Debt collectors can be ruthless in their tactics. After all, these professionals are trained to recover payment from people who cannot afford to pay an outstanding bill. If they weren’t persistent, and somewhat intimidating, they wouldn’t be very good at their job.
The problem is, being on the receiving end of their harassment is not only stressful and distracting, it can be embarrassing and may even put your job on the line. The good news is that there are steps your can take to end harassment from debt collectors.
Know Your Rights :
When being harassed by a debt collector, the first thing to do is to learn your rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which was first established in 1978, gives consumers certain rights, while limiting the rights of collectors.
The first thing that consumers need to know is that debt collectors are not legally allowed to threaten them. They may not threaten to harm you or your property, threaten to call your boss about the situation, or threaten to call the police and have you arrested. This is harassment. If a debt collector threatens you in this manner, you can pursue legal action and may be awarded up to $1,000, plus court costs and lawyer fees.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act also restricts the times that debt collectors can call consumers. Collectors are generally allowed to call between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. They also are restricted from calling “excessively.” While the FDCPA does not specify how many times they may call, several times a day is excessive.
It’s also important to understand that debt collectors cannot attempt to embarrass consumers. They may not contact friends, family members, and coworkers to let them know about the outstanding debt. They may call these people when trying to find a phone number or address to reach you at. However, they may not say that they are attempting to recover a debt.
How to Stop Debt Collectors from Contacting You
When a debt collector begins calling, most people quickly begin worrying that their employer will find out. Fortunately, debt collectors may not jeopardize your job. If a debt collector calls at work, tell them that you are not allowed to receive calls and to stop contacting your place of employment. After hearing this, the collector must stop calling you at work.
To stop contact all together, you will need to write a cease and desist letter. This letter must include your name and address, as well as clearly state that you wish to cease all phone calls and written correspondence. This will not erase the debt. It will just make it illegal for the debt collector to contact you.
The problem with writing a cease and desist letter is that the debt collector will still want to collect the debt, but will have no way to pursue payment. At that point, the only way for the debt collector to pursue the debt is to sue the debtor. In some cases, ending all contact may force the debt collector to purse legal action much faster than they would have otherwise.
How to Stop Harassment Permanently
To stop harassment from debt collectors permanently, consumers have three different options:
? They can repay their debts.
? They may file for bankruptcy and have their debts forgiven.
? Choose to wait until the statute of limitations is up in their state.
Debt collectors only have a certain amount of time to pursue a debt until they are legally unable to do so. Of course, a collection agency may also decide to sue within this period, which makes waiting risky.
The best way to stop debt collectors is to find a suitable debt relief option and begin repaying outstanding debts. This will not only help to stop collection calls, but will also improve a consumer’s credit and help them regain control of their finances.