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Defending You Against Debt Collectors
Unscrupulous debt collectors use threats and harsh methods to get as much money as possible. Collection agencies often say they will file debt collection lawsuits when they have no intention of doing so. This is only one example of illegal practices by creditors. Even if you have debt, you still have rights under the FDCPA.
If you are being harassed or think your rights have been violated, it’s in your best interests to contact a licensed and practicing debt collection attorney in Ohio who can help you.
Topics we’ll cover in the following video:
- What is a debtor lawsuit?
- How a lawyer defends a debt collection
Know When to Get Help
You should consult a debt collection attorney if you cannot pay your bills due to debt or if you’re getting sued. If you feel like you’re underwater and can’t breathe because of the debts you owe, it’s a good time to call. An attorney can help you understand your options and the paths you can take to manage your debts.
Find the Right Path for You
Everyone’s financial situation is unique. That’s why it’s essential to talk to a debt defense lawyer who will customize a plan for you. LHA does not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we will work to stop harassing calls, determine if settlement is an option, whether filing a lawsuit is beneficial, or if, ultimately, bankruptcy is the best situation for you.
Our Debt Collection lawyers will help with:
- Unfair Debt Collections
- Creditor Harassment
- Stopping Collection Calls
- Debt Disputes
- Debt Buyers
- Creditor Lawsuits
- Debt Collection Defenses
- Collection Agencies
- Collection Attorneys
- Credit Card Companies
- Debt Collection Judgments
- General Debt Relief
What Sets LHA Apart?
LHA is not a typical debt solution firm. We are licensed to practice law in Ohio and handle everything related to debt and consumer protection law. So, no matter what you choose to do regarding your debt, we can help. Whether you want us to handle one debt that has been filed as a lawsuit or help you file bankruptcy to get rid of all of your debt, we are there to manage the stressful legal issues for you.
If you have been harassed or treated poorly by debt collectors, an FDCPA lawyer at LHA can help you.
Call 888-726-3181 for a free, no-risk & no-obligation consultation.
Not Just Any Debt Attorney
LHA attorney Jeremiah E. Heck is a leader in debt law. He is not afraid to fight back against large debt collectors who try to take advantage of clients.
“I wanted to take a few minutes to say how happy and grateful I am having you and your team on my side. I can’t believe the service I got from the very beginning [and] the effort you and your firm put into helping your clients is unbelievable.”
LUFTMAN, HECK & ASSOCIATES CLIENT
Debt Collection & Debt Collectors
A debt collector is a broad term that may encompass organizations, companies, or individuals who seek to obtain money to cover past due debts. There are many different kinds of debt collectors.
- Original Creditor – Credit card companies, loan companies, and other places where debt originates. They can also be debt collectors.
- Debt Buyers – Companies that purchase debt from a collector, often for much less than the debt is originally worth.
- Collection Agency – If a debt is past due, a collection agency may take over efforts to recover money.
- Collections Law Firm – Some attorneys handle debt collections before or during litigation. Even if a law firm calls you, you may not be sued. You still have options.
The Debt Collections Process
Debt collections typically follow a certain procedure, including:
- Once you fall behind or become delinquent, the original creditor might attempt to collect from you directly.
- If this fails, the original creditor will likely either send the debt to a third-party collections agency or sell the account to a debt buyer.
- The collection agency or debt buyer will begin collection efforts, normally by demanding payment via letters and telephone calls.
- The account may be forwarded to a collections law firm if these efforts fail. Sometimes this leads to a debt collection lawsuit.
If you are served with a debt collection lawsuit, call an FDCPA lawyer as soon as possible. You only have 28 days from the service date to file a response. If you ignore the lawsuit and a judgment is rendered against you, your wages may be garnished.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977. Its purpose is to curb deceptive and harassing debt collection tactics rampant in the debt collection industry.
Who Does the FDCPA Apply To?
The FDCPA applies to companies collecting debts that are not the original creditors.
Many FDCPA regulations do not apply to original creditors collecting their own accounts. For example, if you owe Chase Bank money and an employee of Chase Bank calls you to collect the debt, Chase is not bound by the strict requirements of the FDCPA. The FDCPA only applies to third-party collectors. If Chase sends the account to XYZ Collection Company, that collection agency must comply with the FDCPA.
In many cases, debt is sold to companies specializing in buying old debt that the original creditor has given up on or “written off.” These third-party debt collection companies are governed by the FDCPA and must comply with its requirements.
Protections Under the FDCPA
The FDCPA protects consumers. The FDCPA protects even people who have past-due debt. In general, according to the FDCPA, a collection company may not:
- Contact a consumer that the collector knows is represented by an attorney
- Threaten arrest or legal action that is not permitted or intended by the collector
- Communicate details about the debt with third parties other than your attorney and spouse
- Call outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Contact you at your place of employment if they have been told this is prohibited
- Fail to cease communication after having been advised in writing to cease all communications
- Seek amounts not allowable by law (in Ohio, this includes seeking attorney fees)
There are many more potential violations of the FDCPA. If you can prove that a collector violated the FDCPA, you are entitled to up to $1,000 in statutory damages, actual damages, possible punitive damages, and attorney fees.
LHA Helps Ohio with Debt Collectors
- New Philadelphia
Call LHA Today: 888-726-3181
Initial Consults are Free and No-Obligation
Debt Collection FAQs
What Is a Debtor Lawsuit?
A debtor lawsuit occurs when a debt has been transferred to a debt collection law firm, and the law firm files a debt collection lawsuit in court. This typically occurs in the county in which you live. In Ohio, you only have 28 days from the date of service to respond to a lawsuit. Otherwise, the collector may get a default judgment, and your wages may be garnished.
How Does a Lawyer Help with Debt Collection?
A lawyer can ensure the debt collector does not violate the FDCPA and protect your rights under the law. A debt collection attorney can ensure your consumer protections are respected. They will also present you with options to resolve your debt without falling into an even deeper legal and financial hole.
How Does a Lawyer Defend a Debt Collection?
Your lawyer can contact the debt collector and find out exactly how much you owe and what your options are. If a lawsuit has been filed, you may be able to settle the debt without going to court. If a lawsuit has not been filed, you will have many options to eliminate the debt. Your lawyer will defend your rights and ensure you are not treated wrongfully throughout the process.