You Don't Have To Give Up Your Rights Just Because You Owe Someone Money
Owing someone money can be an incredibly stressful time. Almost no one opens a credit card or takes out a loan intending to not make the required payments. Instead, sometimes even the most well-intentioned people can fall on hard times and get behind on their bills. And, once you do fall behind, it is a near certainty that you're about to receive an avalance of collection calls and letters. People receiving these types of communications often feel overwhelmed, and feel like they are unable to escape the constant reminders of their unpaid debts. This feeling is by design. Creditors and debt collectors know how stressful it is to constantly see an incoming call from someone you cannot pay. They know how that their constant letters can make you dread even checking the mail. And these stressful feelings can make companies lots of money.
There is nothing inherently illegal in a creditor or debt collector simply contacting you and asking for the money you owe. But, the law does place numerous restrictions and limits on what they can and cannot do. And, while many (maybe even most) of the companies operate within the bounds of the law, there are plenty of companies who cross the line between permissible and illegal conduct on a daily basis. These companies may feel that the more stress they can put on you, the more likely you will be to choose them to be paid first, simply to buy the peace and quiet that you used to have. But, what is the end result? If all of the companies are trying to be the number one priority to pay, then they will need to create even more stress on you. One call becomes two. Two becomes three. Without restrictions, there would be a "race to the bottom," where the collectors would constantly be trying to outdo each other to increase the likelihood that they can get your money before anyone else can.
This potential spiral of ever increasing collection ploys is one of the reasons that debt collection laws exist. For example, when passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Congress made it clear that the law had multiple purposes. First, the law was designed to protect the people in debt from improper treatment. The law prohibits or limits numerous collection practices that were found to just be impermisisble, such as telling most other people that you owe a debt. But, the law was also designed to ensure that a debt collector which follows all of the rules is not at a competitive disadvantage when compared to a debt collector who crosses that line from permissible communication to illegal collection activity. In other words, Congress wanted to put a stop to the race to the bottom, and eliminate the financial incentive that was there for a debt collector to push the envelope too far. Numerous collection laws exist, and a company may have to follow multiple different laws. For example, if you are receiving calls on your cell phone from an automated or prerecoreded voice, those calls may break the law (and even if they don't, you may at least be able to get those annoying robocalls to stop!). Or, a debt collector may be crossing the line if they are contacting your family members or trying to speak with you at work after you told them not to do so.
These are just some examples. At Freeman Law, we are well versed in the collection laws, and in helping people protect their rights under the law. If you have received a collection call or letter which just feels "off," you may be the victim of an improper debt collection communication. And, we can try to help. We offer free consultations to discuss the collection communications that you are receiving. And, if we think that your rights have been violated, we can help you obtain the relief that you are entitled to--at no upfront cost to you. Instead, if we pursue your claim successfully, we either will receive a portion of your recovery, or, the creditor or debt collector may even be required to pay our fees on your behalf! Call us today to schedule an appointment, or, if you would rather, fill out the below form so we can begin to review your situation as soon as possible. Remember, you don't lose your dignity just because you owe someone money. Let us help make sure you are treated fairly.