Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Fair Debt Collection Help Articles – The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg

Check out the latest news.

Which Debt Should I Pay Off First?

November 27, 2013 | By | No Comments

Is there a best debt to pay off first in order to get the most of your credit score?

If you’re preparing to combat a mountain of debt you have one of two goals: you’re simply looking to get out of debt, or you also wish to increase your credit score in the process. If you’re one of those who is concerned about improving their credit score, approaching your debt can be even more overwhelming. Here are a couple of tips for paying off your debt while trying to improve your credit score.

StockMoneys

Pay Off Past-Due Accounts
If you have accounts that are past due but haven’t quite made it into collections, pay them off first. For example, if you missed a month’s installment on your car loan payment and your account is reported as late, you should take care of the payment as soon as possible to ensure that your account is reported as current. By bringing all past-due accounts up to speed you could improve your credit score. Keep in mind that some loans, such as car loans, are hypersensitive to missed payments. If you have an outstanding balance for a lengthy period your car has the potential to be repossessed, which will take a toll on your credit score. Make payment arrangements for accounts that will soon be turned over to collections, for example accounts that have an outstanding balance over 90 days. The more you can avoid any additional collection accounts, the more it will probably help your credit score.

Take On Accounts with the Highest Annual Percentage Rate
Many people pay debt with lower balances first because it makes them feel like they’re making progress. In reality, it may make more financial sense to combat debt with the highest annual percentage rate first. You might want to start by paying debt with the highest interest rate. Keep in mind that the amount you owe could be insignificant if you’re paying off a high amount of interest on top of it.

18 Nov

By

No Comments

Debt is a Downer

November 18, 2013 | By | No Comments

Debt is ranked as one of the most stress-inducing life events. Check out these tips for coping with the stress that comes along with debt.

It’s no surprise that debt influences your daily life, but did you know that it is ranked as one of the most stress-inducing life events? According to the WebMD article titled The Effects of Stress on Your Body, stress can contribute to poor physical health, causing symptoms such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, asthma, anxiety, and even depression. To ensure that your physical and emotional health doesn’t suffer, check out these simple tips to better cope with debt-related stress.

Be Honest: The first step in dealing with debt-related issues is to be honest with yourself and your loved ones about your debt. The more you push the issue away and pretend it isn’t there, the more anxiety you will feel. Take the time to sit down with your loved ones and explain your situation to them. This will not only help you to accept your debt, but it will help you to move forward in dealing with it.

Stop Spending: According to the TIME article “Psych Study: When You’re Bummed, You’re More Likely To Buy,” a 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showed that people are more likely to shop when they’re feeling insecure about themselves. Through a series of studies, researchers found that people consume also to help feel better about themselves when they’re experiencing emotional pain. While there’s nothing wrong with feeling a little self pity, shopping with debt is one of the worst actions to take. The more you shop, the more debt you accumulate. Eventually it becomes a never-ending cycle. It’s important to find other activities that distract you from your stress – hopefully ones that are free.

Be More Active: Exercise and physical activity is a positive way to escape the stress you may be experiencing. Regardless of whether you choose to run, do yoga or go on a bike ride, all exercise increases your endorphins, which make you happy. Exercise is also a great technique for escaping negative thoughts and focusing on something more positive, such as bettering your health.

Pay It Off: While it is obvious, it is also important — develop a plan for paying off your long-term debt. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I will pay it off,” but actually taking the steps to do so requires organization and patience. By creating a payment plan that is attainable with your current income, you can eventually pay off your debt. Once you put it down in writing, you will soon be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

RunningCombatStress

Photo Courtesy of David D, via Flickr

Texting To Collect?

November 7, 2013 | By | No Comments

In recent news, a debt collector was fined for contacting indebted consumers via text message, which was found to be illegal. Legally — how can and can’t debt collectors contact you?

LuxLevinText

In late September the Federal Trade Commission settled its first debt collection case related to improper text messaging. While this wasn’t the first time an incident like this had occurred, its publicity left many concerned about the extent to which Debt Collectors will go to reach consumers. According to a national consumer complaint database managed by the FTC, incidents related to text messaging scams more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. Although text messaging is often used for communication, it can be an illegal method for Debt Collectors to contact consumers.

