Most of us carry some form of debt these days. Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and medical bills are some of the most common types of debt that Texans have. However, anyone with one or more payments overdue on a contract, service, or purchase may be subject to collection activity. Debt collection violations may occur if they violate the multitude of consumer-friendly laws in Texas.
Creditors have a variety of legal options and processes to collect what they are owed, including:
- Debt collection letters and phone calls
- Negative credit reporting that may lower your credit score
- Bank account and asset seizure
- File a Lawsuit over the debt
While creditors and their collection practices are covered by consumer protection laws, many of us know first-hand the lengths that debt collectors will go to in order to pursue payment. Phone calls at hours earlier or later than allowed by law, contacting employers or neighbors, verbal threats, misleading statements about the consequences of failing to pay the debt, and other forms of harassment are common tactics, even if they are illegal. There are many debt collection violations that can occur in the life of any debt.
Some creditors even refuse to consider financial hardship, illness or injury, loss of employment or other personal circumstances when offering payment arrangements to resolve a debt. Or they fail to offer any payment option at all, stating that they will only accept the full amount.
If creditors or collection agencies are pursuing you for payment of a debt, you’re certainly not alone. And you don’t have to face your creditors alone.
The J. Gannon Helstowski Law Firm believes that creditors should treat you with dignity and respect for your circumstances, rather than resorting to intimidation and scare tactics. Our services are designed to be convenient, affordable, and focused on discovering debt collection violations throughout the process.
Our team of Attorneys and paralegals can help you enforce your consumer rights by first making sure the debt is valid, owed, and they have the right to collect upon it. We understand debt collection violations and how to use them to your benefit. If a debt is valid, we negotiate a payment plan or settlement that will address your debt and protect your legal rights.
We do not make empty promises about magically erasing your debt or take a cookie-cutter approach to your case that offers few choices and limited options. Our services are tailored to meet your specific needs and based exclusively on your actual debts and current financial situation.
We will stand up for you and work closely with your creditors, leading to a fair and final resolution of your debt.
When you hire the J. Gannon Helstowski Law Firm:
A Consumer Credit Attorney and paralegal will be assigned to your case. Work will begin immediately and we will keep you informed of our progress. We do not waste time with a form letter sequence that has little or no effect. We contact your creditors (on our law firm letterhead) to obtain the documents we need to evaluate your debt with them to determine if they have the right to collect, the debt is valid, and the debt is owed. We may spot errors and collection violations of law that put you in a better position to negotiate with them. Based on our initial discovery, we will recommend a course of action that puts you first. If needed we will contact your creditor to negotiate a settlement. Some creditors will do a “pay for delete” which removes the account from the credit report completely. All settlements are entered in writing so our clients understand the terms of any agreement.
Creditors and debt collectors will no longer contact you. Once you hire an attorney, the law states that creditors and their debt collectors must speak and deal only with your attorney. This means those annoying collection phone calls will end, and no more threatening letters will be sent to your home or business.
If you have garnishments or liens, we will quickly address them. If the creditor has filed a wage garnishment, bank account lien, or property lien against you prior to settlement discussions, we will immediately begin working to have it released. We will negotiate with the creditor on your behalf and resolve the situation as soon as possible.
We will help you create an effective hardship letter. Our legal team will work with you to create a hardship letter that documents the reasons why creditors should consider your personal circumstances in determining a payment plan or even settling the debt for less than the amount originally owed. A good hardship letter gives details of a job loss, divorce, medical issues, or other events out of the ordinary that inhibits your ability to pay the full amount due.
We will make sure your credit report lists the debt paid in full. Once the debt is settled, credit-reporting bureaus are required to note the debt as paid on your credit report. That does not always happen, however, so we will monitor your credit report for accuracy, and ensure the correction is made to your credit file if an error exists.
Your rights will be protected. If we discover that a creditor or debt collector has taken actions against you that violate consumer protection laws, we will use every legal means required to address the situation. We can even file a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.