Amy M. Levine & Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC - Family Law, Bankruptcy, Probate Litigation, Criminal Defense
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Columbus, OH 614-360-2942
Huntington, WV 304-519-4354
New Albany, OH 614-721-7726

Columbus, OH 614-360-2942
Huntington, WV 304-519-4354
New Albany, OH

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Amy M. Levine
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How to prepare financially for a divorce

Ohio is an equitable property division state, which means that you might be entitled to a majority share of a marital estate in a final divorce settlement. However, even if you are expecting to receive valuable assets as part of such a settlement, you'll still need to...

What to know about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test

Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives consumers in Columbus, Ohio, a legal way to remove burdening debt they can no longer handle. Only unsecured debts, such as medical and credit card debt, can get erased in bankruptcy. The secured debts, those that are backed by collateral,...

Contesting a Will During Probate in Ohio

When Ohio residents put together their wills and estates, they do everything in their power to make sure that they've covered all of their bases. They usually work with attorneys to make sure that their beneficiaries are clearly indicated, and they work on an asset...

7 steps to take after a car accident

In an instant, a car accident can change your life. You just could be on your way to work and a large SUV rams into the rear of your car. You could suffer serious injuries – broken bones, a traumatic brain injury and a back injury. Or a distracted driver could fail to...

What happens to a home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

It may be possible to keep your Ohio home after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, that will depend on how much equity that you have in the property. Furthermore, you'll need to remain current on your home loan to retain ownership of the property. Let's take a...

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When Debt Collectors Have You Down, Turn to Your Legal Tool Chest

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You owe someone money, and they want it now. Enter the endless stream of phone calls, foreboding letters and other disruption communications.

You just want the harassment to stop, but don’t have the resources to pay up or don’t agree with the charges. Where can you turn?

Unbeknownst to many consumers, there are strict laws protecting them from creditor harassment. Armed with a little information, these laws can help get debt collectors off your back. In addition, if you wish to address the debt issues underlying your collection problems, Ohio bankruptcy law could offer the solutions you’ve been waiting for.

Consumer Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Under federal law, a debt collector is defined as anyone who regularly collects debts owed to others – for instance, collection agencies, certain kinds of lawyers and companies that buy delinquent debts in order to attempt to collect them. All debt collectors are prohibited from using abusive, unfair or deceptive practices in their collection efforts.

Among other things, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from:

• Contacting you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree to it

• Harassing you with repeated phone calls, profane language or threats of physical or reputational harm

• Lying (including misrepresenting who they work for, falsely claiming that you committed a crime or will be arrested, or that they will seize, garnish or sell your property unless they are permitted to do so by law and in fact intend to follow through with the action)

• Trying to collect any additional fees or charges on top of the amount you owe unless the contract under which you incurred the debt specifically allows the charge

Any debt collector who violates these prohibitions could be answerable to you in court, so long as you initiate a lawsuit within one year of the violation. The collector may have to pay for damages you suffered at their hands (like lost wages or medical bills), your attorney’s fees and court costs, and up to $1,000 even if you cannot prove you incurred actual damages.

Take Action Against Creditors

The simplest way to keep debt collectors from contacting you is to request them not to do so in writing. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, once the collector has received your request, they may not contact you again unless it is to tell you there will be no further action or to announce that they have taken a specific action, like filing a lawsuit.

While a demand in writing should stop collectors from contacting you, it does not address the underlying issue of your debt. Creditors can still file suit against you to collect, forcing you to pay through legal mechanisms like wage or bank account garnishment.

If you can’t afford to pay in full, your best option to completely discharge debts may be bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will automatically stay collection efforts, and can ultimately eliminate all or most of your debt load. Speak to a bankruptcy lawyer to learn more about how bankruptcy can benefit you.

Amy M. Levine
View Profile

Our Latest Blog Posts

How to prepare financially for a divorce

Ohio is an equitable property division state, which means that you might be entitled to a majority share of a marital estate in a final divorce settlement. However, even if you are expecting to receive valuable assets as part of such a settlement, you'll still need to...

What to know about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test

Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives consumers in Columbus, Ohio, a legal way to remove burdening debt they can no longer handle. Only unsecured debts, such as medical and credit card debt, can get erased in bankruptcy. The secured debts, those that are backed by collateral,...

Contesting a Will During Probate in Ohio

When Ohio residents put together their wills and estates, they do everything in their power to make sure that they've covered all of their bases. They usually work with attorneys to make sure that their beneficiaries are clearly indicated, and they work on an asset...

7 steps to take after a car accident

In an instant, a car accident can change your life. You just could be on your way to work and a large SUV rams into the rear of your car. You could suffer serious injuries – broken bones, a traumatic brain injury and a back injury. Or a distracted driver could fail to...

What happens to a home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

It may be possible to keep your Ohio home after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, that will depend on how much equity that you have in the property. Furthermore, you'll need to remain current on your home loan to retain ownership of the property. Let's take a...

Visit Our Blog

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