How to Stop Illegal Debt Collection Practices

how to stop illegal debt collectionGetting several calls from harassing debt collectors?

Here are a few tips on how to stop illegal debt collection practices:

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using illegal, abusive or deceptive practices to collect money!

You need to know your rights and what to do if you think they have been violated.

The FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Federal Bureau of Consumer Protection.  They have a very helpful website that would be worth your time to visit.

The FDCPA covers all personal or family debts including:

  • Credit Cards
  • Auto loans
  • Medical Bills
  • Mortgages
  • Personal Bank Loans
  • Store Cards
  • Pay Day Loans
  • Private Student Loans

A debt collector CANNOT CALL YOU AT ANY TIME OR PLACE! They can only call between 8am (your time) and 9pm (your time).

Collectors may not contact you at work after they are told (by phone or in writing) that you are not allowed to receive calls at work!

A debt collector cannot “harass” you.  Now, harassment can take many forms, but specifically, a debt collector is prohibited from:

  • Using threats of violence or harm
  • Using obscene or profane language
  • Making many, many calls per day (if you are getting several calls, keep a log for future reference)
  • Making false statements:
    • Claiming to be attorneys if they are not
    • Claiming to be a government representative
    • Claim that you will go to jail
    • Claim that they are going to pursue legal action (if in fact they do not)
    • Make false claims of the amount you owe
    • Threaten to garnish your wages or sell property to pay your debt

The first time a collector or creditor calls, talk with them.  Don't get angry or yell at them, but be strong and don't act weak.  Simply explain your situation and ask them to give you some time.  

To stop future calls, send a letter that states that you intend to repay the debt, but cannot at this time due to (reason for hardship).  Request that they stop calling you immediately or that you will file a complaint with your state’s attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.

Send the letter by registered mail and keep the receipt that they received it.

The calls should stop, and if they don’t, follow through with your report of collection abuse! The worst thing you can do when you are behind on your payments is to ignore them.

You may be able to Settle Your Debts

If your debts are behind 3,4 or 5 months or more, you may be able to negotiate a settlement for less than you owe!

For example let's say that you have a delinquent credit card with a balance of $5,000.  Unfortunately, you are unemployed or have some other financial hardship, so you just can't keep up with the minimum payments.

  • It may be possible to negotiate a one-time settlement of 50% or less of what you owe.
  • If the collector or creditor agrees, GET THE AGREEMENT IN WRITING before making a payment!
  • If you do not have a lump sum (most people don’t), you may be able to negotiate a settlement paid over several months.

We arranged term payment settlements all the time, some as long as 24 months!

If all of this just sounds like too much for you to handle, let us help.

how to stop illegal debt collection


Tags: fair debt collection practices act, fdcpa, how to stop collection calls, debt collector harassment

Can Anything Be Done to STOP COLLECTION CALLS?

stop collection calls

If you are behind on your payments to creditors, you can count on getting collections calls.  Can anything be done to stop the collection calls? YES


1. Know your rights

The Federal Trade Commission is an agency whose job is to protect consumers from unscrupulous and illegal activity by debt collectors.

You should download a copy of "Facts for Consumers".

2.  Keep a call log

If you are employed, and getting calls at work, most states authorize you to verbally request that the creditor cease calling you at work.  However, you need to keep a log of calls and your "cease and desist" request for future proof if needed.

3.  Get the collection company's name and address

If you have been getting many calls (some creditors call using an auto-dialer/computer), then you know how annoying it can be.

By getting the name of the company and the address, you can write a letter stating that even though you cannot make payments at this time, you intend to repay this debt.

For Example:

"I have been getting several calls daily from your company about my accountAlthough I cannot make any payments at this time, I fully intend to repay this debt as soon as my financial circumstances turn around."

"According the the FDCPA, I am requesting that you cease all calls to my home and/or cell phone."

"If these calls do not cease, I will be reporting your company to my state's Attorney General to begin legal action."

4.  Keep copies and use Certified Mail

Once you have written your letter, make a copy to keep for your records and mail it by CERTIFIED MAIL.  This way, you will have proof that they received the letter.

Most creditors will abide by your CEASE CALLING LETTER, but if you continue to get calls, you may want to go to your state's Attorney General's website and file a complaint.

For example, in Oregon, you would go to: OREGON CONSUMER COMPLAINT.

At DRNW, Inc., we have years of experience in helping our clients with issues like this. Click link below for a FREE Debt Elimination Analysis or simply give us a call at 877-492-4109.  Our debt solutions specialist can work with you to find the best solution for your unique situation.

