Saturday, November 19, 2011
Occasionally I encounter a persistent debt collector who refuses to comply with the law, and continues to call clients right up until they file. Debt collectors are subject to a $1000 fine if they violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This Act provides that debt collectors who are collecting on behalf of a first creditor must stop calling when asked in writing (I've noticed that usually they will comply if you ask them over the phone). This means if you incurred a debt with a bank, but a collection agency is now collecting on behalf of the bank, the collection agency must stop (this does not appear to apply to third parties like subsequent banks who have assumed the debt in course of business, not just for the specific purpose of debt collection, however). Debt collectors who flaunt the law should be reported to the Better Business Bureau, your state Attorney General's Office, and the FTC.
Original creditors are not covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. However, some states have even stricter laws in this area that restrict original creditors. Arizona does not appear to be one of them.
It has been my experience that even most original creditors will stop harassing phone calls to clients once I notify them that a client will be filing bankruptcy. Unfortunately, once in awhile there is a rude creditor who refuses to leave my clients alone. Wells Fargo is one of them. This is not surprising considering Wells Fargo's arrogance and treatment of homeowners while getting preferential treatment by the government. Until they reign in their practices, they will continue to be the focus of the Occupy protesters' and others' anger.
For more information, click here and here. One of these websites explains how you can block creditors' phone calls with Anonymous Call Rejection.
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Posted by Rachel Alexander at Saturday, November 19, 2011