Having debts is common in the United States, including in Illinois. It is very easy to accumulate debts, whether from credit cards, student loans, car loans, a mortgage on your home, or some combination of all of them.
Before you realize it, you may be behind the gun when it comes to what you owe and to whom. Perhaps creditors have started to knock on your door because you owe them money. Commonly, the creditors don’t contact you directly. They send someone else to do that and those debt collectors are often unscrupulous and extremely aggressive (even to the point of doing illegal things).
You are protected under Illinois law
In Illinois, just as it is in the rest of the United States, there are laws that protect you as the debtor from debt collectors and these laws ensure that the debt collectors behave ethically and legally toward you. Some of the laws that are designed to protect you against debt collectors are:
- Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- Illinois Collection Agency Act
- Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act
These laws exist to ensure that debt collectors treat you fairly. However, it is important to keep in mind that the laws don’t get you out of your obligation to pay off the money that you owe.
What is a debt collector?
A debt collector is a person who collects or tries to collect the debts that the debtor owes. Debt collectors have several ways of contacting the debtor, including in person, by phone, and by Email. There are some debt collector behaviors that are unacceptable, such as calling the debtor before 8 am or after 9 pm, unless you agree to those extended hours.
Also, a debt collector is not allowed to contact you at your work if they are aware that your employer does not approve. After the debt collector has phoned you, they must follow up the call within five days in writing with the amount that you owe, the creditor’s name, and instructions on the dispute process if you disagree that you owe that amount.
Legal advice from a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney
If you have debt and are being harassed by debt collectors, the expertise of an astute Illinois bankruptcy attorney may make a tremendous difference in your case. The attorney can help you through every step in the process and can make sure that your rights are protected. With the attorney’s help, you will hopefully manage to have a positive outcome so that you can look to a bright future.