So, as you may have heard, Equifax (one of the three credit monitoring companies that we never agreed to let collect our data but have made a small fortune aggregating it and gatekeeping it), suffered a massive data breach in 2017. The breach effected 147 million people. The United States has a population of 325 million (248 million of which are adults), so a little bit under half of all people and well over half of the adult population.
If debt collectors or other businesses are calling or texting your cell phone without your permission or consent they may be violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Each phone call could be worth up to $1,500 in damages. Some companies or collection agencies will call 5 times a day for weeks at a time. The damages can add up quickly. If you are getting texts, calls, or faxes from debt collectors or other businesses, call me immediately and do not delete your call history. I might be able to help you.
You don't have to panic.
Student loans have become an iron anchor the size of the titanic around the ankles of many young (and middle-aged) people in the United States today. Many of these folks are being sued for private student loan debt. It’s a scary thought, being sued for tens of thousands of dollars for loans taken out when you were much younger and had no real way of knowing what the cost would actually be. I'm going to give those folks a little information about student loan lawsuits, the players, and how an attorney (like me) can help you.
If you have ever had the misfortune of dealing with a bad debt collector, you know that they can sometimes behave like they are untouchable. They go out of their way to make hard-working people who can’t pay their debts feel like dirt. They think they are untouchable because they rarely get challenged.
Can a debt collector call my cell phone?
Only if you let them. If they don't have permission, they might be violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Not many people know what the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is, what it says, or why it matters if they are getting called by debt collectors. Below is a short list of questions and answers regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. It is by no means exhaustive, but should provide a decent starting point for people with questions.
For people who have never filed for bankruptcy (and for lawyers that don't practice bankruptcy law), the actual mechanics of filing for bankruptcy are unknown. The goal of this post is to answer some common questions about filing from bankruptcy and to give you an idea of what a typical bankruptcy proceeding under Chapter 7 entails. We'll touch on Chapter 13 later.
Your phone ringing every day from the same number. You usually don’t pick it up because you know that it’s a debt collector. Every once in awhile, you answer the phone to confirm your suspicions. One of three things happens: the voice on the other end is recorded, there is a long pause before your are connected to someone, or the person at the other end immediately starts in with their spiel. You might receive 5 to 10 calls per day. They call while you are getting ready for work, while you are driving to work, on your lunch break, and after you get home for the night. They are persistent, you have to give them that.
A lot of people go into a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy not knowing much about how the process works. Today I am going to spend some time outlining what happens in a typical Chapter 7 case from consultaiton to discharge and beyond. This may not be how your case goes, as every case is different, but most Chapter 7 cases follow a very similar pattern through the bankruptcy court.