Stop Creditor Harassment in New York
Skilled Queens debt relief attorney combats aggressive collection agencies
Debt collectors sometimes use harassing or deceitful means to try to get people to pay. Oppressive creditor tactics can cast a grey cloud over a person’s life. Mark E. Cohen, Esq. in Westbury is a seasoned Queens debt relief lawyer representing New Yorkers who are targets of overzealous debt collectors. I help my clients assert their rights and take effective defensive action.
Can I get creditors to stop calling?
If you are receiving calls from a debt collector and cannot pay the debt or you believe you do not owe the debt, there are short-term and long-range legal options for preventing further contact. In the short-term, you can send a letter to the collector via certified mail to dispute the debt and ask the collector to prove the debt belongs to you. The collector cannot resume debt collection efforts before providing this information. Filing for bankruptcy is a long-range debt relief solution.
Legal limits on debt collection tactics
The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits certain debt collection methods and sets monetary penalties for infractions. A debt collector may not do any of the following:
- Contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Contact your relatives, employer, friends or acquaintances without your permission
- Contact you after you hire an attorney
- Send postcards or envelopes that visibly indicate the mail is from a debt collector
- Fail to inform you of your FDCPA rights during initial contact
- Fail to provide written notice of your FDCPA rights within five days of initial contact
If a debt collector violates your FDCPA rights in any of these ways, keep a written record of all communications from the collector. An attorney can help you seek monetary damages from the offender.
How many calls from a debt collector is considered harassment?
The FDCPA also prohibits harassing debt collection tactics, which include the following:
- Making continual calls intended to annoy, abuse or harass the receiver
- Using profanities or obscenities
- Threatening physical violence or other illegal actions
- Threatening imprisonment of the debtor
- Threatening to publicize the debtor’s identity
- Threatening a lawsuit that the collector has no intention of pursuing
- Making fraudulent claims or misleading statements
- Failing to disclose the collector’s identity
- Advertising that your debt is for sale
If you have encountered any of these tactics, I can help you file a lawsuit to seek damages against the collector.
What can I do now to stop harassment?
When a debt collector is notified that you have attorney representation, they are prohibited from contacting you directly. Before contacting an attorney, you may you can assert your rights by sending a certified letter asking the collection agency to provide evidence that you owe a debt. New York law requires collectors to notify you of the source of the debt and whether the debt is still in force. Some agencies buy debts in bulk without verifying their validity, and so are unable to meet the state’s requirement.
If the debt is valid but you cannot pay, bankruptcy may be a strategic option. Once a bankruptcy filing is made, an automatic stay prevents creditors from trying to collect debts. As an experienced Queens Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, I can review your financial situation and help you determine if this option is right for you.
Contact a reputable Queens, NY debt relief attorney for help fighting creditor harassment
Mark E. Cohen, Esq. in Queens, New York offers personalized debt relief guidance and legal representation for New Yorkers dealing with creditor harassment. To schedule your free legal consultation, call 718-487-9979 or contact me online.