Under Federal Law, Debt Collectors may contact you through mail, phone, fax telegram or in person. Debt Collectors are also allowed to contact third parties to find out the location of a consumer they are pursuing, however it is illegal for them to indicate the consumer may owe debt. Here are a more few ways in which Debt Collectors cannot legally contact you:

  • Debt Collectors may not contact you at an inconvenient or unreasonable place, including at work if you’ve previously told them you cannot take calls at work
  • Debt Collectors may not contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Debt Collectors may not contact you publically through social media such as Facebook or Twitter

At The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg, our lawyers specialize in protecting people from aggressive debt collection agencies. If you or someone you know is being illegally contacted by a debt collector give us a call at (877) 861-3746.  Our case review is always free, and if you have a case we can handle, we do not charge you any attorneys’ fees for our time.  Our fees are paid by the debt collector.

Photo By: Nate Steiner 

01 Nov

By

No Comments

Debt Collection Scams on the Rise

November 1, 2013 | By | No Comments

DeathScams

Recent reports from the The Better Business Bureau says that debt collection scams are up 18 percent compared to 2012. It is highly advisable for consumers to keep a watchful eye out for fake collectors to avoid their scams.

Those who have experienced the scams have reported that they have received phone calls stating that they need to pay a loan they never had, or they owe more than the loan they really do have and/or they still owe for a loan that was already paid off. When speaking to debt collectors, in order to determine whether or not they are legitimate, watch for the following things:

  • Phone calls trying to collect payment on a debt you do not recognize

  • The caller refuses to provide you with their own contact information

  • They will not give you the full name and address of their company (i.e. they only give initials)

  • Persistent requests for personal financial or sensitive information

  • High pressure tactics designed to scare you, like saying you could get into legal trouble if you do not pay immediately

These people calling and impersonating debt collectors may be putting consumers at high risk for identity theft. Never give out your personal information to people you do not know, or of whom you are suspicious of.  Most importantly, do not give out your bank account or credit card information to pay an alleged debt if you do not believe the collector contacting you is legitimate.

If you’ve been dealing with debt collectors, real or fake, because of your consumer debt, you are not alone. Call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case.

Photo by: David

Photo by: Slub

Paying the Debts of a Deceased Relative

October 30, 2013 | By | No Comments

Debt chalk
Paying the Debts of a Deceased Relative: Who is Responsible?

Losing a loved one is never easy, but adding financial stresses to the mix can make things even more difficult.

When a loved one passes away, and they still have debts that need to be paid off, it can be difficult to determine how they are to be paid.

In order to have these debt paid off, a debt collector may contact anyone responsible for paying a deceased person’s debts. However, you should not simply pay just because a debt collector contacts you.  Many collectors attempt to put pressure on individual family members to pay debts of the deceased which are not their legal responsibility.

Typically, the debts of a person who has passed away are paid out of the person’s estate. If the deceased had a will, that document usually identifies the party responsible for settling affairs, including the payment of debts. If there is no will, a court may appoint someone to be responsible for settling the estate. Under a different circumstance, if you had been a cosigner on a loan with your deceased loved one, you may be equally responsible for the debt.

Questions about responsibility for a debt should always be taken up with an attorney.

If you’ve been dealing with debt collectors because of your debt, you are not alone. Call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case.

Photo by: Images Money

28 Oct

By

No Comments

Protecting Your Privacy When in Debt

October 28, 2013 | By | No Comments

keep out

Ever have the tense, stressful feeling of concern that your personal financial information might be shared with others by debt collectors?

Fortunately for consumers, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects private information from being shared. The FDCPA says “discussions” about the debt can only be held with:

  • The Individual
  • The Creditor
  • An Attorney representing one of the parties
  • A Credit Bureau

It is illegal for debt collectors to try to shame you into paying your debt by contacting any other third parties and sharing your private financial information.

