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What power do debt collectors really have?

Sure, they can be quite annoying, but debt collectors aren't nearly as powerful as they may threaten they are to debtors. These third-party debt collectors do have the right to take you to court to pay your debts, but if you have little money or few assets, they may not even bother.

The problems begin when debtors actually do have money in the bank and property they want to keep from seizure due to unpaid debts. It's these consumers who have more to fear from debt collection agencies because they have more to lose.

Both state and federal laws protect consumers from debt collector harassment. Debt collectors who are noncompliant with the laws can face their own legal woes.

That being said, it's always better to try to avoid a problem than to fix one. Many times, debtors can work with their creditors to make payment arrangements on their accounts.

It's also possible to write a cease and desist letter to the debt collection agency. This states that the company must immediately end all collection activity after they receive this letter.

By far, the most effective way to get debt collectors to cease their collection efforts is to file for bankruptcy. While Chapter 11 bankruptcy is frequently used by small business owners, many consumers struggling with unpaid debts don't realize that this option could also apply to their own financial circumstances.

Make no mistake -- the bankruptcy codes are complex and intricately written. A nonattorney can easily get tripped up and confused about the best way to resolve their debt dilemmas. That's why it's always a good idea to seek legal guidance from a trusted Tampa bankruptcy attorney when mulling over the decision of whether to file for which type of bankruptcy protection.

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