Few things in life cause more dejection than finding out a third party debt collector is trying to collect an unpaid debt owed to an original creditor.
Enacted by the United States Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides legal safeguards for consumers by restricting the behavior of third party debt collection agencies.
Abusive language, threatening phone calls, and the implementation of deceptive debt collection practices all fall under the banner of unlawful behavior.
However, what happens when a debt collector obtains a judgment against you that grants the debt collector the right to withdraw money from your bank account?
Limited FDCPA Protection
Federal law states third party debt collectors can withdraw money from consumer bank accounts if the debt collection agencies win a judgment against you. According to Section 809 of the FDCPA, you have 30 days after the approval of a judgment to take care of the debt.
If you fail to contact the third party debt collector before the end of 30 days, the debt collector can file a lawsuit and the court must rule against you for a judgment to take place.
The third party debt collector has the legal right after approval of a judgment to garnish your bank account. Garnishment comes with different guidelines and restrictions in each state.
Debt Collectors Cannot Garnish Exempted Money
The FDCPA protects most government benefits against bank account garnishments, which include military annuities, Social Security benefits, federal retirement benefits, Supplement Security Income benefits, and federal student assistance loans.
Moreover, a third party debt collector cannot withdraw money from your bank account that came from child support payments, as well as life insurance and workers compensation benefits.
That is an extensive list of exempted income and if you deal with a third party debt collector that goes after your exempted income, you have the legal right to contact a consumer protection attorney.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
A licensed attorney who has gained years of experience litigating consumer protection law cases can immediately put a stop to the garnishment of exempted income. The attorney files all the proper paperwork sent to the bank and the third party debt collector.
You should also hire an attorney for two more reasons. First, hiring an attorney before you receive the letter informing you of a bank account garnishment represents a proactive strategy to prevent a judgment against you.
Second, use the 30 days you have between a judgment and bank account garnishment wisely by hiring an attorney who can help you devise a payment plan that is suitable to the original creditor and third party debt collector.
Remember that many debt collectors buy debts for pennies on the dollar. Therefore, the more money they recover, the higher the profit margin.
It is not a good idea to follow the principle of “If I ignore it, it will go away” when it comes to a debt collector attempting to withdraw money from your bank account. Complete the free evaluation today to learn more about how an attorney can help you.