Is this Legal?

by Dave
(Virginia)

I have fallen behind on my debts and have begun trying to repay them as I can. I had a collection agency that said the were a law firm contact me for a debitor. After speaking to them I had inquired about if they offered a hardship program. They said that they could if I qualified but it had to go through the debitor. They told me to send them copies of all my bills, pay stubs, and a copy of my bank statement and they what see if I qualified. Reluctantly, I submitted the information because they said they would place a judgement against me which could result in garnishment. Long story short I later talked with the debitor themselves and told them that I was trying to apply for hardship program. The representative told me that they would not offer me the hardship and don't know why the collection people even told me that. Anyway I have given these people my info and feel that I was intentionally mislead. My question is can they legally do this??

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Dec 15, 2009
Debt collection pressure from law firm
by: Gerri

Dave,

We warn consumers in our e-book that debt collection law firms are required to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act just like any other collection agency. They don't get special treatment just because they are a law firm. That means that, among other things, they cannot make false statements when trying to collect a debt.

I agree that this whole "hardship program" prequalification conversation is suspicious. By definition nearly all debtors who are in collections are in hardship situations. Otherwise they would be able to pay their bills! (Hardship programs are usually offered through creditors, not collectors.)

The fact that the creditor also said they were unaware of any such program makes me suspicious that this is just an attempt to wrangle personal financial information from you that the collection agency then can use to try to collect.

Please call a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection matters immediately. If the collection agency law firm was breaking the law in their attempt to collect the debt, you may be able to sue them. If you win, you could be entitled to attorney's fees, as well as damages. The good news is that some attorneys will take your case on a contingent fee basis, which means they will not charge you anything unless you win.

You can talk with a consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Learn how to get low cost or FREE legal help with your debt collection problem here.

Please let us know what happens, OK?

Nov 06, 2011
judgement
by: Anonymous

If they were threatening to get a judgement against you and garnish your wages, they may have been breaking the law as well. An attorney would know for sure.

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