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Debt Collection Defense Attorney in Clinton, Maryland

In the United States, people are granted certain rights and protections. This is true for everyone—whether you’ve been accused or convicted of a crime or for much smaller transgressions such as finding yourself in debt or failing to pay back loans. If you find yourself facing debt trouble and are experiencing creditor harassment or believe your creditors are violating your debtor rights when they communicate with you, you should contact a debt collection defense attorney right away.  

In many cases, there are steps you can take to either limit these actions or stop them altogether—but you need to take action now before it gets worse. Here at the Law Office of William Ray Ford, I’m able to represent clients facing debt issues in and around Clinton, Maryland including Calvert County, Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel,  Montgomery County, Howard County, Frederick County, and Queen Anne’s County. Set up a one-on-one consultation to get started. 

Understanding Debt Collection  

“Debt collection” is a broad term used to describe any efforts of a creditor to collect on payment from a debtor. The debtor can be an individual or a company and the credit can represent any number of businesses, organizations, or simply be an individual collecting for themselves. You may find yourself subject to collection efforts for any of the following debts: 

  • Credit card balances 

  • Personal loans 

  • Student loans 

  • Business loans 

  • Payday loans 

  • Medical debt 

  • Utility bills 

  • Past due rent 

  • Mortgage defaults 

  • Bank overdrafts and related fees 

  • Court fines and fees 

  • Car loans 

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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Simply because you're in debt to someone else and are unable to fulfill your payment obligations, doesn't mean you’ve forfeited all your rights. There are both state and federal laws that are in place to protect you. The most important and sweeping of these is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCP) that was enacted in 1978. 

Essentially, the FDCP puts restrictions on how debt collection agencies can pursue payment and the actions they can and cannot take when contacting debtors. It prohibits the use of abusive, threatening, unfair, or deceptive practices and puts into place avenues of redress when these consumer rights are violated.  

Legal Rights of Debtors

Some of the rights that are allotted to debtors include: 

  • When collectors can contact you: In most cases, collectors cannot call or contact you before 8:00am or after 9:00pm unless you give them specific permission to do so. They are also prohibited from contacting you at your place of work if you tell them you’re not allowed to receive calls there. You can also prevent them from contacting you on social media by explicitly requesting this. 

  • Social media privacy: Although creditors are permitted to contact you directly through social media until you ask them not to, they are not allowed to post anything publicly about you or your debt there. 

  • Protection against creditor harassment: One of the biggest protections you have as a debtor is to be free from harassment no matter what form of communication they use be it phone, email, or text.  

  • Working with an attorney: In most cases, if you’re working with an attorney to address your debt or to address debt collection concerns, the creditor will no longer be allowed to contact you directly. However, the collector must have easy access to or have been provided with the contact information of your attorney. If a collector continues to call you after you’ve provided this information, keep a journal or copy of all documentation and forward this onto your legal team. 

Consulting with an experienced attorney can often be beneficial to debtors regardless of what stage in the collection process you find yourself in. That said, a lawyer can be especially helpful if you want to know what to do if a debt collector sues you. 

The Role of a Defense Attorney in Debt Collections

Being served with a lawsuit from a debt collector can be an understandably stressful and scary situation, but you shouldn’t lose hope. Instead, you need to get a reputable attorney working for you to address the underlying issues before it’s too late. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is respond to the lawsuit—your attorney can help you do this before any deadlines come up. After this, you’ll want to review all your records with your lawyer and identify any issues that come up. In many cases, creditors will prefer to settle out of court instead of going to trial. Your attorney can be your advocate during this time, negotiating on your behalf to reach a deal that’s fair and serves your best interests. 

Debt Collection Defense Attorney in Clinton, Maryland

If you’re concerned about mounting debt or believe that your creditors aren’t following state or federal law in their collection practices, you have options. Reach out to me at Law Office of William Ray Ford in Clinton when you’re ready to get started.