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

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Amy M. Levine
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What are the penalties for a first-time OVI in Ohio?

You may have been out on a Friday night with a few friends and had a few beers to celebrate. Or you go to your family’s holiday party and drink one too many spiked eggnogs or cocktails. Before you know it, on your way home, police pull you over. Maybe you were...

5 tips for those considering bankruptcy and divorce

While divorce and bankruptcy are both considered chances for couples to move toward a fresh, exciting future, the two legal processes can overlap and ultimately harm each other. It is wise to research your options and learn more about the challenges you might face....

The difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Deciding to apply for bankruptcy is a significant decision. Bankruptcy can free a person from financial struggles and grant them the ability to clean their slate. The decision to apply for bankruptcy is a big decision, but it is not the only one someone needs to...

Signs marriage may be heading for divorce

When a marriage is in trouble, the spouses can either work to fix it or prepare for divorce. In a delicate situation like that, acting first can have a significant advantage. Recognizing the signs of a marriage in trouble can give a spouse the time they need to...

Comparing personal bankruptcy options

When you think of bankruptcy, what comes to mind? Is it financial salvation? Probably not. More than likely, thoughts of overwhelming debt and wondering how you will recover from this financial pitfall without descending into financial ruin are filling your mind....

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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

What are the penalties for a first-time OVI in Ohio?

You may have been out on a Friday night with a few friends and had a few beers to celebrate. Or you go to your family’s holiday party and drink one too many spiked eggnogs or cocktails. Before you know it, on your way home, police pull you over. Maybe you were...

5 tips for those considering bankruptcy and divorce

While divorce and bankruptcy are both considered chances for couples to move toward a fresh, exciting future, the two legal processes can overlap and ultimately harm each other. It is wise to research your options and learn more about the challenges you might face....

The difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Deciding to apply for bankruptcy is a significant decision. Bankruptcy can free a person from financial struggles and grant them the ability to clean their slate. The decision to apply for bankruptcy is a big decision, but it is not the only one someone needs to...

Signs marriage may be heading for divorce

When a marriage is in trouble, the spouses can either work to fix it or prepare for divorce. In a delicate situation like that, acting first can have a significant advantage. Recognizing the signs of a marriage in trouble can give a spouse the time they need to...

Comparing personal bankruptcy options

When you think of bankruptcy, what comes to mind? Is it financial salvation? Probably not. More than likely, thoughts of overwhelming debt and wondering how you will recover from this financial pitfall without descending into financial ruin are filling your mind....

Visit Our Blog

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