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Debt Collection Attorneys Long Island

People facing financial issues in Long Island, NY frequently confront debt collection activity. It is normally pushy and annoying but sometimes it becomes threatening. In those cases, the behavior is against the law and likely to push consumers into further hardship.

Debt collection attorneys at Gertler Law Group, LLC offer the skill and experience necessary to guide people through these difficulties. These are the types of matters we review for clients so they may proceed in a way that supports future success.

Debt Collection Harassment

debt collection

New York and federal law prohibit harassing and threatening conduct by collection agents. While you are unlikely to have a claim if the behavior only includes repeated telephone calls and persistence, there are practices that arise to illegal conduct.

State and federal law overlap as to this conduct. Prohibited debt collection practices include:

  • Threats of arrest or imprisonment;
  • False claims of association with a state or federal law enforcement agency;
  • Threats of immigration authority reports;
  • Insistence that the debtor committed a crime;
  • Threats of action that lead to eviction, wage garnishment or property attachment when those actions are not authorized;
  • Threats of violence;
  • Claims inflating the balance owed;
  • Calls before 8:00 AM or 9:00 PM;
  • Calls occurring more than twice a week;
  • Revealing debt information to family members or third parties; and
  • Assigning a debt to you that you do not owe.

If you face harassment at this level, make notes of collector statements after you finish telephone calls. Save voice and email messages where there are illegal or harassing claims. This will help you with possible claims against a collection agency.

Lawsuits

When you do not pay debts, the creditor has the right to sue you. Debt collection lawsuits state the amount owed and add interest—sometimes attorney fees. Facing a lawsuit is a disturbing experience for most people and you likely need a skilled attorney.

Attorneys review the lawsuit for incorrect information and assure you were served correctly. Irregularities may result in the dismissal of claims. You may also have defenses to the claims like identity theft, fraud or misrepresentation. If these counterclaims are successful, they can dismiss the lawsuit or at least reduce the balance owed.

You may be able to get a settlement that requires you only to pay a portion of the debt in return for stopping all collection activity. Basically, being served with a lawsuit does not end all remedies. There are still possibilities for resolving the matter.

Garnishment

Creditors may collect on debt by seizing bank accounts or a certain percentage of your wages. This causes substantial hardship. Buying groceries only to have a debit card declined may keep you from eating that week. When you struggle to pay day-to-day living expenses much less make debt payments, having your paycheck reduced by 25 percent will not make your situation easier.

Garnishments may be neutralized by filing an exemption or filing bankruptcy. There are circumstances where a garnishment cannot be enforced which emphasizes why consulting with an attorney is so important. You may be able to secure relief that makes it easier to survive.

Repossession or Foreclosure

Foreclosure applies to real estate when payments are behind. A creditor starts the proceedings to gain the right to sell the foreclosed real estate to cut their losses on the mortgage. The former property owner can then face a deficiency judgment if the amount the property sold is lower than the amount of the mortgage.

Repossession refers to a similar process with personal property. It usually involves auto loans. When you are behind on car payments, the creditor can repossess your vehicle and sell it to resolve the loan balance. These procedures almost always result in a deficiency judgment that remains owing even after you no longer own the car.

Debts can sometimes be renegotiated before foreclosure or repossession. This is more likely with foreclosure since creditors do not necessarily want to be realtors. With auto loans, this could be possible if new circumstances make the current payment schedule impossible.

Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option for all the situations listed above. Often referred to as a straight bankruptcy, it eliminates dischargeable debt so consumers may have a fresh start. It stops lawsuits, garnishments, and even foreclosure proceedings so you have time to work out these matters.

Bankruptcy is often a relief to people who faced hardship for a long time. It is often the best way to move forward.

The attorneys at Gertler Law Group, LLC are prepared to help you with your debt collection matters. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

 
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