Understanding Indiana collection laws can be a powerful way to protect yourself from aggressive creditors. Indiana’s collection laws are very simple to understand for the most part. Once you understand them, you will know when a creditor has went too far. Sometimes your legal rights and protections can be violated. You can even sue creditors and win judgments against them if they do not play by Indiana’s rules.
A good part of Indiana’s collection law can be traced back to a federal law that defines what is considered to be illegal creditor activity. This federal law is called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This law is in full force in Indiana, as it is in all other U.S. States.
This Fair Debts Act (FDCPA) applies to any “debt collector.” The original business that is owed the debt is not bound strictly by the FDCPA. The original creditor may have a little more freedom than a collection agency. However, original creditors must still show decency and always tell the truth. They can still be charged with crimes and violations, but not in as strict a standard as a “debt collector.”
Debt collectors are all businesses or persons who collect debts for another party. These usually simply end up being collection agencies. Although these agencies know the law very well, they still may frequently violate various aspects in their zealousness to collect their debts.
Creditors (especially collection agencies described above) are not allowed to do several things in Indiana to collect their debts. First, debt collectors cannot harass you. This includes giving false information or impressions, using foul language, threatening you in any way, or accusing you of false crimes. Debt collectors also cannot trick you into paying the debt or use any tactic to prevent you from seeking out an attorney. Deceptive and oppressive tactics are outlawed. Keep a record of all calls and what occurred during the call. You may even ask to make a recording of the call if a creditor is too aggressive.
Creditors in Indiana also cannot call you before 8:00 am or after 9:00 pm unless you ask them to do so. Creditors are also not supposed to tell others about your debt. They are also not allowed to contact your job if you instruct them that you are not allowed to receive calls at work.
Collection laws in Indiana also give you 4 methods for stopping collection calls in Indiana. The first three methods work a good part of the time. The final method works 100% every time.
The first three methods are similar. First, try notifying your creditor in writing to stop contacting you. Second, you could also try disputing the debt and demand proof sent to you that you actually owe money to the harassing creditor. The creditor is then obligated to send you paper copies that prove that you owe the debt. The third is even more powerful: get an attorney to represent you. Then, simply instruct any creditors calling you to only call your attorney instead of contacting you directly.
The final method is a 100% way of stopping collection calls: simply file for bankruptcy. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy stop all collection calls immediately. In fact, almost all forms of collection are stopped by filing a bankruptcy case. Usually, your debts are also fully eliminated at the end of the process. Remember, filing for bankruptcy is a complex process. It requires planning and the representation of a bankruptcy attorney to make sure you are carrying out the best plan possible to protect you from your creditors.
Looking for more help on stopping collections calls? Check out more about how to stop collections calls from Indiana Bankruptcy Attorney John Bymaster.