If you have fallen behind on your credit card payments, you know just how annoying the debt collector calls can be. Some people are so bothered by their creditors ongoing calls that they change their phone number or even disconnect their phone to get some peace and quiet. Although those are good options, they really only need to be uses as a very last resort.
A little education can go a long way. Here is what you need to know to stop those collection calls once and for all!
When Can Debt Collectors Call?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is the Federal law that says what debt collectors can and can't do. They aren't to call you about a debt that you don't owe. When you are first contacted by a collection agency, you have the right to request them to verify the debt is yours. If the debt collector can't come back with proof that you owe the debt, they're not allowed to contact you anymore.
Even without sending a validation request, debt collectors have certain rules they must follow when it comes to contacting you over the phone. They can't call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. your local time. They can't call you repeatedly, and they can't call you at anytime you've previously stated is inconvenient.
Stop Debt Collection Calls
All you have to do to stop debt collectors from calling you is tell them that you prefer to communicate with them in writing. Written communication works in your favor because it gives you a record of everything that is said. If the debt collector violate the FDCPA, you have written proof of that violation. Keep in mind that, by law, the debt collector does not have to honor this request.
If the debt collector does not honor your request to communicate with you in writing, the next best way to stop debt collectors from calling you is by sending what is known as a cease and desist letter. In the letter, state that the collector should cease and desist further communication with you. Note that the cease and desist letter only applies to debt collectors, not the original creditor.
What Happens After you send the Cease and Desist?
Once the collection agency receives your cease and desist letter they can communicate with you once more, via mail, letting you know one of three things.
- further efforts to collect the debt are terminated
- Certain actions may be taken by the debt collector
- The debt collector is definitely going to take certain actions.
When you send the cease and desist letter to the debt collector, send it via certified mail with return receipt requested. This will provide proof that the letter was sent and received. If the debt collector communicates with you beyond the single instance allowed by law, this evidence will allow you to seek punitive action against the debt collector.
photo by: stevendepolo