Knowing that you owe people money can be an incredibly stressful experience. When you have to deal with creditors who are contacting you, it might feel like you don't have any options other than to keep dodging the calls!
However, creditors are held to several standards that are meant to protect the people who have debts. Just because you are in debt doesn't mean that you don't have rights. Here's what you need to know about your rights:
Debt collection hours
Debt collectors can only contact people from 8 in the morning through 9 in the evening. The only exception is if you tell them that they can contact you outside of those hours. When it comes to this timeframe, you only have the protection if you have personal debts. This isn't applicable if the debts were incurred by a business or for business purposes.
Debt collection methods
People who collect debts can contact you through mail, phone, text or other similar methods. The communication must be honest and worded in a clear manner. No threats can be made unless they are legal threats that the creditor intends to follow through on. If you specifically tell the creditor not to communicate with you, they can't do so any longer. You should be prepared to handle the repercussions that might come with that decision. This could include the debt collector taking you to court.
Debt collectors must accurately represent who they are. They can't claim that they are an attorney or law enforcement officer unless this is the truth. They can't say anything that might deceive you or mislead you. If you have any questions about who is calling, you can ask whom you are speaking to, the company they are representing and their position.
The debt collectors can't contact anyone except you about your debts. It doesn't matter who the person claims to be. The exception is if you have an attorney who is representing you. The debt collectors can contact the attorney. If you give them permission to speak to someone else, they can. You can rescind that permission at any time.
If you don't think that the debt collector is acting in a lawful manner, you can find out how the law pertains to your case. You do have options for handling the creditor if they are doing things illegally.