The United States has always fostered the entrepreneurial spirit but entrepreneurialism comes with a price. Many famous entrepreneurs tasted the bitter pill of failure before finding success. For instance Sam Walton, Henry Ford, and J.C. Penny’s first endeavors were utter failures. But what allowed these, and other entrepreneurs, the ability to succeed is the idea of the honest but unfortunate debtor. The concept of the honest but unfortunate debtor balances the need to promote risk-taking without encouraging the recklessness. Our creditor, debtor and bankruptcy system is based on these principles. Our system allows a creditor the opportunity to recoup, at least a part of his investment, while giving the honest but unfortunate debtor the opportunity to start over.
A creditor cannot leave the debtor destitute. The debtor is allowed to keep some of the tools of his trade, personal items, and other things necessary to continue in his endeavors, because of the recognition of the benefit of risk-taking and to maintain a sense of common human dignity. However, it seems that in these tough economic times some debt collectors have forgotten the notion of the honest and unfortunate debtor and seek repayment through coercive and unprincipled means.
An original creditor will often sell a debt to a debt collection agency. These debt collection agencies will often call the debtor incessantly and at inappropriate times. They will contact the debtor’s employer and other third-parties in an attempt to the collect the debt. They will threaten criminal action and send out documents that resemble official court documents.
Luckily the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (the “FDCPA”) protects the honest but unfortunate debtor from these collection agencies. The honest but unfortunate debtor should be aware that the previously mentioned actions are all prohibited under the FDCPA. FDCPA also provides the honest but unfortunate debtor with civil and monetary remedies. The honest but unfortunate debtor is urged to contact this firm if he/she is a victim of harassing activity by debt collection agencies.