Will an attorney based debt resolution program stop creditors from harassing me? 37 Answers as of August 17, 2011

Will an attorney based debt resolution program stop creditors from harassing me?

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Lehn Law, PA
Lehn Law, PA | Joseph W. Lehn
When an agreement is entered and the terms are met, creditors will often stop the harrassment. However, the automatic stay that is put in place at the filing of a bankruptcy petition absolutely prohibits creditors from contacting you. Additionally, filing bankruptcy may provide a superior result in that you may be able to discharge debts with little or no monthly payments.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/17/2011
Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
Not likely. Sounds like a scam - While there may be some backing off, unless you agree to pay them back, they will continue to hound you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/11/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Yes, most likely the program will send a cease and desist letter. moreover, ethics rules provide that you cannot be contacted if you are represented by counsel.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/10/2011
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
If you don't want to pay your debt, you can simply tell them that you do not intend to pay and they have to stop harassing you, you don't need an attorney for that. However, they can take you to court right away. And if you want to re-structure your debts with your creditors (i.e. come to an agreement to reduce your debt, and how much you will be paying a month and for how long), you can do that yourself as well, you don't need an attorney. Either way your credit score will be substantially affected. Watch out for debt resolution programs, in a lot of cases you're actually worse off than bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/10/2011
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
Yes and no. Why yes? An attorney knows the law so can better protect your rights. A decent attorney may be able to get a deal, but not every creditor goes along with a debt resolution program. Some sue right away. If the attorney is not retained to actually fight lawsuits, but only to try to negotiate deals, then if even one creditor chooses not to play, but sues instead, the entire resolution program may fail. Some resolution companies may only be "fronted" by a lawyer and instead use paid contractors. Look before you leap and read the contract carefully. Sometimes an individual can get a better deal on his own than through using a lawyer. Generally, when a party is represented by an attorney, all communications should go through him and not to you anymore. Violating that can violate a law called FDCPA. However that law only applies to collectors and not to original creditors. Nothing can stop a creditor from actually suing you at any time they decide to do so, unless you file for bankruptcy Then the federal court order called the automatic stay stops them. Why no? Remember that not everyone obeys the law. Sometimes collectors harass you on a debt you don't even owe in order to pressure you to pay them off. This activity is illegal, but overseas collectors think they are immune to US law. I've had overseas debt collectors make up debts and try to collect from my clients who have finished their bankruptcy. The trick is to find them and get the US government to get their government to stop them. There is an anti-racketeering law in India that is used to stop organized crime, but these defenses take time to activate and involve tricky questions of international law. They generally use "spoofed" telephone numbers from "boiler rooms" often routing calls from India through a Canadian phone number to make it harder to trace. Some of these scams have American masterminds - sending their operations overseas to hide that it's them, but the FBI and FTC do have open investigations. It just takes time. When you see in the newspapers that 100 people get arrested for some scheme, understand it took years to get the whole arrest set up. In the meantime, it can be frustrating. Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer. This is not legal advice- just general information. Federal debt relief agent and attorney. .
