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Debt Collection Laws and Creditor Harassment

Creditor Harassment Attorney in Vancouver, Washington

The act of intimidating, bullying, abusing, or pressuring customers into paying debts is known as creditor harassment. When considering debt collection in Vancouver, Washington, two factors should be considered: harassment and misrepresentation. If either of these occur, the collector is engaging in creditor harassment, and you may need to take legal action against them.

We are the right debt defense law firm for you if you are the victim of any of these harassments and believe that the debt collector violated the debt collection laws.

You can learn more about your options and create a compelling argument by contacting Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm. Our creditor harassment attorney has defended clients against debt collection lawsuits and agencies several times. We also offer legal services to people who live outside of Vancouver, including those in Seattle, Tacoma, Washington and some parts of Oregon such as Portland, Salem, and Medford.

Contact our law office right away!

Don’t wait until the last minute to take action. Avoid a default judgment and stop collection efforts by taking a step forward today!

Why do I need a Creditor Harassment Lawyer in Washington?

It’s time to put a stop to any harassment you may have received from creditors in Vancouver, Washington, so you can get on with your life. Consumers are protected from creditors by laws. You can navigate these complicated laws with a knowledgeable debt defense attorney who knows about credit harassment.

While collection agencies frequently engage in harassing behavior to “encourage” you to pay your debts, they are also subject to a number of state laws and regulations. You might wish to speak with our creditor harassment lawyer if you are unsure of what actions are prohibited or if you are currently the target of harassment by debt collectors.

In order to avoid creditor harassment, one must also abide by a number of federal and state rules. We can also assist you if you have inquiries concerning its practices and regulations relating to it. Simply get in touch with Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm for assistance.

What is Creditor Harassment?

The act of intimidating, abusing, coercing, bullying, or browbeating customers into paying off debts is considered debt collector harassment. The most frequent way that this occurs is over the phone, but it can also take the shape of emails, texts, social media posts, direct mail, or conversations with friends or neighbors concerning your debt.

Who are the creditors?

A creditor is a person or organization that offers another party credit to borrow money, typically through a loan arrangement or contract. Creditors are frequently divided into personal and real categories.

People who lend money to friends, relatives, or a company that offers quick supplies or services to a business or person but permits a payment delay may be regarded as personal creditors.

Real creditors are banks or finance companies with legal agreements and loan arrangements that provide the lender the ability to seize any of the debtor’s tangible property or collateral if the loan is not repaid.

Who are the Debt Collectors?

Most individuals don’t realize what a debt collector is until one calls them nonstop about paying off debt, which rarely happens. 

Collectors are sent by an agency that works with creditors to collect unpaid debts. Your creditor may get in touch with a debt collection agency if you still owe money in Vancouver for credit card debt, delinquent loans, or personal loans. A debt collector is then assigned to your case by this agency.

The Washington Department of Revenue requires all debt collection businesses operating in Vancouver to hold a license. Thrive Collection Services, Elite Collections Services, and Grindstone Collection Strategies are a few of the regional collection agencies in the Vancouver area.

What is a Collection Agency?

A collection agency is defined by federal and Washington state law as a company or organization whose main objective is debt collection. The credit or collection department of a company whose main objective is not debt collection is not included in this.

For instance, a bank that offers credit cards and attempts to collect a debt is not a “collection agency” in the legal sense. Neither is the credit office of a department shop or auto dealership because their principal line of business is not debt collection.

Don’t wait until the last minute to take action. Avoid a default judgment and stop collection efforts by taking a step forward today!

Debt Collection Laws

debt collection laws

You are protected by laws from unethical debt collection methods, dishonest business practices, and debt-related harassment.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that protects debtors from unfair debt collection activities. Any family, home, and personal debts, including debts for medical care, are covered under the FDCPA.

You have these rights and protections against creditors thanks to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Additionally, it safeguards your partner, parents (if you’re a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator. 

FDCPA’s Unlawful Debt Collection Activities – Know your Consumer Rights

The FDCPA forbids certain forms of abusive or misleading actions by collectors and mandates that a collection agency provides particular disclosures. The FDCPA forbids the following types of collection activities.

Contacting third parties

With a few limited exceptions, a collection agency generally isn’t allowed to contact others about your debt. Collectors may get in touch with:

  • your lawyer. Unless you grant the collector permission to communicate with you or your lawyer doesn’t reply to the agency’s correspondence, the collector must speak only to the lawyer on your behalf if they are aware that you are being represented.
  • credit reporting agency.
  • original creditor.

