Bankruptcy and Debt Collectors

Is the debt collector who is calling you lying or just does not know better?  The answer is that it does not matter.  A debt collector’s job is collecting debts.  Most debt collectors are not well paid, are required to make lots of calls and get little or nothing over their hourly wage for making the calls.  For this reason, the jobs have a lot of turnover
• Never speak to a debt collector unless you first get his or her name, phone number, address, date and time of call.  If the debt collector breaks the rules, I need to know who the person that called you was.  The date and time of the call is important because most collectors record the calls.  Almost always, the company denies that the rules were broken.  If there is a recording, we can subpoena the recording of the call and prove what was actually said.
• If you cannot understand what is being said tell them that and hang up.  If they call back, hang up again until they get someone on the phone who you can understand.
• Never agree that you owe the money.  You may, might, do not know or a lot of other responses are OK, but, never agree that you owe the money.  The statute of limitations may be extended by that admission.
• Never send $10.00 or some other small amount of money to “show your good faith”.  Doing so extends the statute of limitations.  You do not want to do that for reasons I will discuss in a different section.
• Remember, he debt collector who is calling you on the phone is not your friend.  The debt collectors job is to wheedle out of you any money you have.
• If you use what assets you have, that may make it even harder to start your new life over. How do you borrow money or sell an asset to start a new business if you have no collateral?
• Congress has put in place something called exemptions as have most states.   The purpose of exemptions is to make sure that you have sufficient assets to start over with.  However, that does not mean that you get to keep your house or car in all cases or, in fact, in many cases.
• Do not pay the debt collector anything until you have the advice of competent counsel.
• In South Carolina, most creditors cannot garnish your wages or put you in jail for not paying them or even for bouncing a check to them that was payment on an existing account.  You must know your rights and only an attorney such as Nathan Davis can properly advise you.

About Nathan Davis, Esquire

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Nathan Davis has been practicing law for many years. Mr. Davis has a wide variety of experiences having practiced domestic relations, criminal law, social security law having also practiced collection law in the past. This knowledge is helpful when someone needs to restart their financial life. The practice is now primarily bankruptcy and debtor representation work, but, Mr. Davis continues to also practice real estate law, trusts and estates and a general litigation practice. I believe that the most important part of representation is trying to leave you better off when the case is finished than when you started. Although I will do as my client directs, I will always tell you if I think that you are making a mistake. Bankruptcy is about a "fresh start". If you do not make changes in what you are doing, you will be doing what you are doing now in the future. There is no shame in bankruptcy or other steps that you may take to start your life over. Too often, people worry more about things than about themselves, their family or their future.
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