If you are being called by a debt collector, you aren’t alone. At one time or another, everyone is subjected to calls regarding a past due debt.
Some calls are perfectly legal and are handled properly to take care of a forgotten debt while others are scrupulous, unethical attempts by shady debt collection companies who just want to harass and take advantage of consumers.
Thankfully, in 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which protects consumers from the abuse and harassment of debt collectors.
These are debt collectors who are usually working on the behalf of a business or entity that doesn’t have time to deal with their past due debts.
If you have found your bank account frozen, or you have seen funds missing from your account to pay off an old debt, however, that could be legal. Funds in your bank accounts could actually be at risk if the creditor gets an order to seize your funds to pay those debts.
Reports have indicated that as many as one in 10 of working Americans ages 35 to 44 are having their wages garnished to pay an old medical bill, student loan, or credit card debt.
The amount that can be seized varies from state to state, but in many states, the debt collector can take as much as 25 percent of your paycheck. In most states, they can empty your bank account, though they cannot seize your property.
Federal laws that regulate debt collecting do not prohibit or limit seizing bank accounts. When there may be garnishment protections in existence in a particular state, it is your responsibility as the debtor to determine how your assets are protected by the laws.
If you find yourself in a situation where your bank account has been emptied or your paycheck is being garnished, you need to consult with a credit harassment attorney right away. These are experienced attorneys who know your rights and understand the laws regarding seizure and garnishment in your state and in your particular situation.
These are attorneys who will work for you and help protect your rights and help you establish an affordable living situation.
No Restrictions on Seizing Accounts?
As an example, a flaw in the law says that 25% of your paycheck can be garnished. If you put all of that paycheck in your bank account, they can take all of your money. The belief is that lawmakers didn’t focus on seizures because they were not common when the laws were enacted.
Debt collection has changed significantly throughout the decades, so many experts believe it may be time for lawmakers to take another look at consumer protection regarding seizures and garnishments.
The recent recession has put more people in financial trouble. Many people had hours or salaries cut, some people lost jobs.
Right now the market is rebounding but those old debts are still owed and collectors are still trying to make right on them. Make sure your rights are protected in such situations.