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11 Aug 2012

Lawsuits Challenge Debt Collection Practices in CO Springs

Collection agencies are becoming increasingly aggressive with their tactics, as evidenced by a soaring number of lawsuits filed by individuals who have been harassed by these companies.

Colorado Springs Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers know that these businesses can be brutal - calling you at all hours of the day and night, on every line you own, even going so far as to contact family members, neighbors and relatives.


You have the right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to request that these communications stop by sending what's known as a cease communication letter. You can ask that they only communicate with you in writing or that they cease contact with you altogether.

However, many companies will flagrantly ignore this request (and the law) by continuing to contact you. This is where their conduct stems into the territory of harassment and abuse, and that's where a lot of these lawsuits are coming from.

It's noteworthy that when you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court issues what's known as an automatic stay. This is spelled out in 11 U.S.C. 362, and it essentially bars the continued communication of your debtors to you for a period of time while your bankruptcy proceedings are being processed.

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, there were nearly 900 consumer credit lawsuits filed just in May of this year alone. Those suits were filed in all 50 states and throughout some 90 federal court districts.

What that number reflects is a 12 percent increase over April of this year - and it's grown every month since the beginning of this year.

The number of consumer credit lawsuits has actually tripled in the last five years, beginning in May of 2007. From January through May of this year, nearly 6,300 of these suits have been filed.

Some industry analysts say that the debt collection business is fast-growing. Along with it, there is the misuse of consumer information, as well as the ignorance of the Fair Debt Collection Practices law.

Stephen H. Swift

Managing Attorney
Law Office of Stephen H. Swift, P.C.

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