New York City Debt Collection Defense Attorney

Debt Collectors Ignoring Your Settlement? How to Fight Back

20 Rights and Strategies to Defend against Debt Collection:

  1. FDCPA Protections: Covers credit card, car loans, medical bills, student loans, mortgages, and household debts, excluding business debts.
  2. Contact Restrictions: Debt collectors can't contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. without your consent.
  3. Workplace Communication: Collectors are prohibited from contacting you at work if you inform them of the restriction.
  4. Digital Communication: You can request debt collectors to stop contacting you via email, text, or social media.
  5. Call Limitations: Collectors can't call you more than seven times within a seven-day period for a specific debt.
  6. Validation Information Requirement: Collectors must provide debt details within five days of first contact.
  7. Stopping Collector Contact: Sending a certified letter to the collector can legally stop them from contacting you, with limited exceptions.
  8. Attorney Representation: If represented by an attorney, collectors must communicate through the attorney.
  9. Disputing Debt Ownership: You have the right to dispute a debt within 30 days of validation notice receipt.
  10. Harassment Prohibitions: Collectors can't threaten, use obscene language, or harass you.
  11. Misrepresentation: It's illegal for collectors to lie about the debt amount or their identity.
  12. Unfair Practices: Collectors can't unfairly collect additional fees or publicly reveal your debts.
  13. Payment Allocation Rights: You can specify which debt your payment applies to when dealing with multiple debts.
  14. Credit Reporting Requirements: Collectors must contact you before reporting debt to credit bureaus.
  15. Responding to Lawsuits: If sued, responding to the court summons is crucial to protect your rights.
  16. Garnishment Process: Collectors must win a court order to garnish wages or bank accounts.
  17. Federal Benefit Protections: Certain federal benefits are generally exempt from garnishment.
  18. Statute of Limitations: Time-barred debts cannot be sued for collection after a certain period.
  19. Time-Barred Debt Communication: Laws vary by state on whether collectors can contact you about time-barred debts.
  20. Handling Time-Barred Debts: Making payments on or acknowledging time-barred debts can reset the statute of limitations.

These 20 tips were derived from the Federal Trade Commission.

A Case of Unjust Debt Collection

A consumer approached The Langel Firm after receiving a summons for a debt she had settled years prior. Despite having paid off the debt according to the settlement agreement, the debt collector pursued the original amount, disregarding the settlement.

Keeping Meticulous Records Pays Off

The consumer's detailed records of the settlement discussions and payments proved invaluable. With a settlement letter and payment receipts, she demonstrated the debt was indeed settled, highlighting the importance of keeping thorough documentation.

Legal Protections Against Misleading Debt Collection

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and New York General Business Law §349 protect consumers from deceptive practices by creditors and debt collectors. This case exemplified a clear violation of these laws, as the collector misrepresented the debt status.

What to Do If Your Settled Debt Is Challenged

If you find yourself in a similar situation, taking proactive steps can safeguard your financial well-being:

  • Document Everything: Record details of all communications with debt collectors, including names, titles, and any agreements made.
  • Secure a Settlement Letter: Request a written confirmation of the settlement terms, including payment amounts and schedules.
  • Monitor Payments: Keep an eye on your payment receipts and ensure they reflect the agreed-upon settlement balance.
  • Maintain Records: Store all documentation related to the settlement securely, so you can quickly counter any future disputes.

    Collection Defense Intake Form: The Langel Firm