By Chuck Schechner & Jack Fink,

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A spike in North Texas lawsuits against debt collectors may be helping hundreds of people going through bankruptcy.

The lawsuits accuse debt collectors of violating state and federal laws against overly-aggressive tactics. And there are ten times the number filed now compared with five years ago.  In 2006 there were 13, last year 134.

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Federal and State laws prohibit them from making calls to harass debtors, threaten them, or add additional fees.

Dallas bankruptcy attorney Francis Smith says violations include accusing the debtor of fraud or threatening arrest.

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KRLD’s Chuck Schechner reports:

She says bankruptcy attorneys need to know if their clients are being harassed by debt collectors. That can bring a lawsuit that could bring damages paid to the debtor.

If they don’t check, she says they could be leaving money on the table their client is due in damages.

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