Being in debt can be an overwhelming feeling. No one likes to know that their bills are piling up and there’s no way to pay them. To make matters worse, debt collectors are permitted to contact you and your friends and family members when they can’t reach you. You’d prefer not to have others know about your financial difficulties.
Fortunately, there is a way to stop creditors from calling and harassing you: bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is not suitable for everyone, but it may be right if you’re having trouble paying your debts. Let’s learn more about why debt collectors call, what they can and can’t do, and how bankruptcy can make them stop.
When Can a Debt Collector Call Me?
Generally, debt collectors can’t call you at unusual places or times, particularly those they know are inconvenient to you. They are typically prohibited from calling before 8 am and after 9 pm. The law also requires debt collectors to follow your instructions about when and when not to contact you.
So, if you don’t want a debt collector contacting you at a specific time, you’ll need to let them know. For example, you may not want debt collectors calling you on the weekends or at work. Once the debt collector knows this information, they may not call you during these times.
However, debt collectors still find ways to get a hold of people and may attempt to contact you through other means, such as postal mail, email, or text message.
How Often Can Creditors Call?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from placing repeated phone calls to you or having telephone conversations that are harassing. The debt collector is presumed to violate the law if they call you more than seven times in seven days or within seven days after engaging with you over a particular debt.
Nevertheless, when debt collectors call, it still feels overwhelming. Seven days go by quickly when you’re drowning in debt and hearing from several creditors. This is why knowing your rights and communicating with debt collectors about when they can and can’t call is essential.
Also, keep in mind that these laws only apply to telephone calls. They do not consider other forms of communication, such as text messages, social media messages, and even in-person interactions. These have other protections, however.
Should I Answer Calls from Debt Collectors?
While it can be tempting to ignore the phone calls, it’s typically in your best interest to answer them. At this time, you can let the debt collector know when they can’t contact you, and you can start working towards a solution. Plus, you’ll feel better about the situation, as ignoring it won’t make it go away.
However, the only way to make debt collectors stop calling you is to clear up the debt. You can do this by settling the debt with creditors or working with a credit counselor. These options only work if you have the money to get back on track with your debts. If you don’t, bankruptcy is probably the better option.
How Does Bankruptcy in NY Stop Creditors from Calling
When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New York, an automatic stay goes into effect. An automatic stay is a shield that prohibits creditors from contacting you via phone, email, or letters. In other words, contacting you becomes illegal. Only in rare instances is a creditor given consent from the court to continue contacting you.
The purpose of an automatic stay is to stop creditors from taking action against you. You are now going through bankruptcy, and your debts will likely be discharged. In a sense, your debts are wiped away, but someone is still paying for them.
In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed to sell your non-exempt assets and distribute the proceeds to your creditors. You don’t have to pay your debts directly; the money can come from liquidating your assets. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll receive an affordable repayment plan where you pay back your debts.
What Happens if a Debt Collector Continues to Call after Filing Bankruptcy?
Once you file bankruptcy, you may still have creditors calling you. Answer the phone and let them know you’ve filed for bankruptcy and an automatic stay is in effect. Take notes in case you need to take the creditor to court. But in most cases, they will stop calling you once they know an automatic stay is in place.
Contact a Debt Relief Attorney in New York
William Waldner is an experienced bankruptcy attorney in NY. Contact The Law Office of William Waldner to learn more about your options for debt relief and how we can help you achieve a clean slate.
It can be frustrating, annoying, and overwhelming when you hear from the creditors nonstop, but knowing your rights and what is and is not allowed is essential. Just because you don’t have the money to pay your bills doesn’t mean you should be harassed daily.
Schedule your FREE consultation with our team today!