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, stop creditor calls, Oregon

How to PREVENT Wage Garnishment

how to prevent wage garnishment

Money doesn't grow on trees!  You work hard every day to bring home your pay check and support your family, so it can be devastating when your creditors can come and "PICK" your hard earned wages.

It is sometimes possible to stop a wage garnishment, but it is better to PREVENT a wage garnishment!


Once you have fallen behind in paying on your credit or store cards, medical bills, personal line of credit, private student loan and any other UNSECURED debt, your creditors will start to call.

Once they have made repeated collection calls and sent you numerous collection letters, your creditors will start to threaten all sorts of things including "Pursuing Legal Action".


I know that it is scary, and it would be much easier to bury your head in the sand and ignor the creditors.  But, if you do, you may end up in a hole that you can't is too deep to get our of!  You need to be PRO-ACTIVE and CONTACT YOUR CREDITOR(S) IN WRITING stating that you cannot make payments at this time and plan on repaying this bill when you can.

This will not stop their collection efforts, but it will help slow down their options for filing a claim for the debt.  When you owe a debt, the creditor has the right to collect of course. However, they are supposed to do so within the laws stated in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Many unscrupulous collections agencies will ignore these laws, so it's extremely important that you KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, and stand up for your self throughout this process.  (Read More: "Know Your Rights When Dealing With Debt Collectors")


A CRISIS BUDGET is a short term budgeting tool that you can use when you have an unexpected income reduction or need to free up some money in your existing budget for an emergency.  I would say that this qualifies as an emergency! 

Take a close look at your budget, if you have one, and see how closely it matches to your ACTUAL SPENDING.  Most people create an ideal budget, but in reality their spending habits are significantly different. 

Once you have a clear picture or where your money is really going each month, look for areas of general improvement first.  Could you start making coffee at home a few days a week, or start bringing your lunch and eating out at work only once per week?  How about carpooling to work to save money on gas? These are goals that are realistic over the long run, but will usually not make enough difference in a state of crisis. 

Next, identify any areas in your budget that can be reduced for the next 6-12 months.  Can you live with basic cable instead of the premium cable TV package?    Is it possible to defer your student loan payments for a while?  Try calling your utility companies and see if they have a temporary hardship program.  Get creative.  After all, this is a CRISIS BUDGET.  You won't have to stick to it forever.

how to prevent wage garnishment


Now that you have re-evaluated your budget and freed up some money, you know what you have to work with.  This gives you power when you contact your collection agencies. 

The collector may accept a SETTLEMENT OFFER for less than you owe, or they may let you repay the debt over several months at a reduced interest rate.

Be strong, and stick to what you can actually pay.  Your creditors want your payments coming in each month.  They make money when they get to charge you interest, so it makes sense for them to work something out with you.  There is no point in working out a SETTLEMENT or REPAYMENT PLAN that you cannot pay!

  • If you have delinquent debts, BE PROACTIVE! Don't just ignore the calls and letters.
  • Create a CRISIS BUDGET that you can stick to while you are repaying your debt!
  • Try to work out a SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT or a REPAYMENT PLAN with the creditor or collection agency, and make sure that the payments fit into your crisis budget!


If all of this sounds like "TOO MUCH", then give us a call.  We have been helping people settle debts and prevent wage garnishment for 10 years.




Tags: crisis budget, fair debt collection practices act, debt settlement, how to prevent wage garnishment

How to Stop Oregon Wage Garnishment

stop wage garnishment in oregonIs it possible to stop a wage garnishment in Oregon?


Yes! But, you need to know how the process works.

When you have unpaid debt, and for the purpose of this blog, we're talking about unsecured debts, such as:

  • Credit cards
  • Store cards
  • Medical bills
  • Personal line of credit (not tied to your home)
  • Private Student Loans

Your creditors have a right to collect monies that you promised to repay when you borrowed the funds.

If they cannot get you to start paying by calling and mailing nasty letters, they may decide to turn your account over to a collection agency.

As you know, debt collectors can be very annoying and most of the time, violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the FDCPA.

If you feel that they have violated the protection and rights you have through the FDCPA, you should contact your state's attorney generals office and file a complaint.

If the  debt collection agency cannot get you to pay, they may decide to file a COMPLAINT in your county court for the debt you owe.

If they do, you will receive a SUMMONS either personally delivered or by registered mail.


