Many Americans are past due on their debts. This common financial struggle has only been amplified by the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has led to widespread job losses and pay cuts. Unfortunately, experts believe that debt collectors will only grow more aggressive in order to protect their bottom line as this health crisis continues.
It’s important to realize that you have rights as a debtor under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Under this act, you do not have to put up with harassment or abuse by debt collection agencies. In addition, debt collectors cannot provide you with false or misleading information.
You may need a debt collection lawyer in Chicago if:
- You have been contacted by a collection agency outside of the hours between 8 am and 9 pm
- You have been contacted at work by a debt collector
- You have received robocalls from a debt collector
- A debt collector has given you false or misleading information
- You have been threatened by a debt collector
- You have been the victim of abusive language or harassment, including receiving multiple calls per day from the same debt collection agency
You also have the right to validate your debt. If a debt collector contacts you about a debt that you don’t think is legitimate, request proof of this debt before paying anything. Also, if you request in writing for a debt collector to stop contacting you, they must do so in most cases.
Be aware, however, that if you do not pay a debt that you legitimately owe, you may risk being sued. Your credit report may also be negatively impacted.
Managing Debt During COVID-19
The federal government and many state governments have offered special protections to debtors during these unprecedented times. For example, individuals with federal student loans owned by the Department of Education (ED) have been relieved of their monthly payments from March 13 through September 30, 2020.
There are also emergency limits on debt collector actions during this time. Our attorneys can explain the protections that may be available to you in response to COVID-19.
Schedule a Debt Collection Rights Consultation Today
If you are being harassed by debt collectors or want to know more about your rights during the coronavirus outbreak, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced debt collection lawyers at Markoff Leinberger at 312-726-4162 today. We serve clients in the greater Chicago, Illinois area as well as nationwide.