Debt Collection & Repossession

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Other Consumer Problems

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This section of PALawHelp.org has information and resources about Debt Collection & Repossession issues in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

Consumer Alert: What Pennsylvanians Need to Know about the New Debt Collection Regulations Set to Take Effect 11/30/21

The first comprehensive federal debt collection regulations interpreting the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) take effect November 30, 2021. With the new regulations set to take effect in the coming days, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, through this Consumer Alert, is encouraging Pennsylvanians to learn their legal rights when it comes to debt collection, and to carefully examine the conduct of debt collectors to make sure they are acting in compliance with federal and state laws.

Helping Clients Explore Their Personal Finance Rights (Video)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this prerecorded webinar, in four short modules, to help consumers know their rights and call out potential violations. The modules include: Module 1: Consumer Rights [18:21]; Module 2: Credit and Housing Rights [16:14]; Module 3: Financial Products and Identify Theft Rights [15:59]; and Module 4: How to Submit a Complaint or Tell your Story [10:06]

Appealing the Magisterial District Justice Judgment

Information from Neighborhood Legal Services Association on appealing a District Justice judgment.

Defending an Action at the District Justice Office

Informational brochure from MidPenn Legal Services outlining the procedure in defending an action at district justice court in central Pennsylvania.

How to Sue At the Office of the Magisterial District Judge

Information from MidPenn Legal Services on how to file suit on small claims in your local Office of the Magisterial District Judge. (July 2012)

Magisterial District Judge Court - Filing Suit

This information from Northwestern Legal Services provides instructions on how to file a lawsuit in Magisterial District Judge Court.

Bringing Suit Before a Magisterial District Judge

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. [PDF]

Defending a Lawsuit

Information on how to defend a lawsuit provided by the Erie County Bar Association.

Small Claims Court

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the operation of the Magisterial District Court in Pennsylvania.

The District Justice Hearing: North Penn Legal Services Landlord - Tenant Video Workshop

This video workshop from North Penn Legal Services features a typical hearing before a magisterial district Judge in a landlord-tenant case, followed by a panel discussion featuring several judges describing some best practices for you to use at your hearing, as well as some things to avoid. The process in the video is typical of any civil case brought before a magisterial district judge in Pennsylvania.

Forms - Pennsylvania Courts

The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania provides forms for citizens, the judiciary and law enforcement. These bilingual forms are now offered in 13 languages. ‌BILINGUAL FORMS / FORMULARIOS BILINGÜES: ‌(ARABIC) العربية; 中文 (CHINESE-SIMPLIFIED); FRANÇAIS (FRENCH); KREYÒL AYISYEN (HAITIAN CREOLE); ITALIANO (ITALIAN); ខ្មែរ (KHMER); 한국어 (KOREAN); नेपाली (NEPALI); POLSKI (POLISH); PORTUGUÊS (PORTUGUESE); РУССКИЙ (RUSSIAN); ESPAÑOL (SPANISH); TIẾNG VIỆT (VIETNAMESE)

Forms - Pennsylvania Courts

The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania provides forms for citizens, the judiciary and law enforcement. These bilingual forms are now offered in 13 languages. ‌BILINGUAL FORMS / FORMULARIOS BILINGÜES: ‌(ARABIC) العربية; 中文 (CHINESE-SIMPLIFIED); FRANÇAIS (FRENCH); KREYÒL AYISYEN (HAITIAN CREOLE); ITALIANO (ITALIAN); ខ្មែរ (KHMER); 한국어 (KOREAN); नेपाली (NEPALI); POLSKI (POLISH); PORTUGUÊS (PORTUGUESE); РУССКИЙ (RUSSIAN); ESPAÑOL (SPANISH); TIẾNG VIỆT (VIETNAMESE)

Federal Court Finder

Find a federal court location by location or court name, including appellate, district, bankruptcy, probation and pretrial office, or federal defender organization. Each District Court has its own local forms which are generally available on the Court website.

How to File a Case in Philadelphia Small Claims Court

Explanation of the Small Claims Court process in Philadelphia from Philadelphia Legal Assistance as outlined in a brochure from the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Repossessions

Information from Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. on a creditors' right to repossess your property.

Motor Vehicle Repossessions: Consumer Debt Advice from NCLC

The focus of this article is on motor vehicle repossession including limits on self-help repossessions, ten strategies to prevent repossessions, six steps to take after your car is repossessed, and advice on responding to the creditor’s demand for additional payment even after the repossession.

Automobile Repossession

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on your rights regarding the repossession of your vehicle.

What can I do if my car is repossessed with my personal belongings in it?

