When you owe money, the constant communication from debt collectors can be exasperating. The good news is that debt collector harassment is not legal, and there are federal and Ohio laws that prevent unfair debt collection.

Both the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act protect debtors from abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices.

If collectors refuse to stop these practices, there are steps you can take, including suing them in federal or state court within one year from the date the violation occurred.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by debt collector harassment, obtaining quality legal assistance is essential. The skilled and seasoned Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand all aspects of debt and the ways in which creditors attempt to collect it. We offer a free consultation to examine your individual situation and help you get back on the road to financial recovery.

Contact one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) for your free consultation.

Why Choose Us

Our Decades of Experience and Our Personal Approach Will Serve You Well

Outstanding debt is something that will follow you for your entire life, but there are steps you can take to move forward in a positive direction.  You have rights under the FDCPA. In order to effect change, you need to engage the services of an unfair debt collection attorney who understands the law and has experience in dealing with these situations.

At Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, our team of attorneys has many years of experience in helping thousands of clients. We have handled countless cases involving unfair debt collection; we know what to do to stop the harassing phone calls and letters.

In some cases, debt collectors seek to take advantage of your lack of knowledge and will engage in abusive tactics. They know they should not be doing this, but they don’t care; they are only focused on collecting their fees. Their motivation is strong and personal. Most debt collectors will receive 50% of the amount they collect. They feel that strong-arm debt collection tactics are worth the risk.

That said, you have rights, and you need someone on your side that will look out for you. When you engage us, we treat your case as if it were our own.  We provide the personal attention you deserve and leverage our knowledge and experience to help you.

At Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, we do everything we can to make sure the debt collector harassment stops. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. We will make sure that your rights are protected and the unfair debt collection practices end.

How We Can Help

We Leverage Our Knowledge and Experience to Make Your Life More Peaceful

Our unfair debt collection lawyers know the law and will manage the entire process, from beginning to end, addressing the unfair debt collector practices impacting your life. Debt collectors must follow all of the provisions in the FDCPA, and we will take aggressive action when they violate it.

Our team . . .

  • Offers free consultations during which we discuss your case and what we can do for you. You are under no obligation and will get objective advice on how we can handle these issues.
  • Carefully examines your financial position and all outstanding debt, including the terms and conditions of all loans.
  • Reviews all communications sent to you by debt collectors to determine if they are operating within the letter of the law.
  • Interacts with debt collectors in order to have them communicate appropriately.
  • Assists you in filing for bankruptcy (if appropriate) and uses these laws to protect you.

In all cases, we will put our knowledge and experience to work for you to stop debt collection harassment. We have worked with thousands of cases like yours and will make the debt collector stop the abusive practices. That said, we recognize that no two cases are identical; we will take the time necessary to understand the intricacies of yours. Further, we will maintain communications with you to ensure you always know what is happening.  Our team of dedicated professionals is here to look out for your best interests and make sure that you are treated fairly.

Understanding Debt Collection Law

The Fair Debt Collection Protections Act Protects Consumers

Federal laws protect consumers in debt. The FDCPA is a federal law governing how debt collectors are allowed to pursue consumer debts. It does not apply to the original creditor who gave you the loan, but to third-party debt collectors who buy your loan at a discount or take a percentage of what they collect.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector must:

  • Identify that they are debt collectors and let consumers (debtors) know that any information obtained will be used for purposes of debt collection.
  • Send written correspondence to the consumer’s home address within 5 days of the first communication, stating who they are, who they are collecting on behalf of, the balance owed, and that the consumer has 30 days to dispute the debt and demand it be validated.
  • If validation is asked for, the collector must stop trying to collect the debt until it is validated.
  • If the consumer provides a post-dated form of payment (such as a check), the collector must provide written notice of the intent to deposit it.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector cannot:

  • Call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., or at any time they are notified it is inconvenient to call.
  • Tell others that a debt is owed.
  • Call the consumer’s place of employment if advised not to do so, or let a telephone keep ringing unreasonably.
  • Use any profane, harassing, oppressive, or abusive language, or conduct.
  • Make misrepresentations of facts, threaten arrest or criminal prosecution, or send false information to credit bureaus.

In addition, there are Ohio statutes on debt collection. The Ohio Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 1319.12 has requirements for collection agencies to start litigation for the collection of an assigned account and states that this must be done in a court located in the county in which the debtor resides. Also, the act requires collection agencies to use an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Ohio and to comply with the federal FDCPA.

Our unfair debt collection lawyers understand these laws and know how they apply to individual situations. If you are constantly being harassed by debt collectors, we can help manage the process and put you on the road to a better tomorrow.

