Albuquerque Credit Harassment Lawyer

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It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the letters and notices sent by creditors asking you to pay your debts. Paying off debt is overwhelming enough, and additional phone calls asking you to pay your debt immediately can only make your situation more unbearable. You may be doing what you can to pay off your debt, only for creditors to find a way to harass you over it. Unfortunately, this is a common practice of creditors in Albuquerque.

Some regulations have been passed to ensure ethical creditor behavior, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This allows borrowers to state when, how, and where they can be contacted about their debt. If creditors trespass these boundaries, they can be met with legal consequences. Also, you’re allowed to have all of these matters directed to a lawyer rather than yourself. If you’d like to have a lawyer to represent you during this challenging situation, Gilchrist Law can help.

At Gilchrist Law, we understand how frustrating it can be to be swarmed with letters and phone calls from creditors because you owe them money. Everyone has struggled with money, but creditors don’t take the time to understand your situation. If you feel harassed or threatened by creditors, we can protect your rights and hold creditors accountable for their actions.

What Is Considered Harassment by Creditors?

There’s a large difference between a creditor calling you every once in a while about the debt you owe versus someone threatening you with violence or other repercussions if you don’t pay. It’s essential to understand what actions are considered harassment or abuse, as you may not have a case if they weren’t harassing you over your debt.

Under FDCPA, the following actions by creditors are illegal:

  • Threatening violence or harm
  • Using graphic or foul language that is considered abusive (both on the phone and in writing)
  • Repeatedly calling someone in an attempt to harass or abuse
  • Using postcards to notify you about what you owe
  • Publicly advertising your debt in a coercion attempt
  • Attempting to get callers to accumulate charges on their phone plan intentionally
  • Misrepresenting who they are to get information from you
  • Claiming the caller committed a crime when they did not
  • Lying about selling their accounts
  • Threatening to take legal action that they aren’t justified in doing
  • Pretending to be an attorney

There are several tactics creditors could use to manipulate and harass you. Not every creditor is like this, but if a creditor has performed any of these actions, you have a case on your hands.

Understanding Your Rights

While the FDCPA provides you with the ability to create boundaries for how you’re contacted, the act provides additional protections many are unaware of. For example, you are protected by:

  • How and when you are contacted
  • Transparency in the debts owed, as well as the creditor holding them
  • Cutting off contact, or directing contact to a lawyer
  • Information about the creditor, which can include address, name, etc.
  • The right to dispute a debt, as well as being notified of this

This act is designed to benefit borrowers who feel intimidated or harassed by creditors. Also, borrowers can hold creditors accountable if they believe their debt amount is inaccurate.

Disputing a Debt

While most protections under the FDCPA don’t address the debt itself, you have the right to dispute it. Creditors are supposed to notify you of this right when you first contact them, but many either forget or are never told.

Mistakes happen all the time, and while they can be opportunities to learn and improve, they can also be incredibly frustrating. You already have work obligations, family matters, and other things going on in your life. Having to deal with a debt-related issue on top of this can be stressful, especially if you feel you’re in the right. Some companies make mistakes regarding how much you owe, what you previously paid, or what extensions you’re eligible for. The company may pull up old records and believe you owe them money, but if you have proof that contradicts their records, you may be able to dispute the debt.

It may seem like you only need to provide paperwork that disproves the creditor’s points, but the truth is that these matters are more complicated than they appear. Creditors can be intimidating, and they may not fully believe your case. However, if you were to speak to a creditor harassment attorney and have them defend your case, you may have a stronger chance of succeeding. If you do intend to dispute a debt, the creditor legally cannot contact you about collecting the debt until the dispute is resolved.

Is Filing for Bankruptcy Necessary?

One way people cease contact with all creditors is by filing for bankruptcy. If this occurs, all collection actions must stop, and creditors cannot contact you directly. However, they can still bring their concerns to court.

That said, bankruptcy isn’t necessary for everyone. It’s also essential to prevent yourself from filing for bankruptcy due to bullying or pressure. Creditors focused on harassment shouldn’t stop you from fighting for what’s right, and bankruptcy may be wrong for you. However, if you simply can’t pay off the debt and don’t want to risk it increasing, you may want to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer about this decision.

An experienced lawyer can evaluate your entire situation and determine the optimal strategies for dealing with abusive creditors. Rather than let a creditor walk over you, have a lawyer attempt to create new, more reliable ways of managing the debt. For example, if you can agree on an installment agreement, this can be done to settle the debt in a way that benefits the borrower.

What To Do if You’ve Been Harassed by a Creditor

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when a creditor is threatening you over debt, and if you find yourself in this situation, here are some key strategies to remember that could benefit your entire situation:

  • Understand your rights. Be sure you understand all of your rights as detailed by the FDCPA.
  • Gather relevant documents. To prove your case, be sure to gather any records that could be used to dispute a debt. For example, gather all of the letters you were sent, as well as any documents of payments being made. You could also write down when creditors have been calling you.
  • Stay calm. Arguably the hardest step of this process to take, remaining calm is essential in benefitting your situation. It may seem tempting to act aggressively, but you may slip and say something that could be used against you. Take some deep breaths, carefully consider what you’re going to say next, and be respectful. You may be able to use this as a defense for later. If the court rules that you were calm and collected, whereas the creditor was abusive and angry, you have a better chance of the outcome of your case being in your favor.
  • Verify the debt. It doesn’t hurt to ask for debt verification if creditors keep contacting you. Also, creditors must stop calling until they’ve verified the debt for themselves.

While these four steps can improve your chances of succeeding in your case, you also want to be sure you have a lawyer by your side throughout the process.

Why You Need a Lawyer

You may have gathered all of the evidence you need and feel you can take on the court system and win. However, the legal system in New Mexico can be ruthless and confusing. You can’t risk your credit score dropping or seeing a foreclosure on your home as a result of being unable to pay your debt. Even if you have evidence, you may not know how to present it properly, or a creditor may fight back against you. It’s common for people to be unprepared and unsure of what to do, which is why we’re here.

An experienced lawyer can review all of your documentation and compare it to what creditors have been saying. If you have proof that creditors have been harassing you, your lawyer can present this to the courts to hold the responsible party accountable. Should any questions about your situation come up or if the legal process is becoming too complex, a lawyer can answer any of them for you. Some people neglect to hire a lawyer due to the price or because they feel they can handle it. However, this is a serious matter that requires as much effort as possible to resolve the case.

Gilchrist Law Can Protect You from Creditor Harassment

Not all creditors are bad people, as some of them are just trying to do their job. However, creditors are held to specific legal standards that can get broken quickly. You may have a significant amount of debt, and despite your efforts, creditors are still finding ways to harass you.

If you’ve experienced creditors harassing you on multiple occasions, we can help. At Gilchrist Law, we’re prepared to build a strong, reliable case for you that combats the creditors’ efforts and protects your rights. Contact us today for more information.

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