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March 1, 2010 - Fight debt collection agencies with the help of FDCPA

If you are unable to pay your bills and wish to settle them, you can use the debt settlement law to help you fight collection agencies. When settling your bills with collection agencies, you may be harassed with unfair collection efforts.

In such cases, you can protect yourself with the help of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

What Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provide guidelines for all those who collect debts on a regular basis including the collection agencies, collection attorneys and also the companies that buy delinquent debts.

The provisions of the FDCPA are considered as the debt settlement law in the U.S. Such provisions can protect you from being abused by collectors.

By knowing the following restrictions imposed by FDCPA on collectors, you can protect yourself from their harassment.

  • Should not harass others: Apart from the co-signer of your debt, the collectors cannot harass any of your friends, relatives, neighbors etc. They should also not disclose to them your inability to repay the debt on time.
  • Should not use abusive languages and threats: The collectors are not allowed to call at inconvenient places. They should not contact you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. The debt collectors should also not use any profane language or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally.

  • Should not threaten you of arrest or use false claims: The collectors are prohibited from saying that you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt. Using false claims while trying to collect a debt, such as pretending to be lawyers or government representatives, is prevented under the FDCPA.

If the law is violated by the collectors, you have the right to sue them in a federal or state court. The FDCPA also provides a Statute of Limitations (SOL) for collection of debts. It lays down the time limit within which creditors/collectors can file a lawsuit to make you pay for a debt. If your debt account crosses the SOL, you will not have to worry about facing legal hassles.

Some debt settlement companies can also help you stop aggressive collectors.

If you have questions about Spokane Bankruptcy or dealing with harassing creditors, please contact the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC, at 509-927-3840.

March 23, 2010 - Obtaining Permanent Residency | Short Overview of Different Avenues

Spokane Immigration AttorneyA permanent resident is an alien (although I hate this term, it's embedded in the United States immigration laws and codes, and in an effort to avoid confusion, I must employ it) granted immigrant status to remain in, and travel relatively freely from, to, and within, the United States indefinitely.

An alien may become a permanent resident, if qualified, whether she has ever had a nonimmigrant visa or not (nonimmigrant visas are those visas that allow a person to come and stay in the U.S. for short periods of time, i.e., a visitor visa. On the other hand, an immigrant visa allows the immigrant to come and seek a permanent stay, i.e., a fiancee visa).

Almost always this requires that a sponsoring employer or close family member petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The sponsoring employer and/or family member is the petitioner, while the alien is the applicant. A large number of aliens may also qualify through a lottery for certain countries.

One of the main advantages of seeking residency based on family relationship is that the applicant may enjoy preference (an expedited process where the applicant is put towards the front of the line).

Once and if the preference is established, and the alien gets to the front of the line, if any, the alien must take another step to obtain permanent residence.

One way available to all aliens is to apply for an immigrant visa through a U.S. consulate in their own country, and then use the vista to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident.

If the alien is already in the U.S. and has always complied with the U.S. immigration laws, she may apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence through a USCIS office in the U.S. without ever leaving the U.S. Either way, the alien's spouse and minor children may obtain permanent residency and join him/her.

There are other avenues to permanent residency, such as for certain aliens seeking to avoid persecution (asylees or refegees) or having lived long periods in the U.S. (i.e., registry, cancellation of removal, NACARA).

For questions regarding immigration or other legal issues, please contact attorney Hector Quiroga at (509) 927-3840 or email: Hector@AbogadoSpokane.com

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505 N. Argonne Rd., Suite B-109, Spokane Valley, WA 99212