Striking Back At Illegal Collection Tactics
Did you ever receive a collection call late at night? Did the collectors scare you by telling you that you that the marshal or sheriff was coming over to sell your possessions? Are collectors calling your relatives and neighbors and disclosing that you are in debt?
Such conduct is illegal but the collectors hope that they won’t get caught. They are counting on you not to get legal help, and they hope you will give in to their demands.
Are you ready to fight back?
We can help you stop the calls and get you money damages from the collectors!
Improving Your Credit Score
Are you haunted by bad credit that never seems to go away? Have you tried, unsuccessfully, to fix your credit report?
Filing for bankruptcy is often a good first step toward improving your credit. We encourage our clients to obtain current credit reports before filing, to assure that they list all credit relationships in their bankruptcy. Once our clients receive a bankruptcy “discharge” we suggest that they write to the credit reporting bureaus (by certified mail) to have their credit reports updated to reflect the discharged debts, which should all show as “discharged” with balance due: $0 and showing no late payments being reported after the bankruptcy filing date. If the reports are not corrected, we can assist you in having them corrected, and possibly sue the creditors and reporting bureaus for not doing so.
If you continue to pay your mortgage after bankruptcy, it will be reported as current if you sign a Reaffirmation Agreement before you receive your discharge. If you do not, then it will be reported as ‘discharged in bankruptcy.’ Nevertheless, you can always demand that the bank provide you with a ‘loan history report’ to provide to potential new lenders to prove that you are making payments.
Bankruptcy does not eliminate “public records” items from your credit report, such as judgments and tax liens. If you owned real estate at the time of your bankruptcy filing, certain judgments and tax liens will survive bankruptcy, but other judgments, if not filed with the County Clerk’s office where the real property is located, can be taken off your credit report, with our help, one year after your bankruptcy discharge, by your taking action in the original court.
Settling a debt with an original credit issuer, will cause the creditor to send you a 1099 form, requiring you to pay income tax on the discount you have negotiated in settling the debt. In today’s credit marketplace, however, rather than settle with you, original credit issuers often “sell” bad debt after they have charged off” the account. “Charge-off” does not mean that the company has excused your debt. Rather, it means that they have taken a tax write-off. The new holder of the debt will try to collect from you. You should be aware, however, that they have probably paid only about 5 percent to the original creditor, and will now seek to recover 100 percent from you. In negotiations, however, it is often possible to obtain a more favorable settlement with a subsequent holder of the account, than with the original issuer.
Many people come to us seeking help with debt negotiation or debt settlement, not recognizing that there may be a superior option through a type of bankruptcy. Accordingly, we recommend a thorough pre-bankruptcy consultation first. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to escape debt without payment to creditors (or in some cases, a small payment). Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you up to five years to pay off your debts without interest. In some cases, payments under Chapter 13 can be for only a small portion of your debt, and you will be excused of the balance due after the payment plan has been completed, even if the payment plan requires you to pay only 25 percent (or less) of your unsecured debts. The consultation as to availability of bankruptcy in your circumstances is free.
For those clients who (i) are not eligible for bankruptcy; (ii) should not file for bankruptcy because of risks that we have identified; or (iii) would prefer not to file for bankruptcy, we have developed a unique, highly successful Multi-Step Debt Settlement Program, not used by anyone else in the country. We have effectively used this program for high-income earners with substantial assets yet substantial unsecured debt. It can also be used by anyone who has access to a lump-sum that can be used to negotiate with creditors, but who does not want those funds to be at risk in their own bank account.
Once you have investigated all your options, and evaluated the risks and benefits of each, you are free to choose the best fit for your personal circumstances.
The lawyers at Corash & Hollender, P.C., have been helping people face their financial difficulties for many years. We work with clients to rebuild their credit. We know that the cause of most financial difficulties is some unanticipated events or crisis. We provide nonjudgmental and sympathetic representation that focuses on solving the problem. To learn how we can help with credit repair, contact our Staten Island law firm.
Helping Consumers Since 1977
Our attorneys start clients along the road to an improved credit score and credit standing. Whether you need to have debts restructured and a payment plan developed, or want to have inaccuracies removed from your credit report, our lawyers can help. We have experience negotiating with creditors. We work to correct the consequences of identity theft, which can ruin a credit rating as easily and more quickly as inattention to total indebtedness.
Effective Debt Negotiators
Our lawyers have the negotiation skills and experience to handle threats and intimidation from creditors. We are able to obtain written agreements from a creditor rather than verbal promises that cannot be enforced. We make sure that your rights as a debtor are enforced. Creditors often find arguments from attorneys more compelling than those from individuals or credit agencies because we are licensed and governed by a bar association. We can also protect you against unscrupulous debt collectors who regularly violate federal law.
Moving Forward After Restoring Your Credit
After your financial problems are resolved, we guide you through the process of obtaining new credit cards, loans and other types of credit. We show you how to monitor your credit report and correct any errors that may occur in the future. Credit repair is not a one-time operation. Maintaining a good credit score requires ongoing attention and monitoring.
Free Initial Consultation
The secret to our success is that we care about our clients.