Suttell Hammer & White Debt Settlement[yoast-breadcrumb]
Getting Help with Debt Collection
Debt collection can be scary and overwhelming. Creditors calling nonstop, letters demanding payment in full, threats of lawsuits – it’s enough to make anyone feel anxious and defeated. But there’s hope. You can take back control of your finances with the help of experienced debt collection defense attorneys.
At Suttell Hammer & White, we understand how stressful debt collection can be. We’re here to help you understand your rights under state and federal law so you can respond appropriately to collection efforts. Our attorneys have successfully defended thousands of clients against unfair collection practices. And we can help you too.
Common Debt Collection Issues
Some of the most common debt collection problems our clients face include:
- Calls at inappropriate times like before 8am or after 9pm
- Threats to garnish your wages or seize property when they can’t legally do that yet
- Failing to send the required written notice about the debt
- Contacting you after you sent a cease and desist letter
- Reporting invalid information to credit bureaus
- Suing for time-barred debts where the statute of limitations has expired
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and state laws, collectors can’t harass you or make false or misleading statements. But many still do! That’s where we come in.
How We Can Help
Here are some of the ways we commonly assist clients dealing with debt collection:
- Review your situation and explain your rights/options
- Draft cease and desist letters to make collectors stop contacting you
- Dispute invalid debts or inaccurate information on your credit reports
- Negotiate debt settlements for a fraction of what you owe
- Defend against lawsuits over time-barred debts
- Sue collectors for illegal practices like excessive calls
We offer a free consultation to review your case. Then we can discuss representation options if you want to move forward fighting back.
Common Defenses Against Debt Collection
Here are some of the most effective defenses we use to protect clients from unfair collection practices:
|Defense||What It Means|
|Disputing the debt||You don’t legally owe the amount claimed and can force the collector to validate the debt. See this CFPB article.|
|FDCPA violations||Collector broke federal law related to calls, notices, disclosures, etc. You can sue for $1,000+ in statutory damages. See FDCPA overview.|
|Time-barred debts||The statute of limitations has expired so it’s illegal for them to sue you. See this article.|
|Identity theft||You aren’t responsible for debts incurred by someone illegally using your identity. See the FTC’s guide.|
As you can see, the law provides many protections if collectors are treating you unfairly. Don’t let them intimidate you – we can help you fight back.
The Debt Collection Process
Here’s a quick overview of the typical debt collection process so you know what to expect:
- Original creditor tries to collect but gives up after 6-12 months of nonpayment
- Account gets sold to a collection agency for pennies on the dollar
- Collectors start calling and sending letters/notices about the debt
- If you don’t pay, they threaten lawsuits and try leveraging fear
- They may sue you themselves or sell the debt to another agency
- Court judgments allow garnishment of wages, bank accounts, etc. if you lose
This cycle can go on for years. Collectors buy and sell debts hoping to collect eventually. But the older a debt gets, the less leverage they have. And the more opportunities you have to defend yourself if they violate the law.
Finding the Right Debt Help
If you’re struggling with debt collectors, consider these tips for finding the right help:
- Look for debt defense experience – Many attorneys simply do “bankruptcy” but you want someone familiar with defending collection lawsuits.
- Read reviews – Check Google, Facebook, Avvo, etc. to see what past clients say about working with the attorney/firm.
- Compare fees – Debt settlement fees should be around 20-25% of enrolled debt, not higher.
- Meet your attorney – Always talk with the actual attorney before hiring to ensure it’s a good fit.
The right help can make all the difference in effectively managing debt collection. At Suttell Hammer & White, our experienced team has the knowledge and dedication to defend your rights at every step of the process. Contact us today for a free case review!