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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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Our Latest Blog Posts

What are the valid reasons to contest a will?

There are four reasons an Ohio judge will consider as grounds for invalidating a person's will. They include fraud, undue influence on the testator, and a lack of understanding on the part of the testator. Finally, if a will is not structured properly under state law,...

When might a spouse speak to a divorce attorney?

A marriage could become intolerable for both spouses, but that doesn't mean both partners rush to get a divorce. Those unable to reconcile problems in the marriage may eventually seek to dissolve the union. Since divorce requires completing a legal process under Ohio...

How probate works in Ohio

The death of a loved one brings challenging times and significant responsibilities for the family members left behind. If you have recently lost someone, you may have numerous questions about the probate process and what to expect. The details below may help you...

Tips for raising a child with a former spouse

In most cases, Ohio law will allow both parents to have relationships with their children after a divorce. Therefore, it's likely that you will interact with your former partner on a regular basis even after dissolving your marriage to that person. Fortunately, there...

What happens right after filing for personal bankruptcy?

Many people who are considering filing for bankruptcy in Ohio have read about what bankruptcy can do for them in the long term. After completing the whole bankruptcy process, most of your debts will probably be wiped clean, and you can then start the process of...

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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 valid reasons to contest a will?

There are four reasons an Ohio judge will consider as grounds for invalidating a person's will. They include fraud, undue influence on the testator, and a lack of understanding on the part of the testator. Finally, if a will is not structured properly under state law,...

When might a spouse speak to a divorce attorney?

A marriage could become intolerable for both spouses, but that doesn't mean both partners rush to get a divorce. Those unable to reconcile problems in the marriage may eventually seek to dissolve the union. Since divorce requires completing a legal process under Ohio...

How probate works in Ohio

The death of a loved one brings challenging times and significant responsibilities for the family members left behind. If you have recently lost someone, you may have numerous questions about the probate process and what to expect. The details below may help you...

Tips for raising a child with a former spouse

In most cases, Ohio law will allow both parents to have relationships with their children after a divorce. Therefore, it's likely that you will interact with your former partner on a regular basis even after dissolving your marriage to that person. Fortunately, there...

What happens right after filing for personal bankruptcy?

Many people who are considering filing for bankruptcy in Ohio have read about what bankruptcy can do for them in the long term. After completing the whole bankruptcy process, most of your debts will probably be wiped clean, and you can then start the process of...

Visit Our Blog

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