The summons will state that you have about 30 days to provide and ANSWER to the court or the PLAINTIFF (the creditor filing the claim) may proceed with further legal action.

The ANSWER would be your argument that you do not owe the debt.  Most of the time there is no use in paying the fee or hiring an attorney to produce an ANSWER, but if you feel that you do not owe the CLAIMED DEBT, then you should challenge with an ANSWER.

If you do nothing (as most people do), the court will generally award the plaintiff with a DEFAULT JUDGMENT.  In other words, they win by default as you are admitting that you owe the debt.

If you do nothing, it is very likely that the attorney for the plaintiff will apply for a WRIT OF GARNISHMENT that will be sent to your employer.

Now, the Writ of Garnishment ONLY APPLIES TO THOSE WHO RECEIVE W-2 wages!

You cannot be garnished if you receive income from:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Welfare or public assistance
  • Spousal support or child support
  • Public or private pensions
  • Veterans benefits and/or loans
  • Disability proceeds of life insurance policies
  • Cash surrender value of life insurance policies
  • and many others

Click Here for a complete list of EXEMPT INCOME in Oregon.

But if you receive notice from your employer that you will be garnished (25% of your net check in Oregon!), you still may be able to STOP THE GARNISHMENT.

You will need to contact the attorney's office for the plaintiff and try to get them agree to let you make reduced payments (not the 25% of your net income) until the entire balance is repaid, including attorney fees and 9% (Oregon).

This is called a STIPULATED AGREEMENT, and if you are successful, the attorney may have you sign a copy of the Stipulated Agreement and file it with the court.

If you fail to make a payment according to the Stipulated Agreement, then the Stipulated Agreement is revoked, and you now will be garnished again!

If all of this sounds like TOO MUCH, we can help.  We have helped many, many people stop  wage garnishment. Give us a call at 1-877-492-4109 or Click on the link below:




Tags: fair debt collection practices act, fdcpa, how to stop a wage garnishment

Debt Settlement in Oregon

debt settlement in oregonCan I use debt settlement in Oregon to clear up old debts?

YES! Debt Settlement is a viable option that creditors will consider when you are facing difficult financial times.


After you have been delinquent in paying your accounts, usually those accounts go into an INTERNAL RECOVERY department within the company.  During the first couple of months, you will receive numerous calls and letters about your account.  These calls can be VERY ANNOYING, and in some cases, put your job in jeopardy if they call you at work!


According to the FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (FDCPA), once you have requested/demanded that the creditor stop calling you, they must stop!  If they continue, you can report them to the State Attorney General's office and they may be subject to a hefty fine!

After approximately 120-180 days, if the creditor has not bee successful in getting you to start paying again they may offer your a Hardship Plan. Before you agree to their offer of a "HARDSHIP PLAN", you need to read  BEWARE OF SO-CALLED HARDSHIP PLANS!

If you choose to decline the Hardship Plan, your account wil be CHARGED OFF, it will be placed with a COLLECTION AGENCY.  This agency may also be a law firm that only specializes in debt collection.

At this point, the calls and letters start again! Even though you requested that the original creditor stop calling, now your account has been placed or sold to a different company and you must send the demand-to-stop calling letter again!

Your account has now been delinquent for approximately 6 months, and depending on your circumstances, a settlement offer of 50% or less may be possible.  It takes a lot of time and effort to secure a good settlement, but settlements can and are negotiated all the time.


If you are able to negotiate a good settlement (50% or less), before you send money or agree to a check-by-phone, GET THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IN WRITING!

Many consumers have made a verbal agreement over the phone, authorized a settlement payment, and then find out that the company claims that the payment was just toward the ENTIRE BALANCE, and not a settlement-as-agreed.

Yes, DEBT SETTLEMENT IN OREGON as well as most all states is possible, but time consuming.  We have been helping people become DEBT FREE through DEBT SETTLEMENT FOR MANY YEARS  and may be able to help you also.

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, debt collectors, hardship plans, stop the collection calls, debt settlement in oregon

Stop Debt Collector Calls!

stop collection callsHow can you Stop Debt Collector Calls?

Debt collectors are paid to collect money that you owe!  So, is it any wonder that they will use any and all methods (legal and illegal) to get you to pay?

Do any of these situations sound familiar?

  • You are sitting down to relax after a long day and the calls start!
  • You check your phone messages and you have 14 calls...ALL IN ONE DAY!
  • You start receiving calls from creditors at work?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines what a debt collector can and cannot do.  If you are being harassed by collectors, you should click on the link above and print a copy!

