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Offered by Brighton Attorney Gregory R. McMahon

While many debt collection firms do follow the law, there is absolutely no doubt that there are some debt collection firms that engage in harassment, threats, and intimidation.

What are your options if you get one of those debt collection firms that do not follow the rules and law? How do you get them to stop contacting you? Every debt collection case is different, but one option could be to visit a helpful website established by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC enforces the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). You can access their website (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection).

Another option is to hire an attorney on your behalf who will directly contact the debt collection firm and tell them that all future communications must go directly to the attorney. If you actually do owe the money, some (not all) debt collection firms are willing to settle your case for less than you actually owe. Your attorney can help you in other ways as well.

I have represented clients who have been victims of debt collection firms and been absolutely appalled by some of their tactics. I represented a client who was so viciously harassed by one debt client firm that this client was afraid to answer the phone and suffered extreme anxiety. In that case, the debt collection firm threatened to garnish the client’s social security benefits. I quickly pointed out to this firm that FDCPA expressly prohibits the garnishing of social security benefits. In that case, I was able to resolve the matter. However, as stated, every debt collection case is different.

The information in this column is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Greg for the Defense