Have you fallen behind on credit card debt, mortgage debt, an auto loan or other bills and are beginning to become the victim of harassing phone calls from creditors?
Most collectors utilize the strategy of constant contact and the goal is to intimidate, annoy or completely harass the consumer to the point where they feel pressured and begin paying off their debts. Debt collector harassment can come in many forms of contact from direct mail to text and email. One of the most common ways that debt collectors reach out is by phone. Most of the phone calls that you may receive from a debt collector are extremely repetitive, they are designed to make a person feel extremely guilty for their debt and the debt collector will also speak to nearly anyone that answers the phone. They don’t care about privacy and they want to ensure you pay off your debts as soon as possible.
Many people experiencing difficult financial situations have even reported that some modern-day collectors utilize threats or profane language in order to get debtors to pay up. Some debt collection agencies even go as far as to call family members, friends and neighbors to inquire about your debt in order to humiliate you and your financial situation.
If you are facing this type of harassment from debt collectors there are some solutions that you can use to prevent these calls.
How to Stop The Phone Calls
You have rights; just because you have debt does not cause you to lose these. A debt collector is not in complete control. A debt collection agency is legally permitted to collect the debt owed to the creditor but they are not permitted to use any type of abusive tactic to collect this debt from you. The Federal Trade Commission enforces an act called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is an act that polices debt collectors and prevents them from using unreasonable, deceptive or abusive tactics to collect the debt.
If you feel as though you become the victim of debt collector harassment there are some options that you have moving forward.
Take these steps immediately if you find yourself being harassed by debt collectors.
Review Your Rights
Your rights can be found in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This will detail some of the ways that creditors could infringe on your rights as a result of the harassment.
Keeping records of any communication that has been sent to you by the debt collection agency or recording some of the phone conversations that you have had can be important. Write down the dates and times at which debt collectors are calling you and keep records of the call.
File a Complaint
You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against the company that’s regularly calling you. Filing a complaint can be the first step in preventing harassment and future phone calls.
Writing a Letter To The Debt Collection Agency
A correspondence letter to a debt collection agency could let them know about one employee that has begun to use aggressive tactics with their debt collection. Contacting a debt collection agency could make sure that you speak to a different agent or that the person who’s regularly harassing you is reprimanded.
Contacting an Attorney
Contacting an attorney can be a wise move in managing a case for harassment. The attorney will be able to tell you the best steps moving forward if you are regularly facing harassing calls from creditors.
Suing Your Debt Collector For Violation
If your debt collectors are regularly in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can use your evidence to sue the debt collector for compensation. Harassment is a serious charge and if the tactics used by a debt collection company are affecting your quality of life or are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you could be entitled to compensation.
Should I File For Bankruptcy to Stop The Calls?
Filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy can also put an end to the phone calls. If you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can place an automatic stay on your account that will put an end to communications from debt collectors entirely. If you have an established chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan or a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in place, the debt collector or creditor will not be able to take actions against you, your property or assets unless it was agreed upon in the bankruptcy statement.
If you’re facing harassing phone calls from creditors and you’d like to learn more about the options you have available to you, contact our attorneys today. We can advise you on if it is time to file for bankruptcy and how you can protect your rights from debt collectors and more.