Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Protecting Your Rights for Creditor Harassment
The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that was established in order to protect consumers from deceptive and abusive debt collectors. Just because you owe a creditor or debt collection company money, that entity does not have the right to harass you. There are various actions that debt collectors are prohibited from carrying out under the FDCPA, such as providing the debtor with misleading information, trying to intimidate the debtor with threats, or trying to harass the debtor through excessive phone calls.
If you have been harassed by a debt collector who has violated the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, our bankruptcy attorney can help you take action. Proof of FDCPA violations can serve a strong defense in debt-related lawsuits, and it may even make you eligible for compensation from the law-breaking creditor or collection company. Our legal team can help you protect your consumer rights!
Consumer Protections Under the FDCPA
Here are just a few of the various debt collector actions that are banned under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act:
- Making threats of violence or of criminal action against the debtor
- Using profane, obscene or otherwise abusive language when speaking to the debtor
- Using false or misleading representation of information concerning the debt, the debt collector's identity, the actions the debt collector is able to and plans to take upon nonpayment, etc.
- Calling the debtor over and over again in order to get the phone to ring constantly for the purpose of annoying or harassing the debtor
- Calling the debtor at hours that are unreasonable (before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.), or trying to meet with the debtor at locations that would reasonably be expected to be unusual or inconvenient for that debtor
- Using deceptive forms to collect debt (specifically forms that make the consumer falsely believe that another party is involved in the debt collection)
The attorneys at our firm are highly knowledgeable of the provisions under the FDCPA, as well as of the state of Massachusetts' debt collection regulations. Don't let creditors and collection companies get away with violating your rights! Contact our Fall River bankruptcy firm today and learn about how we can help you put a stop to creditor harassment.
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Do I really need a foreclosure lawyer?Absolutely. Should you need foreclosure defense counsel, only an experienced attorney can determine which course of action is best for you. Whereas predatory scam artists try to prey on your financial vulnerability, a skilled foreclosure defense attorney genuinely can look out for the best interest of you and your family. Legal advice must be practical and efficient in order to be effective, so if you need strong legal guidance, trust that The Law Office of Glenn F. Russell, Jr. can offer the counsel needed to successfully navigate the complicated legalities of foreclosure or bankruptcy.
Third parties are offering to help my foreclosure process. How do I know who to trust?
Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles individuals encounter during the foreclosure process is learning who to trust and who to avoid. Due to the nature of the foreclosure process, descriptions of any homes being foreclosed may be published and accessible as public information. It is a sad truth that there are fraudulent companies that prey on public lists of foreclosing homes and attempt to take advantage of a people's financial vulnerability.
You may be contacted by mortgage brokers, mortgage negotiators, or mortgage holders. You may also be contacted by a Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney or a private financier who offers to help you sort out your finances. These parties may be dependable sources of legal and helpful advice during your foreclosure.
Unfortunately, there are frauds and scam artists who will try to take your home or your money without providing any sort of service. A general word of advice we give to clients to follow is: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid scams with the help of a qualified attorney from our firm!
What happens at a foreclosure sale?
It doesn't happen all the time, but if you have exhausted all of your legal alternatives and feel as though a foreclosure or short sale is the last resort, you need to know what to expect.
No foreclosure sale is exactly the same, but for the most part, the foreclosure sale process typically involves the following:
- Lenders must first send a notice of a foreclosure to the homeowner. The notice must be sent at least 14 days prior to the foreclosure sale date.
- A foreclosure sale will take place at the date, time, and place specified in the foreclosure notice.
- The foreclosure sale will be conducted by a licensed auctioneer. The auctioneer will read various legal notices, descriptions, and documents pertaining to the property.
- The auctioneer will take bids on the property, take deposit checks, and accept the highest bid to close the foreclosure property sale.
- Parties - including the mortgagor, the purchaser, and the auctioneer - will draft a foreclosure deed, which must be recorded and filed at the Registry of Deeds.
- A grace period - typically 30 days - will be given to allow the purchaser to line up financing.
- A closing will take place, and the new owner will formally take title to the foreclosed property.
All monies paid by the new purchaser will go toward paying real estate taxes, owed mortgages, and payments to creditors or other debts owed on the property. If no one at the foreclosure sale is able to bid a high enough amount to cover the debt of the property, then the balanced owed - called a deficiency - would then be the liability of the old owner.