Debt Collector Harassment in Buffalo, NY
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Buffalo, New York there are two things to consider when thinking about debt collection: harassment and misrepresentation. The presence of either of these things constitutes debt collector harassment and may require you to take legal action against the collector.
Debt Collector Harassment in Buffalo, New York
In addition to federal laws regarding debt collection agencies, New York has state laws that also apply to original creditors. According to the Attorney General of New York, Buffalo residents are protected from threats and abuse. Debt collectors cannot communicate information about your debt to others, including your employer. In addition, they cannot contact you at unusual hours or so frequently as to constitute harassment. Furthermore, a debt collector can only attempt to collect the amount you owe, with no added fees or costs.
If you are a victim of any of these examples of harassment, you may have a right to sue the debt collector for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). An experienced Buffalo attorney can help you identify your options and build a strong case.
Misrepresentations by a debt collector refer to someone making false claims or accusations or using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This also includes misrepresenting any debt you may have. See some examples of this and other Illegal Debt Collection Practices below:
- The amount of money you owe
- False threats saying they will have you arrested
- Saying they are an attorney if they aren’t one
- Threats to do something that the debt collector has no intention of doing
- Threats to take actions that are not within the confines of the law
If you think any Buffalo, NY debt collectors may have misrepresented themselves to you, it’s important to remember that you have options. Get in contact with an attorney that understands debt collector law.
Who Are Debt Collectors?
Most people don’t know what a debt collector is until they have one incessantly calling them about paying off debt. So, who are debt collectors? Who do they work for?
Collectors come from a debt collection agency that works with creditors who are owed debts. If you have outstanding debt in Buffalo such as credit debt, unpaid loans, and personal loans, your creditor may contact a debt collection agency. This agency then assigns a debt collector to your case.
There are numerous debt collection agencies operating in the Buffalo area, including:
- New Era Asset Management
- Eastpoint Recovery Group
- Northern Resolution Services
It’s a good idea to do a little research on the company that calls you, to make sure it is not a scam. One place to start could be the Better Business Bureau.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Buffalo, New York?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Buffalo debt collectors are harassing you, then it’s important to become familiar with the Basics of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from collection agencies. If a debt collector violates any of the harassment or misrepresentation rules, the victim has a right to sue the collector for violation of the FDCPA.
Step 2: Collect Records
Have you been harassed in Buffalo, NY by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence. There are several steps you can take to document harassment by a debt collector in Buffalo. LawNY recommends sending a letter to the debt collector requesting that they stop contacting you. Send the letter by certified mail, request a return receipt, and keep a copy. In addition, it can be helpful to keep a log of all phone calls. Make a record of the date, time, caller’s name, and a summary of the conversation.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Buffalo debt collector, it’s easy to get angry and act impulsively. Unfortunately, this can cause you to say or do something detrimental to your case. Instead, try to remain calm and make all your actions deliberate and well-thought-out. Not only will this be better for keeping your stress levels low, but it will prove helpful if you go to court. You can show that you were respectful and calm while the debt collector was the one using abusive language.
Step 4: Ask for Debt Verification
If you’re constantly getting phone calls from Buffalo, NY debt collectors harassing you about what you owe, you need to ask for debt verification. Not only will this show whether or not they are misrepresenting your debt, but the debt collector must also stop contacting you until they provide the information you requested. Debt verification should show the amount of debt you owe and the name of the creditor. You have 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt. If you don’t dispute the debt, the creditor will assume the debt is valid.
Step 5: Contact an Attorney
If you’re the victim of debt collector harassment, it’s time to stand up and fight back. You deserve to live a life free from abusive and repetitive phone calls. Buffalo attorneys that understand What to Expect When Suing for Debt Collection Harassment, and local debt collection laws, can help you make this possible. If the debt collector threatens to or does take legal action regarding your outstanding debts, working with an attorney becomes even more important.
Step 6: Present Your Case
By hiring an experienced Buffalo, NY debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you have one year from the date of the harassment to file your lawsuit. You can request compensation for any economic losses, as well as attorney fees and court costs. In addition, you may be eligible for statutory relief of up to $1,000. Check with your Buffalo attorney about where to file, because you may have a choice between state and federal court. Buffalo cases could be heard by either the U.S. District Court or the Erie County Court.
Work With an Experienced Buffalo, New York Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Buffalo, NY it’s time to put an end to it so you can move forward with life. There are laws in place to protect consumers from debt collectors. Legal assistance can help you to navigate these complex laws and defend yourself in court, if necessary.
Are you ready to find a debt collector attorney near you so you can finally fight back against the harassment? We can even help you connect with an attorney across New York state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!