With companies downsizing and more and more Pittsburgh residents facing diminished or even a complete loss of income, aggressive debt collection is a growing problem. People who are already overwhelmed and worried about how they will make ends meet will have these fears exacerbated by a debt collector calling constantly. Fortunately, there are strategies that a debtor can use to handle debt collectors. Understanding how to do this often requires legal advice.
Many debt collectors are simply doing their jobs, but, in some cases, they can become aggressive and use illegal tactics on consumers who are not aware of their rights. Debtors might be working as employees of a creditor or the debt could have been sold and a company is seeking to collect on its investment. Many people might believe that ignoring the calls is effective. This will not make the calls stop. A better way is to understand what the debt collector is legally allowed to do.
Some examples of illegal behavior based on FDCPA violations include calling too early or too late; calling the person at work after they have been informed that the workplace does not allow it; calling third parties for reasons other than getting contact information; harassing others for the person's information; and lying about how much is owed. In addition, debt collectors cannot say they are law enforcement if they are not; make threats about arrest or seizure of property or wages when they are not legally able to do so; and use false names as to what company they represent.
For some debtors, negotiating the debt down could be effective. If the company is willing to take a portion of what is owed, the debt can be cleared. While many strategies have worked in the past, one of the most time-proven and effective ways to clear credit card debt, medical debt and more is to file for bankruptcy. Before doing anything, it is imperative for a debtor to have legal advice. A law firm that has experience helping people with their credit card debt can be of assistance.