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Dealing with debt collector harassment in New York

Note: Reading this book will likely be far less helpful than the suggestions listed below.

Recently in the news, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit to shut down a New York-based debt collection agency that has been blatantly harrassing people.

If you live in New York and are being called by debt collection agencies at all hours of day and night or at work, or if you feel like you are a victim of harassment by debt collection agencies, you do have some options for dealing with the problem.  Which option you choose depends on your individual circumstances.

First, be aware that you do have rights and protections.  Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692), debt collectors are prohibited from harassing you, contacting you at inconvenient times and places and using abusive language among other things.

To get a debt collector to stop harassing you, your options include:

1.  Write a letter to the debt collector – If you make a written request to a debt collector to stop contacting you, the debt collector is no longer permitted to contact you regarding collection.  Make sure to make a copy of the letter before you send it, and send the letter by certified mail so you’ll have proof that it was sent and received.

2.  Retain an attorney – If you have retained an attorney and you notify the debt collector of this fact, the debt collector may not contact you directly.  Instead they may only contact you through your attorney.

3.  Record the phone conversation, and let them know you’re doing it – Debt collectors don’t like to be recorded.  It provides evidence against them in the event you sue them later on (see below).  Especially since a lot of them say things that are clearly lies and intimidation tactics.

4.  File for bankruptcy – The moment you file for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy law protects you with something called the “automatic stay.”  No creditors may attempt to seek payment from you throughout the duration of the bankruptcy case.  If they do, you simply report it to the bankruptcy court and the bankruptcy judge will sanction the creditor.

5.  Sue your debt collector – If the debt collector has violated any laws in attempting to collect from you, you may sue the debt collector for any damages.

If you have any questions about debt collection in New York or are considering filing for bankruptcy in New York, you can contact me for a free initial debt and bankruptcy consultation.  These can be complicated topics, so make sure you have a good Bankruptcy Attorney Brooklyn NY or someone else you trust to advise you on all of your options.

Rosenberg, Musso & Weiner, L.L.P
26 Court St # 2211
Brooklyn, NY 11242, USA

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