A bankruptcy filing can end creditor harassment.
A recent report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps shed light on the myriad issues with America's debt collection industry, and the harassment that countless people undergo every day from unscrupulous debt collectors. An average of 70 million Americans are contacted by collection representatives each year, and a staggering quarter of them report some form of threats (in the form of false accusations that arrest could happen, property could be seized, even physical harm could ensue) by the debt collector.
Other troubling statistics provided by the CFPB include:
- 75 percent of people who specifically requested that the debt collector stop contacting them had their request denied (in spite of a federal law that requires collection contacts to cease if the person alleged to be the debtor requests it in writing)
- 40 percent of people surveyed were called four or more times in a given week by debt collectors
- More than half of survey participants told the CFPB that there were issues with the debt itself that they were being contacted about; some reported that they didn't owe the debt at all but were being harassed anyway (in some instances, it belonged to a different person with a similar name or to a family member), that they'd previously paid the debt or that the debt amount was incorrect
- 36 percent of people reported that debt collectors called them between the hours of 9 pm and 8 am, which is also a violation of the law
These statistics show a troubling pattern of behavior from debt collectors: harassment of people who find themselves unable to pay off a debt. Sometimes, job loss or a cut in hours leads to financial ruin. Wage garnishment by one creditor can lead to others going unpaid while collection calls and threatening letters continue to roll in. Unexpected medical expenses from an accident, illness or injury can also result in massive debt that a person simply cannot afford to pay. Crippling student loan payments could result in other expenses going unpaid.
No matter what the underlying cause of your particular financial woes, help is available. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing will allow you to discharge or pay down eligible debts, freeing up money to pay other bills, and giving you the financial freedom you need. Any bankruptcy filing comes with an automatic stay that releases you from the torment of creditor harassment and prohibits them, under penalty of law and sizable fines and consequences, from contacting you again. You'll be able to answer the phone and go to the mailbox again without fear.
The type of bankruptcy filing that is right for you will depend on your unique financial situation and your ultimate goals. To get started, and to learn more about how bankruptcy can help put you on a path to a fresh financial start, contact the Bankruptcy Center of John D. Raymond. Call the firm toll free at 888-554-1065, or send an email today.