Has a creditor threatened you with jail if you don’t pay them? FDCPA says this is illegal!

Has a creditor threatened you with jail for non-payment of a monetary debt?  This is most probably illegal according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Collectors often harass and threaten debtors with all sorts of things that they have no right to threaten.  They will often threaten jailing you if you don’t pay today!  A person just contacted me with this problem and the client was threatened by a creditor to have police show up at their work and arrest them if they did not pay today!  And this creditor did not even file a lawsuit yet!

This is clearly illegal!  With no lawsuit filed there is no judgment and with no judgment no legal right to collect on this debt.  This creditor would have to first obtain this judgment which would give them the right to collect but in California there is no going to jail for owing strictly monetary debts.  And to threaten that police will show up at someone’s work and arrest them when they cannot is a violation of FDCPA section 807(4).

In that section it clearly states that an implication that non-payment will result in arrest or imprisonment unless that action is legal and intended by the party is a violation of this law.  In my client’s case there is no arresting or jailing someone for owning monetary debts so this threat was a violation of the law.  If my client could prove it then we could win damages against this collector.  I told this person to tell the collector that they were recording the call next time and see how fast he hangs up.

Section 807(5) restates this and says that any threat to take any action that is not legal or intended is a violation of the FDCPA.  So this collector violated this section too.  My question is can we get this guy to say this clearly into the microphone so we can replay it for the judge?

So don’t take any crap off of these creditors.  I hate to hear these stories and I answer these e-mails immediately.  We live in a great country where we pride ourselves in our freedom but if these collectors can violate the law with impunity then it threatens all of us.

In a previous blog I discussed how these collectors by far receive the greatest number of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.  They routinely harass, threaten, bother and annoy people and they are now routinely violating the law I believe.  So know your rights and don’t allow them to bamboozle you.

I am an attorney who practices bankruptcy law in California.  For more information please visit my websites at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com .  Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015.  Call now for free credit report and analysis! 

If you or someone you know needs to file bankruptcy please get my FREE E-BOOK; 13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” by e-mailing me at: farquharesq@yahoo.com.

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Are credit card companies unleashing the dogs of war? Their calls appear to be increasing in frequency.

You may have experienced that it doesn’t take long for the credit card company vultures to call you if you are late.  One blog I found called them the “collection police”.  The blogger was shocked that he got a call after being 1 day late.  Someone from the collection police called him one day after his payment due date and asked for a payment right away.  He was floored as he had never been late on a payment in his life and the last thing he expected was a call from his creditors.

I certainly have been late on my payments to these credit card companies and I have talked to India many times.  I often ask about the weather in Mumbai when I get on the phone with one of these people who speaks english with a funny british accent.  But it does seem like there has been a lessening lately in the time that credit card companies give you to pay your bill.

It used to be that these companies (in the good old days) allowed you to be 30 days late before you heard from them.  Then it seemed to advance to 2 weeks and then one week and now my clients report getting calls from credit card companies when they are one day late.  The collectors call and ask for an immediate payment and they don’t seem to care if you have been on time for 6 months or 60 years.  They couldn’t care less and they just ask for the money.  They are starting to act like loan sharks from mob movies when they say “just pay me”!  They truly seem to be unleashing the dogs of war after only one day.

The blogger who got the call was shocked by this but I would advise him to get used to it.  I noticed that these guys from these credit card companies are calling me quickly if I’m late on a payment and they don’t wait long.  I theorize that they have stepped up their enforcement of their debt collections.  Someone has reasoned that if they could just get the calls out quicker and the money in faster than they could collect more.

It is the time value of money.  If the money is in their bank earning interest then they get the interest and not you.  Now remember that they have millions of accounts and even one day quicker on payment could net them millions more dollars so they get the calls out to demand you pay them more and more quickly.  In the future I expect that they will come up with some hour in the day when your payment is due and then they will call you at one minute after that hour has elapsed.

So get used to it as this is the way it will undoubtably be for some time.  For now expect calls to come even if you are one day late and even if you have been on time with your payments for your whole life.  The company and the guy in India don’t care about your payment history or how good of a person you are.  They just want your money now.

One sure-fire way to rid yourself of this headache is to file bankruptcy.  That will stop the calls and end your liability for the debt.

I am a bankruptcy attorney practicing bankruptcy law in San Diego California.  Please visit my website at www.farquharlaw.com.

Don’t put you head in the sand- your creditors will not stop hounding you until you pay them or file bankruptcy!

Many of my clients have debts that are very old.  Collection agents have long since been brought in and my clients are being called on the phone sometimes 20 times a day to pay these debts.  It’s especially vexing if you have a number of these collectors each trying to call you numerous times a day.  Most people in this position have long since stopped answering the phone.

Creditor harassment can really affect your life.  It makes you constantly uptight, nervous and upset.   You know in the back of your mind that something must be done about these debts.  Many people can get seriously depressed about their debt.  This can lead to all sorts of bad consequences.  If this is you or someone you know then read this.

The point of all this is why live this way when it is totally unnecessary?  There is an alternative to this and it is filing bankruptcy.  By the time these collectors are calling you this often on this many debts its clear that you cannot pay them.  Its time to get your head out of the sand and admit the reality that is staring you in the face.

These collectors will not stop pursuing you and they will call, fax, e-mail, and send you letters continuously until something is done about the debt.  If they can’t get ahold of you for an extended period then they will usually file a lawsuit against you in state court.  This filing goes on your credit report and should be avoided if possible.

Once these creditors get a judgment against you in state court they will use all available attempts to collect on that judgment like garnishing your wages, seizing you bank accounts, putting a lien on your real estate, or getting you into court for a debtor’s exam.  If you miss the debtor’s exam they can issue a warrant for your arrest.

I know this because one of my clients got one of these debtor’s exam notices recently.  In his case we were able to file his bankruptcy the night before he was due in court and that stopped the whole collection process.   The point is though that all of these things are bad for you and they can only cause you trouble or loss of money, probably both.

The good news is that filing bankruptcy stops all of this whether you have been sued or not.  Please stop trying to avoid the reality of the debts.  Don’t be the ostrich!  Bankruptcy, debt relief, happiness and freedom are only a phone call away!

I am a bankruptcy attorney practicing in San Diego.  For further help please visit my website at www.farquharlaw.com.