It isn’t uncommon for individuals in Tennessee and other states to carry credit card or other types of debt. If a debtor is unable to stay current on a balance, it may be sent to a collections company, and debt collection companies may use a variety of tactics in an effort to get the money that they are owed. However, there are limits to what a debt collector can say or do to recover a past due balance.

For instance, those who retain the services of an attorney may direct all calls or letters to their legal representatives. Debtors may also ask that debt collectors stop calling or otherwise contacting them. After such a request is made, a debt collection agency may respond only to acknowledge that it has been granted. It is also important to point out that putting an end to phone calls or letters may increase the chances of collection agency filing a lawsuit.

Those who are seeking to collect a debt generally cannot contact an individual prior to 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. An exception may be made if a debtor gives permission to be contacted outside of those hours. Debt collectors are allowed to put a reasonable amount of pressure on a person to obtain what they are owed. However, it is possible that a debt will be partially or fully forgiven.

Individuals who are looking to regain control of their debts may want to consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a way of obtaining debt relief. In a Chapter 13 proceeding, debtors are allowed to reorganize their debts and pay them over a period of three or five years. Typically, unsecured creditors are paid last, and if an unsecured balance remains at the end of a repayment period, it may be partially or fully discharged.