Advertiser Disclosure

How to Stop Collection Agency Harassment in 5 Steps

Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

  • SurveyJunkie: Earn up to $50 per survey with one of the highest-paying survey sites on the web. Join SurveyJunkie Now
  • Mistplay: Earning money by playing games on your phone sounds like a dream. But this app really pays you for playing new games with cash rewards. Download Mistplay for Free (Android only).
  • Robinhood: This investing app lets you trade stocks and do everything for free and takes no fees — ever. Better yet, if you join through this link you can get a free stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint when you join (must complete signup).

Being in debt can be incredibly stressful. This stress can be exacerbated by various debt collection tactics creditors use that could be described as harassment. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects debtors from all unfair debt collection practices. However, creditor harassment can prevail despite the legal remedies.

Most debtors do not come forward regarding creditor harassment due to fears of losing assets or lawsuits because of the existing debt. You don’t have to repay the debt just to stop being harassed by the creditors. Here is a list of pragmatic methods you can employ to protect your person from spurious collection practices:

How to Stop Debt Collector Harassment

Are you getting creditor harassment or debt harassment? Here is a list of pragmatic methods you can employ to protect your person from spurious collection practices.

 

Debt Collector Harassment

First, here are common questions people ask about bill collector harassment.

  • What is considered creditor harassment? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says debt collectors can’t harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact. Some examples of harassment are repetitious phone calls that are intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone. Or using obscene or profane language.
  • Can I sue a creditor for harassment? You can sue a debt collector for harassment and collect money for the damages. The FDCPA specifically gives you the right to sue a debt collector for harassment. If a debt collection agency violates the FDCPA, you have the power to sue for debt harassment.
  • How do I get debt collectors to stop calling? To make a debt collector stop calling you, you can send a cease and desist letter. This letter should tell the debt collector to cease and desist from contacting you.
  • How many calls is considered harassment? Just one call can be considered harassment if obsense or profane language is used.

1. Understand the Law

The Federal Trade Commission strongly advises debtors to understand the difference between debt collection practices that are permitted and those that aren’t. Not all collection calls are disallowed or illegitimate, however, collectors cannot call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on any given day, or during hours you are at work. The collector cannot contact you if your employer does not allow the calls either. If a creditor violates these requirements, you are free to take legal action against them.  There may be other rules regulating debt collection calls in your state. Know what they are to protect yourself.

2. Ask the Creditor Formally to Stop Contacting You

Want free money?

  • Aspiration: Want to get spotted a $100 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $100 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch, just use your card to make at least $1,000 in cumulative transactions within 60 days of opening an account. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

If you don’t want a creditor or a collection agency to phone you, you have the right to formally request them to stop. The request must be in written format, so asking them to do so over the telephone is not sufficient. Write a letter asking the creditor to stop calling you and mail it to the individual making the calls. Do keep a copy of this letter with you as evidence. It’s recommended to send the letter via certified mail and get a return receipt. When you do this, the collector cannot claim not to have received it. If you send this letter, the creditor can only call you to either inform you of ceasing contact or to inform you of any action he or she will be taking against you, such as filing a lawsuit.

3. Beware of Scams

Don’t assume that all collection calls you receive are for legitimate debts. Some debt collection calls are scams. Spurious agents may happen to pick up your phone number and call you to collect a debt that you do not owe in reality. Therefore, be vigilant about debt collectors. A detailed guide on the subject, written by Debt Consolidation, elaborates on the several steps consumers can take to protect themselves against such scam collection calls, you should start by asking questions.

For example, ask the caller about the company he represents, or ask for a number to call them “right back.” Legitimate creditors would readily provide this information. Even asking seemingly trivial questions like “what’s my full name,” can help keep the fraudulent callers away.

4. A Collection Call Must be Followed by a Written Notice

You don’t have to repay a debt immediately just because a creditor contacted you. Once a collection call takes place, the creditor or collection agency must send you a written validation notice specifying the amount you supposedly owe and the name of the individual to whom the money is owed. This validation notice must be mailed within the first five days following the call. If you don’t get a validation notice, you don’t have to repay the amount, no matter what the collection agent tells you.

5. Do Not Heed the Empty Threats

Creditor harassment also includes deceptive practices with the intention to pressure the debtor to pay up. Collection agents or creditors may threaten you with a lawsuit, try to intimidate you by accusing you of check fraud or threaten to jail you if you don’t pay the amount. Such actions are explicitly prohibited under the FDCPA. If you are subjected to such harassment, file a complaint against the instigator with the FTC. You can also call your attorney and seek legal remedies. Do not be intimidated by such tactics because your rights are protected under the FDCPA.

It’s important that you understand your rights to take action against creditor harassment, however, keep in mind that creditor harassment doesn’t result in the canceling of the debt. You will still have to repay any legitimate amount you owe, no matter how you got into debt, even if you successfully complain about collection calls.

Want free money?

  • Robinhood is a free investing app for your phone. I really mean free all around – free to join and they don’t charge any fees to buy or sell the stock. You can get a share of stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint for free when you join through this link. The value of the free share may be anywhere between $2.50 and $200 and fluctuates based on market movements. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Adriana Flores
Adriana Flores
Adriana is a contributor at My Millennial Guide and focuses on millennial money management. She has a love for the Chicago Cubs and spending time with family and friends.

Related Posts

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!