As a Memphis bankruptcy attorney, I’ve seen firsthand how harmful debt collection can be. Angry phone calls interrupt you at dinner. Strangers humiliate you at work. They’ll even bother your family members over a debt YOU owe. Putting an end to it will change your life for the better. But here’s why stopping creditor harassment can also help everyone else around you, including the creditors.
Creditors Need to Know the Rules
Stopping creditor harassment will always help us the consumers, but in some ways, it’s good for everyone. Up until recently, there weren’t a lot of laws on the books about what creditors could and couldn’t do. People weren’t aware of their rights, and creditors could come close to breaking the law without even realizing it.
As a result, the US government and private individuals would often sue creditors for the damage they caused. If a creditor caused someone to lose their job or used a variety of other illegal tactics, they could be fined or found guilty in court.
In those cases, the victims (regular people just like you and me) would first have to report it and work with the courts to hold these debt collectors accountable. And up until recently, a lot of people had no idea where to start.
That system doesn’t help anyone. You have to do a ton of work, and the creditors have no clear idea whether they’re following the rules.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to put a stop to it. That’s why they’ve passed a new set of rules called Regulation F designed to make debt collection easier on everyone.
How Regulation F Helps You
Regulation F builds on previous laws around debt collection to make sure creditors aren’t harassing people as they try to collect on their debts.
For creditors, it’s entirely legal to contact someone about a debt they owe. But you can’t make the debtor’s life miserable in the process.
So for example, in the past debt collectors may have contacted a long list of people you know. They might call your boss, your aunt, or even your social media contacts. This behavior is designed to embarrass you and make your life harder so you’ll pay the debt faster.
But of course if you owe a lot of debt, you can’t just suddenly pay it back because a stranger is humiliating you in front of everyone you know!
Regulation F specifies a much shorter list of people the creditor can contact in regards to your debt:
- Your attorney (if you have one—see below)
- A consumer reporting agency, in some cases
- The creditor (the organization you owe the money to)
- The creditor’s attorney
- The debt collector’s attorney (companies will often hire outside debt collectors to get you to pay the debt)
That short list doesn’t include your next door neighbor or cousin or coworker. What a difference.
And with a list that clear, creditors should be much more confident on whether their tactics are within the law.
Why Stopping Debt Collection Harassment Sometimes Requires a Lawyer
If you’re dealing with debts you can’t pay and it’s affecting your life, you should speak with a lawyer. A qualified debt attorney will help you stop creditor harassment for good.
First, by talking through your options for bankruptcy, we help you figure out how to get rid of your debts completely. Bankruptcy instantly stops all debt collection abuse because it handles all your debt for you.
In addition, a really good bankruptcy lawyer will also make sure you know your rights as a consumer. You shouldn’t have to go it alone. We stand in the gap for you—if debt collection goons have questions, they can call us instead of you.
If debt collectors are hounding you, you probably have a lot more debt than you can pay. We’d love to help you get your life back.
To get started, just contact me today by calling 901-327-2100 or filling out the form below. We look forward to talking with you.