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Just Stop! How to Stop Those Harassing Calls from Debt Collectors

By: Matthew H. Fry, Esquire

Has a debt collector repeatedly called you regarding a credit card or other household debt?  Has it threatened to garnish your wages or refused to provide you with proof that you owe money?  If a debt collector is making harassing or improper phone calls, a federal law called the Debt Collection Practices Act may help you get those calls to stop, and can even get you fair compensation  from the debt collector.

The Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from harassing or improper phone calls by debt collectors trying to collect on consumer debts.  This law does not apply to business debts.

A consumer contacted by a debt collector has a right to request proof of the debt and can direct the debt collector to stop calling.

In addition, a debt collector cannot make any misrepresentation to you about the debt owed, like threatening to file a lawsuit if it has no intention of doing so.  It also cannot make any misrepresentation about what it can do if you do not pay.  For example, any debt collector who contacts you in Pennsylvania and says that your wages will be garnished has violated the law, since wage garnishment is not permitted in Pennsylvania to collect on consumer debts.

In addition, a debt collector generally may not contact your employer or anyone else about your debt, except to obtain “location information” such as your home address.  Any information disclosed about any debts to others could also be a violation of the law.

A debt collector who violates the law may be obligated to pay up to $1,000 for each violation, plus any additional losses that it causes.  The consumer can also get her attorney’s fees paid by the debt collector for a successful claim.

If you are a victim of harassing or improper phone calls from debt collectors, the attorneys at the Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP can help.  Contact Matthew H. Fry, Esquire at 610-565-5700, or send him an e-mail at [email protected]


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The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP, is located in Media, PA and serves clients in and around Media, Glen Riddle Lima, Brookhaven, Wallingford, Newtown Square, Lenni, Springfield, Swarthmore, Chester, Aston, Bryn Mawr, Morton, Woodlyn, Broomall, Gradyville, Folsom, Chester Heights, Crum Lynne, Glen Mills, Marcus Hook, Ridley Park, Drexel Hill, Marple, Bethel, Garnet Valley, Chadds Ford Concord, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County.

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