The FDCPA says that debt collectors CANNOT do any of the following:

  • Contact you before 8am or after 9pm (your time zone)
  • Contact you at work if they are told that you are not allowed to get calls. This can be orally or in writing.)
  • Contact third parties (including family or friends) other than to get information on how they can contact you.  They CANNOT DISCUSS YOUR DEBT!
  • Contact you after you have sent them a letter stating that you do not owe the money and request verification of the debt.

A Debt Collector is PROHIBITED FROM HARASSMENT, such as:

  • Making threats of violence or harm
  • Using profane or obscene language
  • Call over and over again, many times/day!


  • Claiming to be an attorney or a government representative
  • Claim or insinuate that you have committed a crime
  • Claim that they are going to take "LEGAL ACTION", when in fact, they do not.
  • Claim that they will garnish your wages or levy your bank account.  They cannot even start to take legal actions until a claim has been filed and a SUMMONS is delivered to you.

Ok, but How do you STOP debt collector calls?

1) Send a letter like this:

Although I fully intend to repay this debt, it is impossible for me to do so at this time.  I am in a very desperate financial position and cannot pay the minimum payments required for my account.

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) 15 USC, 1692c(c), I am making an official request that you immediately terminate any telephone contact with me or any members of my family regarding any matter concerning the collection of the alleged debt.

You have repeatedly called me at home and at work which must stop!

If you do not, then I will be in contact with the attorney general’s office of my state and file a complaint.


(Print and sign your name)

2)  Send the letter using REGISTERED MAIL, so you will have proof that they received it.

Once they have received your written notification to stop calling you, they may only call you one more time.  Usually they will be either very nice or very nasty.

Either way, now the calls should stop.

We have been helping people with debt issues for many years. 

If you would like a FREE EVALUATION of your situation, let us know!





Tags: fair debt collection practices act, debt collection harassment, stopping debt collection calls

Can A Debt Collector Call Me at Work?

Can a debt collector call me at work?

Creditors are notorious for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  This LAW is supposed to protect consumers from unscrupulous and ILLEGAL debt collection activity!  However, most consumers are unaware of their RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW and are intimidated.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has very good information that every consumers should understand.  Click her for a FREE GUIDE FOR CONSUMERS.

can a debt collector call me at workA debt collector is PROHIBITED from calling you at work IF they have been told (orally or in writing) that you are not allowed to receive calls at work.  If you are getting calls at work, here's what you need to do to STOP THE CALLS.

  1. Write a letter demanding them to stop contacting you at home or at work.
  2. Send the letter by registered mail so that you have proof that the collector received it. (pay for a "return receipt")
  3. Make a copy of your letter. 

Once the collector receives your letter, they may not contact you again, with two exceptions:

  • A collector can contact you to tell you there will be no further contact or
  • A collector can contact you to let you know that they or the creditor intend to take a specific action, like filing a lawsuit.

If they continue to call, you can report their ILLEGAL ACTIVITY to your state's Attorey Generals office.

Did you know? A debt collector in prohibited from:

  • Calling before 8am or after 9pm at night.
  • Using harassment such as making threats, using obscene language or repeatedly calling many times a day.
  • Making false claims such as claiming to be an attorney or government representative.
  • Misrepresenting the amount you owe.
  • Making false statements.  (They cannot say that you will "go to jail" or "be arrested" or even claim to take legal action if in fact, they do not do so.)

If you have been receiving collections calls and would like help with stopping the calls and eliminating the debt once and for all, our Solutions Specialist are here to help.  Give us a call at 877-492-4109 or click on the link below!

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, debt collectors, how to stop collection calls, can a debt collector call me at work


debt collector harrassmentDebt collector harassment can make your life miserable!

I read an article today from the Oreonian entiltled "Eugene woman sues after bill collector sends cops to house".

You can click on the link above to get the complete story, but here's a summary:

  • Retired, 85 year old woman got behind on her Wells Fargo Mastercard
  • Wells Fargo turned the account over to a collector
  • Collector repeatedly calls and harasses her
  • Collector uses one of the cruelist, unprofession and I think, illegal tactics that I've ever heard of.  He calls the police and tells them she is suicidal and of course they come to her house.
  • As a result, they "forcibly" took her to an emergency room with a warning not to leave (according to the claim)
  • Now she has additional medical bills from the fiasco!

I do not know what prompted the collectors action.  Hopefully, the lawsuit will sort this all out.

