Duties of a Debt Collections Lawyer
In circumstances when a debtor is facing default and, due to that debt situation, is receiving hostile phone calls or being harassed with illegal debt collection tactics, under the law, debtors have a right not to be harassed or even embarrassed by debt collectors during the course of the debt collection period. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1996 requires collectors to identify themselves prior to any communication with the debtors, such that collectors cannot call before 8 AM or after 9 PM, cannot call the debtor at work, and, at the same time, the Act prohibits profane language to be used, threats of violence, constant phone calls, or insinuation that non-payment of debt will result in imprisonment.
By hiring a debt collections lawyer, he will perform the following undertakings to protect the debtor’s rights and stop the harassment, including the illegal collection tactics: sending a “cease and desist” letter demanding the creditor to stop making hostile phone calls and informing the creditor not to make erroneous information on the credit report; then, the lawyer will advise the debtor to keep log on phone calls or other forms of contact by the collector or by the debtor to the collector and seeing to it that there is a witness to all the phone calls made – the logging in of calls is for the purpose of developing an evidence of harassment and in the log, the name of the caller, title or position of the caller, date, and duration of call must be all recorded.
The primary duty of a debt collections lawyer is to meet and discuss with his client on the debt situation and what the client would like him to achieve with the legal representation, like the client may want to look for a payment plan arrangement or may want to discharge the debt right away, and that in the process of performing his duty, the lawyer must make certain that the client is prepared and willing to do something about the debts owed. Representing on behalf of the client, the debt collections lawyer can negotiate the following options to the creditor: if his client would like to discharge right away his debt, the lawyer can negotiate with the creditor, on the basis of immediate payment, to lower the payoff amount or if the client would like to have a payment plan arrangement, the lawyer can explore options with the creditor to a monthly payment that is favorable to the client. If the debt situation is such that declaring bankruptcy is the only option, the debt collections lawyer, if he is no experienced in the bankruptcy law, should refer the client to another lawyer who is an expert in this kind of law.What You Should Know About Attorneys This Year