  • Debt collectors cannot exchange (with other agencies) information about individuals who allegedly owe a debt.
  • Cannot distribute a list of alleged debtors to its creditor subscribers.
  • Cannot compile a list of debtors for sale to others.
  • Cannot leave messages with third parties, asking them to have the debtor call the collector.  An exception to this rule allows debt collectors to contact third parties to obtain contact information for a debtor whom the collector does not know how to reach, so long as they do not disclose the reason for the call (collection of a debt).

If you’ve been dealing with debt collectors because of your credit card, student loan, medical or other consumer debt, you are not alone. Call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case.

Photo by: Zach Klein

AreDebtCollectorsFacebookFriendingYou

October 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

social mediaIn a world of constantly tweeting what you are doing, and updating your Facebook status about where you are, it is no surprise that debt collectors have begun to use social media to collect information on those whose debts they are trying to collect.

Debt collectors are using social channels like Facebook and Twitter to locate debtors, or to get information about their personal assets. They have been knows to set up fake profile to befriend their targets, impersonate real “friends,” or engage in harassment, such as posting messages advertising that the person owes a debt. All and any contact through social channels is considered to be harassment that violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

One The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg client found out that a debt collector had contacted several of her Facebook friends. He offered one of them $200 if she would convince our client to pay the alleged debt. The woman, an old friend from high school who had not spoken to our client in quite some time, contacted her to warn her. To make matters worse, the debt collector already knew where and how to contact our client. He was simply trying to put pressure on her by contacting her Facebook contacts.

In order to protect yourself, it is always best to keep your privacy settings high, and not allow those you do not know to view your profile, or to become your virtual friend. By keeping your personal information private, you are protecting yourself from debt collectors potentially viewing your profile.

If you’ve been dealing with debt collectors because of your credit card debt, or any other type of consumer debt, you are not alone. Call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case.

Photo By: Jason Howie

23 Oct

By

No Comments

Can Debt Collectors Call Your Employer?

October 23, 2013 | By | No Comments

Can a collection agency contact my boss? Can a collection agency send legal documents to my employer? Can a collection agency call me at work? These are all questions that may have crossed your mind when being contacted by debt collectors who try to intimidate and embarrass you into paying off your debt.
phones

A debt collector may contact anyone other than you, but only to find out where you live or your telephone number. This includes your boss, coworkers or any other contacts at your place of work. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not allow a debt collector to disclose the name of the company from which he or she is calling, unless the person on the other end of the line asks. However, under no circumstances can a debt collector ever disclose to a third party that you owe a debt Furthermore, if the debt collector already knows how to get in contact with you, they should not be communicating with any third parties at all. On exception to this rule would be if the debt collector is sending legal documents to your employer connected with a proper wage garnishment.

The FDCPA also provides that a collector cannot call you at work if it has reason to know that your employer does not allow you to receive personal phone calls. If you are first called at home, make sure to tell the collection agency that they cannot call you at your place of employment. It is always best to follow up with a written request as well. If the debt collector calls you at work, make it very clear that you cannot take their calls while you are working.
If you’ve been dealing with debt collectors because of your debt, you are not alone. Call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case.

Photo by: Justin Brockie

21 Oct

By

No Comments

The Hospital Hassle: Paying Medical Bills

October 21, 2013 | By | No Comments

A single visit to the emergency room can cost you thousands of dollars, which can make paying your bills and balancing your budget difficult. Although hospitals would prefer for patients to pay up front, or settle on old bills, that often is not easily done.
hospital

To receive payment on these costly healing visits, most doctors and hospitals have turned to debt collectors. There are many large collection agencies which specialize in collecting nothing but medical debt. Some hospitals have turned to have debt collectors working onsite, who pose as employees, or at least do not make it clear that they are debt collectors. The goal is to encourage patients to make payments, or encourage them to get medical care elsewhere.

