ABA Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Initiative - Dealing with Debt

A breast cancer patient may have to deal with debt, but should not have to put up with illegal, harassing debt collection practices. These include: 1) contacting a debtor at unusual or inconvenient times or places; 2) contacting a debtor directly when she has hired an attorney to represent her; 3) contacting a debtor at work when her employer forbids such communications; 4) threatening a debtor with violence; 5) using obscene or profane language; or 6) telephoning a debtor repeatedly to harass her. Susan Berke Fogel and Paula D. Pearlman, California Women's Law Center, Surviving Legal Challenges: A Resource Guide for Women with Breast Cancer 65, 1998. If a patient has a steady income, a good option for discharging debt is to work out a payment plan with creditors. If this is not possible, filing for bankruptcy discharges most debts. However, this will affect the debtor's future credit rating. It is a serious step that should not be taken lightly. Susan Berke Fogel and Paula D. Pearlman, California Women's Law Center, Surviving the Legal Challenges: A Resource Guide for Women with Breast Cancer 66 - 71, 1998.

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