Debt Collector Harassment in Charleston, WV
Debt collector harassment is the intimidation, bullying, abuse, or coercion of consumers into paying off the money they owe. In Charleston, West Virginia 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 Charleston, West Virginia
According to West Virginia Code, behavior from a debt collector such as the use of profane language, threatening violence or harm, or falsifying information in order to collect a debt, is viewed as harassment. If you have been subject to any behavior of this type, you have legal standing and avenues to sue the debt collector. An experienced attorney in Charleston can best help you in this area.
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 Charleston 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 Charleston, WV 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 Charleston 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.
If you have fallen behind in payments in Charleston, you may have to deal with a debt collection agency such as Dignity Recovery Services, CCS Collections, or Reliant Capital Solutions. The Better Business Bureau provides an online guide to accredited debt collection agencies in Charleston.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Harassed By a Debt Collector In Charleston, West Virginia?
Step 1: Know Your Rights
If you think Charleston 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 Charleston, WV by a debt collector? If so, it’s important to begin to gather evidence.
In 2017 the West Virginia Senate passed a law stating that if a debt collector has violated the fair practices set out by state and federal law, the debtor must inform the collector in writing. As well, you must show proof of the violation. You should make sure to keep all correspondence between you and the collection agency, as well as keep a record of all your payments made. Additionally, keep a copy of your phone records to show the frequency of calls.
Once you’ve established harassment, the collector, or agency, will have 20 days to make a cure offer to make amends. You can accept this cure offer, or reject it and file a suit. However, you must give the collection agency the opportunity to make the offer before filing suit.
Step 3: Remain Calm and Act Deliberately
When you’re being abused or harassed by a bullish Charleston 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 Charleston, WV 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. Charleston 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 Charleston, WV debt collector attorney, you have a better chance of winning the lawsuit and getting financial compensation for abuses such as phone harassment.
Charleston residents that have decided to file suit must also decide where to file. Based on the individual cases it may be better for you to file in a state court, like the Kanawha County Court. However, it may be more beneficial to file in federal court at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Remember, you’ll only have 1 year from the date the harassment began to file suit. Anything passed this timetable and the statute of limitations will expire.
Work With an Experienced Charleston, West Virginia Debt Collector Harassment Lawyer
If you’ve experienced debt collector harassment in Charleston, WV 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 West Virginia 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!