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Stacy B Miller (Abbie) On 4th Apr,16
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How to stop creditor harassment before bankruptcy filing

Creditor harassment is the worst menace that consumers face. It turns even worse when you contemplate filing for bankruptcy. No sooner do your creditors and debt collectors get an inkling of your intention, than you are bombarded with letters, phone calls, and other harassing means of debt collection. Once your petition has been filed, an automatic stay prohibits your creditors/debt collections from contacting you or attempting to collect on the debt.

However, this does not mean that you cannot stop such harassment before filing bankruptcy. There are numerous pro-active measures that you can take until the automatic stay sets in, such as:

    • Know your rights

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you are protected against unfair collection practices by collection agencies. It gives you the right to sue any debt collector that harasses you. To learn about your rights and the other legal provisions, you can log on to various advocacy and bankruptcy law websites. It is very important to know about your rights and the laws designed to protect you, so you can fight back and protect yourself if you feel your debt collector has violated the law.

    • Determine if the debt collector has violated the law

The FDCPA covers debts such as personal debts, family debts, household debts, auto debts, charge accounts, etc. If any debt collector harasses you with profane language, fabrication of the facts, threat of arrest, identity theft, legal action, etc. then you should contact a consumer rights attorney.

    • Take legal action if required

Under the FDCPA you have the right to sue any debt collector in state or federal court, if the debt collector violates the law. You can also report the violation to the Federal Trade Commission or your State's Attorney General's Office. If the debt collector is found guilty, then they may be required to compensate you for your attorney fees and court expenses.

    • Make a request in writing to stop harassment

Write a letter to each of your creditor/debt collector to request that they stop communicating with you. Under the Fair Debt Collection Act, once the creditor/debt collector receives this letter they must stop contacting you except to notify you that they are ceasing communication and to notify you of any definite action on their part.

    • Consider some debt relief options

Despite all your efforts to keep the creditors/debt collectors at bay, your creditors/debt collectors may continue to harass you until your debts are paid off. Your creditor/debt collector might sell your "bad debt" to another collection agency, so you might have to face the whole collection process all over again. So, if all the above options fail to save you from creditor harassment, then you should consider some debt relief option to get rid of your debts as well as your debt collectors. There are numerous debt relief options, such as debt management, debt settlement, and even debt consolidation that you can choose from depending on what works best.

It is very important not to feel pressured by continuous harassment that your creditors and debt collectors are inflicting on you. Whenever you are faced with a menace like creditor harassment, try to keep yourself calm and figure out what your immediate options are to deal with it. Always remember that you might owe money to your creditor, but that does not give them any right to harass you in any way.

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