Unfair Debt Collection – Know Your Rights

Unfair Debt Collection – Know Your Rights

Abusive debt collection practices can take a terrible toll, emotionally and practically. Beyond the fear, stress and embarrassment, families can have their bank accounts frozen, making it impossible to pay for their most basic needs. Debt collectors frequently place incorrect information on people’s credit reports, impairing their ability to secure credit, housing and even employment on some occasions.

Many of our clients have experienced harassing phone calls; demands for payments not truly owed; illegal threats of bogus consequences for failing to pay, up to and including imprisonment; or lawsuits to collect stale debts that are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. These abuses are disturbingly common. Consumer complaint data indicates the most common grievances are mistaken information and what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calls “aggressive communication tactics and threats.”  

Fortunately for West Virginians, strong state remedies exist. Significant penalties are provided, along with the right to recover your actual damages, including for your emotional distress, and your attorneys’ fees.

Consider contacting us if you have been subjected to the practices described herein, including:

(1) threats that non-payment will result in arrest or garnishing wages without informing the consumer that a judicial order is necessary for any garnishment; 

(2) the collection of old debt that may be passed the statute of limitations; 

(3) collection or threatened assessment of attorneys’ fees;

(4) the communication with any employer of information relating to an employee's indebtedness;

(5) the disclosure of information relating to a consumer's indebtedness to any relative or family member of the consumer if such person is not residing with the consumer;

(6) any communication with a consumer whenever it appears that the consumer is represented by an attorney;

(7) any false representation of the extent or amount of a debt, or of its status in any legal proceeding;

(8) any false reports by creditors to credit reporting agencies and

(9) auto-dialed collection calls made to your cell phone without your permission.

Today's blog: Have you been in debt, or close to it? Been called by collectors? It can be embarrassing but thankfully can also be avoided. Read our post today to learn how to handle this and to know you're not alone!