Borrowing money is the only way many people in Chicago can afford homes, cars and other large purchases. In fact, according to a February 2014 article in the Chicago Tribune, “U.S. consumers owed a total of $11.28 trillion on student and auto loans, credit card balances, mortgages and home equity lines of credit,” as of the third quarter of 2013.
Unfortunately though, while borrowed money helps many families make necessary purchases, it also often makes them the target of harassment and other illegal actions by creditors who provided the loan. If you are a debtor and have been subjected to harassment by a creditor or collection agency in Chicago, contact an attorney immediately to help protect your rights.
What rights do you have as a debtor?
In order to protect your rights as a debtor, the United States Federal Trade Commission implemented the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which regulates the actions creditors take to recover their money.
Some specifics under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are:
- a debt collector is not allowed to contact you at inconvenient times or places;
- you lawfully can cease debt collection calls and other forms of contact by sending the collection agency a letter requesting them to cease their actions – though the debt collector still may continue certain communication;
- a collection agency may not threaten, use profane language, publish your name to be viewed by the public or even use the phone repeatedly to annoy you as a debtor;
- a collector cannot use false statements, such as claiming that you may be arrested if you do not cooperate; and
- if you are represented by an attorney, the debt collector must contact the lawyer instead of you directly.
How an Attorney Can Protect You Against Unfair Practices
Of course, while there are laws in place meant to regulate the actions debt collection agencies and creditors may take, these entities still may break the law.
In the event a debt collection agency contacts you ceaselessly, an attorney can speak to the collectors to help put a stop to the actions or help you report the violation to the state Attorney General’s Office and other agencies.
If you decide eventually that you are unable to repay your debts, an attorney can help you file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. After filing for either of these types of bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put into place, legally preventing creditors from contacting you further about owed debts.
Contact an Attorney Today
As a debtor, fielding incessant phone calls from debt collectors may be daunting. If you believe that you have been the target of illegal action taken by a debt collection agency, please contact the debtors' rights attorneys today at EV Has, LLC. We can help you understand your rights and protect you against any improper practices. Click Here to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (312) 775-0980 today for a free evaluation.