How do I handle harassing phone calls at work?
If your employer does not allow personal calls at work and will not take messages, these calls are generally not a problem. Unfortunately, and although we advise clients to always tell the creditor NOT to call you at work, they often will. If you are reached at work, avoid long conversations, inform them of your inability to pay and get off the telephone. Also request a bill in writing to be mailed to your home. You will need these bills to assist with your bankruptcy counsel.
How do I handle harassing phone calls at home?
Before a bankruptcy is filed, it is very common to receive collection calls. These can be a great source of fear and stress. No creditor can compel payment or seize your money because of a phone call. It is natural for a person in debt distress to try and explain their financial situation to these collectors. Unfortunately, any explanations rarely result in the phone calls stopping. If the calls cause distress, avoid taking the calls. You may end up needing to not answer phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize, blocking numbers or changing your phone number.
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, it is against the law (a violation of the “automatic stay”) for creditors to continue to contact you. Simply tell them you have filed for bankruptcy, give them your case number and hang up the phone!
How will this affect my credit?
The answers can be long and complicated. Please be aware of scams that offer credit repair services – the U.S. Government’s Federal Trade Commission. the nation’s consumer protection agency, says they’ve “never seen a legitimate credit repair operation making those claims. The fact is there’s no quick fix for creditworthiness.” If there is incorrect information on your credit report, visit this website for information on how to dispute the information and ask for an investigation.
What steps do I take?
Please click on this link: Steps to Filing a Bankruptcy.
Do people get sued for debts they can’t pay?
Yes, all of the time!
Creditors are more inclined to sue if they are local, you and your job is local – like credit unions. It is also more common if people have job histories, if someone has a job; they are more likely to be sued.
When creditors are running out of time on the statute of limitations (which varies – but for most consumer debts, the statute of limitations is three to six years), they often sue to preserve their right to collect the claim.
Finally, the debt vulture industry is based on a business model of lawsuits, or the threat of a lawsuit. See my post on Debt Vultures.