Debt Collection

PLA provides legal advice to clients who have been sued, or expect to be sued, for an unpaid debt.  We also help with debt collection problems, such as harassment by debt collection companies.

How to get help with Debt Collection

The following departments at PLA provide legal assistance with Debt Collection:

Intake Procedure:

Applicants may apply for assistance from the General Intake Unit by coming to walk-in intake, calling the telephone intake line, or applying online.

Self-Help Resources

Coping with Debt

Click here for information about debt relief, debt consolidation, and other debt-related issues.

Dealing with debt collectors

Click here for assistance with handling debt collectors.
 

Debt Collection resources from PALawHelp.org

PALawHelp.org offers a variety of legal information and self-help resources to assist people with debt collection problems.

Particularly helpful is the Debt Collection Practices brochure.

Debt Defense Self-Help

These videos were produced by the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

How to file a complaint

To file a complaint with the government about any financial services company (credit card company, bank, lender, financing company), go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaint page.

You can also file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Attorney General about a company that has caused you harm.

Identity theft resources

If you are a victim of identity theft, follow the instructions in the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Guide.

To make sure that you are not held responsible for debts created by the identity thief, fill out the Identity Theft Victim's Complaint and Affidavit.

Letter to creditors or collection agencies to stop contact

Under the Pennsylvania Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it is illegal for creditors or collection agencies to continue to write to you or call you seeking payment after you tell them in writing to stop contacting you because you cannot pay them.

To enforce your rights under these laws you can send a letter to whatever creditor or collection agency is calling you.  Attached is a form letter with instructions.

Obtain a free credit report

You can obtain a copy of your credit report at no charge at annualcreditreport.com. This is the government-approved web site for obtaining free credit reports. ("Free" really means free, although you are limited to three free credit reports per year.)