If you are being harassed a debt collector? Good news, under the Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), we have rights that protect us!
Nothing is more frustrarting and annoying than to not only be dealing with the stress of debt, but then to compound it, now your getting numerous phone calls and letters from aggressive and many times, harassing debt collectors!
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) limits what a debt collector can and cannot do.
Most people are not aware of the limits and boundaries that debt collectors have, so as a result, they will take advantage of people in an effort to collect.
A debt collector CANNOT:
- Call too early or too late
- Call many, many times a day
- Make threatening remarks ("You could go to jail! or You could lose everything!")
- Misrepresent themselves as government officials
- Use profane or obscene language
- Call friends or family and reveal that you are behind on your bills
- And are prohibited from many other illegal practices!
Here's a great link that spells out how the FDCPA protects us:
The Federal Trade Commission also spells out exactly what a debt collector cannot do as well.
So what do you do if you are being harassed by debt collectors?
The most abused violation of the FDCPA by debt collectors is making many, many, many phone calls all day long!!!!
You can put a stop to a debt collector making calls to you by simply writing a letter demanding them to stop calling you.
However, you cannot stop the original creditor from calling. When you signed that application, buried somewhere in the "fine print" gave the creditor authority to call you regarding your account. You can't do anything about that.
But as soon as your account is charged off and/or transferred to a debt collector, you can put a stop to the calls!
But what if a debt collector violates other restrictions of the FDCPA?
First, start a log of who, when, what time of day and what was said.
If you file or open a complaint with your state's attorney general or department of financial affairs, it is very important that you have a written log!
Let's say that after the 15th call today you finally get "fed up" and answer the phone.
The conversation goes something like this....
This is ..... from XYZ company calling about your ..... account. Is this (your name)?
Listen you %*$$#@$, you've been calling me over and over and I'm sick and tired of it!!!!
The debt collector says:
You haven't paid your debts and we've been retained to either collect the balance due or sue you in court!
OK, here's where they start getting themselves in "potential" trouble.
If, according to the FDCPA, a debt collector threatens to bring "legal action" and does not within a reasonable time, they are in violation.
As soon as that agent/representative of XYZ Debt Collection agency makes that threatening statement regarding a potential lawsuit, you need to:
Start writing down notes, and ask the caller:
- I need your name and ID #
- What is your contact phone number
- Are you stating that XYZ Company is going to bring legal action against me?
- When is this "legal action" going to begin?
If the rep hasn't hung up already, they probably will soon.
The point is that you need a written log with DATE AND TIME and as much information you can get!
Contact your state's Division of Financial Affairs or the Attorney General office and file a complaint!
Don't let these harassing debt collectors get away with it!
The Division of Financial Affairs or your state's Attorney General's office will contact the debt collector and in most cases, the calls and/or violations will cease.
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