Los Angeles Attorneys - Creditor Laws
Creditor laws govern the way creditors can attempt to collect a debt from you, if you fall behind in your payments. These laws govern such things as collection letters, notices, and telephone calls. The Fair Debt Collection Act lays out many of these laws on a federal level. In the state of California, the Rosenthal Act also governs debt collection practices, and protects consumers against unfair collection practices.
Collection practices fall into two categories: judicial or statutory. In most instances, creditors use collection practices that rely on statutory law, such as wage garnishments and repossession. Obtaining a lien on property or filing law suits to recover money owed is part of the judicial process. All of these practices are within the right of the creditors who are attempting to collect on a debt, however, the ways in which they attempt to collect on the debt are regulated by law.
For the most common types of collection practices, such as letters, phone calls, and collection notices, there are specific guidelines that establish whether or not the collection attempt is considered a violation of fair debt collection practices. In general, a creditor cannot:
· Call you repeatedly in one day about a debt. This applies only if the creditor actually speaks with you - if you don't answer the phone then this does not apply.
· Send letters which appear to be legal or court documents, if they are not. This means that the creditor cannot send a letter that looks as though the creditor has filed a lawsuit, or is taking any other legal action if the creditor does not intend to actually take action.
· Use threatening language. Creditors are not allowed to yell, swear, or be abusive to you over the phone in their attempts to collect a debt. This constitutes harassment and is illegal.
· Call at inconvenient times. For the purposes of the law, inconvenient times are generally any time before 8AM local time, or any time after 9AM local time.
· Call you at your work place. This only applies if the creditor knows that your employer does not approve of their calls, and they continue to call after being given such notice.
Creditors who violate these laws may be subject to fees, penalties, or other legal recourse. In some instances, you may be able to sue for damages equal to or in excess of the debt you owe to the creditor. It's important to get legal representation as soon as possible when it comes to violations of creditor law - the sooner you have reliable legal representation, the easier it will be for you to get the legal protection you need. Our firm has years of experience working with individuals in
Los Angeles County who need help with fair debt collection violations, and we can help you as well.
Contact our office for your free initial case evaluation as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the less chance you will have of making a full recovery of damages to which you may be entitled. Speak with one of our expert Los Angeles County Bankruptcy Attorneys and get the information you need to decide about your case.