Debt Harassment Attorneys in Charleston, WV Protect Victims of Aggressive Collection Agencies
Experienced West Virginia lawyers advise clients hounded by creditors
In a faltering economy, more and more consumers are struggling to meet their financial obligations, and they are often pursued by creditors and debt collectors. Unfortunately, not every debt collection agency abides by the rules established by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect consumers. The West Virginia debt harassment lawyers at The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston fight aggressively to shield individuals from debt collectors’ oppressive or illegal conduct.
How many calls from a debt collector is considered harassment?
Debt harassment occurs when debt collectors try to intimidate, threaten, abuse or bully consumers into paying their debts using phone calls, emails, text messages, mail or other means. Even a single phone call can constitute harassment, depending on the debt collector’s conduct and the statements made. Debt harassment is all too common in West Virginia, but it is also illegal, and you shouldn’t have to stand for it. We work aggressively on behalf of our clients to stop the harassment.
Violations and penalties in FDCPA lawsuits
The FDCPA prohibits collection agencies from engaging in harassment or in false, deceptive, or misleading practices. Specifically, the FDCPA outlaws:
- Using violence, threats or other criminal conduct to harm you, your reputation or your property
- Causing your telephone to ring repeatedly in order to annoy or harass you
- Calling you at unreasonable hours
- Using obscene or profane language
- Calling you at work after you tell them not to do so
- Publicly stating that you refuse to pay your debts (except to credit agencies or in a lawsuit to recover the debt)
- Implying that if you don’t pay your debt, you may be arrested or imprisoned
- Falsely implying that the debt collector is a law enforcement officer or attorney
- Falsely claiming to represent a state or federal agency
- Misrepresenting the amount or legal status of the debt
We know how to hold debt collection companies responsible when they fail to comply with the FDCPA. The FDCPA gives debtors the right to sue a debt collector for violations of the law. You can recover money damages and make the debt collector pay your attorneys’ fees.
How do I stop a collection agency from harassment?
If you believe you are being harassed, you can immediately make a complaint to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which can assist you in responding to the agency involved. However, the most effective way to stop debt harassment is to hire a lawyer. If we represent you, we will tell the collection agency to deal exclusively with us. Once it receives our letter, the agency is prohibited from contacting you further. We will investigate whether the agency is violating the FDCPA or other consumer protection laws and, if so, we can bring suit on your behalf to stop the illegal conduct and recover any damages you suffered.
Can a debt collector pursue old debts in West Virginia?
Creditors and debt collection agencies can’t hound you forever. The amount of time they have to collect depends on how the debt was contracted. A debt that is based on a handshake deal must be collected within five years. The same is true for open-ended accounts, such as most credit cards, store credit and bank lines of credit. A promissory note, which specifies the due date and interest rate in writing, must be collected within six years. If the debt was created by another type of written contract, the creditor might have as long as 10 years to sue. If a debt is too old, we will take action to stop the collection agency from pursuing repayment, bringing a lawsuit if necessary.
How to win a debt collection lawsuit
If a creditor or debt collector sues you, we can win if we can prove:
- You don’t owe the debt
- The debt is too old
- The debt is void because of fraud or some other legally recognized reason
- You have a counterclaim in an amount equal or greater than the debt
You should keep careful records of your credit transactions so that so that you have available the information and documents relating to the debt and how you contracted it. We know how to deal with a debt collection lawsuit and will work to provide you with the most effective debt collection defense available.
Contact respected Charleston debt harassment attorneys for a free initial consultation
The debt collection defense lawyers at The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia are experienced with strategies for fighting oppressive or illegitimate debt collection actions. To schedule a free initial consultation with our team, call 888-819-1281 or contact us online.