Nevada Collections Lawyer
Collection attorneys come in two varieties – Creditor attorneys who generally help creditors who are attempting to collect a debt, and Debtor attorneys who help those that are being asked to pay the debt. If a debt cannot be satisfied, a debtor might go into Bankruptcy to protect their assets. Bankruptcy attorneys can also represent either creditors, or debtors, as well.
Collections law is regulated by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, which is part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act regulates debt collection agencies, seeking to stop abusive collection practices and promote fair collection practices. Consumers are granted rights, including a legal way to dispute and validate debts. Debt collectors must follow prescribed guidelines while attempting to collect debts and subscribe to fair credit reporting practices (i.e. Fair Credit Reporting Act.)
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act Rules
It is significant to note that the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act regulates debt collection agencies, not the original creditor.
Specifically, the Act disallows “abusive and deceptive” action while attempting to collect debts. For example, consumers may only be called from 8am to 9pm local time; and, if the consumer provides written notice requesting no further communication, attempts to collect the debt (but for litigation) must cease (excepting notice of the intent to file a lawsuit or stop collection attempts.)
Debt collectors may not telephone the consumer, or any telephone number associated with the consumer, continuously, with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass; they may not call consumers at work after they have been advised such calls are prohibited by the employer or, otherwise, unacceptable.
Debt collectors may not threaten arrest or legal action that is not legitimately being considered. Debt collectors may not use abusive or profane language when attempting to collect a debt; they may not pretend to be lawyers or police officers and they can’t submit false information to credit reporting agencies. But, note that this list of Debt Collector “do’s and don’t’s” is not complete and a specialist in this area should be consulted as to a specific situation.
How do I stop collection calls?
The best way to stop collection calls is determined by analyzing your individual situation. That being said, here is some general guidance. You can submit, in writing, a request to the debt collector for all collection attempts to cease. However, this may lead to the creditor filing a lawsuit against you to collect the debt.
If you are contemplating bankruptcy, consult with a bankruptcy attorney. As soon as your bankruptcy petition is filed and accepted, the court will issue a “stay” which is an order mandating all collection attempts to cease immediately.
However, if you are trying to negotiate your debt, the debt isn’t legitimate, or bankruptcy is not appropriate, consult with a qualified collections attorney who can represent your best interests.
The debt collector says that he’s going to publish my name on a “bad debt” list? Can he do that?
No, it is against the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act for a debt collector to publish a consumer’s name or address on a “bad debt” list. However, if at some alter point, you choose to file for bankruptcy, all filings are matters of public record.
Can a debt collector call my boss?
Collection agencies are legally permitted to call neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, and, even, your boss to obtain your location information; they are not permitted to disclose their debt collection attempts.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as a “liquidation” bankruptcy because, in theory, assets are sold (i.e. liquidated) to pay off debts. In practicality, most people who qualify for Chapter 7 lose little or none of their assets, which are protected by state and federal exemptions.
All debts, not reaffirmed or ineligible, are discharged. This means that the debts do not ever have to be paid.
If debtors don’t qualify for the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 should be considered. Debts in Chapter 13 are reorganized, sometimes reduced, in a three to five year payment plan. Consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to learn more.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information. Its goal is to make sure consumers are treated fairly by credit reporting agencies (i.e. Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.)
Consumers are entitled to a free credit report from each agency annually and when denied credit based upon a credit reporting agency’s report. The agencies must verify any information disputed by the consumer; if such negative information is removed, it can’t be re-listed without consumer notification within 5 days.
Negative comments on a consumer’s credit report can’t be listed for more than 7 years from the date of delinquency; bankruptcy, however, is an exception. Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. Tax liens are a second exception; they remain on your credit report for 7 years from the time they are paid.
Debt collectors can call neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, and, even, your boss to obtain your “location information,” which refers to your address, telephone number, and place of employment.