Debt Collectors and Divorce

Serving Maryland and Washington, DC

I AM GOING THROUGH DIVORCE AND CAN’T PAY MY DEBTS!!

You are now separated and the bills are not getting paid. The phone keeps ringing from bill collectors. You can’t keep taking the pressure.

First, try to avoid bankruptcy and use that remedy as a last resort.

If you are behind on your mortgage, try calling the lender and working out an alternative payment arrangement. Most banks don’t want to be in the homeownership business and trying to sell your house.

As for those pesky debt collectors, there are even ways to deal with them.

  • Tell them not to call you and if they continue then send them a certified letter, return receipt requested demanding they stop calling. This does not mean they will stop mailings or filing suit to collect the debt.
  • The same type of call applies to your work. If you want them to stop calling your workplace, tell them and if they persist send a certified letter, return receipt requested. State agencies may contact your employer for past child support if they have an order of attachment.
  • Bill collectors can try to skip trace and find you, but they cannot discuss your debt or your personal business with your relatives, neighbors or employer.
  • They cannot send you false information such a fake Court document indicating they have obtained a judgment against you.
  • They can not browbeat you using profanity or abusive language. They cannot threaten to call your relatives, employers or friends to ruin your reputation if you don’t pay them.
  • They cannot impersonate a law enforcement official and threaten to throw you in jail because you owe them money. In the 21st century, we do not have debtor prisons and you can’t be sent to jail for not paying your bills and debts. However, you may be subject to arrest and go to jail for not paying child support.
  • You are not required to accept collect calls from bill collectors.

You may have both state and federal rights and bill collectors are subject to laws and penalties.

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