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Litigation may stop creditor harassment for paid debts

When Washington consumers are overwhelmed by debt, the harassment by debt collectors is probably the last thing they need. Unfortunately, unpaid debts and creditor harassment go hand-in-hand, and consumers who are unable to settle those debts may benefit from gaining knowledge about the protection offered by personal bankruptcy. However, credit collectors sometimes make mistakes and try to collect debts that are not unpaid, in which cases, steps may be taken to stop creditor harassment.

A consumer in another state had to resort to litigation after being harassed about a medical debt that he believed was settled by his insurance company. According to court documents, Nationwide Credit Corp. demanded payment of medical expenses totaling $327 seven months after the man received medical treatment. Also, he was threatened with being reported to credit bureaus.

The consumer contended he had disputed the debt in writing on two separate occasions, asking the collection agency to cease demanding payment until the status of the debt had been verified. In court, Nationwide admitted receiving that communication and claimed the form letter it sent to the consumer was an error. However, the decision of a lower court was recently upheld, and a settlement was reached in which Nationwide has to pay the plaintiff $1,000.

When a Washington consumer, who may already be fighting against the spiral of ever-increasing debt, wants to stop creditor harassment, he or she may benefit from the experience of a bankruptcy attorney. A lawyer can assess the overall financial situation of the client and explain the possible remedies for the client's unique circumstances. When no other resolve is available, the protection given by personal bankruptcy may offer the client the opportunity to regain financial stability.

Source: Evanston, IL. Patch, "Evanston Man Wins Ruling Against Medical Collection Agency", Tim Moran, Nov. 25, 2015

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