Albuquerque Creditor Harassment Lawyer
Debt is a heavy weight to carry by itself, but sometimes creditors make it worse. They may sell your outstanding debt to a collection agency, who will attempt to contact you for repayment.
Debt collection agencies are notorious for their aggressive tactics. Dealing with intimidating calls and letters can be a stressful experience for borrowers. While it isn’t ethical or legal in some instances, collectors are notorious for harassing stressed-out borrowers until they feel as though they have no choice but to pay, even if they aren’t financially capable at the moment.
When you are being harassed by creditors, you may begin to feel isolated or alone. But know that you have reliable legal advocates on your side. The qualified team of lawyers at New Mexico Financial & Family law can help you find a long-term solution for your debt and help point you toward resources that protect you from harassment from creditors or collectors.
Call (505) 503-1637 or contact us online to schedule an informational consultation today and take the first steps towards freedom from your debts.
When Will Collectors Stop Calling?
There are a few instances when your creditors and collectors are required to stop calling. While the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has strict regulations on things like the time of day and how many times per day a collector can call, these restrictions don’t protect you from general harassment from shady collectors.
If you retain an Albuquerque bankruptcy attorney, you may request that all collection calls be forwarded to your lawyer, and that contact with you officially ceases. The only way to relieve yourself from debt and the collectors (aside from repayment) is to file for bankruptcy. There is more than one option for debtors in your situation, so speak with an attorney at New Mexico Financial & Family Law to assess which chapter is right for you.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Known as the liquidation chapter, Chapter 7 can discharge your debt by liquidating non-exempt assets to repay a portion of your debt, leaving you with a clean slate. The notable downside of a chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you could lose certain non-exempt assets in the process, but over 95% of Chapter 7 bankruptcies are discharged as no-asset cases, meaning no property was surrendered.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
This chapter of bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s plan because it allows the debtor the opportunity to repay an agreed-upon portion of their debt over the course of three to five years. The duration of your repayment plan and the monthly installment size is based on your median income. Chapter 13 is meant for individuals with consistent income that do not want to liquidate their assets to discharge their debt.
We Are One of the Most Trusted and Experienced Bankruptcy Firms in Albuquerque
New Mexico Financial & Family Law can act as your advisor and advocate to provide debt relief. We have practiced bankruptcy law in Albuquerque for over 50 years and have helped hundreds of clients like you.
Our services over the years have led us to be very familiar with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, New Mexico Division, located within the downtown courthouse in Albuquerque. We have handled hundreds of petitions and cases over the years with various judges, case administrators, trustees, and even some familiar creditors. Our experience uniquely allows us to prepare your case with specific personnel in mind, and our experience with creditors can mean that we are positioned to help you potentially work out favorable agreements in advance of bankruptcy to reduce your debt.
Whether through bankruptcy, paying down debt, working out an agreement, or some combination of the above, reducing debt is never an easy process. But we can help you make it easier by managing your case, auditing your finances, and preparing you for the processes that lay ahead.
One major component of our service is to provide you with creditor harassment attorneys in Albuquerque who are prepared to assert your legal rights. If you have been the victim of creditor harassment, you may even be eligible for compensation for the damages and distress you have suffered.
Review your rights below, and if you feel any have been violated, or if you want to understand your options for avoiding further harassment, contact us today for a free consultation.
You Have Rights to Protect You From Creditors
People who hold a debt are frequently communicated to in such a way as if they feel they no longer have rights. Because they owe a company money, the thought goes, the company has every right to pursue repayment by any means necessary. This thought couldn’t be any further from the truth!
In actuality, you are supposed to have certain protections and rights afforded to you when you take on a debt, regardless of your repayment history. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was originally passed in 1978 to protect debt-holders from abusive and manipulative tactics by lenders. Among the protections offered is the right to request the exact amount of the debt, the source of the debt, and to challenge the demands for immediate payment. Debt-holders may also challenge the existence of a debt they feel they did not accrue or that they feel they should not be held responsible for.
In addition, the protections afforded by the FDCPA allow a debt-holder to dictate exactly how and when they are contacted by a collections agent. For example, they can stipulate that they may only be contacted at certain hours and on certain numbers. One common request is to ask a collections agency not to contact the debt-holder at work.
Anyone who feels they do not wish to be contacted by a collections agent can also request that all forms of contact cease. However, this does not eliminate the debt, and the debtor may find that they are now facing legal action through the court system instead. An alternative is to request that all contact regarding debts be relayed to an appointed Albuquerque attorney for debt management and relief.
You Retain the Right to Dispute Your Debts
While many debt-holders become aware that they can set up and enforce boundaries on how they are contacted by collectors, they are often not aware of their legal right to dispute the amount owed. Lenders and collections agencies are required to inform you of this right, but it often ends up in the undread sections of fine print on letters and in other materials.
Disputing a debt is sometimes necessary because lenders and other financial and business institutions are far from perfect! They make calculation errors in adding interest, for example, or calculating the principal balance owed. They may also be seeking repayment for debts that have already been paid, in part or in full. A law firm that specializes in debt relief and consumer protection, like New Mexico Financial & Family Law, can assist you in investigating your financial records and uncovering discrepancies between supposed debts and actual obligations.
Importantly, when a creditor receives notice that a debt is disputed or more information on a debt is requested, then they are required by law to pause all collection activities until the proper clarifying information can be furnished.
Not All Debts Are Protected by the FDCPA
It is unfortunate that not every debt receives the same protections afforded by the FDCPA. Any business debts or debts related to non “personal, family or household purposes” may not be provided protections under these laws.
Additionally, FDCPA primarily applies to “collections” activities, not the actions taken by the original lender, in most instances. For example, a consumer goods retailer that offers financing or a banking institution that operates your credit card may not qualify. There may be other laws that govern the way they are allowed to interact with you, though. Further, collections agencies and other “debt buying” businesses are the ones who tend to be the most ruthless when it comes to collections efforts.
If you are unsure of whether or not your debt is protected by the FDCPA or other consumer protection laws then refer to an experienced attorney.
How Bankruptcy Can Protect You From Collections
While many protections exist to stop the most abusive practices waged by collectors, these protections have their limit. The only way to fully and completely hit “pause” on all collection actions is to obtain an automatic stay as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
An automatic stay is the only protection of its type, and it is enforced by federal law. The stay prevents any and all contact or collections efforts save for responses to notices specific to creditor meetings and other bankruptcy proceedings. Like its name suggests, the stay is granted automatically upon receipt of a validly completed petition for bankruptcy, such as a filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is also the only way to completely discharge debts, or remove the legal requirement for the debt-holder to repay. While many worry about the stigma bankruptcy wields in society and for their later credit readiness, it can be a preferable option to defaulting on loans and facing actions like the seizure of personal assets, garnishment of wages, or liens on bank accounts.
Get Debt Relief With Help From Albuquerque Bankruptcy Lawyers
If you are dealing with issues related to mounting debts, we can provide relief. We are a bankruptcy law firm that has helped hundreds of people in Albuquerque shed the burdens of their past and emerge to a new era of financial freedom.
Reach out to us for assistance with debt relief and referrals to agencies that may be able to help hold harassing creditors accountable for the damages they inflict. Schedule your confidential, no-risk consultation today when you call (505) 503-1637 or contact us online.