Summons, judgments and garnishments are scary for everyone. Once creditors have obtained a judgment against a person, they frequently follow with a wage garnishment or an attempt to levy holdings in a bank account. As soon as a person receives a summons, they should contact an experienced and efficient Minneapolis bankruptcy attorney to get relief, if they haven't done so already.
Bankruptcy is the most effective way to get protection from debt collectors because it is backed by force of law. As soon as a bankruptcy has been filed, an injunction known as the automatic stay goes into effect, immediately shielding people from their creditors. Up to the point of filing, however, debt collectors may still try to collect money from people.
Even in the world of debt collection, some income is protected. Child support, social security and disability pay are all considered exempt income, meaning a debt collector may not take it, even if you owe them money. Unfortunately, not all debt collectors play by the rules as one Arizona veteran and his wife found out. Fortunately, he is fighting back and is taking one Minnesota debt collector to task for their abuses.
The veteran is suing Minnesota-based collector Gurstel Chargo, P.A. for damages stemming from repeated creditor harassment in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and refusing to release exempt income that was frozen in their savings account.
The trouble started for the veteran, who suffered head and spinal cord injuries while serving in the Army, after he defaulted on $6,000 of student loans. After their disability payments were garnished, the couple promptly filed an objection and requested a hearing. Although Gurstel Chargo's attorney promised the judge they would have the funds released, they never followed through.
When the veteran contacted the firm to follow-up, he was met with a barrage of abuse and told that he would have to sue the debt collector to get his money back.
Fortunately, not all debt collectors are this bad, but some of them think they can get away with it. One of the ways people can get protection from nasty debt collectors is to hire a bankruptcy attorney. Debt collectors know bankruptcy attorneys mean business. Bankruptcy attorneys will not only deal with the creditor calls, but will also help people work through their financial difficulties and chart a path for a bright future.
Source: www.courthousenews.com, "The Worst Debt Collector in the World?" Jamie Ross, 12 October 2012