If you are receiving constant harassment from credit collectors or credit collectors, the behavior can be particularly unnerving. Credit collectors might even use abusive language or threaten criminal charges if dets are not properly paid. In these types of situation, the assistance of a skilled attorney can prove to be particularly helpful.
The Role of the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act
Both federal and Oklahoma state law protect individuals from creditor harassment. One example of federal law that protects consumers is the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act which prohibits credit collectors from certain types of conduct. Passed in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act prohibits debt collectors from harassing or threatening debtors. The Act also prohibits creditors from disclosure details about the debt to an individual’s friends or family. Individuals are able to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if such behavior occurs. Additionally in the state of Oklahoma, individuals can file complaints against abusive or harassing creditors with the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office will then contact a creditor and send a copy of a complaint as well as a cease and desist order if a creditor continues such abusive or harassing behavior.
Certain Types of Prohibited Behavior
There are certain types of harassing or threatening behavior that creditors most commonly display and which a skilled bankruptcy attorney like Jim A. Lyon can help defend against. Some examples of particular behavior include the following:
- Call Restrictions. Creditors are only permitted to call individuals who are in debt during specific periods of the day. As a result, creditors are not permitted to call individuals late at night or particularly early in the morning. Debt collectors are also prohibited from calling individuals repeatedly and this is considered a type of harassment.
- Disclosures. Creditors are not permitted to disclose details about an individual’s debt to other parties including an individual’s friends or family.
- Misrepresentation. Creditors are prohibited from using false, deceptive or misleading methods in order to collect on a debt. Some of the most common types of misrepresentations include details about the debt owed, that the creditor is an attorney when in fact the creditor is not, false threats to have an individual arrested, or threats of actions that the debt collector actually has no intention of performing.
- Notice. Creditors must provide proper notice that a debt is owed as well as sufficient information about details that the debt collector seeks.
- Obscenity. Creditors are prohibited from using profane or obscene language when communicating with debtors. Using abusive language in such a manner is illegal.
Obtain the Services of a Knowledgeable Bankruptcy Attorney
The bankruptcy process can be particularly stressful. For individuals who have been repeatedly harassed by creditors, a skilled bankruptcy attorney can often help an individual seek compensation for such harm. In order to avoid harassment from creditors, it is often critical to obtain the services of a skilled bankruptcy attorney like Jim A. Lyon. Attorney Lyon has helped many other individuals in the state of Oklahoma respond to creditors.
Guns in Oklahoma Bankruptcies
Guns in Oklahoma bankruptcies remain an individual’s property although individuals must disclose ownership of these weapons in order to claim. When preparing a client’s paperwork, a bankruptcy will often be required to ask a client about their assets including property like checking and savings accounts, retirement funds, and other personal property including firearms. Although many individuals are afraid that Oklahoma courts will take the care, this is often not the case.
Law in the state of Oklahoma provides for exemptions for various kinds of property so that individuals can keep this property after filing for bankruptcy. Oklahoma law states that any individual is able to keep up to $2,000 worth of guns provided that these firearms are used for either personal or family use. Because a large number of firearms are included in this definition, individuals are often able to claim firearms as a property exception after filing for bankruptcy. It should be noted that individual who keeps guns as an investment or a collection of valuable antiques are unable to claim this exception. Firearms that are used for self-protection or hunting, however, are capable of being claimed as property exemptions when an individual declares bankruptcy. Individuals should note that the state of Oklahoma does not allow individuals to claim wildcard exemptions.
In the event that an individual has a firearm or collection of firearms that are worth more than $2,000 that individual will be entitled to keep up to $2,000 in firearms. Oklahoma is unique in that there is no limit on the number of firearms that an individual can claim as property provided that the amount of these firearms is less than $2,000. These rules applies whether an individual applies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Other Types of Property Exemptions
Although some states allow individuals to choose between federal or state exemptions of property when declaring property, individuals who declare bankruptcy in Oklahoma must select the state’s list of property exemptions. In the state of Oklahoma, an individual can claim various other types of exemptions. Some of these types of property include:
- Books, pictures, and portraits.
- Burial plots.
- Clothing up to $4,000 in value.
- College savings plan interest.
- Food and seed for growing crops up to one year.
- Health aids that have been prescribed by a medical professional.
- Household items and furniture.
- Individual Development Account deposits.
- Livestock for family use.
- Personal injury and wrongful death recoveries up to $50,000.
- Prepaid funeral benefits.
- War bond payroll savings accounts.
- Wedding and anniversary rings up to $3,000 in value.