Are you being harassed by bill collectors? Some people receive constant calls from creditors at all hours of the day and night. We are sure that you find this annoying, especially if you are working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic (and therefore within earshot of your home phone vrtually 24/7).
For many people, however, this kind of harassment goes beyond merely annoying. In fact, bill collector harassment can get so bad that it prevents you from concentrating on your work, which in turn can prevent you from earning the money that would pay your bills and stop the phone from ringing. Other people face harassing calls for debts that are not even their own.
Would You Like the Calls to Stop?
If you ever wondered when it will be time to put a stop to it, that time is now -- because I know how to make it happen. You didn't ask these bill collectors to call you (who would do that?). You may have told them to stop calling you, and they probably ignored you time after time.
In addition to calling your home phone and your cell phone, bill collectors might be calling your work, your friends, your family or your ex-roommate, thereby causing you significant stress and humiliation. You might even lose your job over these calls. It's time to put a stop to this nonsense.
The Law is on Your Side:
If you are like most consumers, you have very little idea of the true extent of the rights that you possess against bill collectors. And believe me, they are extensive. I know, because I have been exercising them in favor of my clients for many years. In fact, you might end up in a position to actually demand that your creditors pay you money -- in fact, that happens all the time.
A broad range of federal and state laws have been enacted to protect consumers like you from abusive bill collectors. These laws include:
- The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which restricts the behavior of third-party bill collectors. Although the FDCPA applies only to third-party debt collectors (a collection agency, for example, rather than the company that issued you your credit card), you can receive damage of up to $1,000 per violation.
- The California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; which restricts the behavior of both third-party bill collectors and original creditors such as credit card issuers. It prohibits most (but not all) of the activities that are prohibited to third-party debt collectors under the FDCPA).
- The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, which prevents bill collectors and other creditors from unfairly placing negative information on your credit report. It might also be possible to file a defamation lawsuit over inaccurate and negative credit information.
New California legislation that requires debt collectors to inform you if the statute of limitations has already expired on the debt they are trying to collect.
- The federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), which prohibits “robocalls” and establishes a Do Not Call registry. This law offers victims up to $1,500 in damages per violation.
- The Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which provides for civil fines of up to $10,000 (which go to the government, not to the victim of harassment) for robocalls.
What debt collectors cannot do:
These laws collectively prohibit bill collectors, and often original creditors as well) from the following actions:
- Knowingly or negligently placing inaccurate information on your credit report;
- Subjecting you to robocalls;
- Pretending to work for a government agency including the police, the Justice Department, the US Marshals, the prosecutor's office or a consumer reporting agency;
- Threatening to have you arrested or prosecuted;
- Threatening to take any action against you that they are not capable of taking or are not entitled to take;
- Threatening to take any action against you, even actions they are entitled to take, that they do not actually intend to take;
- Calling you early in the morning, late at night, or at inconvenient times;
- Sending you a bogus court summons (be careful to check it out, through, because it might be real -- but don't verify it using the contact details provided in the document because they might be bogus);
- Publishing your name as a debtor in an attempt to publicly shame you;
- Discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse or your attorney (they can, however, contact third parties to try to locate you, although strict limitations apply even in this case);
- Try to collect a debt you don't owe (this is a very common practice, however);
- Fail to send you written verification of the debt (unless the creditor is an original creditor rather than a third-party debt collection agency);
- Threaten you with harm, especially physical harm;
- Use profane language;
- Call repeatedly;
- Call you after you have requested them to stop contacting you (except to confirm that they will comply with your request and to notify you that they have filed a lawsuit against you); and
- Call you at work, as long as you notify them in writing not to do so.
Any of these activities can be used as leverage to stop an aggressive creditor dead in his tracks.
A Loophole in the Statute of Limitations: Don't Fall into This Trap:
The statute of limitations defines the length of time that a creditor has to sue you for an unpaid debt. In California this time limit is four years for most types of debt (but 20 years for state tax debts). The statute of limitations clock typically starts running on the date you fell into default, depending on the type of debt and the terms of your indebtedness.
After the statute of limitations period expires, you still owe the debt, and your creditor may still call you, but your creditor cannot sue you for it, which renders the debt uncollectible unless you make an error.
You could legally revive it by acknowledging the debt (particularly in writing) or by paying a portion of it. If this happens, your creditor will regain the right to sue you. For this reason, do not cooperate with a debt collector, even to the point of acknowledging the debt, until you confirm whether the statute of limitations has run out.
Try Our Free Program to Stop the Creditors Calls and Restore Your Peace of Mind
If you give us permission to do so, we will be more than happy to stop bill collectors from calling you using every legal means at our disposal. We will take advantage of some of the specific laws mentioned above that allow us to demand that your creditors stop calling you. Your rights as a debtor are useless unless you use them. We know exactly what they are, and we will use them on your behalf.
Our Services are Free: No Hidden Fees and No Obligation
This is a unique program -- we won't charge you a dime for our assistance. Additionally, our services come with absolutely no obligation on your part, financial or otherwise. We promise you that you won't be involved in a lawsuit or any other legal action, and it doesn't matter how many times a week you are being called by debt collectors.
OK, so what's the catch?
“This isn't the way the real world works. Where is your incentive to help me? There's GOT to be some hidden catch.” Actually there isn't. But there is an incentive for us to help you -- reputation. There's nothing like proving it, and by proving what we can do for debtors, our reputation improves, one satisfied consumer at a time. And word of mouth advertising is the most effective kind of advertising there is.
Information We Need
In order for us to help you, we will need certain basic information such as:
- the creditor or debt collector's name and address;
- The phone number or numbers that they called you from; and
- Enough information about you to be able to tell them who to stop calling.
About the Law Office of Paul Mankin:
The Law Office of Paul Mankin is a small law firm -- small enough to offer you personal and individualized service, but not so small as to lack the resources to properly assist you (a problem frequently faced by sole practitioners). One of our major areas of practice is assisting clients who are being harassed by debt collectors.
Attorney Paul Mankin, firm founder, developed his passion to help abused debtors quite early in his career, when he saw with his own eyes just how vicious creditors are to debtors. In personal injury and bankruptcy cases, for example, he watched creditors ruthlessly pursue people who had been seriously injured in accidents and were unable to work to pay off their debts. He watched these creditors broke the law in their debt collection efforts, and it made him angry.
At the Law Office of L. Paul Mankin, we help clients who are being bullied by unscrupulous debt collectors, and we help them fight back. We see it as our job to fight for people who can't fight for themselves.
Seek Assistance Today
Contact us today by completing our online contact form (scroll down after clicking the link) and indicating your desire to participate in our program. If you do this we will be in contact with you shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!