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You can stop creditors right now through bankruptcy

Phone calls during dinner from pushy telemarketers are bad enough, but harassing calls from creditors are even worse. Creditors have a right to pursue payment, and you are at their mercy, right?

Not quite. Yes, they have a right to get their money back, but you are not at their mercy. You do not have to put up with threats, foul language, deception or invasion of privacy. In fact, creditors must follow the strict guidelines in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by the Federal Trade Commission. It outlines how and when they can contact you and try to collect money. This does not mean that creditors follow it, though.

How bankruptcy helps

You can put a halt on their methods, both illegal and legal, by simply filing for bankruptcy. These include the following:

  • Harassing communication
  • Wage garnishment
  • Repossession
  • Foreclosure
  • Asset seizure

The end to the harassment is permanent, but the stay on taking your property is temporary for now. Whether or not you get to keep your valuables depends on the type of bankruptcy you file for (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), how much debt you owe and if you are eligible for Ohio state exemptions. Still, it gives you at least a few months of protection as you go through the bankruptcy process and work out what you can and cannot retain.

Other options

If you are not sure you want to file for bankruptcy, you can still take action to stop creditor harassment. You can send a letter of request to stop contact, and if they do not abide by it, you can report them to the government and sue them for breaking the law. If the debt is not yours, not the right amount or no longer valid, you can dispute it, though you have a limited time to do so. An attorney can also get involved to deter creditors from dealing with a lawsuit.

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