The pandemic has caused Great Depression levels of financial distress, but that doesn’t mean big corporations are planning on halting their collection efforts. If anything, they seem to be trying to step them up.
Now is the time to be watchful, and to be ready to protect yourself if necessary.
The only thing debt collectors see when they see a stay-at-home order is, “Oh good, more people are available for us to call.“
Not that calling is the only tool in their toolbox. The law has upheld their right to text and email borrowers for some time. They’re getting increasingly invasive in their attempts to get money.
Fortunately, the law also offers tools for making the debt collectors leave you alone. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says that you can make them stop calling you simply by writing them a letter asking them to contact you by US Post, and by no other method.
Send it certified mail so they can’t claim not to receive it.
Keep in mind that doing this will not stop them from suing you should they decide that suing you is necessary.
New York hasn’t done anything to stop debt collectors from launching lawsuits against borrowers. Many people are already facing financial stress and strain thanks to the pandemic, but this doesn’t stop these companies from doing their best to garnish wages.
If a debt company successfully sues you then you can use 10% of your gross wages or 25% of your disposable income, to the extent this amount exceeds 30% of minimum wage. If your disposable income is less than 30% times minimum wage it can’t be garnished, but “disposable” is a term that can be argued.
Debt collectors have to serve you before they can sue you, so theoretically you would know a lawsuit is incoming. If you do get served, you should take immediate steps to address the situation. You’ll need a lawyer to either help you fight the lawsuit or to help you declare bankruptcy.
Do you need help?
You don’t have to sit back and let yourself be bullied by debt collectors, either over the phone or in the courts. We can help you put a stop to all collection activity via the automatic stay.
The automatic stay ends lawsuits, phone calls, repossessions, and foreclosures.
Bankruptcy will then help you get rid of many of these debts for good, giving you time to downsize or reorganize your life as appropriate.
Need help? Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
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