People often borrow money for homes, cars, and other personal uses. If they encounter difficulty in repaying, they may be forced by creditors to repay the loans.
Debtors have rights to protect themselves from being treated unfairly. They should know that different rights apply to different circumstances.
If you are being pursued by creditors, you need to know your rights. If you don’t, you might be compelled to pay a debt you are not obligated to pay. This might just get you deeper into debt.
An attorney who understands debtor law in Illinois may be able to help stop collections and other practices being made against you. An experienced lawyer can help you avoid further liability and find a path out of debt.
There are a few of the ways in which creditors can and will seek to recoup their capital. A debtor will have different rights in each circumstance. Here is a brief list:
- Garnishment – taking an amount of money out of a debtor’s wages, bank accounts, and/or other holdings. A creditor must win a judgment in court before using garnishment. Also, some income cannot be garnished, including Social Security, worker’s compensation, child support, and veterans’ benefits.
- Liens – a lien gives your creditor a stake in your property until you pay off a debt. If you do not satisfy your debt obligation, and the property encumbered by the lien gets sold, the lienholder’s debt will be repaid from the proceeds first.
- Collection and Repossession – taking of property by a creditor. Debtors’ have various rights to protect them against unfair treatment by creditors when repossessing property. Also, debtors are protected from aggressive collection tactics, with their legal rights guaranteed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
A debtor has clear rights under law in these and many more circumstances besides. For example, a debtor has the right to receive written notice from a collector shortly after initial contact is made by that collector. A debtor has the right to dispute a debt in writing and to ask for proof or validation of the debt. And a debtor may notify a collector in writing to cease communication, which will compel the collector to do so.
Debtors being pursued by collection agencies should know that these agencies are regulated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which limits what they can and cannot do in their attempts to collect a debt. Violation of this Act can be expensive for a collection agency. Debtors can recover fees and costs including attorneys’ fees, without having to prove they were damaged by the collector’s violation of the Act.
When you’ve fallen behind on your bills, the inevitable calls and letters attempting to collect that debt will start coming in. This is not the time to lose hope and despair. Rather, it’s a time when you need the sound advice and counsel of a knowledgeable attorney.
The Law Offices of EDWARD M. FARMER will be pleased to help you find protection under all applicable debtor’s rights according to law.
Edward M. Farmer is a U.S. Army veteran and an experienced VA attorney in DuPage County Illinois. The majority of his career has been dedicated to assisting veterans with legal issues nationwide. Call toll-free at 1 (800) 700-4174.
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