Debt is one of those situations that cause people to place blame, become depressed and experience intense emotions, such as relentless anger and the feeling of hopelessness. These then trickle into your daily life and cause poor performance at work or tense marital interactions, for example. A challenging financial situation can have a snowball effect, tirelessly enhancing your stress and contaminating your life and relationships.
Add creditors to this mix and everything – emotions, tensions, relationships – is amplified. One of my clients shared this story with me, and I wanted her to share it with you, because it highlights the affects creditors had on her situation and explains the way she dealt with them.
Damage Caused By Creditor Harassment
Creditor harassment was ruining my life. I never thought I would be in a situation where I would be unable to pay my bills; however, when I had to have emergency surgery and then lost my job, I could not afford to pay my bills any longer. My name is Susan and I am just one of many people who face creditor harassment every day. My story may be just a little different from yours, but the stress, anxiety and emotional turmoil is the same. Most people who cannot pay their bills are not in that position by choice - - they are experiencing a financial struggle that is beyond their control – and try as they may, they just cannot pay their bills.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is supposed to protect consumers against unfair trade practices and creditor harassment. I found that even though laws exist to protect consumers, collection agents still use aggressive tactics when trying to collect a debt. For example, I told one collection agent that I could not be contacted at my place of employment. I sent the company a certified, registered letter advising them of this; however, they still called me at work (they simply got my direct extension and called my desk directly without going through the switchboard). Technically, they were not speaking with anyone at my job other than myself; however, they were still calling my place of employment.
Other examples of creditor harassment that I experienced included the use of profane language, repeated telephone calls at all hours of the day and night and threats that a lawsuit had been filed and my wages were about to be garnished. While all of these actions are prohibited under the FDCPA, it is very hard to prove these violations. Even though I filed a complaint, it did not help me stop creditor harassment.
Are All Creditors Covered By The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?
I found out that the answer to this question is “no.” Only debt collectors are covered by this law - - the original creditor can continue to call you to collect the debt and are not bound by all of the rules that are imposed on debt collectors. Therefore, even though I was able to stop some debt collectors from harassing me, I was still receiving daily calls and letters from my creditors. I was at the end of my rope and I did not know where to turn. One day I finally had enough and decided to contact Kain & Scott.
How I Stopped Creditor Harassment Forever!
After meeting with Bill Kain I realized that my debt problems would not go away without help. I realized that I needed relief from my debts in order to get the fresh start I needed to rebuild my personal finances. Through filing bankruptcy I was able to discharge my unsecured debts so that I could again start saving for my retirement, planning for my future and recovering from the emotional stress of not having enough money to pay my bills.
Bankruptcy stops creditor harassment! As soon as you file a bankruptcy case, the automatic stay of the Bankruptcy code prohibits all creditors from contacting you directly regarding your debts. The automatic stay remains in effect until your bankruptcy case is closed. Once you receive your bankruptcy discharge, creditors are prohibited from ever trying to collect the debt again. This includes telephone calls, letters and lawsuits. Filing a bankruptcy case was the answer to my debt problems. Creditor harassment may have been ruining my life, but, thankfully, bankruptcy was able to save it.
Stop Creditor Harassment
Do not let creditor harassment ruin your life – take control of your financial future today by requesting a free consultation from a bankruptcy attorney.