General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Should I sue the debt collectors or file for bankruptcy?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10000 points ) February 28th, 2011 from iPhone

I suppose the real question is, which to do first…I am being harassed by one company in particular. It was a payday loan. They call me at least 7–8 times a day. They leave around 3 to 4 voicemails. That’s just on my phone. They also contact my boyfriend daily and my work. They are now claiming to be cops/lawyers. Today they disclosed my personal information to my boyfriend. I used to work collections so I’m aware of the laws. Unless payday loans are different, what they’re doing is very illegal. So I spoke to an attorney today and he wants to represent me. He thinks I absolutely have a case. But I do plan on filing for bankruptcy. So which do I do first? Sue them or file? Is there a certain order I should go in? Will it matter?

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17 Answers

SuppRatings's avatar

For every count of harassment, you can get between $500—$5000 depending on the state. It really is as simple as recording them and filing a lawsuit. There was a news story recently about a guy whose ‘job’ was to get small amounts of debt, then purposely get harassed by debt collectors so he could sue them. He was pulling in over 100k/yr.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@SuppRatings Well I certainly don’t go around trying to get them to harass me. Most times I answer for the curteous collectors but this one company in particular overstepped their boundaries too many times. I just want them to know I’m serious.

YoBob's avatar

Or, rather than going to the trouble and expense of hiring a lawyer and going through all of those messy court proceedings, you could consider paying back the loan.

iamthemob's avatar

@YoBob – The interest rates on payday loans can be almost unconscionable at times – and I think we’re left assuming that the loan at this point cannot be repaid. Let’s not be flippant.

@ItalianPrincess1217 – What they’re doing is terrible, and you should research whether you have a consumer claim against them.

YoBob's avatar

@iamthemob I’m not being flippant. I am simply suggesting that often times it is more expedient to pay the piper than try to rail against the machine.

tedd's avatar

@YoBob The lawyer in question is probably working pro-bono based on the assumption of being paid should the case win, OR by one of the countless volunteer/free service lawyer groups that have sprung up around the nation to combat overly aggressive debt collectors. Obviously she should just pay back the debt, and even in the event of bankruptcy she will be required by a judge to make good on as much as she can….. But its VERY illegal for them to harass her in such a manner. Calling 7–8 times a day, calling relatives/friends/boyfriends, pretending to be police in particular, but also lawyers…..... EXTREMELY VERY INCREDIBLY ILLEGAL

And also, having done some research on the subject of pay-day-loans… They are nothing more than government sanctioned Loan Sharks with slightly better rates than the mob endorsed ones… and they should be outlawed completely.

As for the OP… there’s no reason you can’t file a lawsuit, and declare bankruptcy at the same time… as far as I know at least. Assuming you do file a lawsuit and win, those funds would likely just go into the bankruptcy payback fund anyways (unless you have enough to pay them back in full). If the bankruptcy judge thinks it should be put on hold because of the pending lawsuit he will put it on hold.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@YoBob There are reasons for me not repaying the loan or I wouldn’t bother fighting this. They double charged my checking account and caused massive overdrafts which I still haven’t recovered from. This company is a joke. Even if I did have the money to repay the outrageous interest and fees, I don’t like the idea of giving money that isn’t owed to them and allowing such harassment. Paying them off is like telling them what they did was okay. And it’s not.

marinelife's avatar

It doesn’t matter. Do both. Or ask your lawyer.

Austinlad's avatar

Do whatever you can to avoid bankruptcy.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Have a lawyer right them a letter stating that you will not press charges for each count of harrassment, if the company forgives the loan. We had a judge here rule that each phone call over one a month was harrassment and he made the company pay fines for 30 phone calls.

The letter around here costs about $50 to 75. It will vary according to where you live. If you sue and win, the proceeds will have to go to your creditors if you file while going through bankruptcy.

Meego's avatar

If you file for bankruptcy then they won’t be calling you anymore anyway, because you will certainly put that down as one of the companies to be relieved by the bankruptcy. If they call during or after the bankruptcy then you have grounds to take it to court. You did dishonour your debt so they can go about and try to collect the money, you should of read the thingy dingy you signed when you took the money yeah the contract. It would really be you and your lawyers burden to prove to a court of law that that IS INDEED the debt collectors impersonating police and so on. And just remember the hefty lawyers fees that you’ll have to pay, usually starting at 75 an hour or more…and you can’t even pay a payday loan? File the bankruptcy they will go away. Trust me.

perspicacious's avatar

You’ve hired an attorney; he’s the one who should be advising you about this.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@perspicacious I have an appointment with the lawyer soon. I obviously will be asking his advice on the matter. I’m impatient. I wanted advice now.

perspicacious's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 The only people who can give you meaningful advice are attorneys, and I doubt any of us are going to do that on this site. Wait until your appointment.

Popeyes316th's avatar

I found this because I’m getting harrassed too with threats. I am a disabled vet and in and out of hosp. Planning on Bnkrptcy but found this the other day

http://lemberglaw.com/ConsumerAttorneys.php?gclid=CLrYoeT-g7MCFWThQgod8XgAlg
Your Rights
•Up to $1,000—Our FDCPA Attorneys may be able to recover up to $1,000 in damages under the Fair Debt Collections Law
•Actual damages for harassing collection agency abuse
•STOP collectors harassment
•100% FREE Legal Help – If we recover money for you, debt collectors may be required to pay our legal fees

Popeyes316th's avatar

Also make sure you save recordings on answer machine and record everytime you talk to them. Using this in court can counter sue the harassing nazi pigs

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