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Do you know your rights as a debtor?

| Feb 13, 2020 | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Oregon residents are so used to people contacting them through instant messages that they are no longer used to and in fact, dread it, when their telephone begins to ring. However, when it a debt collector calling to harass someone about their debt, the dread can be downright overwhelming and even debilitating, as one begins to expect calls at their workplace or at home after hours. However, what many debtors do not know is that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act grants them rights by limiting the actions of third-party debt collectors.

The federal law, enacted in 2010, restricts how debt collectors can contact debtors. It goes as far as to limit how many times someone can be contacted and during what hours. One of the ways this is done is by limiting calls at inconvenient times. For example, unless the debtor and collector have agreed upon a specific time, calls cannot be made before 8:00 in the morning or after 9:00 at night. Otherwise, calls cannot legally be made at that time. While collectors can contact people at their offices, if the debtor tells someone in writing or orally not to call them in their place of employment, they must stop.

Additionally, when someone is contacted by a debt collector, the collector has five days to send a validation notice, informing him or her of the amount of money owed, the name of the party it is owed to and steps to take in case the debt it not theirs.

While laws exist to protect debtors from unfair, deceptive or abusive collection practices, there are also laws that can help Oregon residents discharge their debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, whereby most debts are discharged and certain personal affects can be held onto, is one way to legally achieve this. Filing for bankruptcy is one way debtors can regain control over their life and not run for cover every time their phone rings.

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The Law Office of Kim Covington is a debt relief agency, and I have helped families, individuals and small businesses, file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, for over 19 years.