Debt collection (and collection harassment) is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Every year, millions of Americans fall behind on payments and experience harassment from debt collectors. No matter if it’s consumer debt, student loan debt, or medical debt, you may experience the pursuit of collectors seeking out repayment as well as a way to turn a profit.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects borrowers with a set of rules laid out for debt collectors – they aren’t allowed to harass, oppress, or abuse anyone they contact in an attempt to get a payment for a debt owed. Familiarize yourselves with these common scare tactics, and don’t become a victim of illegal collection harassment. If you’re currently encountering harassment, contact a debt defense attorney in Nashville.
When a debt collector is assigned to you, they benefit when they get a payment from you or other consumers on their list. With their own bottom line in mind, collectors will try everything they can to get a payment from you, including constant calls. Debt collectors attempt to overwhelm or frustrate you into doing whatever is necessary to get them to stop, which, hopefully for them, is making a payment on your debt.
Don’t fall for this tactic. Debt collectors don’t want you to know you can legally ignore their calls. You only must respond when and if you receive a legal notice that you must appear in court. If you receive a legal notice, your response will be a formal Answer to the court and not a phone call.
If you’re experiencing phone calls that are coming too frequently, you can pen a cease-and-desist letter, which obligates them to stop calling you. A debt defense attorney in Davidson County can help you with such a letter.
If you do pick up the phone with a debt collector, they may try to scare you into making a payment by threatening wage garnishment. This is simply untrue because debt collectors do not have the power to garnish your wages without authorization. Wage garnishment will only occur after the creditor is awarded a judgment from the court, which is not something that is possible with the click of a button or during a brief phone call.
Not only is this type of threat possibly illegal, but all threats of any kind, including threats of physical violence, threats to inform family members, or threats to place liens on your Tennessee property, are prohibited.
Attempting to collect an old debt from you is also a form of collection harassment. Some debt collectors may attempt to scare you into making a payment on something from a long time in the past. While debt defense attorneys are beneficial when facing a lag in payments on something you owe, they are also likely to inform you of the statute of limitations in your state. Every state has a statute of limitations that will protect a person who is sued for a debt older than a six years in TN.
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations is six years. That means after six years have passed without making a payment, you can defense a collection case if you are sued. It is important that you do not make payments during this time period, as you may restart the statute of limitations. Talking you into making payments on an old debt would be a dream come true for a debt collector, because this time-barred debt can be brought back again, meaning you are vulnerable to a lawsuit and continued harassment from debt collectors. If you take a collections call, be sure to verify the debt they’re asking you to pay before taking any action.
If you think you may have experienced an instance of a debt collector violating FDCPA and you reside in Nashville, Franklin, or Thompson Station, the skilled debt defense attorneys at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC, want to help you. Contact them at 615-845-4595 or complete the contact form to request a consultation.