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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Contact a divorce lawyer early to gain an advantage

Setting an appointment with an Ohio divorce lawyer may make you feel like you've given up on your marriage. However, doing so at that first sign that your marriage might be ending could give you a significant advantage if you decide to get divorced. Information...

Three things you should photograph after an accident

A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye and leave a victim in a perplexed state. It can be hard to remember what you should do after an accident, and failing to take some crucial steps can cost you. A car accident can cost thousands of dollars if medical...

Looking out for yourself in ‘gray’ divorce situations

Although there were years of understanding between you and your spouse, you noticed changes in your relationship. These changes were less-than-subtle. Exclusion. Abruptly, you found yourself attending fewer country club-related social functions with your spouse. Cut...

The duties of an estate’s executor

If you have been named the executor of a loved one's estate, you will have a big responsibility to perform someday. Before your family member passes away, you should know exactly what it means to be an executor in Ohio: what your duties will be and what can happen....

Mistakes after a car accident

A car accident can be a harrowing experience, and individuals may say or do things after a car accident that are problematic for them in the future. Drivers in Ohio and elsewhere should keep a few common mistakes in mind so that they can protect themselves after being...

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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

Contact a divorce lawyer early to gain an advantage

Setting an appointment with an Ohio divorce lawyer may make you feel like you've given up on your marriage. However, doing so at that first sign that your marriage might be ending could give you a significant advantage if you decide to get divorced. Information...

Three things you should photograph after an accident

A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye and leave a victim in a perplexed state. It can be hard to remember what you should do after an accident, and failing to take some crucial steps can cost you. A car accident can cost thousands of dollars if medical...

Looking out for yourself in ‘gray’ divorce situations

Although there were years of understanding between you and your spouse, you noticed changes in your relationship. These changes were less-than-subtle. Exclusion. Abruptly, you found yourself attending fewer country club-related social functions with your spouse. Cut...

The duties of an estate’s executor

If you have been named the executor of a loved one's estate, you will have a big responsibility to perform someday. Before your family member passes away, you should know exactly what it means to be an executor in Ohio: what your duties will be and what can happen....

Mistakes after a car accident

A car accident can be a harrowing experience, and individuals may say or do things after a car accident that are problematic for them in the future. Drivers in Ohio and elsewhere should keep a few common mistakes in mind so that they can protect themselves after being...

Visit Our Blog

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