Businesses Tips for The Average Joe
Job Functions of a Debt Collections Lawyer
Under the law, debtors have a right not to be harassed or even embarrassed by debt collectors during the course of the debt collection period; therefore, a debtor, who is facing default and is being confronted by hostile phone calls or illegal debt collection tactics from the debt collector, may hire legal representation to protect his/her rights and end the harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1996 requires collectors to identify themselves prior to any communication with the debtors, such that collectors cannot call before 8 AM or after 9 PM, cannot call the debtor at work, and, at the same time, the Act prohibits profane language to be used, threats of violence, constant phone calls, or insinuation that non-payment of debt will result in imprisonment.
As soon as the debtor hires legal representation to stop the harassment, including the illegal collection tactics, the debt collections lawyer will perform the following undertakings: sending a “cease and desist” letter demanding the creditor to stop making hostile phone calls and informing the creditor not to make erroneous information on the credit report; then, the lawyer will advise the debtor to keep log on phone calls or other forms of contact by the collector or by the debtor to the collector and seeing to it that there is a witness to all the phone calls made – the logging in of calls is for the purpose of developing an evidence of harassment and in the log, the name of the caller, title or position of the caller, date, and duration of call must be all recorded.
It is important, as a primary duty of a debt collections lawyer, to meet first and discuss with his client on the debt situation and what the client would like him to achieve with the legal representation, such as the client may want to look for a payment plan arrangement or may want to discharge the debt right away, and that in the process of performing his duty, the lawyer must make certain that the client is prepared and willing to do something about the debts owed. The debt collections lawyer can negotiate on behalf of his client on the following situations: if his client would like to discharge right away his debt, the lawyer can negotiate with the creditor, on the basis of immediate payment, to lower the payoff amount or if the client would like to have a payment plan arrangement, the lawyer can explore options with the creditor to a monthly payment that is favorable to the client. If the debt situation of the client is difficult to pay off, sometimes, declaring bankruptcy is the only option, to which if the lawyer is not experienced in the bankruptcy law, he should refer the client to another lawyer who is an expert in this kind of law.Doing Services The Right Way