• FTC Complaints About Debt Collectors Have Increased 73 Percent Since 2008

    This video is another segment from the March 2009 Dateline NBC story on debt collectors that we posted on Wednesday. In that blog post, we also discussed one of the victims of aggressive debt collectors featured in an August 20, 2012, article published in the Los Angeles Times.

    The Times noted in that article that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) receives more complaints about debt collectors than about any other industry. The 180,928 complaints the Times said the FTC received last year was an astonishing 73 percent increase from 2008.

    “We’ve seen a high level of complaints, and I think some of it is collectors realizing in hard times they may have to press that much harder to get someone to pay,” FTC chief debt collection lawyer Tom Pahl told the Times. “And a lot of them are pressing.”

    As the Times noted, federal law prohibits harassment and limits the frequency and hours that debt collectors can call. As we noted on Wednesday, one way to end harassing calls from debt collectors is to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. An automatic stay goes into effect when you file bankruptcy, and this requires most debt collectors to cease their collection efforts against you until your bankruptcy has ended.

    Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can review your case when you complete the form located on this page, or you can set up a free consultation by contacting our firm at (866) 930-7482.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Durbin Looking to Help Students Who ‘Have No Idea What They’re Getting Into’

    As US Senator for Illinois Dick Durbin says in this video of a speech he gave on the floor of the Senate this past April, student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in America and “it is growing by leaps and bounds.” Not surprisingly, student loans are one of the overwhelming forms of debt that drives many clients into our office. Unfortunately, student loan debt can only be discharged in bankruptcy by proving an undue hardship-and the circumstances in which this happens are extremely rare.

    Durbin has been pushing for quite some time to enact some sort of legislative remedy to the problems that student loan debt is causing for millions of Americans, focusing largely on for-profit colleges. On August 20, 2012, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that Durbin spoke at Loyola University Chicago about his pending bill to effectively require students to get counseling before they sign on the bottom line. At the event, Durbin was accompanied by Sheila Uribe, an Elmhurst College graduate who has seen the $35,000 of student loan debt she graduated with balloon to roughly $60,000 because of high variable interest rates.

    “Most students just sign. They have no idea what they’re getting into,” Durbin said, according to Crain’s. “They lack life experience. This is not an arms-length transaction between two parties who each understand the terms.”

    Under Durbin’s pending bill, co-sponsored by Iowa US Senator Tom Harkin, colleges and universities “would be required to inform students about any federal aid that might be available before they sign a private deal, and their legal rights to reject or cancel a loan,” Crain’s said.

    While you may not be able to discharge student loan debt by filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may still be able to rid yourself of other unsecured debt like credit cards. If you would like to understand what options are available to you, contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 or use the form on this page to let our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers review your situation and set up a free consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

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