People often come into our law office to discuss bankruptcy matters. Some individuals are concerned that an arrest warrant may have been issued because they haven’t paid their debts.
They may have received threatening phone calls from debt collectors. The calls are disturbing and frightening for the debtor. The debt collector may have threatened the individual that they may be immediately arrested for non-payment of a debt. Rest assured that this is simply untrue.
Sadly, many of these debt collectors that hound debtors aren’t even located in the United States. As a matter of fact, most of the calls come from India, and are very difficult to locate.
These threatening and deceptive calls coming from the other end of the line have not gone unnoticed by the Federal Trade Commission.
In the past two years, individuals filed over four thousand complaints with the FTC as well as the state attorney’s general regarding these deceptive debt collection phone calls.
Ultimately, the FTC declared the shut down of American Credit Crunchers and Ebeeze after filing their complaint in federal court. Even though a settlement with the companies was received, more than five million dollars was stolen from people who probably didn’t even owe any debt and the debt wasn’t collectible from the debt collectors because it belonged to another company.
Obviously, if you receive a phone call from a debt collector, the FTC recommends researching before you even consider paying any collector. Remember that if someone calls threatening you with a strong accent, the probability of that call being fraudulent is great.
Rest assured, the Bankruptcy Code provides an automatic stay under 11 USC 362, forbidding the attempt to collect a debt. Although most debts are protected by the stay, the debt collectors may continue to harass you.
Since these debt collectors are violating federal laws already, the bankruptcy law is the least of their fears. They try to obtain money by inflicting fear into your mind. Simply do not allow this to happen.
If you are receiving threatening phone calls by any debt collectors, the law offices of Dantzman & Dantzman are here to help you.