If you are receiving harassing phone calls from creditors, know that you have rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. In general, under federal and state law, debt collectors cannot:
- Call you multiple times per week.
- Call you before 8:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M.
- Call you at work after they have been told not to do so.
- Engage you in conversation without first telling you that they are trying to collect on a debt.
- Continue to contact you after you have told them the name and information for your attorney.
- Contact people other than your spouse about your debt.
- Tell anyone besides your spouse that they are trying to collect a debt from you.
- Continue to contact you after you have written them a letter asking them not to contact you.
- Tell you lies or threaten to sue you when they know they do not have a valid legal claim.
- Imply that you will go to jail if you do not pay the debt.
- Use profane language, yell, or scream at you.
- Add fees to your debt other than those allowed by law.
- Use autodialer ("robocall") machines to dial your phone number after you have told them to stop.
If you are receiving threatening mail or harassing calls for money that you owe for "personal, family or household purposes"—such as credit cards, auto loans, utility bills, medical bills, mortgages and some student loans—get in touch with Jonathan Hilton today.
How Is My Attorney Paid?
If you are being harassed by a debt collector, and that debt collector has violated the law, Jonathan Hilton may be willing to represent you at no cost to you. Under federal and state laws, if you are able to prove that a debt collector violated the law, the court will require the debt collector to compensate your attorney for bringing the lawsuit.
what can I win in a lawsuit?
If you are successful in a lawsuit against a debt collector for violations of federal law, you can win up to $1,000 for yourself. You may be able to win additional money if the court or the jury finds that the debt collector illegally used robocalling equipment to harass you—in some rare instances, you may be entitled to $1500 or more per call. Ultimately, however, most people find that the best reward for bringing suit is the peace of mind you get from knowing that you stood up for your rights. Plus, when the phone finally stops ringing from calls with debt collectors, you can get your life back.
What Evidence Should I Save?
If you believe that you are experiencing harassment by a debt collector, you should be sure to save:
- Any letters or emails you receive from the debt collector.
- Any voicemails you have received on your phone.
- Screenshots or phone records of phone calls you've received.
- Any agreements or contracts you signed regarding the original debt.
- Any social media posts, emails, or text messages documenting when key events occurred.
If you're ready for a free consultation about your situation, fill out the form below to contact Jonathan Hilton today.