But, are you serious?  Can a debt collector harass a senior citizen to the point of possible suicide and not suffer severe consequenses? 

It seems so...but we have rights.  Hopefully her lawsuit will help.

The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act  is the law about what a collector can and cannot do, and in my opinion, this collector has violated the law.

According to the FDCPA, these are practices that are off limits for debt collectors?


Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:

  • use threats of violence or harm;
  • publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
  • use obscene or profane language; or
  • repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.

False statements

Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
  • misrepresent the amount you owe;
  • indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
  • indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying:

  • you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
  • they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or
  • legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.

Debt collectors may not:

  • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
  • send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t; or
  • use a false company name.

Unfair practices

Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law allows the charge;
  • deposit a post-dated check early
  • take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally
  • contact you by postcard.

If you or someone you know (especially a senior citizen) is receiving harassing calls and/or illegal activity from a debt collector, you have options:

           In Oregon, Click Here:


debt collector harassment


 photo by: BLW Photography






Tags: fair debt collection practices act, fdcpa, debt collection harassment, how to stop collection calls

How to Stop Collection Calls

how to stop collection calls

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 creditor calls that they change their phone number or even disconnect their phone to get some peace and quiet. 

Although your creditors have the right to attempt to collect an unpaid debt, a creditor must do this within the limitations for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCP).


  • Make frequent or harassing calls!  In other words, they cannot dial you you 10 times a day!
  • Call you at work!  If you are getting calls at work, it could jeapordize your job and your employer will certainly not think well of you!
  • Make threats of legal action without following through!  "If you don't send us money now, we will start a lawsuit against you".  Well, if they say it, they better start it, or you can file a complaint with your state attorney general.
  • Call family or friend and tell them you are  delienquent!  They can call a family member or friend in an attempt to get information about how they can contact you, but they cannot discuss your debt with them or mention your situation in any way!

Download this FREE GUIDE -->

How To Stop Collection Calls

The best way to stop collection calls is to write a letter to the collector stating that you intend to pay your bill, but you cannot at this time.  Tell them that you are giving them legal notice according to the FDCPA to stop calling you immediately or you will report them to the attorney general.

It is best to mail the letter as registered mail so that you have proof that they received it.

After a collector receives the request in writing, they can only call you one more time to state they received it and what their intentions are in the future. If they call you again, it is time to to go online to your state attorney general's site and file a complaint.

You can try to simply fax the letter to the credior.  In most cases this will stop the calls, but legally the creditor does not have to stop without the written request by mail. In some cases, a creditor may honor you request by phone, but this doesn't happen often.

If you are intimidated by collectors, then we can help. Simply click the link below to find out about your options.


photo by: Mykl Roventine

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, fdcpa, debt collection harassment, how to stop collection calls

Dirty Tricks of Debt Collection: How to avoid Debt Collector Tricks

debt collector tricksAll too often, individuals who are struggling with their debt fall victim to debt collector tricks and scams—all because they aren't aware of the laws that exist to protect them.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to protect people from the unfair, deceptive and abusive tactics that many companies were using in their attempt to collect outstanding debts.  Under this law, you have specific rights that protect you from the worst debt collector tricks.

Think about your last interaction with a debt collector.  Did any of the following occur?

  • Calls made before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • Calls made to your workplace
  • Calls made so frequently as to become an annoyance  
  • Use of abusive or obscene language
  • Threats of bodily harm or pending arrest
  • False statements made regarding the amount of your debt
  • Misrepresentation on the part of the debt collector (for example, pretending to be an attorney or the police)
  • Contact made only by postcard (vs. a phone call or letter)
  • Attempt to collect interest or another fee that is not a part of the original contract for the debt
  • Contact made to you rather than the attorney who is representing you in the matter

debt collector tricksWhile we've listed some of the most frequently occurring abuses here, that doesn't mean there aren't other practices that are illegal.  The most important thing that you can do to avoid these and other issues is to educate yourself on your rights under the law. The Federal Trade Commission's website offers a detailed summary of FDCPA and is a great place to get started.  

Keep in mind that most states also have their own version of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  You can contact your state's Attorney General office ( to learn more or to report a violation by a particular debt collection firm.  The Federal Trade Commission (, which enforces the FDCPA, has extensive information about consumer rights in general, as well as an online complaint form.

If you feel that you've been the victim of unfair practices or debt collector tricks, take the time to research your rights. Then, take action to protect yourself. 


photo by: stevendepolo

Tags: fair debt collection practices act, common collection practices, debt collector tricks

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