Even though you owe money to a creditor, that creditor cannot take whatever action it wants to collect the debt. Consumer law is the statutes and regulations that protect debtors from creditor harassment and dishonest tactics. A consumer protection attorney helps consumers protect their rights under those laws.
There are many different consumer protection laws including:
- The Fair Debt Reporting Act
- The Fair Credit Billing Act
- The Truth in Lending Act
- The Credit Card Accountability Act
- The Equal Credit Opportunity Act
- The Fair Housing Act
- The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
- The Consumer Product Safety Act
- The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
- The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
Several state and federal agencies regulate and oversee consumer protection laws. A consumer protection attorney can explain your legal rights if you believe you have been taken advantage of by a creditor.
Consumer Protection Attorney and Bankruptcy Filings
In some cases, a consumer protection attorney may assist clients in filing for bankruptcy protection. While you can file complaints about violations of consumer protection laws, it could take months or years to settle your claim, and there is no guarantee you will win.
When you file for debt relief under Chapter 7, the automatic stay is in effect immediately upon the filing of your bankruptcy petition. The automatic stay prohibits a creditor from taking any further actions to collect a debt.
Actions that the bankruptcy stay prohibits include:
- Calling a debtor to collect a debt
- Sending letters or other correspondence demanding payment
- Debt collection lawsuits
- Coming to your home or place of business
- Calling you at work
By filing a bankruptcy petition, you receive the full protection of the bankruptcy court. Creditors cannot take actions to collect a debt without obtaining court approval. A consumer protection attorney can explain in further detail how a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can protect from creditor harassment and illegal actions by creditors.
The decision to hire a consumer protection attorney or to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief can be difficult. A consumer protection attorney can provide experienced legal advice about your rights. However, if you do not have the money to hire a consumer protection attorney, you might want to consider filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case without an attorney.
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case may not punish creditors for violating your rights, but it can stop creditor harassment and other collection efforts. By stopping collection efforts, you can reduce the stress caused by debt problems and begin your journey on the road to financial freedom.
If you need a fresh start, click here to start Upsolve's free bankruptcy process. You can learn more about filing a Chapter 7 to get rid of debt without hiring a consumer protection attorney.
Do You Know How to Find a Consumer Protection Attorney for Bankruptcy?
A consumer protection attorney may or may not assist clients in filing a bankruptcy case. A consumer protection attorney may only work with clients to file complaints and claims for violations of consumer rights.
Even if you find a consumer protection attorney that handles bankruptcy cases, you may not have enough money to hire the attorney. An experienced consumer protection attorney usually offers a free consultation.
If you can take advantage of a free consultation with a consumer protection attorney to learn about your rights, you might want to do so. You can learn about the services offered by the consumer protection attorney and the fees charged by the consumer protection attorney. If you can afford to hire the consumer protection attorney, that might be your best option.
You might find a consumer protection attorney that offers a no-recovery, no fee option. You must remember that filing a complaint about creditor harassment may not eliminate the debt.
However, if you cannot afford to pay the consumer protection attorney, we encourage you to check out our free bankruptcy services. We are not a consumer protection attorney, but we are a nonprofit organization that offers no-cost bankruptcy assistance to low-income individuals who cannot afford to hire a consumer protection attorney to help them.
Filing for Bankruptcy Relief Without a Consumer Protection Attorney
Upsolve is dedicated to helping people who cannot afford to hire a consumer protection attorney to seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7.
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can get rid of unsecured debt. A consumer protection attorney may be able to help you stop creditor harassment, but that does not eliminate the debt.
A Chapter 7 case eliminates unsecured debts like medical bills, credit card debts, personal loans, and old utility bills. Debts that are discharged in Chapter 7 cannot be collected. Creditors cannot take any legal actions to collect a discharged debt.
How do I File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case?
The first step in filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is to determine if you meet the income qualifications for a Chapter 7 case. Your income must be below the median income for households in your state. If your income is above the median income, your disposable income must be below a certain amount.
Once you pass the Means Test, you need to complete a Credit Counseling Course and complete your bankruptcy forms. The bankruptcy forms and the Credit Counseling Course are filed together in the bankruptcy court to open a Chapter 7 case.
After your case is filed, you can complete the Debtor Management Course. This second bankruptcy course is required to obtain a bankruptcy discharge. The bankruptcy discharge relieves your legal liability for discharged debts. Therefore, it is very important that you complete the second bankruptcy course and file proof of completion with the bankruptcy court.
The bankruptcy court notifies your creditors and other parties in interest of your bankruptcy hearing. You must attend the First Meeting of Creditors conducted by the Chapter 7 trustee appointed in your case. This hearing should be the only hearing you need to attend if your bankruptcy case is a typical no-asset Chapter 7 case.
Most Chapter 7 cases can be completed in four to six months after filing the bankruptcy forms. In a no-asset Chapter 7 case, you keep all your property while getting rid of your debts. Most debtors are able to protect their property by using bankruptcy exemptions.
We Want to Help!
Upsolve provides free bankruptcy services if you meet our income requirements. We walk you through the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief without an attorney. You can file for bankruptcy relief, even if you cannot afford to hire a consumer protection attorney for help.
Learn more about our no-cost services and how filing a bankruptcy case can give you the fresh start you need to recover and rebuild after a financial crisis. You do not need to worry about debt another day. You can take the steps necessary to get rid of debt while protecting your property and your income for the future.