MPRnews has reported, in recent months,heathcare providers have been sued for violating federal privacy laws because they were in possession of a laptop that contained a list of personal records of over 23,000 patients. The information was used to create “stop lists” to help staff stall patients from receiving emergency care. Hospital employees were instructed to run through a prepared script to make patients believe that they would not get medical treatment until payment was made. After legal action was taken, the hospital stated that they would look into the practice of having “aggressive contractors” confronting hospital patients and not being transparent about the fact that they are actually debt collectors.

If you’ve been dealing with debt collectors, real or fake, because of your medical debt, or any other type of consumer debt, you are not alone. Call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you. You can also complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review. The debt collector has to pay your legal fees so you’ll be charged nothing for your case.

Photo by: Tompagenet

20 Oct

By

No Comments

3 Things That Can Kill The Holiday Spirit and What We Can Help You Do About Them

October 20, 2013 | By | No Comments

stress free zone (2)

1. Annoying Calls and Letters from Debt Collectors

We buy things, we pay our bills. However, even the best of us can have a bill or two fall through the cracks. Student loans, medical bills, credit card charges for holiday gifts and travel… All of these can result in annoying calls and letters from debt collectors. Especially during the holidays, when we’re all busy trying to enjoy time with our friends and family, having a debt collector or collection agency harassing you can really put a damper on your holiday spirit.

If you are being harassed, made to feel uncomfortable, or contacted by debt collectors in any way, please call us at (877) 846-1209, or fill out our form for a free case review. We will review your situation for free. There’s no cost or obligation to you for our consultation. If the debt collector is in violation of state and/or federal laws, you could be entitled to money damages. That’s right, turn the tables and make them pay you! They also have to pay your attorneys’ fees, so there is no charge to you for our time in handling your case.

2. Driving a Lemon

The simplest way to find out if your car is a “lemon” is to call us at (877) 846-1209 and speak to one of our lemon law attorneys, or fill out our form for a free lemon case review.

You may be thinking, “I know there is a lemon law in my state, but how do I know whether it applies to my vehicle?” As is often the case with the law, there is no simple answer to that question because the laws in every state are different. While we are always willing to provide a free review of your situation to see if you might qualify, generally we are interested in reviewing vehicles which were purchased new (or used but still under the manufacturer’s warranty), and which have been repaired at least three times or have been out of service by reason of repair for 20 days or longer.

Our lawyers have successfully negotiated thousands of claims with the automotive manufacturers and their lawyers. Our experience has helped us become successful at a wide variety of different lemon law cases. Whether you have a defective car, truck, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, ATV, camper, boat or other consumer product, we’re eager to hear about your situation.

3. Traffic Tickets

Millions and millions of people across the country will receive traffic tickets this year, mostly for speeding. As many as 95% of these tickets are not contested. Traffic tickets are big business for local courts and governments. Some cities generate millions of dollars a year from traffic ticket fines. Some smaller rural towns can generate most of their operating budgets from the money they earn through traffic tickets.

Most people take the path of least resistance and just pay their fines, thinking it is not worth the trouble to contest their tickets. Before you just pay up, consider that your traffic ticket could cost you a lot more than just the fine you pay. Traffic convictions and guilty pleas can result in increases in your insurance premiums of up to 50% or more.
If you get a ticket in Ohio, we can help you negotiate a lower fine (or in some cases no fine) and fewer or no points on your driving record. If your case must go to trial, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to give you the best possible chance to beat your traffic or speeding ticket. Our firm is only able to provide this service in Ohio.

We represent consumers around the country in a variety of cases, including claims involving debt collection abuses, credit reporting violations, unsolicited telephone calls, “lemon law” and breach of warranty cases for defective vehicles and other products, consumer fraud, traffic and misdemeanor criminal defense (Ohio only), and other general litigation. Even if we cannot help you, we will make every effort to put you in contact with another attorney who can.

Please visit the following web sites for more information:

www.FairDebtCollectionHelp.com

www.LemonLawyersUSA.com

www.OhioTrafficTicketHelp.com

Or call us at either (877) 846-1209 or (877) 846-1209 to speak to one of our attorneys. We are here for you!

Photo by: Michael