Collectors are permitted to get in touch with your partner, your parents (but only if you are a minor), and your co-debtors. But if you’ve written to them requesting them to stop communicating, they can’t have these connections.

Additionally, debt collectors are permitted to make contact with other parties only to learn more about your whereabouts. Collectors in these contacts:

  • must include their name and that they are verifying your location information.
  • cannot, without being asked, disclose their employer
  • cannot claim that you owe a debt
  • cannot contact a third party more than once unless the third party requires it or unless the first contact was incorrect or incomplete and the second contact had accurate or complete information.
  • can’t send postcards for communication
  • cannot include any words or symbols (such as a company logo or letterhead) on the exterior of an envelope that suggests they are attempting to collect a debt if doing so would reveal the letter’s objective.
  • can’t ask for your location when they know an attorney is representing you.

Particular communications with you:

The first time a debt collector contacts you, they must advise you that they are trying to collect a debt from you and will use whatever information they learn about you. In subsequent communications, the debt collector must also disclose that “the correspondence is from a debt collector.” In addition, in subsequent communications, the collector shall disclose to you the name of the collector and the name of the collection agency, which disclosures are commonly referred to as a “mini-Miranda.”

You cannot be reached by a collector:

  • calls that come in before 8 a.m. or at an unfavorable time or location. and after 9 p.m. are assumed to be inconvenient, yet if you sleep during the day and work at night, a call at 1 p.m. possibly to be inconvenient
  • directly, if it is aware or should have been aware that you had legal representation, or
  • if it is aware that your employer forbids you from getting collections calls at work. Inform the collector that your boss forbids such calls if you are contacted at work but are not permitted to make personal calls there.

Abuse and Harassment

Generally speaking, a collection agency is prohibited from acting in a way that would oppress, harass or abuse. In particular, it cannot:

  • employ or imply use of violence
  • hurt or threaten to do harm to your reputation, another person’s reputation, or another person’s possessions.
  • use vulgar, offensive, or abusive words
  • You should be listed as someone who doesn’t pay their bills
  • Post your debt for sale publicly.
  • contact your number repeatedly, or
  • make calls to you on the phone without identifying themselves as debt collectors.

Making unnecessarily numerous calls

In accordance with the FDCPA, a debt collector is not permitted to contact you more than seven times in a row or within seven days of the last time they spoke to you on the phone in relation to the collection of that debt. The first day of the seven consecutive days is the date of the telephone discussion.

This restriction is placed on each individual loan, not on each customer. As a result, if you owe many bills that a debt collector is seeking to collect, they may call you more frequently. Additionally, there are three exceptions to the telephone call frequency limit:

  • calls that you authorized in advance
  • calls that are disconnected from the called number,
  • calls made to particular professionals, such as your lawyer.

Making Misleading or False Representations

A collecting agency is not allowed to tell lies. For instance, it cannot:

  • assert its status as a law enforcement organization or imply its affiliation with the federal, state, or local governments
  • intentionally misrepresent your debt or the payment the collection agency would get.
  • claim to be a lawyer or imply that a communication is coming from a lawyer
  • unless the collection company or initial creditor plans to take measures that could result in you going to jail or having your property confiscated, do not assert that you will be imprisoned or that your property will be seized.
  • threaten to take unintended or impractical action; for instance, if a collection agency writes you a letter stating that it is a “final notice,” it cannot write you again for payment.
  • lie and say you’ve done a crime
  • threatening to auction a debt to a third party and claiming that you will lose any payment-related defenses you possessed against the creditor, like a warranty breach
  • give incorrect information about your credit, such as by omitting to mention that you are disputing a debt
  • if it isn’t, send you a document that appears to be from a court, an attorney, or to be a part of a legal proceeding.
  • utilize a fictitious company name, or
  • unless the collection agency and the credit bureau are owned by the same business, never claim to work for a credit bureau.

Making certain uses of Electronic Communications

Subject to specific restrictions safeguarding consumers from harassment or abuse, the FDCPA permits debt collectors to contact consumers about their debts via modern technologies such as email and text messaging. For instance, if the message is visible to the public or your social media connections, debt collectors are not permitted to communicate through that platform or attempt to do so.

Additionally, if a debt collector contacts you privately on social media and requests to be added to your contacts, they are required to identify themselves as such.

