Tag Archives: Bankruptcy Attorney

Ins and Outs of Debt Collection and Consumer Rights

 

questions about bankruptcy, consumer rights, credit card debt, wisconsin consumer laws

 

Credit card companies, hospitals, schools, utility companies, banks, or even payday loan stores extend services and credit to nearly everyone, but not everyone is able to return payment.  Although the intentions of consumers may be to pay back each line of credit; a job loss, illness or other life event that prevents us from working can make this very difficult.  Millions of Americans are contacted by debt collectors each year.  State and federal agencies are receiving more complaints about unfair or deceptive practices than any other part of the consumer financial system. 

Accumulation of Debt:  Families with children under eighteen, those without health insurance, and those that have experienced more than two months of unemployment are more likely to hold a credit card balance.  Credit Card Debt Statistics  Once any type of debt becomes overdue, the very companies that extended credit and asked for your business will become focused on collections.  If the company is not successful in obtaining payment for past due amounts, or if a payment plan has not been established, they may hire a third-party “debt buyer agency” to collect for a percentage of the original debt value.

Wisconsin Consumer Rights:  If a third-party debt collection agency is contacting you on behalf of a creditor, it can be helpful to know the statute of limitation that applies to your specific debts. If the statute of limitation has expired, a debt collector cannot sue to collect.  Any debtor has the right to obtain “verification” of the debt and to dispute it.  This and other laws are part of “The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”   The FDCPA and the Wisconsin Consumer Act has protected Wisconsin consumers from abusive and harassing debt collection tactics for more than forty years.

 FDCPA Violations:  There are many examples of debt collector abuse that are considered FDCPA violations.  For example, collectors must identify themselves and accurately identify the agency that they represent.  They cannot ask you to pay more than what is owed, threaten, or use profanity or violence.  They can’t ask for interest, fees or expenses that are not allowed by law, or call repeatedly or before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.  If any other violation of the FDCPA occurs, consumers have the right to sue the debt collector for damages.

Debt Collector Defense:  Once a creditor or a debt collector begins to contact you, keep records of each call including caller name and other important details.  Save all mail and emails, and ask them not to call you at work.  If you decide at some point to sue creditors for harassment, your records will be a valuable asset.  Next, contact an attorney who is familiar with Wisconsin debt collection laws and the elimination of debt.

Contact a Debt Lawyer:  Feeling that you have been harassed or deceived by a debt collector is a justifiable reason to seek the advice of an attorney.  Debt Advisors Law Offices offers a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your experiences, financial circumstances, and options such as an “automatic stay” to stop harassment calls immediately.   Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have helped thousands of Wisconsin Residents get back on their feet after a tough financial crisis.  The lawyers at Debt Advisors will be upfront and honest regarding whether or not the bankruptcy process is right for you.  The sooner you speak to an attorney about your particular situation, the sooner the calls can stop, and the sooner you can get back to living peacefully again.

Consumer money scam targets bankruptcy filers

Predators target millions of people every year through fraudulent behavior and scams that intend to steal money from innocent people.  Unfortunately, many scams target the vulnerable in society, such as the elderly or financially burdened.  Some scams are so slick that they are able to fool even the most intelligent, on-guard, and cautious person.  Internet scams have opened a new realm of security concerns but let’s face it; those who are looking to steal your money will use a variety of techniques and tools to try and fool you.  scam

Visit USA.Gov for how to spot Common Consumer Scams and Fraud:

  • Financial Fraud
  • Pyramid Schemes
  • Telephone Scams
  • Charity Scams
  • Lottery Scams
  • Tax-Related Identity Theft

New Scam targets bankruptcy filers across the United States

Recently, phone scammers have targeted bankruptcy filers using software that is so sophisticated it even fools caller id.  Often the calls are made outside of business hours so that the victim cannot call their attorney to verify legitimacy. The bankruptcy phone scam in the news this week claims to know personal information about the bankruptcy filing and sometimes poses as an attorney asking for money to satisfy a debt.

The attorneys at Debt Advisors Law Offices in Wisconsin are doing their part to inform the community of this real financial threat.  Be on alert and fully aware that a scam could show up on your doorstep, potentially come through the mail, internet email, texting, phone calls, or delivered through the U.S. Mail.  In addition, “under no circumstances” would they phone a client to request personal information over the phone, nor would they threaten legal action if money isn’t wired to resolve an unpaid debt.

Report a scam complaint

Report scamming or other fraudulent activities to your local law enforcement.  An excellent resource for determining the appropriate federal agency to report cases or complaints can be found at STOPFRAUD.GOV.  The Federal Trade Commission website can also be referenced regarding phone scams in particular.

 

New Garnishment Rules Aim To Protect Social Security Benefits

New Garnishment Rules Aim To Protect Social Security Benefits

On behalf of Debt Advisors, S.C.

What is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is a legal remedy that allows a creditor to take money directly from a bank account or you paycheck. If the creditor sues you to collect a debt and wins a court judgment against you, the creditor can ask the court for an order to garnish your salary, bank account, or other assets.

A creditor can obtain a court order requiring your employer to withhold some of your salary and pay it to the creditor. In addition, a creditor can ask the court for an order instructing your bank to turn over funds you have in your bank account.

Social Security Benefits Protection

Social Security benefits have been exempt, in most cases, from garnishment. The problem has been that banks would freeze accounts when they received a garnishment order and not check to see if Social Security checks had been deposited.

The U.S. Treasury Department has issued a new rule that forces banks to check whether Social Security or other federal benefit payments have been automatically deposited into the account. If so, the bank must protect two months’ worth of those payments. This is to protect the elderly, who may have very limited financial resources and may not understand the process to challenge a garnishment of their social security benefits.

Questions? Speak with an Attorney

Because garnishment is a statutory remedy (created by the legislature) it is very technical, with formal requirements to create a garnishment and to challenge one. If you have questions about protecting your social security payments or any wage garnishment, speak with an attorney experienced with consumer protections and collections law.