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/10/2011
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
    Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
    That depends upon what agreements are reached with each creditor but yes it is possible. I am happy to discuss the issue with you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Any type of debt resolution or consolidation program is voluntary and does not prevent creditors from contacting you about payment of a debt. Only bankruptcy prevents creditors from contact you.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    No. Creditors have the right to contact you to collect their debts regardless if you have an attorney or not.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Advanced Litigation Services
    Advanced Litigation Services | Joseph Iarussi
    No. Only bankruptcy stops creditors and makes it illegal for creditors to contact you.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    No there is not any order in place to stop them, unlike a bankruptcy in which you receive protection as soon as you file the case from the automatic stay.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
    Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
    The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that you as a debtor have rights. If your accounts go to someone other than the original creditor then the federal law protects you against harassment or threats. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the Attorney General Regulations protect you even when the account is with the original creditor. The list of rights you have is extensive and will need further discussion. With respect to the "attorney based" resolution program stopping calls - the answer is "it depends". 1) It depends how dedicated they are in enforcing your rights, 2) it depends on the governing law, 3) it depends even on your knowledge of any violations and 4) it depends on you informing the law firm of these violations. I haved worked in the industry for many years and have seen almost every scenario.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Most consumer creditors will stop harassing someone who is in a debt resolution program, although any given creditor can pursue its own collection.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law | Thomas Humphrey
    An attorney-based debt resolution program can stop creditors from harassing you. Once you tell the creditor to stop contacting you and instead talk to your lawyer, the creditor is required by law to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    I doubt it. More than likely your debt resolution program does not have an attorney who is actually handling your case. If it is truly a law firm and they are licensed in the jurisdiction where you are located, and they call your creditors to advise of the representation, then maybe it will stop the calls.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Depends, most debt resolution programs do not. However by hiring an attorney, that means no one is supposed to contact you, they are supposed to go through the attorney. That is a very big HOWEVER, because a lot of creditor/collection agencies do not honor this and will continue to harass you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    The only true way to stop creditors from contacting you is by filing bankruptcy. Your creditors would be under a legal order to refrain from contacting you in Bankruptcy - called the stay. In Debt resolution, your attorney can request that the creditors contact his office directly but they would not be subject to the sanctions for violating the stay in Bankruptcy. Not only will debt negotiation not prevent creditor or collection agency harassment, nor prevent phone calls on behalf of creditors or collection, you may be sued by creditors or collection agencies. In addition, the discharge of indebtedness through debt resolution may be considered a taxable event You will also continue to incur late fees and penalties on the accounts during the program and it will likely adversely affect your credit score.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc.
    Ryan Legal Services, Inc. | Kevin Ryan
    More than likely, no. Filing a bankruptcy case results in the United States Bankruptcy Court issuing what is known as a Stay Order upon the filing of your case. It is contempt of Court for the creditor to continue to call or collect on the account post-bankruptcy. A good bankruptcy attorney can get a small amount of damages against creditors who violate the stay, and all attorney fees are paid by the creditor in that instance.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    It could, but only if the creditors agree to the resolution program.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    Not necessarily.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    In CA, once you are represented by an attorney and provide written notice creditors are not supposed to contact you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Debt resolution usually refers to debt settlement. This involves saving enough money to offer creditors a lump sum settlement. Depending on how the plan is set up, a law firm may or may not take steps to end creditor harassment while the settlement funds are being built up. They will not, however, be able to keep any creditors from filing suit against you and obtaining a judgment if they are not willing to wait until enough money is saved up to offer a settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    No. Not one bit. And it will be more expensive than a Chapter 13 Plan to repay your debts.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ray Fisher Law Offices
    Ray Fisher Law Offices | Ray Fisher
    Not necessarily
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    As a general rule, be careful with such programs. While some are legitimate, some are scams. In many cases, a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy works better, helps more and costs less. So I would say talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. If you do want to do a payment plan with creditors, as I said, most such companies are complete criminal scams. One of the few legitimate companies is Credability (formerly Consumer Credit Counseling of Atlanta).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If it is the original creditor, only if the creditor is getting money form the attorney and there is no reason to call you. If it is a collection agency which has been assigned the debt, you can tell them not to contact you and their only recourse at that time is to either get payments from the attorney or the collection agency can file a lawsuit. If the attorney is taking payments and will contact and pay creditors over an extended time and one at a time, the ones you are not paying and are not being paid for a while may lose patience and sue in any event. The fact the attorney is doing a debt consolidation is not grounds for them not to sue or call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    No. I have had clients in debt management programs come in with judgements against them, wage garnishments and bank levies.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    I can't speak about what an attorney based debt resolution company will be doing for you, but I can tell you that under the FDCPA if you are represented by an attorney with respect to your debt, then the collector must contact your attorney and not you, thereby stopping harassing phone calls from your debt collectors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    In my opinion, debt resolution plans, whether handled by an attorney or otherwise, will not keep all of your creditors from pursuing you. There are generally a handful of creditors who refuse to participate in the debt management program. There is no way, outside of a Chapter 13 case, to force creditors to accept your repayment plan. Most people who sign up for debt management plans pay a large amount in fees, wind up getting sued, and end up filing a bankruptcy case anyway. In addition, filing a bankruptcy case if much cheaper and it actually hurts your credit less than a debt management plan. Set up an appointment to speak with a bankruptcy attorney. Find out all of your options before you make any decision on how you should handle your financial problems. Melinda Murphy Dionne
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
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