Even if your car has been repossessed, you have rights including the right to get your personal belongings back. You also have options available to try and obtain the return of the vehicle itself, including paying off the amount due, making a new loan agreement with the lender, or filing for bankruptcy to get rid of the debt. This information from the Upsolve Learning Center explains these options. Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free.

Debt Collectors

Information from the Erie County Bar Association about a consumer's legal protection against abuses by creditors and debt collectors.

Arbitration and Mediation

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. [PDF]

Automobile Repossession

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on your rights regarding the repossession of your vehicle.

Bringing Suit Before a Magisterial District Judge

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. [PDF]

Defending a Lawsuit

Information on how to defend a lawsuit provided by the Erie County Bar Association.

Harassment

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the offense of Harassment.

Small Claims Court

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the operation of the Magisterial District Court in Pennsylvania.

Understand how the CFPB’s Debt Collection Rule impacts you

On November 30, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a new Debt Collection Rule that clarifies how debt collectors can communicate with you, including what information they’re required to provide at the outset of collection about the debt, your rights in debt collection, and how you can exercise those rights. Read this to learn more about the new rule affects you and debt collectors.

Can a debt collector contact me through social media?

Under a new rule a debt collector can contact you on social media, but they must follow certain rules and tell you how you can opt out of social media communications. Learn about the requirements and protections set up by the rule.

Dealing with Debt Collectors (Video)

If you are behind in paying your bills, you can expect to hear from a debt collector. A debt collector is someone, other than the creditor, who regularly collects debts owed to someone else. In this video from the Federal Trade Commission learn your rights when dealing with a debt collector.

How to Spot a Debt Collection Scam (Video)

This video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers information on your rights relating to debt collectors and how to avoid scammers.

Forms - Pennsylvania Courts

The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania provides forms for citizens, the judiciary and law enforcement. These bilingual forms are now offered in 13 languages. ‌BILINGUAL FORMS / FORMULARIOS BILINGÜES: ‌(ARABIC) العربية; 中文 (CHINESE-SIMPLIFIED); FRANÇAIS (FRENCH); KREYÒL AYISYEN (HAITIAN CREOLE); ITALIANO (ITALIAN); ខ្មែរ (KHMER); 한국어 (KOREAN); नेपाली (NEPALI); POLSKI (POLISH); PORTUGUÊS (PORTUGUESE); РУССКИЙ (RUSSIAN); ESPAÑOL (SPANISH); TIẾNG VIỆT (VIETNAMESE)

Fair Debt Collection Practices

Consumer Advisory from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General outlining the protections of Pennsylvania’s Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act.

Consumer Alert: What Pennsylvanians Need to Know about the New Debt Collection Regulations Set to Take Effect 11/30/21

The first comprehensive federal debt collection regulations interpreting the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) take effect November 30, 2021. With the new regulations set to take effect in the coming days, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, through this Consumer Alert, is encouraging Pennsylvanians to learn their legal rights when it comes to debt collection, and to carefully examine the conduct of debt collectors to make sure they are acting in compliance with federal and state laws.

Five tips for when you can’t pay your bills (Video)

Information on tools that can help you evaluate your finances and make decisions about your budget.

Helping Clients Explore Their Personal Finance Rights (Video)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this prerecorded webinar, in four short modules, to help consumers know their rights and call out potential violations. The modules include: Module 1: Consumer Rights [18:21]; Module 2: Credit and Housing Rights [16:14]; Module 3: Financial Products and Identify Theft Rights [15:59]; and Module 4: How to Submit a Complaint or Tell your Story [10:06]

Learn how to Save Like Mike

This video provides information on how you can learn to start saving for your goals.

Tools to help when you can’t pay your bills

The Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit has resources to help you evaluate your current finances and make decisions about your budget.

What is the best way to negotiate a settlement with a debt collector? (Video)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers tips on what to do when you are contacted by a debt collector seeking payment.

Debt Defense Videos

The National Association of Consumer Advocates has created a series of debt defense videos that give advice on how to handle interactions with debt collectors and other debt issues.

What can I do if my car is repossessed with my personal belongings in it?

Even if your car has been repossessed, you have rights including the right to get your personal belongings back. You also have options available to try and obtain the return of the vehicle itself, including paying off the amount due, making a new loan agreement with the lender, or filing for bankruptcy to get rid of the debt. This information from the Upsolve Learning Center explains these options. Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free.

How to File a Case in Philadelphia Small Claims Court

Explanation of the Small Claims Court process in Philadelphia from Philadelphia Legal Assistance as outlined in a brochure from the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Forms Center

Forms available from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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