for a case against them (we’ll go over that more).
If creditors call you during the legal times, you still have rights under Federal and State laws. A creditor can rarely if ever contact you at work. If they contact your neighbors or family looking for you, you also have a right to stop it.
How can you stop creditor harassment?
If you owe money, creditors have a legal right to contact you. However, what you can do is write a letter stating you want the contacts to stop; by law the creditors have to stop. What do you say in the letter? You simply make it plain you want no more contact with the creditor anywhere, or to friends and family.
What if a creditor threatens you?
Unfortunately, this happens often enough to be noted, as creditors sometimes are known to threaten debtors. If a creditor threatens to hurt you, garnish your wages, or threaten you in any other way, it’s illegal. A creditor, for one, can never threaten to garnish your wages, even if they plan on doing so. Of course, it’s obvious threatening to hurt you is a major crime as well.
What if a creditor sends you a letter?
There are laws designed for letters from creditors too. The letter must state: you have 30 days to dispute the amount or the debt will be considered valid, how much the debt is, the name you owe money to, and that anything you say can be used against you. This is much like a Miranda, and just as in criminal law, there are rules on what creditors can and should say.
How can you sue a creditor?
The good news is, creditors are sued successfully on a regular basis. The bad news is, the most you can collect from the creditor is $1,000. However, it does make a big statement. You still owe the money, but the creditor may have learned a valuable lesson.
What are your options if they follow all laws?
You have the right to 1) send them a letter asking for no more contact and 2) a lawyer to take any future creditor calls. If you file bankruptcy and hire a bankruptcy attorney, all future calls from the creditor should go directly to your attorney. This stops creditor harassment. There are alternatives to bankruptcy, but if you’re in over your head with debt, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are reasonable options for eliminating or managing debt.