Unjust Practices

Any unfair or inappropriate practices used by a collection agency to collect a debt are prohibited. For instance, it cannot:

  • add fees, interest, or costs that were not included in the initial agreement or that were not permitted under Washington law
  • unless it advises you between three to ten days ahead of when it will deposit the check, do not accept a check that is more than five days postdated.
  • putting a postdated check in the bank before its due date
  • for the goal of threatening you with criminal prosecution, ask for a postdated check.
  • cause you to pay communications costs, including collecting call fees, by hiding the communication’s genuine goal.
  • if it lacks the authority to do so or does not intend to do so, it may not attempt to seize or reclaim your property.
  • e-mail you or send you a postcard
  • put any statements or symbols indicating a debt collection attempt on the exterior of any envelopes mailed to you.

Leaving voicemails with a variety of topics

The only information the collector may leave on your voicemail should be the name of the collection agency (without mentioning that the firm is involved in the debt collecting business), a request that you return the call, and the appropriate person’s contact information.

Message sending to your work email

Subject to certain limitations, a debt collector may not contact you or attempt to contact you by emailing you to an email address that the debt collector recognizes as a work email address. For instance, if you used your work email to contact a debt collector about the debt and haven’t opted out, the debt collector may send you messages. Alternatively, the debt collector may email you at that address if you previously authorized it to do so and haven’t revoked your permission.

Collecting Time-Barred Debts

To recover a debt that is past due, a debt collector cannot file a lawsuit or threaten to do so.  This modification is in line with case law, which holds that threatening legal action after the statute of limitations has run out is against the FDCPA. And according to the FDCPA, a collector breaches this clause whether or not they are aware that a bill is past due.

What should you do if you’re being harassed by your creditors?

Step 1: Know your rights

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if you believe Vancouver debt collectors are harassing you. The victim has the right to sue the debt collector for FDCPA violations if they breach any of the harassment or misleading regulations.

Step 2: Collect records

If a debt collector is harassing you, you should start gathering evidence.

Get in touch with our knowledgeable Washington creditor harassment lawyer to get help regarding this matter.

Step 3: Remain Calm and Take Careful Action

It’s simple to become enraged and act rashly when you’re being mistreated or harassed by an aggressive Vancouver debt collector. Make an effort to maintain your composure and take thoughtful, deliberate action at all times. This will be advantageous if you end up in court as well as beneficial for lowering your stress levels. You can demonstrate that you were polite and composed when the debt collector was being abusive.

Step 4: Request for debt verification

Ask for debt verification if debt collectors are pressuring you over the phone about what you owe all the time. This will not only reveal whether or not they are misrepresenting your debt, but the debt collector is also required to stop contacting you until they respond to your request for information. The amount of your debt and the creditor’s name should be included in the debt verification. To challenge the legitimacy of the debt, you have 30 days. The creditor will presume the debt is valid if you don’t contest it.

Step 5: Contact an experienced lawyer

It’s time to take a stand and resist harassment from debt collectors if you are one of their victims. You are supposed to have a life free from harassing and constant phone calls. Vancouver attorneys that are familiar with the region’s debt collection regulations can assist you in achieving this. Working with a lawyer becomes even more crucial if the debt collector threatens or actually takes legal action against you for debts.

Step 6: Present the case

You stand a greater chance of winning the lawsuit and collecting money damages if you work with a skilled Washington creditor harassment attorney.

You might be able to decide whether to bring your lawsuit in a federal or state court. You can ask for damages for any financial losses in addition to statutory and injunctive relief. Even if you prevail in your lawsuit, you can still be responsible for the initial debt.

Call our Oregon & Washington Creditor Harassment Lawyer Now!

Are you sick and tired of your creditor bugging you? Are you afraid to open the mail? Do you hesitate to look at your credit report? Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm can assist you if you reside in Vancouver, Washington, if you respond yes to any of the questions above. Our main priorities are defending your rights, putting an end to creditor harassment, and returning our clients’ peace of mind. You can put our skills to work for you by selecting our legal team to assist you in overcoming your legal problem.

Hiring a dependable debt defense attorney is one strategy to put an end to creditor harassment. We can protect your interests in the event of creditor harassment. Our law firm offers individualized service to each client and is available to address any queries or worries you may have.

We can assist you with your debt-related problems even if you currently live in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington and Portland, Salem, and Medford in Oregon. So, worry no more and contact us right away!

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Northwest Debt Defense Law Firm

650 NE Holladay St, Suite 1640
Portland, OR 97232, United States

NW Debt Defense Law Firm is a Debt Relief Agency. Where appropriate we file petitions for relief under the Bankruptcy Code solely for consumers in the District of Oregon. We represent both Oregon and Washington consumers in collections law suits in Oregon and Washington state courts.


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