Orlando, FL debt help lawyer Don Petersen’s blog about fighting and preventing collection agency harassment, debt collection abuse, and bill collector lies through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) reaches its 200th post today.
Mr. Petersen believes that almost half of the bankruptcies that are filed in Orlando, Florida are unnecessary or premature.
According to Professor Elizabeth Warren, 87% of bankruptcies are caused by at least one of three factors : (1) job loss; (2) medical problems; and (3) divorce or separation. Elizabeth Warren & Amelia Warren Tyagi, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke”,pg. 81, Basic Books, (C) 2003. These events — job loss and under-employment, health problems, and the financial aftermath of divorce — are seldom short lived and frequently continue to plague many consumers even after they filed bankruptcy.
Many consumers hastily file bankruptcy before they have overcome the causes of their financial problems.
Many Florida consumers should not file bankruptcy bankruptcy until they’ve worked through the event that caused them to file bankruptcy. This is especially true after Congress amended the bankruptcy code in 2005 and expanded the increased the waiting period for successive Chapter 7 bankruptcies from six years to eight years.
Bankruptcy can be a powerful tool but should be used wisely. For example, the Orlando Florida Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court is at the forefront in allowing Chapter 13 debtors to force mortgage servicers to comply with their obligations under the federal loan modification programs.
Congress intended to encourage consumers to avoid unnecessary bankruptcies by suing collection agencies and other debt collectors for harassment using the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Congress intended to provide consumers with an alternative to bankruptcy when collection agencies and other debt collectors harass them.
Orlando, FL residents can often also use the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act to prosecute credit card banks and other original creditors who violate the Florida collection harassment law.
As Dave Ramsey noted when he discouraged a 20 year old who had $ 11,000 in credit card debt from following her lawyer’s advice to file bankruptcy :
Bankruptcy is listed in the top five life-altering negative events that we can go through, along with divorce, severe illness, disability, and loss of a loved one.
Dealing with debt collectors is not fun either. Consumers who do not know their rights are especially vulnerable.
Debt collection abuse and harassment should not be a deciding factor forcing Orlando, Florida residents to file bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is appropriate for many but not all people.
If you are a central Florida resident who believes a debt collector is violating your rights and are considering whether to file bankruptcy because of collection calls and harassment, you are welcome to a free, no obligation consultation so that you can make an informed decision that is right for you.
(C) 2011 – 2013 Donald E. Petersen
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