Debt Collection Questions and Answers
I was served a lawsuit by a debt collector, debt buyer or creditor. What should I do?
- Call us for a free consultation. If you live outside Iowa, go to the web site of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and find a collection defense attorney in your state.
- Do not default on the lawsuit without talking to a qualified attorney.
- Do not call the debt collector and give them where you work, bank or other financial information without talking to a qualified attorney first.
- Do not use a debt settlement company. For many people, that has been like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
- Do not rely on internet information without considering the source. A lot of it is wrong and it can cost you money. Even with my web site, I need to know your individual circumstances before I can give you legal advice. One size does not fit all. Call or e-mail us.
- Filing your own answer to a lawsuit is generally better than no answer at all, but consult with an attorney before deciding to represent yourself. We offer a free consultation.
I am being harassed by a debt collector, what should I do?
- Contact us for a free consultation. Not all harassment is the same. It depends who is calling, who they are calling, how ofter, what is being said or even whether you are answer ing the phone.
- Keep a call log of who called, the date, and what they said during the call.
Harassment or calls to third parties, neighbors or relatives can be unfair debt collection violations. In most cases, the harassment can be stopped. It’s possible a debt can be reduced, eliminated or you can receive a payment. Many times we can bring an unfair debt collection case and get our fees from the creditor. Sometimes clear violations are not worth suing over, because you are being called by a blatant criminal who is here today, gone tomorrow. Call or e-mail us to find out.
My car was repossessed. The repossession agent was rude and the police made me give up the car. The bank sold the car for less than it was worth and wants me to pay the difference. What should I do?
- Call or e-mail us. There may be numerous violations of the law here. Police can make sure people do not assault each other and may stand by and keep the peace, but they cannot take sides or assist with the repo. A repossessed vehicle has to be sold in a commercially reasonable manner with proceeds applied to your loan.
I went to Illinois and obtained a title loan. The interest rate was outrageous. I couldn’t pay and they came to Iowa and repossessed my car. What can I do?
- Title loans of this type are illegal in Iowa. Questions arise when the loan is obtained out of state. There still can be issues with repossession of the vehicle or enforcement in Iowa. Call or e-mail us. I have an interest in these kinds of cases and might be able to help.
Somebody opened a credit card account in my name and made charges on my credit card without my permission. The bank says I owe the money because I was careless with the care or my number. What can I do.
- Contact us. You are not liable for charges on a credit card account that you did not open or authorize.
I tried to give a debt collector my attorney’s name and address so they would stop calling me. The collector refused to take the information and said I had to do it in writing or they needed a power of attorney to stop the calls. Is that correct?
- No it is not. If the collector knows you have an attorney and has the ability to contact that attorney, the collector can no longer call you. Call us.
A debt collector is calling my family and neighbors. I have not returned calls to the collector, but they know where I live and my phone number. Can the collector do this?
- A debt collector may be able to call references to locate you, but not if they already know where to contact you. The collector cannot disclose the existence of a debt to a person who is not liable on the debt.