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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Our Latest Blog Posts

Man found guilty of defrauding Medicaid of $2 million

On April 27, a 57-year-old Ohio man was found guilty of health care fraud and several other charges related to a Medicaid billing scheme. According to prosecutors, the man received around $2 million in fraudulent reimbursements from Medicaid. Billing for X-rays that...

Medical debt is the top cause of bankruptcy filings

Medical debt is the No. 1 reason that people file for bankruptcy. An abrupt illness can lead to excessive medical bills that are even difficult to pay for people who have full-time jobs and health insurance. The medical debt factor has been on the minds of many people...

Understanding the Ohio probate process

It's a good idea to take the time to draw up a will if you haven't already. This document lets you leave money and assets to your family, friends and selected charities. If you don't leave a will, your estate may be subject to laws that determine how your estate is...

Signs a divorce may be right for you

Nobody gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but it may be right for some couples. Even though 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, many more couples turn a blind eye to the signs they divorce may be the best option for themselves....

What should you do after a car crash in Ohio?

Being in a car accident can leave you confused and not knowing what to do next. However, it is important to know what steps to take in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Being decisive after a car accident can also help you get compensated for...

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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

Man found guilty of defrauding Medicaid of $2 million

On April 27, a 57-year-old Ohio man was found guilty of health care fraud and several other charges related to a Medicaid billing scheme. According to prosecutors, the man received around $2 million in fraudulent reimbursements from Medicaid. Billing for X-rays that...

Medical debt is the top cause of bankruptcy filings

Medical debt is the No. 1 reason that people file for bankruptcy. An abrupt illness can lead to excessive medical bills that are even difficult to pay for people who have full-time jobs and health insurance. The medical debt factor has been on the minds of many people...

Understanding the Ohio probate process

It's a good idea to take the time to draw up a will if you haven't already. This document lets you leave money and assets to your family, friends and selected charities. If you don't leave a will, your estate may be subject to laws that determine how your estate is...

Signs a divorce may be right for you

Nobody gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but it may be right for some couples. Even though 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, many more couples turn a blind eye to the signs they divorce may be the best option for themselves....

What should you do after a car crash in Ohio?

Being in a car accident can leave you confused and not knowing what to do next. However, it is important to know what steps to take in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Being decisive after a car accident can also help you get compensated for...

Visit Our Blog

Contact Us For A
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