What Can Be Done if You Are Unfairly Harassed?

You Have Options Under the Law

Just because you are in debt does not mean that you must endure unfair harassment.  Contrary to what many believe, there are things you can do to get relief.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can:

  • Have collectors stop calling.
  • Recover actual damages and/or a statutory damage of up to $1,000.
  • Recover attorney’s fees and court costs.

There are steps you can take to help make your case successful. Make sure you . . .

  • Document everything. Record dates and times of calls, names and numbers of debt collectors, highlights of your conversation, and whether the collector was abusive.
  • Record debt collector calls. Ohio allows “one party consent.” As long as you wish to record the call, you do not have to disclose that you are doing so. Recorded threats can be used as evidence.
  • Request a written letter validating the debt, and seek proof of what you owe within the required 30 days.
  • Dispute the debt in writing, even after the 30-day period. You can send a letter requesting that the debt collector “cease and desist all communications.” If you disagree that you owe the debt, you can send a letter to the debt collector stating that you do not owe and “refuse to pay” the debt.
  • File a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office or (800) 282-0515 and with the Federal Trade Commission or (877) FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).

Taking these steps increases the chances of a successful case.

You Can File for Bankruptcy

If you have gotten into a situation where you are drowning in debt, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy, which offers powerful protections against debt collectors and collection lawsuits. Once a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is filed, there is an automatic stay which prevents creditors from contacting you for any reason and protects against lawsuits, foreclosure, and garnishment.

While filing for bankruptcy may be a last resort, it is often the best solution for debtors who need a chance for a fresh financial start and a path to a brighter future. 

If you’re a good candidate for bankruptcy, filing can keep creditors from harassing you and seizing your possessions, allow debts to be forgiven, and provide a way for you to keep many of your assets and begin to rebuild your life.

Our team specializes in bankruptcy law. We can review your current situation and determine whether this is the best option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Unfair Debt Collection

Our Unfair Debt Collection Attorneys Respond

Constant contact from debt collectors can leave you on edge, but you do have options. The legal process can be confusing, and you may have many questions. Below we have shared some of the most common questions asked of our unfair debt collection lawyers, along with their answers.

What is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)?

This is a federal law stating that all bill collectors must behave in a certain manner to collect a debt. They cannot threaten, harass, swear, or contact you if you ask them in writing to stop. Debt collectors are banned from making false or misleading statements. Violations of the FDCPA are $1,000 per offense.

Can you sue a debt collector?

You have the right to sue a debt collector if they are breaking the FDCPA or engage in deceptive, unfair, or abusive behavior.

What is a debt collector?

A debt collector is a third party that buys the debt from a creditor that is unable to collect the money they claim you owe them. Many times the debt collector agrees to a fee of 50% of the amount they successfully collect from you.

What are the most common violations of the FDCPA?

The most common violation of the FDCPA is harassment; 40% of all claims made against the debt collector are from this violation of the rules. These companies can be held responsible for their unfair debt collection practices.

We hope the information above helps provide a better understanding of unfair debt collection practices and how you can respond.  For answers to more specific questions regarding your personal situation, reach out to our team today.

Contact Us Today for a Free Initial Consultation

We Are Ready to Help You Immediately

If you find yourself overwhelmed by creditor harassment, the experienced Ohio debt-relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer can help. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your entire financial situation and determine the best fit for your particular circumstances. We will make sure you are aware of all your options and help you decide on the financial recovery path that makes sense in your individual case. We know the courts and the system and will walk you through the process every step of the way.

Delaying can only worsen your situation, so contact the Ohio attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer today. Call one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) for your free consultation.

Client Testimonial

”After speaking with several bankruptcy lawyers I was initially nervous about filing for bankruptcy, however; after completing an initial consultation with Courtney I felt relief, and confident about my decision to file chapter 7. Courtney gave me an honest assessment of my situation. She is extremely professional and thorough while presenting the process in a clean and concise format. I am extremely thankful I choose Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer and I think you will be as well.” – Eternity Is In The Moment (Google Review)

Attorney Tom Fesenmyer

Attorney Thomas M. Fesenmyer (Tom) is dedicated to helping his clients solve their financial issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. Tom has personally filed several thousand cases and has the expertise to achieve immediate results for his clients, including stopping Foreclosures, Repossessions, Wage Garnishments, Law Suits, Utility Shut-offs, Creditor Harassment, Bank Attachments, and Pay-Day Loans. Tom’s goal for all of his clients is asset protection and debt elimination.[ Attorney Bio ]


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