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Debtor Rights in Maryland

Bankruptcy Lawyer Serving the Communities of Hagerstown, Frederick, & Silver Spring

Are you tired of debt collectors harassing you and your family? Even if you owe debts you cannot pay, it is important to remember that you have rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides protection for individuals who owe money by regulating what debt collectors are and are not allowed to do.

The act regulates the hours they are allowed to call your home and the people they can contact. You are also protected from embarrassing media, including postcards, which would give away your financial information.

Even if they are not calling repeatedly or outside of the scheduled hours, it is still possible to stop creditors from contacting you. If you send them notice that you no longer want to communicate with them or that you refuse to pay the debt, they are legally not allowed to contact you to continue asking about the money.

There are certain exceptions to this rule, including informing you that collection efforts are being terminated or that the collector intends to sue you or take other legal action.

Time Limits on Collection

The state of Maryland also provides limits on the length of time a creditor has to collect debts. The statute of limitations gives creditors 3 years to file a lawsuit against you for the debt you owe. If the case is brought to court and the judge rules in favor of the creditor, they then have only 12 years to collect the settlement. If the statute of limitations has expired, it is important to alert the courts of this issue by showing them a copy of your credit report.

What can creditors take?

It is important to know that creditors are legally barred from taking all of your property or garnishing all of your wages, even after a judgment has ruled in their favor in bankruptcy court. A creditor can only garnish up to one-quarter of your wages per pay period and cannot take exempt property.

In the state of Maryland, you are entitled to keep $6,000 worth of cash or selected property, $5,000 worth of clothing, books and tools in order to practice a profession and certain personal injury settlements and medication. In order to protect your exempt property, you are required to declare the property as such within 30 days.

Enlist the Assistance of Attorney David Cahn

I have been assisting clients dealing with debt at my firm since 2008, and I can inform you of your rights. While debt collectors may try to harass you and make you feel guilty, I can explain how you are protected under federal and state law. To learn more about your legal rights, take advantage of my free case evaluation.

For more information about filing for bankruptcy and your other legal options, contact a Silver Spring bankruptcy attorney at The Law Office of David Cahn today!

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